Scandinavian design, for instance, is primarily focused on fashion and home wares. It is characterized by simple, minimalist design and low-cost mass production. Italian fashion is also an important cultural export. The city of Milan is regarded as a major fashion capital, hosting an international fashion week twice a year. The city is home to the headquarters of luxury brands such as Valentino, Gucci, Versace, and Prada. Milan is also home to important European fashion magazines, such as Grazia , Vogue Italia , and Vera.
German automotive design has a global reputation for excellence and prestige. Automobile companies such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are known throughout the world for creating cars with dynamic designs and an engaging driving experience. The country is also home to a number of outstanding schools for automotive design, such as the Hochschule Esslingen and Hochschule Pforzheim. Political geography is the internal and external relationships between government s, citizens, and territories. Early Europeans, in fact, shaped global ideas of citizenship and government. These ideas have been tested during times of peace and military conflict, and continue to be redefined today.
Described as the birthplace of democracy , ancient Greece revolved around the polis , or city-state. City-states were unique in that they were governed not by a hereditary ruler, but by a political body that represented its citizens. This idea of citizenship—of being connected to and having a voice in your community—became the basic building block of democracy. Philosophers and politicians have used these writings to uphold and defend the democratic tradition ever since.
Roman civilization had a major influence on Western concepts of law, government, and the military. At its largest, Rome controlled approximately 6.
Law and Economic Development in the Soviet Union
The Roman approach to conquering and controlling territory is often considered to be the basis of Western imperialism. Imperialism is a policy that has been used throughout history, most notably by European powers and the United States. Other political institutions of Rome persist throughout Europe and former European colonies. World War I left about 16 million people dead. By the end of the war, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires collapsed and broke into a dozen separate nations.
Border s between existing nations, such as Poland and Russia, were entirely redrawn. World War II left about 43 million Europeans dead, including about 6 million who died in the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the mass murder of Jews under the Nazi regime. World War II also left more than 40 million refugee s, contributed to the independence of European colonies throughout the world, and devastate d the urban infrastructure of many European cities.
The relationship between the United States, with a free-market economy , and the Soviet Union, with a communist economy , was known as the Cold War. The Iron Curtain was an ideological boundary that divided Europe into two blocs—Western countries influenced by the United States, and Eastern countries influenced by the Soviet Union. International economic and military organizations developed on either side of the Iron Curtain. The United States and the Soviet Union built up huge nuclear arsenal s, with many missiles aimed at targets throughout Europe.
The Iron Curtain took on the physical shape of border defenses, walls, and limited diplomacy. The nation of Germany was divided in two. In fact, the most famous symbol of the Iron Curtain was the Berlin Wall , which divided the East German city of Berlin into western and eastern-controlled parts. The economic and political demise of the Soviet Union led to the end of the Iron Curtain in the late s. During this time, a number of anti-communist revolution s swept central and eastern Europe. These revolutions eventually lead to the end of the Cold War, symbolized by the falling of the Berlin Wall in Contemporary Issues Europe is now broadly defined in the context of the European Union EU , an economic and political body officially created by the Maastricht Treaty in The EU works to create a unified structure for social, environmental, military, and economic policies of its member states.
Today, the European Union is composed of 27 member states, with new members mainly coming from central and eastern Europe. The financial and diplomatic success of the EU has led to its rapid growth across the continent. The euro is one of the strongest currencies in the world.
The euro is the second-most popular currency behind the American dollar and is used daily by more than million people. The EU accepts few candidates: member states must maintain a stable, democratic form of government, a free-market economy, and commitment to the rule of law. The rapid growth of the European Union, however, has caused a number of administrative and political tensions. Strict EU regulations place a heavy burden on developing countries to compete with their more developed neighbors. The global financial crisis , which began around , has caused these tensions to elevate dramatically.
The financial crisis is defined by debt and high unemployment. These countries included Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. This rescue package has caused tensions to rise between economically competitive countries and the indebted countries that they are helping to rescue. Indebted countries must now deal with strict budget s and declining incomes while more financially stable countries are forcing taxpayer s to help fund the financial rescue.
The status of immigrants is also a source of tension and debate in Europe. Historically, Europe has been a center of immigration. The European Union has established the Schengen Area—a zone where Europeans can travel from country to country without having to show their passports.
Some critics argue these attitudes are xenophobic. Xenophobia is an intense dislike or fear of people from other places or cultures. Two events demonstrate this debate. In , the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons featuring Islam ic subjects. The political cartoons sought to engage in the debate surrounding Muslim extremism.
