ABSTRACT

Di Palma captured accurately the prevalent mood of 1989 in East and Central Europe (Poland, Hungary and the Czech and Slovak Republics). The revolutions of 1989 were presented at the time as the triumphant victory of civil society over the communist one-party states. The key terms which were used to analyze and explain the peaceful Polish, Hungarian and Czechoslovak transitions were ‘civil society’, ‘a return the commonwealth of democratic European nations’, and ‘the forging of close links with the Europe and the European Union (EU)’. The transitions were carried out in the name of civil society; the related terms ‘citizen’ and ‘citizenship’ were used constantly to describe the kind of political systems which, it was hoped, would be erected.