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Post-communist Countries on Imitation - Dictionary of Arguments

Krastev I 58
Imitation/Post-communist countries/Krastev: Imitating the way post-1945 Germany dealt with history turned out to be problematic for Central and East Europeans in at least four respects.
1) (...) post-Second World War German democracy was to some extent built on the worry that nationalism, given unlimited room to grow, may gradually lead to a rebirth of Nazism (...).
Krastev I 59
Central and Eastern European countries, by contrast, find it difficult to share such a comprehensively negative view of nationalism (...).
2) (...) postwar German democracy was organized in response to the way the Nazis came to power through competitive elections. This is why non-majoritarian institutions like the Federal Constitutional Court and the Bundesbank are not only powerful but also among the most trusted institutions in Germany.
Krastev I 60
[There was a] slowly developing domestic resistance, two decades after 1989, to reorganizing these states in line with two alternative foreign models: the new German idea of a decentralized state and American multiculturalism.
3) (...) when sharing their postwar transformation experience of incorporation into the West with the post-communist countries, the Germans fell into a trap. They were proud of the success of their transition from a totalitarian society into a model democracy but at the same time, in many cases, they counselled the Central and East Europeans not to do what they did in the 1950s and 1960s but to do what they believed they themselves should have done back then. While Nazism was officially denounced after the war, it was not a subject that Germans were eager to discuss in any detail. For one thing, there were many ex-Nazis among the postwar West German elite. But when time came for the incorporation of East Germany into a unified liberal-democratic Germany, the approach was the opposite. The silent treatment became a gabfest.
4) (...) Germany was and is very proud of both its welfare state and its system of co-determination, by which labour unions were given a pivotal role in corporate governance. But these were aspects of their political system that the West Germans never pressed the EU to export to the East. The official reason they gave was that Central and East Europeans could not afford them, but perhaps they also expected that weakened state protections for Central and Eastern European workers and citizens would create favourable investment opportunities for German industry.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Post-communist Countries
Krastev I
Ivan Krastev
Stephen Holmes
The Light that Failed: A Reckoning London 2019


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