capture the surprise

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meramli

Senior Member
turkish
Comparative Politics-William Robert Clark

As political scientists, we need to ask ourselves how we can explain these types of bottom-up transitions. How can we capture the surprise with which actual participants greeted the events that were unfolding around them? Why did the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe occur in 1989 and not any earlier or any later? Why did Eastern Europe, which in retrospect seems to have been filled with extremely fragile Communist regimes, seem so stable before 1989?

Can you explain what does 'capture the surprise' mean? Thanks in advance.
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    It seems broadly to mean 'understand (and explain)'.

    Looking back, things seem very different from how they did at the time. To us, now, they seem obvious/inevitable, but at the time people were really surprised when they happened. So the author is asking how can we analyse/understand why people seem surprised in circumstances like these?

    At least, that's what I make of it.
     

    meramli

    Senior Member
    turkish
    Thank you, one more question I want to ask, is there an expression like 'greet with surprise'?
     

    Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The expression "greet with surprise" certainly is acceptable as is, but I don't know exactly how it might be used in the example you've posted meramli.
     

    meramli

    Senior Member
    turkish
    For example : How can we capture the events which actual participants greeted with surprise that were unfolding around them?

    Is it true like this?
     

    Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It's a bit clumsy, I think. The phrase "that were unfolding around them" refers to events and should be closer.

    How can we capture the unfolding events which actual participants greeted with surprise?
    But that is not an improvement on the original.
     
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