Video: Panel Discussion

#30PostSovietYears​ | The end of communism as a generational phenomenon?


Panel Discussion

with Matthias Neumann (University of East Anglia), Marci Shore (Yale University), Alexander Ilichevsky (Author), Félix Krawatzek (ZOiS)

Generational renewal is a vector of social and political change in any society. A shared generational outlook can sometimes explain the dynamics that unfold during moments of profound rupture. But to what extent can the Soviet Union’s collapse be interpreted through a generational prism and how important was the question of generational belonging for contemporaries of the 1980s? What can we learn more generally about the history of communism and its end when looking at it through a generational prism? We will discuss these questions and also contextualise the changes that 1991 symbolises in a wider European and global context.


  • Matthias Neumann is Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia. He researches on the role of childhood and youth in different periods of Communism.
  • Marci Shore is Associate Professor at the Yale University and researches on East European cultural and intellectual history.
  • Alexander Ilichevsky is a Russian author, who deals intensively with the time of upheaval after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • Félix Krawatzek is a research associate at ZOiS, where he leads the research cluster "Youth in Eastern Europe".


Taking #30PostSovietYears as its theme for 2021, the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), in cooperation with the Körber Foundation, the German Association for East European Studies (DGO), the German Historical Institute Moscow, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Russia and Memorial International, is hosting a series of events and online formats that revisit the watershed year of 1991 and examine the legacies of the Soviet era.



Anja Krüger