Austerities and Aspirations
A Comparative History of Growth, Consumption, and Quality of Life in East Central Europe since 1945
This monograph provides an analysis of the economic performance and living standard in Czechoslovakia and its successor states, Hungary, and Poland since 1945. The novelty of the book lies in its broad comparative perspective: it places East Central Europe in a wider European framework that underlines the themes of regional disparities and European commonalities. Going beyond the traditional growth paradigm, the author systematically studies the historical patterns of consumption, leisure, and quality of life—aspects that Tomka argues can best be considered in relation to one other. By adopting this "triple approach," he undertakes a truly interdisciplinary research drawing from history, economics, sociology, and demography.
As a result of Tomka's three-pillar comparative analysis, the book makes a major contribution to the debates on the dynamics of economic growth in communist and postcommunist East Central Europe, on the socialist consumer culture along with its transformation after 1990, and on how the accounts on East Central Europe can be integrated into the emerging field of historical quality of life research.
About the Author
Béla Tomka is Professor of History at the Department of Contemporary History, University of Szeged, Hungary
"The well-constructed book consists of five main chapters, with several sub- chapters leaving space for the elaboration of details. The introduction conceptualizes the triple approach to well-being: the concepts of economic growth, consumption, and quality of life. Tomka explains his approach by saying that it is meant to overcome the deficiencies of economic analysis focusing merely on GDP and economic output, while the available data on consumption practices and quality of life might facilitate a more complex understanding of economic and social history. While an overall analysis is given of thirteen Western and Northern countries considered to be 'Western Europe', the focus is on East Central Europe, which in this case is restricted to the V4 countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary)."http://ojs.elte.hu/hsce/article/view/2947/2780—Fanni Svégel, Historical Studies on Central Europe
|Central European University Press, an imprint of Central European University Press|
Other Titles in HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
Other Titles in European history