Eastern Europe Publications

357. Romanian Parliamentary Elections: New Alliances and Challenges

Jul 07, 2011
December 2008 - In December 2008, a friend in Bucharest sent me a message quoting a recent statement by an influential political commentator from the Romanian media. This columnist reminds me of the former spokesman for the Polish military junta in the 1980s, who has since become a very successful capitalist: Jerzy Urban. Urban is the editor of the weekly magazine Nie, which irreverently makes fun of everybody. In my mind, Urban is no hero, but is a former Communist Party lackey who turned into the transition's profiteering buffoon. So, I am referring here to somebody who is the equivalent of Urban in Romania, and his name is Ion Cristoiu. more

264. Slovak Voters Move Closer to West

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

346. Serbia's October Revolution: Evaluating International Efforts Promoting Democratic Breakthrough

Jul 07, 2011
October 2007 - In 1987, the former Yugoslav communist apparatchik-turned national protagonist, Slobodan Milosevic, showed promise as a modern liberator. Enjoying immense initial support, he rose to power swiftly and retained the authority he achieved with violence, xenophobic propaganda, appeals to history, legalism, patronage and appropriation of the country's wealth. He ruled as Yugoslavia's constituent republics devolved into separate nations, through four wars and as a NATO bombing campaign pitted his regime against the West. The stirring electoral victory of his opposition and subsequent protests that removed Milosevic on October 5, 2000, came after more than a decade during which the autocrat often seemed unassailable, invulnerable and incorrigible. His fall was hailed inside and outside of Serbia as a decisive moment of revolutionary democratic change. more

71. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: How the US-EU Battle over Article 98 Played Out in Croatia and Macedonia

Jul 07, 2011
This paper outlines how two Yugoslav successor states, Macedonia and Croatia, faced the dilemma of having to choose between two vital allies. It traces how the issue played itself out in the domestic political arena in the late spring and early summer of 2003, and explains why in the end Croatia rejected US demands in favor of the EU while Macedonia chose to comply with the US. Both the US and the EU are monitoring the postcommunist and post-conflict transitions of the Balkan states closely. All this attention has meant that the Balkans became a particularly crucial battleground for the ICC issue. The decision-making process described in this paper tells a lot about how small post-communist states define their national interests (in terms of politics, economics, and security) and balance external pressures with internal realities in their bids to join Western institutions. Moreover, the outcomes are instructive about the dynamics of US-EU competition and its consequences for the ongoing transition in the region. more

211. Yugoslavia on the Brink of Elections: The Fate of the Federation

Jul 07, 2011
September 2000 - Yugoslavia is again at a crossroads. The elections on September 24 may determine whether a peaceful solution of the crisis will get a chance or whether the tensions will continue to build while the West braces itself for yet another conflict in that region. After a decade of violent destruction, there is no end of the disintegration process in sight. Even if the opposition wins the elections and the current regime in Serbia is toppled, the contentious nature of the relationship between Serbia and Montenegro - the two remaining republics forming the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - has yet to be resolved. The future of Kosovo similarly looms on the horizon with uncertainty. The reasons for the elusiveness of these political settlements are outlined below. more

248. Encounters with Wild Capitalism: Post-Socialist Environmentalism in Hungary

Jul 07, 2011
December 2001- At the meetings of ELTE Klub, a university-based environmental organization, heated discussions took place on the nature and challenges of the Hungarian environmental movement. In 1996, at one of the meetings, one of the members was asked to comment on the changes observed in the Hungarian environmental movement. Comparing the challenges faced by environmentalists under state socialism and in the post-socialist era, she pointed out that: "In the 1950s there was the belief that there simply weren't nature conservation problems in socialist countries because natural resources were being harnessed for the benefit of the workers. Today, nature conservation is seen as an obstacle holding back development and marketization. It's this vadkapitalista (or "wild capitalist") perspective that we are up against." more

328. The Increased Salience of Corruption in East and Central Europe: The Role of the EU and Other International Organizations

Jul 07, 2011
October 2006 - Over the past decade, corruption seems to have become an issue dominating political discourse in East and Central Europe (ECE). Every day, the press offers multiple stories about high-level corruption scandals as well as petty street-level corrupt practices. It, covers statements, studies, and decisions regarding the fight against corruption that emerge from the government, opposition parties, or international organizations. This increased anti-corruption rhetoric has led some observers to argue that the region has become "obsessed with corruption." more

54. Liberal Humanism Abandoned: The Paradox of the Post-Communist Czech Republic

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

195. Quelling Unification Fears: Post-War Kosovo and Albania

Jul 07, 2011
February 2000 - The year 1999 was a very traumatic year for the six million Albanians in the Balkans. Thanks to NATO's intervention and after long years of bad luck, national tragedy, and economic misery, the future looks relatively bright. Despite daunting challenges, Albanians in Kosova are finally free of Serbian repression and can now begin building a new, more stable future. In Albania, there are some signs of recovery from the 1997 economically-induced government crash, although politically, it is still pervaded by a lack of cohesion and direction. more

232. The Politics of the EU's Eastward Enlargement

Jul 07, 2011
April 2001- The European Union's (EU) eastward enlargement is said to be a well-designed strategy aimed at overcoming the divisions in Europe and strengthening the process of European integration. This paper will question the very essence of this claim. It will, first, show that the EU's policies towards the candidate states from Eastern Europe emerge more by default than by design. Second, it will show that the EU's policies, while overcoming some divisions in Europe, also created new ones. And third, it will show that widening the Union makes its deepening quite difficult. In other words, the long-term vision of a highly integrated European federation is being challenged by the enlargement project. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.