chapter  13
Legacies and conflicts
The challenges to social capital in the democratic transition
ByEric M. Uslaner, Gabriel Badescu
Pages 14

Almost fifteen years ago communism came tumbling down in most of Central and Eastern Europe. A new democratic age was upon us. As Francis Fukuyama (1992) celebrated in his famous essay, The End of History, Western civilization had triumphed over all types of authoritarian systems. Most notorious was the communist system that destroyed civil society in much of Europe (and elsewhere). The new democratic era would lead to a rebirth of civic engagement. Not only would the nations of Central and Eastern Europe become politically aligned with the West, there would also be a rapid social transformation of daily life. The West and the East would become one culture.