Memories of 1989 in Europe between Hope, Dismay, and Neglect

Ferenc Laczo*, Joanna Wawrzyniak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review


This introduction to the special section on memories of 1989 calls for a closer analysis of various ways in which narratives of the democratic breakthrough in East Central Europe develop at the transnational, national, and vernacular levels. The four case studies in this section show that the liberal view of 1989 has been neither institutionalized nor internalized as its most common understanding. Instead, we observe a divergence of interpretations, the replacement of 1989 with other symbolic dates, its non-existence in the working memory of Western Europeans, as well as disappointments, frustrations, or nostalgia for socialism in East Central Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalEast European Politics and Societies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • 1989
  • East Central Europe
  • memory studies
  • transition


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