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Watch an interview with Margarita Balmaceda about energy and state-building in Eastern Europe and about her book "Living the High Life in Minsk".

Energy and State-Building in Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania: Between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Power 

a lecture by

Margarita M. Balmaceda

- See more at: http://www.ceu.hu/event/2015-01-13/energy-and-state-building-ukraine-belarus-and-lithuania-between-domestic-oligarchs#sthash.51Usuh1V.dpuf


Great Minds Don't Think Alike--University Press Week 2014


Our books on medieval history were exhibited at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 7-10 July, 2014.

By the end of 2013 A Life Under Russian Serfdom has been adopted for courses at no fewer than 33 universities and colleges of the United States. It is followed by Prague Tales with 17 adoptions.
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The Association for Women in Slavic Studies has awareded the 2013 Heldt Prize for Best Article in Slavic / Eastern European / Eurasian Women's Studies to "War Rape: (Re)defining Motherhood, Fatherhood, and Nationhood" in Embracing Arms: Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War.


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A Tale of Two Villages

Coerced Modernization in the East European Countryside

Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Chair of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She is a board member of the International Forum of Democracy Studies and the Journal of Democracy of the National Endowment for Democracy. She is the editor of the Romanian Journal of Political Science and member of the editorial board of the Journal Südosteuropa of Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. She is also a writer and journalist.

Translated by Angela Jianu

This dramatic story of land and power from twentieth-century Eastern Europe is set in two extraordinary villages: a rebel village, where peasants fought the advent of Communism and became its first martyrs, and a model village turned forcibly into a town, Dictator Ceauşescu’s birthplace. The two villages capture among themselves nearly a century of dramatic transformation and social engineering, ending up with their charged heritage in the present European Union.

"One of Romania’s foremost social critics, Alina Mungiu-Pippidi offers a valuable look at several decades of policy that marginalized that country’s rural population, from the 1918 land reform to the post-1989 property restitution. Illustrating her arguments with a close comparison of two contrasting villages, she describes the actions of a long series of “predatory elites,” from feudal landowners through the Communist Party through post-communist leaders, all of whom maintained the rural population’s dependency. A forceful concluding chapter shows that its prospects for improvement are scarcely better within the EU. Romania’s villagers have an eminent and spirited advocate in the author.”

Katherine Verdery, Distinguished Professor, Department of Anthropology, City University of New York


List of Tables; Acknowledgements; Chapter 1 The Argument: Chapter 2 Two Villages: Chapter 3 The Construction and Deconstruction of Rural Property; Chapter 4 The Invention of Social Conflict; Chapter 5 The Destruction and Replacement of the Elite; Chapter 6 The Manipulation of Lifestyles; Chapter 7 From the Dependent Peasant to the Citizen-Peasant: The Bases of a Rural Political Culture; Chapter 8 Between the Past and the Future; References; Appendices; Index

The Economist chose A Tale of Two Villages Book of the Week on 29th May 2010. "A dramatic, thought-provoking and sometimes savagely funny account of one of the toughest problems in Europe: the ingrained poverty of the Romanian countryside."

"The book is positioned at the disciplinary intersection between social anthoropology, oral history, and political sciences - a rara avis in today's climate of academic over-specialization. The story of the two post-socialist villages Nucşoara and Scornicesti in Walachia, southern Romania, follows the American tradition of exploring peasant politics and power in the manner of James Scott and Timothy Mitchell, among others.
The book has strong points. One is the multilevel approach combining the local level of analysis with the national one. The author effectively applies both ethnographic information gatherring and political science tools, such as analysis based on national data pools. Furthermore, she offers a theoretical model that can foster a better understanding of the post-socialist world.
... extremely useful for those interested in post-socialist transformation processes. It merits the attention of social scientists studyin eastern Europe". - Südosteuropa

"Alina Mungiu-Pippidi is one of the most outspoken and courageous public figures in Romania. She is a trenchant yet constructive critic of Romanian politics and society and as a university professor has initiated and secured funding for numerous research projects into which she has drawn her students. This volume is the product of one such project and is based on fieldwork carried out in Romania with a group of her students in political anthropology. The book provides a rich and varied discussion of collectivization and its continuing effects. Twenty years after its fall, the Communist Party still casts a long shadow in the region." - H-net online

230 pages
ISBN 978-963-9776-78-4 cloth $45.00 / €39.95 / £35.00