European Studies is now accepting applications for two of its research grants - the short-term research grant and the summer research grant. Both stipends are available to American academic experts and practitioners, including advanced graduate students, engaged in specialized research requiring access to Washington, DC and its research institutions. Grants are for one and two months respectively, and include residence at the Wilson Center. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, in order to be considered eligible for this grant opportunity. The deadline for applying for both grans is March 1, 2013.
October 2002- In parliamentary elections held on September 20-21, 2002, Slovak voters showed a clear preference for pro-Western and reform-oriented parties, while turning away from populists aimed at protecting "national" interests and potentially returning the country to international isolation. The elections produced the most homogenous government in Slovakia's short history, and the country's future – at least for the next four years – now appears rather predictable, even boring. Following an awkward introduction to the world, the elections signify that Slovakia may finally be growing up.
May 2002- There has been an obvious uneven evolution of the East European countries in the last ten years. Theoretically, the process of transformation still points in the same direction: modern capitalism. Practically, however, many of the new democracies seem to have stopped along the road. A classification of political systems in Eastern Europe according to economic performance in the decade 1990-99 shows that there are competitive democracies and concentrated political regimes alongside war-torn societies and non-competitive political regimes. There are also differences among countries and regions. (World Bank Report on Eastern Europe, November 2001) How can one explain the large divergence among performance levels in Eastern Europe after 1989? What constitutes the new East European ruling elite, what is the dominant political ideology, and how do the new capitalist institutions work? There are two prevailing viewpoints. The first one is known as the path-dependency approach; the second is the neo-classic sociology school of thought.
European Studies Senior Associate Nida Gelazis was recently quoted in the Italian on-line newspaper Affaritaliani assessing the benefits of European enlargement in the Western Balkans. In an article by Massimiliano Santalucia titled "The Balkan countries break into Europe. Montenegro and Serbia in the EU Soon," Gelazis discussed the pros and cons of admitting the former Yugoslav countries to the EU.
This month, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts the fourth annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture. Previous awardees include Saad Eddin Ibrahim, an Egyptian democracy activist, and Belarusian democracy activist Anatoli Mikhailov, president of the European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania.
January 2008 - Among the many unanticipated developments in the former Soviet world, the decay of infrastructures of governance was one of the most visible. By the late 1990s, the assertion that the capacity and organizational integrity of postcommunist states had declined considerably did not engender serious dissent. That the state was weaker than before, that it was weaker than it should have been, were among the very few empirical and normative propositions around which a genuine consensus coalesced.
May 1997 - One of the weakest aspects of Polish democracy, according to Marian Krzaklewski, Chair of the Solidarity trade union and leader of Akcja Wyborcza Solidarnosc (AWS--Solidarity Electoral Action Coalition), has been the inability of the post-Solidarity political parties to maintain a united front. Eight years after the collapse of Communism, the "destructive diffusion" of these groups has inhibited the creation of a well-defined political landscape and has left Poland's former Communists in control of the country.