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Centre for European Research

Professor Adam Fagan's Inaugural Lecture | Observing post-communist Europe for 25 years

9 November 2016

Time: 6:30 - 7:30pm
Venue: QMUL, Mile End Campus, Peoples' Palace, Skeel Lecture Theatre

Join Professor Adam Fagan, Professor of European Politics, for his Inaugural Lecture at Queen Mary University of London.
This lecture will be followed by a networking drinks reception.

The crisis and ultimate collapse of Soviet-style communism across Eastern Europe in 1989 was framed by many scholars in terms of the rise of civil society. The democratic ‘third wave’ that engulfed the region’s authoritarian regimes was predicted to deliver participation and emancipation to citizens denied political voice and agency for over four decades; to enable the articulation of their interests and engage them in the momentous processes of political, economic and social reform. Civil society was held up as a panacea for initiating progressive politics, for implementing policy reform, for instigating post-conflict reconstruction, and, of course, driving forth the Europeanization of these newly democratic polities. This idealistic vision of what civil society could and should achieve in the Czech Republic, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or in Serbia paid little heed to the realities of established western democracies.

From various perspectives – environmental activism, judicial reform, minority rights – this lecture explores the complexities and contradictions of engaging citizens in the post-communist and post-conflict states of Europe.

This lecture is free to attend but you must book in advance.

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