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Reform and Collapse in Eastern Europe of 1980-1991 Essay

Choose one of the social, political, or economic reforms in Western or Eastern Europe between 1980-1991. What is the legacy of this reform?

One of the most prominent political reforms that took place in Eastern Europe in the end of the 20th century was decentralization. When the Cold War ended, and the Berlin Wall was torn down, new opportunities opened for the countries that had been ruled by the Soviet Union for many decades. National movements in Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, were intended to reach independence and become free of the communist regime.12

While the centralization, which marked the post-war era in Eastern Europe, seemed like a good solution in the 1950s, it became obvious that the regime failed to bring prosperity for the people. Thus, by 1980s, massive decentralization efforts were being taken in many Eastern European states.3 The legacy of the reform was the creation of new independent countries in Eastern Europe, which opened new opportunities both for their citizens and international collaboration. Inspired by the example of pioneers of anti-communist movement in the late 1980s, a few more states, including Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Baltic countries, declared their intention to leave the Soviet Union in 1991.

Although gaining independence was a positive change for many Eastern European states, they were struggling to gain political and economic stability for many years, as well as it did in Western Europe.4 According to researchers, the fall of the communist regime was not inevitable.5 However, many problematic issues arose as a result of decentralization in Eastern Europe.6 Thus, the long-awaited “return to Europe,” which was a priority for Eastern Europeans, required much more time and effort.7

Read Ash’s “Berlin: Walls End” about the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. How does the tearing down of the Berlin Wall contrast with all the instances of division created by European governments throughout the 20th Century?

The fall of the Berlin Wall, which marked the end of the Cold War in 1989, was a prominent event not only for Berliners in particular and Germans in general but also for the whole Europe. The “magic” that filled every heart with joy and happiness signified the disintegration of the East German regime and allowed people from both sides of the Wall to meet after twenty-eight years of separation.8 While the most vivid outcome of the Wall’s fall was noticed in the dimension of unification, it is necessary to discuss the instances of division created by European governments throughout the 20th century. The Berlin Wall served as an example of how such divisions could be resumed, and their aftermath – resolved.

The most noticeable process of the late 1980s was the breakdown of socialism, the political system created by the Soviet Union.9 The “iron curtain” became dismantled in several Eastern European countries in 1989, leading to new opportunities for people to work and travel.10 Whereas many European governments could not come to a unified decision on their political and economic strategies, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a prominent model of how a division might be overcome. Germany stopped being a “semi-sovereign” nation and was able to regain its autonomy.11

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More The Berlin Wall had divided not only people in Germany but also in Europe.12 Hence, its fall allowed to reconnect the ties that had been lost for nearly three decades. It became possible for European countries to proclaim the policies of non-interference and equality.13 The prominent European politicians governing different countries at the end of the 20th century expressed their intentions to reunite and reinforce their states by arranging governments in a principally new positive way.1415 Numerous ways of dividing Europeans, including social, political, and ideological aspects, could be mitigated as a result of the Berlin Wall’s fall.

Additional Discussion Questions Question 1

I agree with John Green’s interpretation of the Cold War and events related to it. Indeed, the issues that led to the initiation of the Cold War started as early as during World War II, when the USA and the Soviet Union were struggling to divide the world power.16 Another valid argument mentioned in the video is that the nuclear arms race was the most prominent part of the Cold War. Although this fact frequently remains unmentioned in discussions, it was an important constituent and the driving force of the Cold War. Furthermore, Green makes a fair point by saying that there was “a lot of hot war during the Cold War.”17 The desire of the USA and the Soviet Union to make all countries of the world pick sides and not remain neutral caused much harm and considerable losses in many states.

Question 2

The movie tells a story of one of the most tragic features of the Cold War – the separation of Berlin into two parts by the wall. Not only did the capital of Germany become divided but also the whole country did.18 Moreover, the Berlin Wall became the symbol of the world’s estrangement in the second half of the twentieth century. The documentary reveals dramatic facts of people’s attempts to escape from the Eastern to the Western part and the tragic outcomes of such endeavors. It becomes obvious that the erection of such a wall had a profound effect not only in the physical dimension but also, and probably even more, in the psychological one. For many decades, people were not able to see their family and friends, which made many of them feel miserable and devastated.

Bibliography Ash, Timothy Garton. “Berlin: Wall’s End.” In Europe in the Twentieth Century. 5th ed. Edited by Robert O. Paxton and Julie Hessler, 674–679. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2012.

Blouet, Brian W. “The Political Geography of Europe: 1900-2000 A.D.” Journal of Geography 95, no. 1 (1996): 5–15.

Bunce, Valerie. “Reflections on 1989 and Authoritarianism.” Problems of Post-Communism 56, no. 5 (2009): 19–24.

