Eastern Europe Events

A Blow to Democracy: Election Fraud, Corruption and Political Violence in Albania

February 08, 2011 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
Erion Veliaj, a former civil society activist and coordinator of the Albanian opposition parties, discussed the demonstration held on January 21, 2011. The demonstration ended in violence, with four shot and killed by the Republican Guard. Prime Minister Sali Berisha characterized the event as an attempted coup d'état in an attempt to justify the violent response, and said that the demonstrators had been carrying weapons disguised as umbrellas. Veliaj argued at the meeting that these contentions were "ludicrous": according to Veliaj, this was just another in a number of peaceful demonstrations organized by the opposition to protest what they see were unfair elections in 2009. The Albanian government, Veliaj said, was trying to force the population to choose between stability and freedom.

Hungary Under FIDESZ: A Retreat from Democracy?

January 25, 2011 // 10:30am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
The economic crisis in Hungary has evolved into a political crisis, as Viktor Orban's FIDESZ government has passed a number of laws and initiatives that severely thwart democracy. Orban's populism has led his government to restrict press freedoms, undermine the balance of powers and silence opponents in the arts and academia by cutting institutional budgets, while claiming austerity. According to Attila Mesterházy, leader of the opposition Hungarian Socialist Party, the FIDESZ government's reforms do not serve the national interest and have harmed Hungary's reputation abroad during this crucial period when it holds the rotating EU presidency.

The Reified Nomad: The Historical Roots of Current Anti-Roma Persecution in Europe

December 08, 2010 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
Across Europe we have seen a sharp increase in anti-Roma persecution, particularly in the Western democracies of France and Italy.

Off-site Event: The World Youth Democracy Forum for D.C.-Area Students

December 03, 2010 // 9:00am11:30am
History and Public Policy Program
The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University and the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award at the Woodrow Wilson Center co-hosted the 2010 World Youth Democracy Forum for DC-Area Students. The Forum featured the 2010 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Winner, Oleg Kozlovsky of Russia.
Webcast

The Sixth Annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Award

December 02, 2010 // 1:00pm5:00pm
History and Public Policy Program
Oleg Kozlovsky, a political activist and co-founder of Solidarnost, United Democratic Movement in Russia, received the 2010 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award on Thursday on 2 December at the Woodrow Wilson Center, as part of a two-panel workshop featuring a round-table discussion After the "Reset:" U.S. and European Approaches to Russia and a keynote address Democracy: New Tools for the Struggle.
Webcast

Freedom, Democracy and Prosperity in Central Europe: Story of Transformation and Integration of Slovakia

November 10, 2010 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
Slovakia has made much progress in its transition from part of a socialist, pro-Soviet republic to an independent, democratic nation, but there remains much hard work ahead; that was the theme of remarks by Prime Minister Iveta Radicová at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on November 10, 2010.

Book Launch: How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace

November 04, 2010 // 3:30pm5:00pm
Global Europe Program
Imminent violence and war make news headlines, while longstanding peace and good inter-state relations hardly seem newsworthy. By contrast, Charles Kupchan's new book, How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace, focuses on the origins of peace rather than war. While war is certainly big news, he posits that the bigger news is that the US-Canada border has been consistently peaceful for more than a century, or that only 68 years after France and Germany fought two world wars, people can now drive across the border as though it does not exist. His new book seeks to identify the dynamics that lead countries to achieve lasting peace.

Assimilation, Accommodation, and Exclusion in the Balkans: Serbian Nation-Building Policies Toward Kosovo Albanians, 1912-1940

October 27, 2010 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
In the process of nation-building, states attempt to make the state and the demographic nation overlap. In this process, national minorities become a problem and European nation states have a checkered past in terms of dealing with them, with variable policies reflecting ethnic antipathy at one moment and cooperation at another. Conventional wisdom holds that ethnic antipathy is the result of cultural distance or "age-old ethnic hatreds." However, according to Harris Mylonas, these theories neither predict outcomes nor account for variation in minority policy over time. His research focuses on the relationship between minority treatment and interstate relations, in an effort to gain a broader understanding the complexity of state-building and minority policies in Europe.
Webcast

Contested Narratives, Controversial Rituals: Recent Debates over World War Two Commemorations and the Politics of History in Croatia

September 14, 2010 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Commemorations (and counter-commemorations) of the World War Two antifascist resistance movement in Croatia continue to be a source of debates over both political and ethnic identities. This talk examines the transformation of several memorial days in Croatia during the post-communist transition, in particular focusing on the content of the commemorative speeches given at these political rituals.
Webcast

The Evolution of NATO: the 2010 Strategic Concept and Beyond

May 21, 2010 // 9:00am5:00pm
Global Europe Program
Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has grown in size, but in many other ways has not fully adapted to the post-Cold War world. The 2010 Strategic Concept attempts to address the increasingly complex threats facing the allies, including nuclear terrorism, cyber crime, and global climate change, as well as the institutional changes necessary to maintain NATO's relevance in the 21st Century. This conference explored this new security environment. Participants offered assessments of the new Strategic Concept, which was released on May 17, 2010.

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