oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Scholars and intellectuals in transition : on the social position of culture, science and intellectual work in postsocialist Slovenia

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



Massive changes have taken place in the former socialist countries of Europe in the last twenty years. The political singularities, such as the creation of numerous new nation-states and radical changes of social and political systems within the newly created state formations, as the Slovenian social anthropologist Irena Šumi pointed out, "no doubt held promise of exceptional social situations which offered unique and unprecedented insights into human sociality". Namely, in the wake of the collapse of the former Soviet bloc, the socialist states from Eastern Europe and the Balkans have introduced a variety of novel policies and political arrangements indicating radical social, cultural and economic changes. However, as postsocialist and late-socialist states implemented new political values and social initiatives, they acted upon complex social and cultural systems that responded in quite different, also unpredictable ways and unexpected reversals. This often happened because Western political elites, supported by their globally dominant disciplines of economics, political science, transitology or other kind, promoted models for the postsocialist countries that bear little connection to the social realities of their own countries. "Westernisation" of Eastern societies was among the most crucial emancipatory political paroles of Western as well as Eastern ex-socialist political and academic elites.

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