October 20, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Lost in Transition tells of ordinary lives upended by the collapse of communism. Through ethnographic essays and short stories based on her experiences with Eastern Europe between 1989 and 2009, Kristen Ghodsee explains why it is that so many Eastern Europeans are nostalgic for the communist past. Ghodsee uses Bulgaria, the Eastern European nation where she has spent the most time, as a lens for exploring the broader transition from communism to democracy. She locates the growing nostalgia for the communist era in the disastrous, disorienting way that the transition was handled. The privatization process was contested and chaotic. A few well-connected foreigners and a new local class of oligarchs and criminals used the uncertainty of the transition process to take formerly state-owned assets for themselves. Ordinary people inevitably felt that they had been robbed. Many people lost their jobs just as the state social-support system disappeared. Lost in Transition portrays one of the most dramatic upheavals in modern history by describing the ways that it interrupted the rhythms of everyday lives, leaving confusion, frustration, and insecurity in its wake.
October 13, 2011 // 2:30pm — 3:30pm
Amid growing problems between Turkey and Israel, a new pact might just be developing with Greece. Recent events in the Eastern Mediterranean have escalated tensions between Israel, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. Given this scenario, the U.S., EU, NATO and even UN maybe faced with a new reality in the region. This talk will focus on the Israeli-Greek relationship and pay particular attention to the energy-related politics in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the root of the most recent developments.
October 06, 2011 // 1:00pm — 3:00pm
Around the world, politicians, activists, scholars, and journalists describe the world as increasingly "neoliberal." For decades, populations worldwide have protested against neoliberal structural adjustment and austerity policies advocated by the IMF and World Bank. The protests in Greece were just a recent case of this worldwide critique. The riots in Britain have also been presented as the result of neoliberal policies. What do these protestors and commentators mean by neoliberalism? Why is it so important? What has caused neoliberalism? Which neoliberal trends do we see around the world? Is neoliberalism coming to an end? This panel will discuss the emergence of neoliberalism and its current state both worldwide and specifically in the former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
September 27, 2011 // 4:00pm — 6:00pm
Romania officially condemned its involvement in the European Holocaust following the Elie Wiesel Commission Report of 2004. A first-person account of being Jewish in Bucharest under fascist dictatorship is given by playwright and novelist, Mihail Sebastian, in his diary. Adapted for the stage by David Auburn in 2004, Sebastian comes to life in this one-man show based on his journal. The panel discussion following the performance will be an opportunity for the panelists and audience to discuss anti-Semitism, memory, theatre, repression, creativity and Holocaust remembrance and education in Romania today. This event brings together partners from the Woodrow Wilson Center, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Romanian Embassy to the United States.
September 21, 2011 // 10:00am — 11:00am
As Cyprus struggles to forgo being another player in the Eurozone debt calamity, many tough choices will have to be made in the coming weeks and months. Reshuffling the cabinet and tight fiscal policies could stiffen resolve behind austerity measures that, if adopted, could possibly see Cyprus through its economic crisis. For the first time in over half a century of the Republic’s history there is a call for early elections. These are certainly difficult times for Cyprus. With the coalition party, DIKO, pulling out and leaving AKEL the only party supporting the administration, the economy edging towards a bail-out, and the whole Mari fiasco explosion there is little room for any serious talks or remedies for successful negotiations with Turkish Cypriots. Can Christofias hold on to his post for the next 18-months of his presidency to regain voter confidence? Will Cyprus need an EU bail-out or can it pull through the economic crisis on its own? And in the wake of a politically feeble government and economy, what are the prospects for a settlement of the Cyprus problem?
The Environment and Human Rights: the International Community’s Responses to Emerging Local and Global Challenges
September 14, 2011 // 11:00am — 1:00pm
This event will address the interrelation between environmental damage and human rights, and examine how the international community—and in particular the UN—has approached this issue at a local and global level and discuss possible ways to optimize approaches and processes.
September 12, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
On June 5, 2011, Macedonia held parliamentary elections. The outcome confirmed the fears of many observers, analysts, and democracy advocates that the ruling VMRO-DUI government coalition (both ultra-nationalist parties) will remain in power for the next four years with dire consequences for the future of Macedonia. Over the last four years, the government strongly protected nationalist projects and ethnic alliances, rather than the rule of law. The re-elected government has already shown disrespect for the rule of law, democracy, civil society, human rights, and freedom of speech in its earliest actions, which jeopardizes Macedonia’s attempt to accede to the European Union.
August 29, 2011 // 5:00pm — 7:00pm
The Phenomenon of Solidarity commemorates the 30th anniversary of the founding of the movement, and highlights formative moments in its history.
Four Types of Diaspora Mobilization: Albanian Diaspora Activism for Kosovo Independence in the U.S. and the UK
June 29, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
This comparative study explores the conditions and causal pathways through which conflict-generated diasporas become moderate or radical actors when linked to homelands experiencing limited sovereignty.
June 27, 2011 // 10:00am — 3:00pm
The EU and the US agree that the long-term goal for the Western Balkans is European integration. For a variety of reasons, however, progress on this goal has stalled. This series aims at launching a discussion on the hurdles to enlargement in the Western Balkans, the tools available to various international actors in the region, and how these resources might best be applied to reach the goal of integration most efficiently. These meetings, therefore, address issues that are at the core of the making the Transatlantic relationship work.