The above Marxian interpretation of human rights and their division into "genuine" and "false" exerted considerable influence on the empirical approach to human rights in the practising socialist countries of Eastern Europe. For this reason the concept of "Eastern Europe" relates to a political, rather than a geographic, region. In these countries special stress was laid, first, on the so-called rights and freedoms of citizens and, second, on the subordination of individual human rights to collective rights. The main cause of the subordination of the latter was the social revolution which took place in the countries of Eastern Europe.
The Long Road to Democratic Decline
In the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia the social revolution was carried out by their own internal forces. In the rest of the East European countries the revolution was brought about by the Soviet army, which freed these countries from Nazi occupation. Nevertheless, irrespective of its sources, the revolution resulted in the substantial redistribution of national income for the benefit of the lowest income groups and at the expense of the minority who enjoyed fairly good or good living standards.
Because of the resistance of the latter, the revolution could not be carried out in conditions of liberal democracy and drastic state interference was resorted to. The egalitarian and collectivist system which emerged as an outcome of these changes in the countries of Eastern Europe 7 had many features typical of social revolutions that have taken place in economically underdeveloped countries.
This was so whether the revolutions were spearheaded by leftist-Marxist movements as in Russia or China or by nationalist movements as in Indonesia or Burma. Everywhere they Ied to the establishment of etatistic and populist dictorships, as the most pressing needs of the societies of these countries were stable employment and improvement of the living standards of young people, who were mostly of peasant parentage.
Industrialization become a major priority. Therefore, until the mids, in the East European countries human rights were interpreted in a selective way, with special stress being placed on equal opportunities for all members of society in their access to basic goods, such as food, clothing, and housing, and to social services such as health protection, education, or science.
The above services were regarded as basic components of citizens' rights. In this sense, the rising degree of satisfaction of the fundamental needs of society was identified with an increasing degree of realization of human rights. This interpretation determined, to a considerable degree, the approach to economic development adopted in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and, consequently, was bound to determine the role of technology in economic development.
Special attention was focused on the right to work. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. This is an idea which has been regarded as a basic aim of socialism. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood on circumstances beyond his control Article 25 of Universal Declaration.
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection, the right to education Article 26 of Universal Declaration. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit, and the right to participate in scientific advancement and its benefits Article 27 of Universal Declaration.
The attitude of the East European countries towards international commitments on human rights, codified principally in three UN documents - the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ; the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, ; and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, - had for many years been ambiguous. These documents were ratified by the East European countries with considerable reluctance.
Law and Economic Development in the Soviet Union: 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge
From a formal point of view, legislation in these countries remained in some respects in conflict with commitments on human rights. The relevant legislation provided for obligatory work, the prosecution of those evading work, much scope for compulsory labour, strong anti-emigration restrictions, limitations on the choice of places of residence, etc. These restrictions were incompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, the provisions of law that prohibited the founding of political parties and trade unions, infringements of the concept of equality before the law, and the principle of the leading role of the party were incompatible with the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The actual state of affairs was even worse than the formal and legal situation, especially in so far as protection of the so-called right to privacy was concerned. There was mass control of correspondence, illegal interception of telephone calls, and a large degree of abuse of power by the police. The law, for its part, hampered the protection of individual rights. Solicitors had only limited access to investigations and the independence of the courts of law was only formal.
Despite the fact that the countries of Eastern Europe violated, particularly in practice, a number of individual human rights, the governments of these countries for a long time enjoyed the support or consent of a major part of their population, especially those whose social and material status improved. However, the support was not identical in all the countries of the region. Uniform development patterns were reflected in full employment, egalitarianism in the distribution of the means of consumption, common education, and rapid urbanization coupled with large-scale housing projects.
Industrialization, especially the concentration of resources for development on heavy and engineering industry, however, brought about differentiation of development opportunities in particular East European countries. At the time of the introduction of the socialist system, i. This was reflected in the low level of industrialization and urbanization, huge overpopulation, low per capita income and vast areas of poverty, especially in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as in Poland, and partly also in Hungary.
The situation was different in Czechoslovakia with the exception of Slovakia and the GDR, which inherited a relatively high level of development from the pre-socialist period. Thus, whereas in the countries with the lowest level of development the adopted model guaranteed noticeable and quite rapid socio-economic advancement, in the countries with the highest level of development the model limited development opportunities in comparison with other countries of the world that had similar conditions. Technological progress in this system performed functions that were subservient to the achievement of the fundamental goals presented above, especially full employment, securing an existential minimum, etc.
