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History, Geography and Difference in the Post-socialist World: Or, Do We Still Need Post-Socialism?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alison Stenning


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This paper seeks to build on ongoing work in east central Europe and the former Soviet Union-in geography and beyond-to think through the conceptualisation of post-socialism. The rationale for this is threefold. Firstly, we see a need to understand post-socialist conditions as they are lived and experienced by those in the region. Secondly, we seek to challenge the persistent tendency to marginalise the experiences of the non-western world in a discourse of globalisation and universalisation. Thirdly, we identify a need to ask how the conditions of post-socialism reshape our theorising more widely. Centring our analysis on history, geography and difference, we review a wide range of perspectives on the socialist and post-socialist, but argue for a strategic essentialism that recognises post-socialist difference without eclipsing differences. In outlining how we might understand history, geography and difference in post-socialism, we draw on key theorisations from post-colonialism (such as the articulation of the post- with the pre-, the relationship to the west, the rethinking of histories/categories, the end of the post) and outline post-socialisms that are partial and not always explanatory but nevertheless important. © 2008 The Author Journal compilation © 2008 Editorial Board of Antipode.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stenning AC, Hörschelmann K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antipode

Year: 2008

Volume: 40

Issue: 2

Pages: 312-335

Print publication date: 01/03/2008

ISSN (print): 0066-4812

ISSN (electronic): 1467-8330


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2008.00593.x


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