January 2007 - The image of America abroad has suffered in recent years. Whatever the reasons for such loss of favor and face, it is remarkable to find Greece- a nation that has been through history on the same side with the United States- near the top of the list of countries critical of America. Evidence of such distance between old friends is disconcerting, not least to the Greek-American community which is a vibrant and fiercely loyal part of American society.
In their literature, culture and early twentieth-century politics, the Czech people have a history of emphasizing moral virtue, tolerance, and respect for human dignity and freedom. Sadly, there is a growing chasm in Czech society between pre-revolution aspirations and post-revolution reality. The Czech Republic is infected with the destructive kind of nationalism found in other parts of East Central Europe, and now is characterized by a xenophobic citizenship law and violence against Roma. Will the Czechs ultimately honor their legacy of liberal humanism? The answer will speak volumes on the compatibility of nationalism and constitutional liberalism in the heart of the European continent.
The unexpected and impressive growth and development of the Slovak non-governmental organization (NGO) community, which has simply mushroomed over the past few years, stems from a rather unique situation. Paradoxically, it was the very policies of the former Vladimir Meciar-led government, ousted from power through democratic elections in 1998 and dubbed by the West as isolationist, nationalist and, in general, domestically repressive, that are responsible for the breadth and strength of the NGO community . And this has happened in a place which until recently, with the exception of Yugoslavia, was the least likely to promote such healthy civic democratic growth.
Frances Trix, Wilson Center fellow and professor of linguistics and anthropology at Indiana University, discusses the history, principles and implementation of the Agreement Governing the Principles of Normalization of Relations Between Kosovo and Serbia, signed in Brussels on April 19, 213. Trix's analysis of the Agreement was first published in a guest column for Informed Comment.
Alexandros Petersen, Advisor to the Wilson Center's European Energy Security Initiative (EESI), and Raffaello Pantucci of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences co-author an article as part of our joint-project on China in Central Asia.
February 2005 - Two recent trips to the region, to Sofia in October and to Belgrade in January, inform these observations. Beyond simply reporting on the latest in my long series of visits to both cities, I welcome the chance to call attention to Southeastern Europe at a time when American interest is flagging. Since 9/11 and the occupation of Iraq, the Middle East has understandably moved to the forefront of policy-relevant regions. But that priority does not justify neglecting Southeastern Europe. Its problems may be "forgotten but not fixed," as Edward Joseph put it in "Back to the Balkans," Foreign Affairs (Jan.-Feb. 2005).