Volume 3, Issue 2, 2011
Authors: Hans-Joachim BÜRKNER
FROM TRANSFORMATION TO IDIOSYNCRATIC MODERNISATION SHIFTING ANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE RE-SHAPING OF CENTRAL EAST AND EAST EUROPE
After two decades of studies on the transformation of Central and East European regions and societies, most scientific communities seem to have normalised their theoretical concepts and empirical approaches. Leaving former exceptionalist views on systemic transition, convergence and hybridisation, and heading for “business as usual” as found in any society integrated into the world market or exposed to globalisation, they presently give the impression that transformation studies are coming to an end. This paper undertakes a review of the past phases of transformation studies in order to identify research gaps and necessities of further research on social and regional development as influenced by inherited or hybridised structural and cultural elements. It makes a point in favour of abandoning the convergence debate for more context-sensitive analyses of social change and societal restructuring, in particular with regard to structural fragmentation and cultural hybridisation.Key words: transformation, modernisation, regional and urban development, pathways of development, post-socialism, post-transformation.