Social Currents in Eastern Europe traces the diverse social currents that have developed alongside and interacted with political and economic forces to bring about change in Eastern Europe.
In this second edition-which significantly updates and expands the previous edition to include a new introduction, revisions throughout, as well as five new chapters, including timely material on ethnic war in the former Yugoslavia-Ramet extends and develops the theory of social change upon which the book is based. Ramet draws on interviews conducted over a ten-year period with individuals active in arenas for social change-intellectual dissent, feminism, religious activism, youth cultures and movements, and trade unionism-in eight East European countries: East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania.
She shows how the processes leading to the ultimate collapse of communism began more than a decade earlier and how they were necessarily manifested in spheres as diverse as religion and rock music. Ramet also examines the consequences of the "Great Transformation" and analyzes the numerous unresolved problems that these societies currently confront, whether it be in the arena of economics, political legitimation, or the challenges of establishing a civil society free of chauvinism.