The book […] provides an excellent overview of the theatre systems of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe. The contrast between the development of theatre organisations in five countries of the former Communist Block, on the one hand, and three Nordic countries with long histories of cultural policies, on the other hand, describes the far-reaching differences between two regions of the European Community. However, the countries within both of these regions demonstrate a wide variety of strategies that have been applied in order to cope with changing political developments. This is one of the central ideas of the book: to show that similar political turning points – the end of Communism and the post-WWII expansion, respectively – can result in very different solutions concerning cultural politics. To illuminate the complexities of such developments, the authors presenting the eight countries have chosen varying approaches, which makes the book very readable: new perspectives are offered in chapter after chapter. A few examples can illustrate the variety of presentations.
– prof. Willmar Sauter