Is there a global postsocialist condition?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues for a relational perspective in the social sciences that sees the former Second World as connected to both the former First and Third Worlds. Rather than the mono-directionality, especially between the First and Second Worlds, assumed by many modernisation and globalisation approaches, this article suggests that these "worlds" have been mutually constitutive. Making globalisation, postcolonial and postsocialist studies speak to each other, the article places postsocialism in a new global context. Relationality has consequences not only for how we see the ontology but also the political possibilities of the postsocialist global. As such, this article develops a constructive critique of Nancy Fraser's concept of the postsocialist condition by demonstrating how class and identity politics have been strategically fused in the region during and after state socialism, relying primarily on research in Hungary. Empirically the article argues that the interaction of state socialist and postsocialist histories with new Western projects of the politics of recognition-such as cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, global civil society, and postnationalism-had the effect of impoverishing national public discourses, which led to undemocratic results in Eastern Europe, and created a favourable atmosphere for the extreme right wing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-30
Number of pages22
JournalGlobal Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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