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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Mark Pittaway's intellectual biography, namely, his contribution to history. Mark is aware of the dangers of arguing that socialist regimes in post-war CEE were in any sense 'legitimate'. Measured by the most common criteria for judging the legitimacy of a political regime, that a regime conformed to given legal and social rules, if those rules could be justified in terms of the belief systems of both the dominant and subordinate, and then, if the subordinate consented to the exercise of power, socialist regimes could not be regarded as legitimate. But Mark sees political regimes with the eyes of a social historian, not merely as entities and institutions, but as entities 'populated by different groups and pursuing agendas that can be both complementary and contradictory'. Ethnic issues are also central to an article Mark submitted to the journal Past and Present just before he died.

Keywords: Eastern Europe; Hungarian; legitimacy; Mark Pittaway; socialist regimes



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