Eastern Europe Publications

271. Shaking Off the Shakedown State? Crime and Corruption in Post-Ohrid Macedonia

Jul 07, 2011
The good news for Macedonia is that the current government, led by Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski (of the Social Democratic Union), has initiated a high-profile attack on corruption in the country. The Social Democrats (SDSM) and their Albanian coalition partners, Ali Ahmeti's Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), were elected in September 2002, on the heels of a damning report by the International Crisis Group (ICG). This document highlighted the serious levels of corruption in the country. Since taking the reins of power, the SDSM and BDI have launched a two-pronged strategy. One part involves clamping down on the activities of the Albanian mafia in western Macedonia. The other concerns prosecuting those who abused power in the previous government and setting forth new rules to increase the transparency and integrity of the government. more

353. Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo

Jul 07, 2011
October 2008 - Inside the UN-run airport in besieged Sarajevo hung a makeshift sign: Maybe Airlines. Along the edges of the sign, aid workers, journalists, and diplomats had posted stickers—CNN, ITN, CBS, RTL, MSF, VOX, UNICEF, the French flag, the Canadian flag, the Swedish flag and so on. Above the sign was a piece of plywood with the word destinations hand-written at the top, with a changeable placard below (the placard choices included New York, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Zagreb, Paris and Heaven). Maybe Airlines was the nickname given to the unreliable UN flights in and out of wartime Sarajevo—the longest airlift ever attempted and the centerpiece of the international humanitarian response to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, underneath the airport tarmac ran a narrow and damp 800-meter-long tunnel that bypassed both UN controls and the siege lines. Protected from Serb shelling and sniper fire, thousands of people and tons of food, arms and other supplies moved through the underground passageway every day (which the UN pretended did not exist), providing both a vital lifeline for the city and an enormous opportunity for black market profiteering. While the UN airlift was part of the highly visible front-stage of the siege, the tunnel was part of the much less visible but equally important backstage action. Together, they helped Sarajevo survive for more than three-and-a-half years, setting a siege longevity record. more

44. Populations and Powderkegs: The Macedonian Census of 1994 in Historical Perspective

Jul 07, 2011
The extraordinary census of the summer of 1994 provides an opportunity to view both the complexity of the Macedonian scene, of which the Albanians are a part, and the role of European mediation more broadly. The 1994 Macedonian census raises fundamental issues of which the more recent conflicts such as those over education and language use at the federal level are continuations. It is also worthy of a more detailed account as a historical moment around which national and international tensions crystallized. As this paper finds, regardless of what the future holds for Macedonia, the 1994 census is one of the key links in the chain of events leading to that future. more

184. Post-Kosovo Serbian Politics: Missed Opportunities For Peace

Jul 07, 2011
October 1999 - The century's main principles responsible for the redefinition of empires and nation-states in Europe and the launching of an era of democracy - self-determination and liberalism - have one overarching flaw, Aleksa Djilas states: there are no formal guidelines for application or instruction. Had there been a more clear definition of applicability of these two pillars of democracy, and had the West chosen a more uniform pattern of across-the-board action, perhaps the Yugoslav disaster might have been prevented. As an example, Djilas pointed out that the political option of pressure for multi-ethnic integration and cooperation was unfortunately not even explored prior to 1991 at the outset of the Yugoslav crisis. Another example: had the West exerted pressure on the Albanians to vote and participate in the political process in Serbia as early as 1992, Slobodan Milosevic would have lost the presidency of Serbia to Milan Panic and the war in Kosovo could have been averted. more

260. Competing for the Albanian Soul: Are Islamic Missionaries Making Another Lebanon in the Balkans?

Jul 07, 2011
September 2002- Rexhep Boja's recent retort to Arab "non-governmental organizations" (NGOs) efforts to impose their literalist (Wahabbi/Salafi) interpretation of Islamic tradition in Kosova reflects a largely ignored phenomenon in the post-Communist Balkans. While most of the international organizations (UN, OSCE etc.) and governments who fund them have ignored the needs of the victims of Communism to rebuild their shattered spiritual lives, a significant combination of forces have converged on the region, instigating a "Lebanonization" of the Balkans. Understanding the process of social fragmentation in multi-faith societies requires a greater appreciation for the destructive effects of outside influences. more

341. The Perception of the Holocaust: Public Challenges and Experience in Lithuania

Jul 07, 2011
September 2007 - The war in the East differed dramatically from that in the West in terms of human cost, ideological fanaticism and brutality. The contrasting fates of Denmark and Poland are instructive. The former was certainly the safest zone in Nazi-occupied Europe: between 1940 and 1945 deaths at the hand of the Nazis there numbered only slightly more than the total of automobile fatalities in California in one year. On the other hand, central Poland constituted a black hole of genocidal depravity, arguably the worst place in the world in all of the twentieth century. There is also the chronological dissonance—one can find a number of locales in Lithuania where more people were killed after V-E Day than during the Second World War. It is not difficult to see that the Western (primarily British and American) perspective and imagery of World War II is largely irrelevant to the experiences of the population inhabiting the regions between Germany and Russia. The vocabulary of the "good war," the Holocaust and the Greatest Generation is meaningless to many Lithuanians. Appreciating the conflicting memories and narratives of the war is crucial in seeking to understand Lithuanian perception of the country's difficult past. 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

244. The Social Roots of Ethnic Conflict in East Central Europe: A Comparative Study of the German Diaspora in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia

Jul 07, 2011
November 2001- In the twentieth century, one of the most explosive issues of European history was the ethnic-national question in East Central Europe. From the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the struggle of minorities for nationhood leading up to World War I, to the rise of National Socialism and the horrors of the Holocaust, to the recent bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia, the ethnic-national question in East Central Europe significantly altered the course of European as well as world civilization. Arguably the most controversial ethnic-minorities of East Central Europe were the Germans. Sometimes referred to as the 'fifth column' or as 'Himmler's auxiliaries' in popular and academic minds, the German Diaspora in Eastern Europe is often viewed as having been Hitler's willing accomplices in his eastward expansion. more

323. Constitution Drafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jul 07, 2011
May 2006 - Ten years after the adoption of the Dayton Accords, the awkward, redundant, expensive and often ineffective institutional structure that resulted from that process is largely still in place today. Careful not to give too much power at the federal level to any one ethnic group, the Dayton Accords divested power from the center to local governing bodies. Among other problems, the nearly powerless central government was not granted authority over crucial state interests—such as defense, taxation and the environment—which are necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to accede to the European Union. 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.