The study first examines the changes in the Central-East European region in the context of world history, using historical comparisons to confirm this was indeed unique, the one total transformation to occur peacefully, non-violently, yet astonishingly fast, and in the main directions of economic and political change in Western civilization. In world-history terms, it was a story of exceptional success. But the picture looks different in terms of daily life. The study pinpoints the serious economic troubles experienced by a considerable proportion of the population. The perception of these losses is intensified by cognitive problems, such as disillusionment following unrealistic expectations, a shift in the reference points for comparison, and confusion around causal analysis of the problems. Basing the analysis on the experience of today's generation, it is unwarranted to talk of unequivocal success. Both approaches are justified; it would be wrong to combine the two and weigh them on the same scales.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.