The grand transformation of central and eastern Europe: successes and disappointments This study analyses the changes in central-eastern Europe, shown by comparative historical scrutiny to be a unique case in world history. No other total transformation towards the mainstream western political and economic model has been so peaceful and rapid at the same time. Form this standpoint it is an outstanding success. In terms of everyday life, however, the story is a different one. A considerable proportion of the population is experiencing serious economic problems. Perceptions of shortcomings are magnified by a range of cognitive difficulties. On the experience of the present generation, judging the change as an unequivocal success would make no sense. Both points of view are valid, and it would be mistaken to mix the two and weigh
them on the same scales.