Essay Archives

Public Sphere Formation

November 2nd, 2009

How the Impossible Becomes Inevitable: The Public Sphere and the Collapse of Soviet Communism

Submitted by Mark R. Beissinger, Princeton University

Viewed in retrospect, the collapse of Soviet communism appears over-determined for all the reasons often cited. A highly repressive political system that could broker no genuine pluralism; a sclerotic, ritualized ideology that had lost its meaning; the inflexibility of a planned economy and its inability to compete with a post-industrial, globalizing capitalism; Soviet overreach abroad; [...]

November 2nd, 2009

From Revolutionaries to External Vanguards

Submitted by Andrew Arato, New School for Social Research

This is a great occasion, a great 20th anniversary of events that had world historical importance. But so that we do not forget where we currently are in Central Europe, we should also recall what happened in 2001 when the macabre “coalition of the willing” was formed. I at least cannot forget that with the [...]

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