Theft of a Nation

Romania Since Communism

Tom Gallagher

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Theft of a Nation Paperback
January 2005£16.50
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Since 1989 Romania has gone from communist isolation under the megalomaniac Nicolae Ceauescu to being a key player in America’s war against terrorism. This book analyses how the country is seeking to recover from a disastrous period in its history while many of the key legacies of dictatorship remain.


Tom Gallagher is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Bradford. He has published one novel, Flight of Evil, and fifteen single-authored books on democracy and authoritarianism in post-1870 Europe, ranging from Britain and Iberia to the Balkans. He is currently researching the role of universities in British politics.


‘An excellent update on Romania after Ceauescu, with enough historical background, especially on the legacy of underdevelopment, to make contemporary Romania comprehensible for a Western reader. […] his most original contribution is the discussion on international assistance to Romania. Gallagher criticises both the IMF, for its contribution to the failure of Romania’s 1997-2000 governments, and the EU for its lack of deeper understanding of what Europeanization means for Romania.’ — Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Romanian Journal of Political Science

‘One of the remarkable features of this book is that it offers a comprehensive picture of ‘modern’ Romania, but never forgets to deliver unagitated, detailed facts for the analysis it promises to deliver. This book is about Romania, but at the same time it is a story about Eastern Europe which raises a lot of broader issues about governance, democracy and ultimately history and time. Tom Gallagher’s timely anlysis […] helps to understand the particular situation in Romania, but at the same time the ‘bigger picture’ and deficiencies of the Western European model of governance and assistance in South-Eastern Europe’. — Tobias Denskus, (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK), in Balkan Academic News.

‘Tom Gallagher’s book shows a very good grasp of popular aspirations, politico-economic phenomena, and the priorities […] of Romanian politicians. […] His critique […] must be seen as that of a political scientist cum historian who is far from indifferent to social injustice, economic backwardness and the politico-administrative standards of contemporary Romania. Theft of A Nationis a notable undertaking. The reflections and insights deriving from the vast material consulted suggests to me that this book is a first-hand reference work that merits the attention of both Romanian and European elites’. — Victor Neumann, Professor of History, University of Timisoara

‘Gallagher thinks in neat, clear categories and writes with a style to match’. — Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs