Eastern Europe Publications

228. Rediscovering the Black Sea: The Wider Southeast Europe in History, Politics, and Policy

Jul 07, 2011
February 2001- The Black Sea, in many ways, is back. Neal Ascherson's evocative travel book, Black Sea (1995), sparked new interest among travelers to Crimea, the Caucasus, and the northern coast of Turkey. The Black Sea Trade Project at the University of Pennsylvania promises to uncover new archaeological evidence of the connections among Greek trading colonies around the sea's rim, as well as of ancient settlements long since covered by the sea's waters. Then there is news that the great deluge of Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh may actually have had its origins perhaps 8,000 years ago or so, when a great freshwater lake joined with the salty Mediterranean to form the strange ecological system of the Black Sea. more

308. Framing the Gap between International and Local Perspectives on Addressing Organized Crime and Corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jul 07, 2011
December 2004 - A careful look at the nature of the ongoing discussions about organized crime and corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) between internationals and locals forces the observer to ask why there appears to be such a marked difference between the ways each side describes and understands the problems. The international community (IC) talks about BiH's organized crime and corruption problems in terms of institutional weakness and failure. International approaches separate organized crime and corruption from larger society as illicit, parasitic predators on an otherwise democratic state. In response, the international community conceives aggressive institutional solutions, which appear ineffective and land on deaf ears in the local communities affected by them. Local professionals—opinion makers, legal personnel, and business persons—describe the problems in terms of their connectedness to larger structural issues. They talk about how organized crime and corruption are part of a broader set of social, political and economic circumstances, in which the international community is a part. In the course of interviewing 266 local professionals, I discovered some important characteristics of the shape and scope of this discontinuity. The following is a short discussion about these findings. more

134. Preventing Ethnic Conflict: Macedonia and The Pluralist Paradigm

Jul 07, 2011
February 1997 - The Yugoslav crisis demonstrates the importance of concerted international action to prevent or resolve conflicts before they turn violent. The community of democratic states, working through multilateral institutions, might prevent the outbreak of similar crises elsewhere by adopting a strategy of "preventive engagement" to promote the democratic development of new governments. Elements of such a strategy are already in place in Macedonia, where international actors are attempting to resolve the tensions between the Albanian and Macedonian ethnic communities. more

292. The Presidential Crisis in Lithuania: Its Roots and the Russian Factor

Jul 07, 2011
January 2004 - On the eve of the 2002 presidential elections, a growing number of Lithuanians had cause to rejoice. Scholars proclaimed Lithuania to be a consolidated democracy, while the economy had achieved a steady rate of growth—with declining rates of inflation and unemployment on the one hand and rising rates of investment on the other. Several rounds of legislative and presidential elections had been conducted since Lithuania reclaimed its independence in 1990, and there had been a peaceful exchange of authority between right and left more than once. A free press was flourishing and, unlike neighboring Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania did not have a minority problem. more

62. The Limits of Conditionality: Nuclear Reactor Safety in Central and Eastern Europe, 1991 - 2000

Jul 07, 2011
Against the background of the academic and policy debate surrounding conditionality, this paper examines its role in the nuclear sector. It begins with an overview of the nuclear safety problems that became apparent shortly after the collapse of communism and the West's response to these problems. This article then offers case studies of three countries – Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Lithuania – that are especially interesting for having been subject both to conditionality linked to financial incentives and conditionality arising from their bids to become EU members. A concluding section analyzes the record of conditionality in the nuclear safety sphere and draws overall conclusions about its effectiveness as an instrument of international policy. more

203. How Important is the Past? Interpreting Eastern Europe's Transitional Failures and Successes

Jul 07, 2011
February 2000 - The most cursory glance at economic growth statistics in post-communist Europe suggests that the past counts a lot. Yet, it isn't quite as simple as a Boeing analyst summarized in a conversation in 1991, when talking about economic growth potential in post-communist Eastern Europe: "Protestant and Catholic good, Orthodox bad, Muslim forget it." It is more complicated, of course, but this sort of gross and unfair generalization does succinctly capture what has happened as well as, or better than, some of the more sophisticated comparative theory models out there. 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

45. The Bulgarian Economy: Transition in the Transition

Jul 07, 2011
The general elections of December 1994 marked a turning point in the Bulgarian transition. The victory of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) was part of a common trend across Eastern Europe. At the same time, the change in the political landscape produced an important shift in the orientation of economic policy. This paper focuses on three issues: a general overview of the macroeconomic developments of 1991-95, selected problems related to privatization, and some aspects of the external background to the Bulgarian transition. A final section assesses the economic policy of the new BSP government and its further prospects. more

185. Burdens of the Past: Separation as Solution to Post-War Kosovo

Jul 07, 2011
September 1999 - The war in Kosovo internationalized the dilemma of democracy - how to treat non-democratic forces that act against democratic premises. Or, how tolerant can one be against intolerance? 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.