chapter  4
The social production of mistrust
ByChristian Giordano, Dobrinka Kostova
Pages 19

The unexpected and sudden fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 gave rise to an impressive surge of enthusiasm and optimism in both Eastern and Western Europe. During the somewhat millenarian atmosphere of this first phase, the visions of the future which emerged and proliferated assumed a swift and painless shift from socialist totalitarianism to liberal democracy, and from the planned economy to the market. With this spirit of confidence, transitology, as it came to be labelled, with a touch of irony, spread out into other social sciences. In one way or another, almost all authors predicted swift and essentially unilinear change. This is not the place to judge transition’s teleology. It is enough to note that the original enthusiasm has given way to disillusionment, scepticism, apathy and in some cases even anger.