Contested reconstruction of national identities in eastern Europe: landscape implications

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Abstract:

The article explores the landscape implications of political change in eastern Europe in the 1990s, drawing particularly on contrasting examples from Georgia, Poland and Estonia. In much of eastern Europe, the reconstruction of national identities following the collapse of the communist governments in the late 1980s has involved the resurrection of past symbols and identities dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries. In many instances, specific rural landscapes and icons have played a significant role in shaping these new identities. In part this reflects the rural character of these societies prior to communist rule, but it has also been a result of the drive for land reform and agrarian restructuring during the 1990s. The shaping of national identities, however, is highly contested, and the dominant themes of the 'transition' imposed on eastern Europe have been largely urban, financial and commercial in character.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00291959950136830

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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