Particularly in the period devoted to the implementation of socialist principles, technological progress in the East European countries was slower than in the economically advanced countries. There were several reasons for this. First, owing to the traditional technological underdevelopment of most of the countries in the region, and their lack of advanced industry and backwardness in education and science, these countries were not in proximity to centres stimulating technological progress. In , Khrushchev finalized his battle against Stalin: the body of the dictator was removed from Lenin's Mausoleum on the Red Square and then buried outside the walls of the Kremlin.
The removal of Stalin's body consolidated pro-Stalinists against Khrushchev,   and alienated even his loyal apprentices, such as Leonid Brezhnev. After the early s, Soviet society enjoyed a series of cultural and sports events and entertainment of unprecedented scale, such as the first Spartakiad , as well as several innovative film comedies, such as the Carnival Night , and several popular music festivals. Some classical musicians, filmmakers and ballet stars were allowed to make appearances outside the Soviet Union in order to better represent its culture and society to the world.
In the summer of , just a few months after Khrushchev's secret speech, Moscow became the center of the first Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR.
The event was made pompous in the Soviet style: Moscow hosted large sports teams and groups of fans in national costumes who came from all Union republics. Khrushchev used the event to accentuate his new political and social goals, and to show himself as a new leader who was completely different from Stalin. It was the first World Festival of Youth and Students held in the Soviet Union, which was opening its doors for the first time to the world. The festival attracted 34, people from countries. In , the first International Tchaikovsky Competition was held in Moscow.
The winner was American pianist Van Cliburn , who gave sensational performances of Russian music. Khrushchev personally approved giving the top award to the American musician. Khrushchev's Thaw opened the Soviet society to a degree that allowed some foreign movies, books, art and music.
Some previously banned writers and composers, such as Anna Akhmatova and Mikhail Zoshchenko , among others, were brought back to public life, as the official Soviet censorship policies had changed. Books by some internationally recognized authors, such as Ernest Hemingway , were published in millions of copies to satisfy the interest of readers in the USSR.
In , Khrushchev personally approved the publication of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 's story One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich , which became a sensation, and made history as the first uncensored publication about Gulag labor camps. There was still a lot of agitation against religion that had temporarily halted during the war effort and the years after toward the end of Stalin's rule.
Censorship of the arts relaxed throughout the Soviet Union. During this time of liberalization, Russian composers, performers, and listeners of music experienced a newfound openness in musical expression which led to the foundation of an unofficial music scene from the mid s to the s. Despite these liberalizing reforms in music, many argue that Khrushchev's legislation of the arts was based, less on freedom of expression of the Soviet people, and too much on his own personal tastes.
Following the emergence of some unconventional, avant-garde music as a result of his reforms, on 8 March , Khrushchev delivered a speech which began to reverse some of his de-Stalinization reforms. In his speech, he stated: "We flatly reject this cacophonous music. Our people can't use this garbage as a tool for their ideology.
Nonetheless, despite Khrushchev's inconsistent liberalization of musical expression, his speeches were not so much "restrictions" as "exhortations". The composers of this time, for example, were able to access scores by composers such as Arnold Schoenberg and Pierre Boulez, gaining inspiration from and imitating previously concealed musical scores. As Soviet composers gained access to new scores and were given a taste of freedom of expression during the late s, two separate groups began to emerge. One group wrote predominantly "official" music which was "sanctioned, nourished, and supported by the Composers' Union".
The second group wrote "unofficial", "left", "avant-garde", or "underground" music, marked by a general state of opposition against the Soviet Union. Although both groups are widely considered to be interdependent, many regard the unofficial music scene as more independent and politically influential than the former in the context of the Thaw. The unofficial music that emerged during the Thaw was marked by the attempt, whether successful or unsuccessful, to reinterpret and reinvigorate the "battle of form and content" of the classical music of the period.
Rather, the music was considered unofficial within a context that counteracted, contradicted, and redefined the socialist realist requirements from within their official means and spaces. Unofficial music emerged in two distinct phases.
The first phase of unofficial music was marked by performances of "escapist" pieces. From a composer's perspective, these works were escapist in the sense that their sound and structure withdrew from the demands of socialist realism.
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Additionally, pieces developed during this phase of unofficial music allowed the listeners the ability to escape the familiar sounds that Soviet officials officially sanctioned. Throughout the musical Thaw, the generation of "young composers" who had matured their musical tastes with broader access to music that had previously been censored was the prime focus of the unofficial music scene. The Thaw allowed these composers the freedom to access old and new scores, especially those originating in the Western avant-garde.
