20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall
Special Feature: Public Sphere Formation
In this special feature on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009, Andrew Arato investigates the fate of the principal agents in the formation of political public spheres in Central Europe, arguing that the once-revolutionaries historically quite generally tend to turn into external vanguards for revolutionary regime change elsewhere, as it had been the case with Central European intellectuals turning into cheerleaders and enablers on the road to the Iraq war. Mark Beissinger shows how the formation of the public sphere in the Soviet Union under glasnost’ dramatically altered the epistemic boundaries of the possible and the thinkable, creating a space in which events took on a momentum of their own, transforming the seemingly impossible and unimaginable into the seemingly inevitable. Hauke Brunkhorst, Jeffrey Goldfarb, Jack Goldstone, Julia Hell, Konrad Jarausch, Michael Kennedy, Elzbieta Matynia, Steven Pfaff, and others, present additional unique vantage points on this historic transformation.
Table of Contents
- Andrew Arato: From Revolutionaries to External Vanguards
- Mark R. Beissinger: How the Impossible Becomes Inevitable: The Public Sphere and the Collapse of Soviet Communism
- Hauke Brunkhorst: After 1989 and Beyond: Three Theses
- Jeffrey Goldfarb: The Not So Lost Treasure of the Revolutionary Tradition: 1989 and the Politics of Small Things
- Jack Goldstone: Why no Green Revolution in Iran? 1989 vs. 2009
- Julia Hell: Dissolution / Revolution: Uwe Tellkamp’s post-89 Novel Der Turm and the Peculiar Configuration of the Public Sphere in the Late GDR
- Konrad H. Jarausch: People Power? Explaining 1989
- Michael D. Kennedy: Public Spheres, Private Lives, and Roundtable Negotiations in 1989 and 2009
- Elzbieta Matynia: 1989 and the Theater of Politics
- Steven Pfaff: From Revolution to Reunification: The East German Wende Two Decades Later
External Links: Web Resources on the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall
- 20 Jahre Mauerfall (English version): Gateway to the calendar of events in Berlin throughout the year.
- FriedlicheRevolution.de: German online magazine, a gateway to and review of the German public discourse on the 2oth anniversary throughout the year.
- Performing Revolution Festival, New York City, November 6, 2009 – March 31, 2010. A wide-ranging festival of performances, exhibitions, films, and symposia coordinated by The New York Library for the Performing Arts in association with cultural organizations and academic institutions throughout the city. Goethe-Institut anniversary celebration on November 9: The Berlin Wall Project.
- NYRB review essay of anniversary books by Timothy Garton Ash: “1989!” The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 17, November 5, 2009; Slavoj Zizek: “20 Years of Collapse.” The New York Times, November 9, 2009; Timothy Garton Ash: “Velvet Revolution: The Prospects” The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 19, December 3, 2009; Adam Michnik: “Annus Mirabilis.” IP Global, German Council of Foreign Relations, Vol. 10, Winter, 2009; Adam Michnik: “From Solidarity to Democracy.” Interview, The Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2009; Claus Offe: “Lessons Learned and Open Questions: Welfare State Building in Post-Communist EU Member States.” Eurozine, January 28, 2010.
- New York Times online coverage: The Berlin Wall: 20 Years Later; New York Times’ Blogrunner coverage: Berlin Wall; CNN online coverage: Autumn of Change 1989; Spiegel Online International coverage: 20 Years after the Wall; The Guardian online coverage: Berlin Wall: 20 Years on