Theories of Postcommunist Transformation. Approaches, Debates, and Problems of Theory Building in the Second Decade of Research

Raj Kollmorgen


The article explores the current theoretical debates on postcommunist transformations. After identifying important novel or reinvigorated approaches, three of them are critically discussed: the postcommunism approach, the governance approach, and the Europeanisation approach. The examination leads to the result that, indeed, a ‘second generation’ has emerged. It has largely overcome universalistic assumptions and gained explanatory power by more complex theoretical architectures as well as systematic time-space-embeddings or contextualisations. A final consideration makes the case for interdisciplinary and general theories of societal transformations as a necessary step in the advancement of the debate.


postcommunism; transformation; transition; social theory; Central and Eastern Europe.

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