Socialist realist music was widely considered "boring", and the unofficial concerts that the young composers presented allowed the listeners "a means of circumventing, reinterpreting, and undercutting the dominant socialist realist aesthetic codes". Despite the seemingly rebellious nature of the unofficial music of the Thaw, historians debate whether the unofficial music that emerged during this time should truly be considered as resistance to the Soviet system. While a number of participants in unofficial concerts "claimed them to be a liberating activity, connoting resistance, opposition, or protest of some sort",  some critics claim that rather than taking an active role in opposing Soviet power, composers of unofficial music simply "withdrew" from the demands of the socialist realist music and chose to ignore the norms of the system.
Regardless of the intentions of the composers, the effect of their music on audiences throughout the Soviet Union and abroad "helped audiences imagine alternative possibilities to those suggested by Soviet authorities, principally through the ubiquitous stylistic tropes of socialist realism". Even after Khrushchev's fall from power in October , the freedoms that composers, performers, and listeners felt through unofficial concerts lasted into the s. However, despite the powerful role that unofficial music played in the Soviet Union during the Thaw, much of the music that was composed during that time continued to be controlled.
As a result of this, a great deal of this unofficial music remains undocumented. Consequently, much of what we know now about unofficial music in the Thaw can be sourced only through interviews with those composers, performers, and listeners who witnessed the unofficial music scene during the Thaw. With the exception of the arch Stalinist and anti-Titoist Albania , Romania was the only country where intellectuals avoided an open clash with the regime, influenced partly by the lack of any earlier revolt in post-war Romania that would have forced the regime to make concessions. The tensions were able to thaw because of Khrushchev's de-Stalinization of the USSR and peaceful coexistence theory and also because of US President Eisenhower 's cautious attitude and peace attempts.
The leaders' attitudes allowed them to, as Khrushchev put it, "break the ice. Khrushchev's Thaw developed largely as a result of Khrushchev's theory of peaceful co-existence which believed the two superpowers USA and USSR and their ideologies could co-exist together, without war peacefully. Khrushchev had created the theory of peaceful existence in an attempt to reduce hostility between the two superpowers.
He tried to prove peaceful coexistence by attending international peace conferences, such as the Geneva Summit, and by traveling internationally, such as his trip to USA's Camp David in This spirit of co-operation was severely damaged by the U-2 incident. The Soviet presentation of downed pilot Francis Gary Powers at the May Paris Peace Summit and Eisenhower's refusal to apologize ended much of the progress of this era.
Then Khrushchev approved the construction of the Berlin Wall in Further deterioration of the Thaw and decay of Khrushchev's international political standing happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis in At that time, the Soviet and international media were making two completely opposite pictures of reality, while the world was at the brink of a nuclear war. Kennedy  helped to end the crisis, Khrushchev's political image in the West was damaged. Khrushchev's Thaw caused unprecedented social, cultural and economic transformations in the Soviet Union. The 60s generation actually started in the s, with their uncensored poetry, songs and books publications.
Many new social trends stemmed from that festival. Many Russian women became involved in love affairs with men visiting from all over the world, what resulted in the so-called "inter-baby boom" in Moscow and Leningrad.
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The festival also brought new styles and fashions that caused further spread of youth subculture called " stilyagi ". The festival also "revolutionized" the underground currency trade and boosted the black market. Their poetry and songs broadened the public consciousness of the Soviet people and pushed guitars and tape recorders to masses, so the Soviet people became exposed to independent channels of information and public mentality was eventually updated in many ways. Khrushchev finally liberated millions of peasants; by his order the Soviet government gave them identifications, passports, and thus allowed them to move out of poor villages to big cities.
Massive housing construction, known as khrushchevkas , were undertaken during the s and s. Millions of cheap and basic residential blocks of low-end flats were built all over the Soviet Union to accommodate the largest migration ever in the Soviet history, when masses of landless peasants moved to Soviet cities. The move caused a dramatic change of the demographic picture in the USSR, and eventually finalized the decay of peasantry in Russia.
In , the American National Exhibition came to Moscow with the goals of displaying United States' productivity and prosperity. The latent goal of the Americans was to get the Soviet Union to reduce production of heavy industry.
If the Soviet Union started putting their resources towards producing consumer goods, it would also mean a reduction of war materials. An estimated number of over twenty million Soviet citizens viewed the twenty-three U. The "Khrushchev regime had promised abundance to secure its legitimacy.