Bush, George H. W., Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, and François Mitterrand. “Recalling the Fall of the Berlin Wall.” New Perspectives Quarterly 27, no. 1 (2010): 14–21.

We will write a custom Essay on Reform and Collapse in Eastern Europe of 1980-1991 specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More CrashCourse. “USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War: Crash Course World History #39.” Video. 2012. Web.

Eastern Europe: 1953–1991. 1991. Web.

Fitoussi, Jean-Paul, and Edmund Phelps. “Causes of the 1980s Slump in Europe.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2 (1986): 487–520.

Francois Mitterrand: A Tale of Power. 2000. Web.

Genscher, Hans-Dietrich. “‘1989, the Happiest Year in European History’: Cooperation Is Humanity’s Only Promising Option.” Security and Human Rights 21, no. 1 (2010): 36–39.

Grünbacher, Armin. “Cold-War Economics: The Use of Marshall Plan Counterpart Funds in Germany, 1948–1960.” Central European History 45 (2012), 697–716.

Kramer, Mark. “The Demise of the Soviet Bloc.” Europe-Asia Studies 63, no. 9 (2011): 1535–1590.

Mitchell, David. “History of Berlin – Amazing Documentary TV.” Video. 2016. Web.

Not sure if you can write a paper on Reform and Collapse in Eastern Europe of 1980-1991 by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Paxton, Robert O., and Julie Hessler. Europe in the Twentieth Century. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2012.

Torbakov, Igor. “History, Memory and National Identity: Understanding the Politics of History and Memory Wars in Post-Soviet Lands.” Demokratizatsiya 19, no. 3 (2011): 209–232.

Zürn, Michael. “Fall of the Berlin Wall: Globalisation and the Future of Europe.” New Zealand International Review 35, no. 3 (2010): 2–7.

Footnotes Eastern Europe: 1953–1991, 1991, Web.

Robert O. Paxton and Julie Hessler, Europe in the Twentieth Century, 5th ed. (Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2012), 610–619.

Brian W. Blouet, “The Political Geography of Europe: 1900-2000 A.D.,” Journal of Geography 95, no. 1 (1996): 5–15.

Jean-Paul Fitoussi and Edmund Phelps, “Causes of the 1980s Slump in Europe,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2 (1986): 487–488.

Mark Kramer, “The Demise of the Soviet Bloc,” Europe-Asia Studies 63, no. 9 (2011): 1535.

Valerie Bunce, “Reflections on 1989 and Authoritarianism,” Problems of Post-Communism 56, no. 5 (2009): 19–21.

Igor Torbakov, “History, Memory and National Identity: Understanding the Politics of History and Memory Wars in Post-Soviet Lands,” Demokratizatsiya 19, no. 3 (2011): 214.

Timothy Garton Ash, “Berlin: Wall’s End,” in Europe in the Twentieth Century, 5th ed., ed. Robert O. Paxton and Julie Hessler, (Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2012), 676.

Michael Zürn, “Fall of the Berlin Wall: Globalisation and the Future of Europe,” New Zealand International Review 35, no. 3 (2010): 2.

Eastern Europe: 1953–1991, 1991.

Armin Grünbacher, “Cold-War Economics: The Use of Marshall Plan Counterpart Funds in Germany, 1948–1960,” Central European History 45 (2012), 697.

Hans-Dietrich Genscher, “‘1989, the Happiest Year in European History’: Cooperation Is Humanity’s Only Promising Option,” Security and Human Rights 21, no. 1 (2010): 36.

George H. W. Bush et al., “Recalling the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” New Perspectives Quarterly 27, no. 1 (Winter 2010): 14.

Francois Mitterrand: A Tale of Power, 2000, Web.

Bush et al., “Recalling the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” 15-16.

CrashCourse, “USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War: Crash Course World History #39,” video, Web.

CrashCourse, “USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War: Crash Course World History #39.”

David Mitchell, “History of Berlin – Amazing Documentary TV,” video, Web.

“Cognitive Skills and Leadership Performance” by Mumford et al. Essay (Article)

Nursing Assignment Help Cognitive skills and leadership performance: The nine critical skills. Michael D. Mumford, Erin Michelle Todd, Cory Higgs, Tristan McIntosh. The Leadership Quarterly. Vol. 28, 2017.

In their article, Mumford, Todd, Higgs, and McIntosh explore the complexity of people’s performance when taking up leadership roles. The researchers note that while leadership has been gaining much attention in terms of effective exercise of interpersonal influence, different aspects of this concept have yet to be investigated. According to the authors, modern literature on management focuses on four metamodels:

Leader as a teacher (transformational leadership) and leader-follower exchange;

Leader as a politician (charismatic leadership) and interpersonal rewarding and appraisal;

Leader as a warrior (championing leader) and leader ethics;

Leader as a problem solver (leader initiating structure) and leader wisdom.

