January 31, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
When a country emerges from conflict, citizens demand that perpetrators be held accountable for past violations of human rights; that the governmental system be reformed to prevent a future recurrence of past repressive practices; that the truth be told about what really happened, both in personal terms (such as learning the fate of a loved one) and in terms of how the society came to be what it was; and that reparation be made for the moral and material losses suffered during the period of oppression. Archives are essential to meet these demands.
Ensuring Compliance: Strategies for Popular Cooptation by the Party and State Security in Communist Europe and in Ba'thist Iraq
January 27, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
With varying degrees of success, authoritarian regimes frequently co-opt their citizens to gather information on and undermine their domestic opposition. According to Martin Dimitrov, communist Bulgaria's ability to suppress dissent was diminished from the 1970s onward because the Western-led international human rights regime forced the government to replace harsher methods it had previously used with a system of rewards for volunteer informants and reprimands for dissidents. The ineffectiveness of these tactics contributed to the regime's eventual collapse. In contrast, Joseph Sassoon explained that Iraq's Ba'th Party—unable to rely upon a superpower for support and steeled by a series of wars—was able to remain in power for thirty-five years in part because it did not relax its efforts at co-optation and repression as the regime matured.
January 25, 2011 // 10:30am — 12:00pm
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.
January 24, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
This seminar will discuss the transnational history of how Europeans, Japanese, and other Asians came to promote saving by means of savings banks, postal savings, and war savings campaigns over the past two centuries. Historically, U.S. policies increasingly encouraged mass consumption and borrowing. After years of near-zero saving rates and growing household indebtedness, Americans are beginning to save again. What might we learn from other countries that boast much higher saving rates?
January 20, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
Wilson Center senior scholar and former director of Radio Free Europe, A. Ross Johnson discussed his latest book which examines the first twenty years of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
January 11, 2011 // 9:00am — 10:00am
"Open energy markets—which is the ability of oil and gas to flow to the purchaser—is really the core of our energy security," said David Goldwyn, the State Department's special envoy for international energy affairs. Making sure markets are open, fair, and transparent is one of five tenets of the administration's global energy security agenda that he discussed at a January 11 Director's Forum.
December 20, 2010 // 11:00am — 12:00pm
Following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty last year, the European Union (EU) has initiated a series of decision-making and institutional reforms, including the creation of the External Action Service (EAS). Angelos Pangratis, Deputy Head of the European Commission Delegation in Washington, offered an informal progress report on how the EAS will be structured and the key areas of cooperation between the EU and the United States. He argued that the success of the EAS will be judged by its ability to produce concrete results in coordinating and implementing a comprehensive common foreign and security policy for the EU’s 27 members.
December 16, 2010 // 1:00pm — 2:30pm
An author, activist and scholar, Senay Özdemir addressed her personal experiences as a Muslim feminist in Western Europe, along with her literary and journalistic efforts to give voice to the Mediterranean community and their role in Dutch politics.
December 15, 2010 // 1:00pm — 2:00pm
Despite the nearly two decades that have passed since Yugoslavia's dissolution, its successor states continue to be grouped together as the "Western Balkans," "Former Yugoslav republics," or "Southeast Europe." However, this categorization belies the wide divergence between them in terms of their democratic progress.
December 13, 2010 // 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Ambassador Davor Božinovic, State Secretary for Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia and Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for South Eastern Europe; Martin Sletzinger, Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center