Now out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989

  title={Now out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989},
  author={Timur Kuran},
  journal={World Politics},
  pages={7 - 48}
  • T. Kuran
  • Published 1 October 1991
  • History
  • World Politics
Like many major revolutions in history, the East European Revolution of 1989 caught its leaders, participants, victims, and observers by surprise. This paper offers an explanation whose crucial feature is a distinction between private and public preferences. By suppressing their antipathies to the political status quo, the East Europeans misled everyone, including themselves, as to the possibility of a successful uprising. In effect, they conferred on their privately despised governments an… 

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