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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matej BlazekORCiD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
This paper seeks to reinvigorate post-socialism as an analytical tool for addressing the changing geographies of Europe, particularly the differences across 'the East' and 'the West'. We argue for departure from the dialectic understandings of post-socialism and propose a 'dialogic' approach that would resist teleology and closure, and promote ontological openness and spatio-temporal contingency. We illustrate this argument by tracing the different attitudes to the idea of community in Western and Eastern Europe. The notion of community has been largely absent in formal as well as everyday politics in Eastern Europe. The paper interrogates the reasons behind this absence and then tracks the recent emergence of community among urban activists in Bratislava (Slovakia) as a case study. We suggest that while the links between the West and the East are important for this emergence, it cannot be explained simply in terms of convergence towards the West. Instead, manifold geographical and historical connections are fundamental for the formation of diverse and often contradictory ways in which the notion of community underpins activist initiatives. Pointing towards the relational composition of post-socialist processes, dialogic approach offers a more robust relational approach to the contemporary geographies of Europe.
Author(s): Blazek M, Suska P
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Political Geography
Print publication date: 01/11/2017
Online publication date: 27/06/2017
Acceptance date: 15/06/2017
Date deposited: 16/06/2017
ISSN (print): 0962-6298
ISSN (electronic): 1873-5096
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