10 Conclusion

The narrativisation of social transformation

Simon Smith


Most early studies of democratic transition in post-communist Europe stressed that a system change was involved, incorporating three key institutional changes (the so-called ‘triple transition’) — from authoritarian or totalitarian to democratic governance; from a planned to a free-market economy; and from quasi-colonial status to full nation- and state-hood. Partially dissenting from the institutional school of thought, other authors emphasised the ‘path-dependent’ nature of the process and the inevitable conditioning of strategic choices by the inherited social, economic and cultural resources of a given society. These critics advocated the term transformation ...

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