Young Speaks at Agnes Scott College on Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe

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Dr. Alasdair Young - Nunn School Associate Professor, Jean Monnet Chair, and Co-director of the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies - contributed to the “25 Years Later: The Fall of the Iron Curtain” Conference at Agnes Scott College on October 3rd and 4th.  Informed by his experience of interning at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest in the summer of 1990 (two weeks after the non-communist government came to power), he spoke on a panel about ‘The People’s Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe.’ 

 He stressed four aspects of the 1989 revolutions that were particularly striking:

  • They were surprising; few predicted that communism would end, let alone so swiftly.
  • They were sudden; less than eight months elapsed between the legalization of Solidarity in Poland and the ouster of Ceausescu in Romania;
  • They were remarkably peaceful; only the Ceausescu regime resorted to extensive force to resist change.  This was in stark contrast to the Chinese Communist Party’s response to the Tiananmen Square demonstrations earlier in the year.
  • They have been stunningly complete – all are more-or-less functioning democracies -- although they are still not necessarily secure, with the recent adoption of illiberal constitutional changes in Hungary being of particular concern.

The conference was hosted by Agnes Scott College and the Hungarian Club of Georgia, sponsored by the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation and supported by the Honorary Consul Generals of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Matt Josey
  • Created: 10/13/2014
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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