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Prologue: Between “Civil Society” And “Europe”: Round Tables In East Central Europe As Political And Legal Events

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Chapter Summary

The round tables broke off from a European tradition of revolution - the not only rapid, but also violent and cruel change as a result of which preexisting political, legal, economic, religious, cultural and other social relations, institutions, and/or beliefs were smashed and replaced by new ones. The communist participants of round tables had some important assets which were clear enough from the very start of the talks. Round table negotiations were able to pave the ways for further institutional development: the results of the negotiations, the struck compromises were subsequently legalized by new parliaments. The round table talks between socialist regimes and dissidents stand as constitutional moments across the whole of Eastern Europe.

Keywords: East Central Europe; legality; round table



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