Since 1989, the theme of the onset, the course and future of the change in post- socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, was interlinked with the dismantling of the old authoritarian regime and introduction of the new democratic one. It has been at the centre of attention of politicians, media and the public at large, and it has entered the field of interest of the social sciences as well. For ethnologists and anthropologists this theme represents a unique historical experience and it creates the opportunity to observe the key processes of changes in specific conditions of the "living laboratory" of a current social reality.
The collection of papers published in this issue has similar objectives. It brings empirical, mostly case studies, of cultural and socio-economic changes in rural and urban communities in Central and Eastern Europe, namely in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Individual contributions explore the ongoing process of social, economic and cultural transformation in post-socialist societies and its impact at the local and regional micro-level.