Eastern Europe Publications

259. Post-Communist Media Autonomy, Pluralism and Diversity

Jul 07, 2011
September 2002- The importance of the media is axiomatic to the new political elites in the post-Communist nations, so they seek to own, control and, at the very least, to influence the media. Consequently, Eastern Europe's media are judged to be dependent on the state - the new political forces and the newly established market - instead of being outgrowths of civil society. Furthermore, the new media systems are seen as lacking autonomy, pluralism and diversity, not contributing to the democratization process, and worse yet, being inimical to it, thwarting citizen participation. Journalism is considered unprofessional, being tendentious, opinionated, highly politicized, often inaccurate and incomplete, and pandering "to low instincts and prurient tastes."1 more

340. Acting Globally, Thinking Locally: The Side-Effects of Pursuing International Justice in the Former Yugoslavia

Jul 07, 2011
October 2007 - Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a marked rise in support for the international prosecution of leaders involved in some of the most heinous human rights violations. This process began with the two ad hoc international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (1993) and Rwanda (1995) and continued into the new century with the UN's Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002) and efforts to launch similar international prosecutions in other states such as Cambodia (2003) and Iraq (2005). In all but the latter case, criminal prosecutions were launched by international authorities relying on the non-coerced cooperation of leaders in sovereign states. As a result, transitional justice has become an important issue in these countries' bilateral and multilateral relations. The establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2003 suggests that the international diplomacy of transitional justice is not merely a fad but instead may become a staple. more

28. The Risks of Privatization and the Polish Nomenklatura: The New Entrepreneurial Class

Jul 07, 2011
This paper examines the market changes which developed in Poland in the late 1950s, where one could observe small-scale, timid changes in the traditional communist view toward free enterprise. One of the results of political liberalization was a drastic reduction in the numbers of secret police, party bureaucrats, and censors. Many former guardians of communist morality, now deprived of their posts and Privileges, succumbed to the temptations of Mammon and established small industrial enterprises, shops, and brokerage agencies themselves. Moreover, it now seems that the Party authorities, silently and discreetly, fully supported these undertakings, treating them as a safe and simple safety valve to release the anger and frustrations of forcIbly retired apparatchiks and as a reward for their faithful service. more

168. The Dynamics of Religion and Politics In Poland

Jul 07, 2011
October 1998 - Clashes between Catholics and Jews in Poland are again in the news. Since last spring, a series of confrontations between religious radicals has occurred at the Auschwitz death camp in Oswiecim. Thus far, all attempts to resolve the controversy surrounding the placement of Christian religious symbols at the site have failed. Why has the unauthorized display of crosses at Auschwitz escalated to an international incident? What makes this such an intractable issue? This problem results from the intertwining of religious social action and political activity in Poland since 1989. In fact, the current controversy is a way of illustrating the contemporary dynamics of religion and politics in Poland. These dynamics can be broken into four aspects: the international dimension, church-state realignment, tensions within the Catholic hierarchy, and the differentiation of the Catholic community. more

243. NATO After September 11: New Purpose or Accelerated Atrophy?

Jul 07, 2011
January 2002- The key question for NATO, according to Dr. Prizel, is how to maintain the alliance when the security agendas of Europe and the U.S. have begun to differ so greatly. While this divergence began with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, we can expect to see an even greater divergence in NATO between the two entities, particularly on the issues of pan-Islamicism and NATO's relationship with Russia. more

324. Media Matters: Professionalizing and Regulating Media in Post-Conflict Bosnia and Kosovo

Jul 07, 2011
June 2006 - It is an article of faith that an independent, diverse and reasonably professional media is an essential fixture of democracy. As irritating as it can sometimes be, fact-based journalism practiced by public-spirited people really does help make the machinery of democracy work. Over the past 15 years, the U.S. and European governments along with private donors, including George Soros, have backed this premise with substantial funds. Since 1990, international donors have spent at least $600 million and probably much more on media training and development in emerging democracies, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and more recently in Afghanistan and the Middle East. While in the overall context of international aid $600 million is not a great sum, it is a very substantial resource to be focused on the care and feeding of one particular professional endeavor, in this case journalism, especially one whose normal relationship with government is adversarial. more

9. Debating the Nature of Dissent in Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
In the past generation so much has happened in this region that many of the old categories of description and analysis were sterile, perhaps redundant. Not only had new issues arisen about which little had been written in the West, but the very terms in which social debate in Eastern Europe is now undertaken have undergone radical transformation. Some fresh overall assessment of these changes is called for. This paper has been confined to one theme, albeit central; the emergence of new forms of opposition and dissent in this region over the past decade. more

151. Russian Policy on NATO Expansion In The Baltics

Jul 07, 2011
January 1998 - One of the key issues in the debate over NATO enlargement is the question of the relationship between NATO and the Baltic states and how an expansion of the alliance would affect Russia's relations with Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. While it is clear that the Baltic states will not be entering NATO anytime soon, it is worth noting that the arguments of those who opposed NATO's enlargement because of its impact on Russia have already been proven wrong. more

227. Slovenia since 1990

Jul 07, 2011
Of all of the Yugoslav successor states, Slovenia has recorded the smoothest and least problematic transition toward liberal democracy and has maintained the highest level of system stability, as measured by several conventional indicators. What accounts for this relative success? It is fashionable in some quarters to attribute Slovenia's smoother transition to the country's high degree of ethnic homogeneity or to its greater prosperity. While it may be that these factors are not entirely irrelevant, I would prefer to place the stress on two rather different factors, viz., the fact that the League of Communists of Slovenia already embarked on the transition to a pluralist system in the mid-1980s, building bridges with the Slovenian opposition, and, in the process, beginning the transition to legitimate government; and the fact that liberal political culture was planting its seeds in Slovenia already in the 1980s, if not before. Indeed, the activities of pacifist, environmentalist, punk, and lesbian and gay associations at that time helped to lay the foundations for a tolerant liberal culture in Slovenia, at a time when Serbia was sinking ever deeper into a thoroughly nationalist culture. more

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

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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.