Out of all these models, the one that has been receiving the least traction as compared to the rest is that of the leader as a problem solver. This tendency is not unreasonable: problem-solving skills require a certain level of intelligence — a personal characteristic whose nature is still debatable.

Since the leader as a problem solver is the least explored leadership metamodel, Mumford et al. aim at identifying cognitive faculties that allow a person to take up respective roles. The researchers conducted a systematic review of recent literature on cognitive abilities and leadership and outlined nine essential skills:

problem definition. In order to identify a problem, a leader needs to set out on an extensive search for internal and external information about the situation;

cause/goal analysis. A leader must think in terms of why something needs to be done: it is encouraged that he or she seeks out causes that have vast effects and can lead to large outcomes;

constraint analysis. It is only reasonable to outline goal constraints, labor constraints, resource constraints, and system capability constraints;

planning. One of the most valuable skills that a leader may have is the ability to create a mental simulation of future action;

forecasting. Mumford et al. note that in general, people are not good at making predictions, and a leader with such a skill would have a competitive advantage;

creative thinking. Mumford et al. argue that the ability to generate a vast number of ideas is linked to outstanding performance in leadership roles;

idea evaluation. After brainstorming, it is vital that a leader can discern feasible ideas from those that are bound to fail;

wisdom. Wisdom has a lot to do with a leader’s personality: his or her personal awareness, self-reflection faculties, and resilience in the face of uncertainty;

sensemaking/visioning. A good leader does not only have a plan but also a vision — a shared philosophy that adds value to everything that his or her team is creating.

Mumford et al. note that many studies have revealed a positive association between intelligence and leader emergence. However, it remains unclear if these findings are of any use in practical management and human resource development. If intelligence is strictly hereditary, then there is pessimistic predetermination as to who is destined to be a leader. On the other hand, skills and knowledge can be acquired, and the outcome might depend on a person’s effort and resilience. Mumford et al. are convinced that cognitive skills can be developed and refined even later in life. According to the researchers, the role of a leader is incomplete if it does not entail the aforementioned skills — forecasting, planning, sensemaking, and others. Thus, it is safe to say that there is a need to provide comprehensive training for those in leadership roles so that they could improve respective faculties.

Mumford et al. describe several techniques that may be used to help leaders to unlock their full potential. First, they could be working on practical tasks — for instance, training participants could be given a series of cases to solve. By doing so, they would be able to analyze problems in different contexts and monitor and harness their mental processes. Apart from training techniques, one of the most important recommendations that Mumford et al. give in their article is to build a network within and outside an organization. Leaders should understand that no matter how outstanding their cognitive abilities are, they cannot and should not handle all the issues single-handedly. The majority of the skills listed in the article require drawing as much information as possible. Planning, making decisions, creating a shared vision, and forecasting are nigh on impossible without drawing data from the environment. Thus, it is imperative that a leader builds and sustains meaningful relationships with his or her followers to ensure communication and access to valuable information.

The UAE organizations could benefit from considering the implications of the present study. In recent years, many firms and companies have been working on implementing the concept of total quality management (TQM). TQM aims at improving managers’ and employees’ engagement at all levels. Simply put, in the context of the said concept, people are to explore possibilities beyond their usual scope of responsibilities and initiate change and innovation. At that, two ideas from the article by Mumford et al. could be put to good use. First, those working for the UAE organizations could feel empowered by the fact that intelligence is not something finite. Instead, at any point of their lives, humans can become a better version of themselves. Second, the UAE organizations could host trainings that would help to develop independent learning and promote collaboration, as noted in the article.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More For all its advantages, the metamodel described by Mumford et al. has certain drawbacks. First, the researchers acknowledge that examining the mentioned skills separately barely makes any sense. In the real world, people do not alternate between different faculties — instead, they use an integrated set without much awareness of the process. Thus, the question arises as to how to organize corporate training sessions so that they could target all skills at once. This leads to the second crucial point in criticizing the model. If there is so much collinearity between the factors (planning skills, forecasting skills, and others), it is not clear how to measure a single person’s faculties. Third, Mumford et al. admit that there has yet to be conclusive research that would reveal a correlation between the presence of the skills analyzed and actual leadership performance. In the absence of such studies, human resource development specialists might not have a clue as to what skills to focus on first. Lastly, from a practical standpoint, training sessions are both challenging and time-consuming. Many people may find themselves not motivated enough to proceed with continuing education and changing themselves.

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