Eastern Europe Publications

307. The Internationalization of Minority Rights in Poscommunist Europe

Jul 07, 2011
November 2004 - Over the past 15 years, a fascinating experiment has taken place in Europe regarding the codification of minority rights. As communism collapsed in 1989, several ethnic conflicts broke out in the Caucuses and Balkans, and commentators feared that ethnic violence would spiral out of control throughout Central and Eastern Europe. In response, Western democracies decided to "internationalize" the treatment of national minorities in postcommunist Europe, creating a pan-European regime to monitor whether countries are meeting European standards in the treatment of their minorities. Some of these standards have been formulated by the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)–a position established in 1993. Other standards were formulated by the Council of Europe (COE) in its 1995 "Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities." Complying with these OSCE and COE standards is required for countries to ‘join the West,' and in particular to join the European Union (EU) and NATO. more

32. The Significance of Political Elites in Post-Communist Poland

Jul 07, 2011
This paper analyzes the disintegration of communism in Poland and the formation of a new socio-economic and political system. The actions of political elites have been pivotal in this process. One of the basic conclusions of the analysis that follows is that, because of the weak articulation of the structures of civil society, political elites were not subjected to precise social demands and pressures. more

172. Banking On The Environment In Central and Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
December 1998 - How effectively have multilateral development banks (MDBs) addressed environmental issues in Central and Eastern Europe? The World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and European Investment Bank (EIB) are among the major donors to the region, providing more than $25 billion in loans, which usually attract additional private sector, and bilateral and recipient government financing as well. All three banks have been struggling in recent years to respond to pressure to better address environmental issues in their global and regional work, while often facing criticism by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for doing a poor job in translating ideas and policies into action. more

291. Building Local Democracy under Conditions of Uncertainty in Kosovo

Jul 07, 2011
January 2004 - Over the past decade, international organizations and development NGOs have broadened their efforts to nurture democratic governance from the centers of power in capital cities to local government. Local government is the first tier of public authority that people confront in their everyday lives. Good local governance provides services to diverse populations, facilitates the development of political institutions and cross cutting social networks and fosters economic development. At the same time, effective local government has the capacity to resolve conflicts at an early stage, preventing them from escalating into violence. In this light, the circumstances enhancing the sustainability of post-conflict local democracy command great interest. more

13. The Problems of Nationalism in Eastern Europe Past and Present

Jul 07, 2011
Defying the proclaimed ideological similarity of the various governments of Eastern Europe (except Greece) during the last 40 years, nationalism is the strongest single motivating force today in that region. Nationalism has forced those in power to make certain ideological concessions giving birth to a basic contradiction even in terminology, national communism. Still, a major issue for the leaders of the various parties and states remains unresolved: the people's primary loyalty has little if anything to do with the world view which they are supposed to accept as the sole valid motivating force for their behavior. more

156. Two Worlds of Arms Control, Two Visions of Europe

Jul 07, 2011
March 1998 - The new millennium will begin without a consensus among world leaders on the direction or importance of arms control. This being the case, two scenarios exsist that US policy makers must take into account. The first is tha the quantitative dimension of arms control will disappear. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the superpower-driven urgency of arms control (which made for high politics at U.S.-Soviet summits) will be replaced by efforts to implement and verify exsisting treaties: START I and II, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and perhaps a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (if the Senate ratifies it in 1998 or 1999). "Free market arms control" will become the norm; additional reductions or impose tighter verification regimes will be regarded as too expensive to implement. Quantitative arms control may not be an issues in any case, since rising social and financial costs dictate downsizing forces and discarding weapons. more

275. East Central Europe between Paris and Washington

Jul 07, 2011
For some, Poland's emergence as a leading partner in the US-led campaign to rebuild Iraq came as a surprise. After all, so much effort has been spent on reforms, concessions and negotiations in preparation for EU accession, that it seemed to many that Poland, the Baltic States, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic were antagonizing precisely those countries they had been courting for years by supporting the US-led coalition. In response to the confusion, I would like to offer a historical-cultural explanation for those puzzled by this new world order. more

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

137. Troubled Economic Transitions In The Yugoslav Successor States

Jul 07, 2011
May 1997 - The successor states to the former Yugoslavia may be unanimous in their opposition to any political project even hinting at its recreation, but they still face a set of surprisingly common economic problems. (On the emergence of the successor states from the collapse of Yugoslavia, see Yugoslavia and After: A Study in Fragmentation, Despair, and Rebirth, edited by David A. Dyker and Ivan Vojvoda [New York: Longman, 1996].) For one, there is the obvious absence of the economic boom that a postwar recovery period often generates. As a partial solution, business enterprises are turning back toward their nearest neighbors, their former compatriots. Even this movement faces two further problems. First, their transitions to a market economy based on private enterprise are in the best case half-finished and have in the worst cases created new vested interests grounded in political power and corruption. Second, while private entrepreneurship has indeed grown apace, its enterprises are typically too small or too closely linked to political or outright criminal networks to press effectively, from below, for a legal market framework. more

223. Restarting U.S. - Yugoslav Relations

Jul 07, 2011
January 2001- Three months ago the whole world was relieved when Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia's ruler for the past thirteen years, was removed from power. The opposition won the election but it is the people who went to the streets, willing to risk their very lives, who are the real victor and nobody must forget that including the new government. The Serbian population was fed up with failed promises and patriotic slogans and had enough of the isolation and everyday misery which it had to endure for over a decade. Most importantly, they wanted to reclaim their lives and the future of their children. 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.