The Future of (Post)Socialism

Eastern European Perspectives

Edited by John Frederick Bailyn, Dijana Jelača, and Danijela Lugarić

Subjects: Sociology, Post-marxism, Cultural Anthropology, Economic History, Political Science
Series: SUNY series, Pangaea II: Global/Local Studies
Hardcover : 9781438471433, 278 pages, November 2018
Paperback : 9781438471426, 278 pages, July 2019

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: The “Radiant Future” of Spatial and Temporal Dis/Orientations
Dijana Jelača and Danijela Lugarić

Part I. New Approaches to (Post)Socialism: The Theory in Transition

1. The Endless Innovations of the Semiperiphery and the Peculiar Power of Eastern Europe
David Ost

2. Socialist Future in Light of Socialist Past and Capitalist Present
David M. Kotz

3. “Failing the Metronome”: Queer Reading of the Postsocialist Transition
Jelisaveta Blagojevićand Jovana Timotijević

Part II. (Post)Socialist Space(s)
4. “Brand” New States: Postsocialism, the Global Economy of Symbols, and the Challenges of National Differentiation
Robert A. Saunders

5. Putting the ‘Public’ in Public Goods: Space Wars in a Post- Soviet Dacha Community
Olga Shevchenko

6. Baku’s Soviet Vnye: The Post- Soviet Creation of a Soviet (?) Past
Heather D. DeHaan

Part III. Memories of the Future

7. Back to the Future of (Post)Socialism: The Afterlife of Socialism in Post- Yugoslav Cultural Space
Maša Kolanović

8. In Friction Mode: Contesting the Memory of Socialism in Zagreb’s Marshal Tito Square
Sanja Potkonjak and Nevena Škrbić Alempijević

9. The Futures of Postsocialist Childhoods: (Re)Imagining the Latvian Child, Nation, and Nature in Educational Literature
Iveta Silova

Gary Marker


Explores the current and future trajectories of the paradigm of postsocialism.


If socialism did not end as abruptly as is sometimes perceived, what remnants of it linger today and will continue to linger? Moreover, if postsocialism is an umbrella term for the uncertain times of various transitions that followed in socialism's wake, how might the "post" be rendered complicated by the notion that the unfinished business of socialism continues to influence the trajectory of the future? The Future of (Post)Socialism examines this unfinished business through various disciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches that seek to illuminate the postsocialist future as a cultural and social fact. Drawn from the fields of history, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, education, linguistics, literature, and cultural studies, contributors analyze various cultural forms and practices of the formerly socialist cultural spaces of Eastern Europe. In so doing, they question the teleology of linear transitional narratives and of assumptions about postsocialist linear progress, concluding that things operate more as continued interruptions of a perpetually liminal state rather than as neat endings and new beginnings.

John Frederick Bailyn is Professor of Linguistics at Stony Brook University, State University of New York, and the author of The Syntax of Russian. Dijana Jelača teaches in the Film Department at Brooklyn College and is the author of Dislocated Screen Memory: Narrating Trauma in Post-Yugoslav Cinema. Danijela Lugarić is Assistant Professor of East-Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She is the coeditor (with Jelača and Maša Kolanović) of The Cultural Life of Capitalism in Yugoslavia: (Post)Socialism and Its Other.


"This volume uniquely brings together a range of disciplines, beyond anthropology as the conventional discipline for exploring postsocialism, and a range of cases across post-Soviet space. Most importantly, it refreshingly engages with an exciting framework dealing with time and space. Its talk about futures—the futures of socialism and the futures of postsocialism—is a novel aspect that sets it apart." — Johanna Bockman, author of Markets in the Name of Socialism: The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism