Explaining Economic Backwardness

Post-1945 Polish Historians on Eastern Europe
ISBN: 
978-963-386-291-9
cloth
$60.00 / €50.00 / £45.00
Publication date: 
forthcoming
300 pages

This monograph is about an exciting episode in the intellectual history of Europe: the vigorous debate among leading Polish historians on the sources of the economic development and non-development, including the origins of economic divisions within Europe. The work covers nearly fifty years of this debate between the publication of two pivotal works in 1947 and 1994.

Anna Sosnowska provides an insightful interpretation of how local and generational experience shaped the notions of post-1945 Polish historians about Eastern European backwardness, and how their debate influenced Western historical sociology, social theories of development and dependency in peripheral areas, and the image of Eastern Europe in Western, Marxist-inspired social science. Although created under the adverse conditions of state socialism and censorship, this body of scholarship had an important repercussion in international social science of the post-war period, contributing an emphasis on international comparisons, as well as a stress on social theory and explanations. Sosnowska's analysis also helps to understand current differences that lead to conflicts between Europe’s richest and economically most developed core and its southern and eastern peripheries. The historians she studies also investigated analogies between paths in Eastern Europe and regions of West Africa, Latin America and East Asia.

Introduction
Chapter 1. In the Eyes of Others. Historical Sociology and its Image of Eastern Europe
Chapter 2. The Main Participants of the Debate. Sociological Historians in Postwar Poland
Chapter 3. Eastern Europe Compared to Other Regions. The Historical Geography of Development
Chapter 4. Development Studies: Sociology and History. Models of Backwardness
Chapter 5. Rentiers and Victims of Backwardness, and Pioneers of Progress. Images of Polish Society
Conclusion
Bibliography

All good bookshops stock CEU Press books or will order them for you. You may also order direct from the Press or from one of our local distributors.

Some of the older titles are out of print, nevertheless bookshops or online distributors may get you print-on-demand copies, and all CEU Press titles are sold in digital version at the major electronic distributors.

You can also buy books in our Budapest office (Oktober 6. utca 14). CEU faculty, students, staff, and alumni receive 20% off on all titles.