Volume 2, No 1

January 16, 2018

“Europeans without Euros”: Alternative Narratives of Europe’s ‘New Happiness’


With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, belles paroles such as ‘Europe without borders’ and ‘the family of European nations’ announced in discourse – if not in reality – the ‘reunification of Europe.’ However, as the years of perpetual transition wore on, many Eastern European writers and intellectuals began to suggest Anschluss as a more appropriate description of East-West rapprochement. In fiction and in feuilletons, these writers and intellectuals pointed to the fact that while communism may have become water over the dam, generations of Eastern Europeans, unable to find their feet in the new circumstances, were drowning in the flood of Europe’s ‘new happiness.’ This paper considers Dubravka Ugrešić’s novel Ministarstvo boli (The Ministry of Pain, 2004) and Milan Kundera’s L’ignorance (Ignorance, 2000) as alternative narratives of the post-Wende years; attempts to articulate the experiences of those whom Svetlana Boym would call “Europeans without euros.”


Article Keywords: Comparative Literature, European Reunification, Kundera, Post-Communism, Transition, Ugrešić

“West Germans Don’t Even Know about it”: An Analysis of Narrations by East German COMECON Pipeline Workers after the Fall of the Wall


The paper is concerned with communicative practices of former GDR contract workers who were involved in the construction of a trans-national pipeline in the former Soviet Union, in the 1970s and 1980s. This paper draws on the ethnography of communication to investigate the narratives of former GDR pipeline workers about perceived divisions between ‘East and West’. This idea of ‘East and West’ is elaborated in the text. In particular, the study will look at the workers’ heartfelt sense that their accomplishments have been neglected since Germany’s reunification. For this purpose, the article will focus on the contexts and linguistic devices by which former pipeline workers construct a narrative on divisions between ‘East and West’. It is assumed that the communicative practices are not a merely nostalgic or even revisionist appeal to the GDR; rather, former pipeline workers represent a critique of the transitional process informed by their unique biographical experience.


Article Keywords: East-West juxtaposition, memory, narrative, oblivion, pride, unification

Does the Socialization of Young Russian Academics Foster Migration?

Andreas Siegert


Many Russian scientists left their country when the Soviet Union collapsed, as migration to them meant an option to improve living standard and professional career. Which socio-demographic attributes describe young Russian academics today who want to study or conduct research abroad? Which values or attitudes are of importance to them? On base of two representative questionnaires, socio- demographical characteristics, motivations to migrate, as well as countries of destinations were evaluated among 500 Russian academics, who had studied or conducted research in Germany. The results of those interviews permitted to distinguish types of migrants, deliver new insights into the processes of migration and explain why highly qualified Russians migrate. The study shows correlations between socialisation of interviewees and its impact on future decisions to migrate.


Article Keywords: Migration, Russian academics, brain-exchange, global scientific community

A Tale of Two Europes: European Regions from Berlin to Lisbon

W. John Hopkins


One of the lesser noted elements of the Lisbon Treaty (and Treaty on a Constitution for Europe that preceded it), was the limited but significant influence that Europe’s regions were able to exert of the process. Regional successes at Lisbon included the inclusion of local and regional levels into the concept of subsidiarity and the right of the Committee of Regions (CoR) to challenge the Commission before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This regional renaissance came as something of a surprise as although the early 1990s had seen the brief flowering of the concept of the “Europe of Regions”, these hopes were to prove short lived. Even as regional governments in western Europe were flexing their political muscles, the European Union (EU) was looking to expand into areas where sub-national regional governance was weak or non-existent. This weakening of the regional tier, combined with the ineffective nature of EU regional access, particularly the Committee of Regions, led to disenchantment with the European project and turned some regional governments from Europhiles to mild sceptics. However, as the regional successes at Lisbon confirm, Europe’s regions are back. This paper traces the rise and fall of the regional tier with particular reference to the changing nature of the expanded EU. As the paper explores, the expansion to the east has changed the very nature of the regional level with the eastern European Member States developing very limited forms of regional governance. In fact, the limited regional successes achieved at Lisbon obscures a continuing paradox within the EU. Although there continues to be pressure for greater regional involvement at the European level, the regional level is not a pan-European phenomenon. It is largely driven by autonomous “legislative” regions, which are a feature of western European states alone. This paper concludes by briefly examining this imbalance and its consequences in a post-Lisbon Europe.


Article Keywords: Europe, regions, Lisbon, EU Constitution


Leigh Kamolins, Sophie Di Francesco-Mayot, Danica Jenkins


Every second issue, the Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies will publish the winners from the previous year’s Contemporary European Studies Association of Australia (CESAA) Essay Competition. The winners of the 2009 CESAA Essay Competition were:


The CESAA Essay Competition facilitates greater awareness of developments in European affairs, thereby promoting a closer cooperation between Australia and the European Union. Considering the always present ‘tyranny of distance’, the Essay Competition is a wonderful way for students to maintain contact with the ‘European Community’ in Australia. There are also more tangible benefits: the competition presents an excellent opportunity for students to have their ideas peer reviewed and of course, there are prizes awarded.