Eastern Europe Publications

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

252. Tragedy, Transition, and Transformation: The Local-International Nexus of Transnational Organized Crime in the Former Yugoslav Republics

Jul 07, 2011
April 2002- Transnational organized crime in the former Yugoslav Republics is a complex amalgam of local and international crime groups. The crime groups are not mafia-like in that they are not hierarchical groups based on formal associations. Instead, these are network structures loosely cooperating, which are deeply embedded in their communities. Performing functions on the local level, they cannot easily be dislodged because of weak government, local passivity, and even outright complicity. Furthermore, these organizations have such strength because they draw on the traditional links among Slavic communities, such as established trade routes and the historic geopolitical importance of the Balkan Peninsula within Europe. more

335. Religious Freedoms and Islamic Revivalism: Some Contradictions of American Foreign Policy in Southeast Europe

Jul 07, 2011
May 2007 - Religion was one of the most strictly controlled elements of everyday life under the 45 years of communist rule in Bulgaria. The 1949 Law of Religious Denominations gave the state broad powers over the spiritual life of its citizens. The Bulgarian Communist Party promoted a Marxist atheist ideology, which held that communist subjects would abandon their faith as the living standards of the workers and peasants were improved through the marvels of the command economy. Religious education was largely banned and foreign religious exchanges were prohibited. The official clergies of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian Muslim denomination were infiltrated by Communist Party members who mobilized religious discourses to solidify support for the centralized state. In the case of Islam, traditional clothing, burial practices and circumcision were outlawed, and Bulgaria's Muslims were forced to trade their Turko-Arabic names in for Slavic ones. 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

236. Between Hungary and Romania: The Case of the Southern Transylvania's Jews During the Holocaust

Jul 07, 2011
September 2001- The tragedy of the Jews of Banat and Southern Transylvania was different from that of the Jews of the Old Kingdom of Romania. The dictatorial regimes of King Carol II and Marshall Ion Antonescu did not recognize the civil rights granted by the 1923 Constitution. The Jews were discriminated against on the basis of the historical regions in which they lived. The pretexts of the authorities were that: the Jews of Transylvania did not participate in the Romanian War of Independence (deliberately ignoring the fact that in 1877 they were citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire); did not fight in the Balkan Wars of 1912- 1913; did not take part in the unionist propaganda; did not integrate into Romanian culture; and, many of them used Hungarian as a language of communication and culture. more

315. Kin-State Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: the Case of Hungary

Jul 07, 2011
December 2004 - The pages that follow, I first place the Hungarian debate into a comparative framework of emerging kin state politics in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), then comment on the particularities of the Hungarian case. The lessons that emerge from this discussion highlight two important aspects of CEE politics today. First, rather than weakening nation-building aspirations, the pursuit of EU membership in many instances reinforces such aspirations. Second, rather than uniting "the nation," some ambitious propositions for nation-building create or reinforce divisions within the population they proposed to unite. more

133. Bulgaria's Best and Worst of Times

Jul 07, 2011
March 1997 - Two March meetings at the Wilson Center outlined the economic catastrophe and unprecedented political promise which have crowded into this small country. The political promise, only in part the consequence of catastrophe, must fulfill the long-delayed privatization of major enterprises and banks and construction of an iron-clad framework for legal business and transform the Bulgarian economy. Its partial criminalization over the past few years makes the legal framework, as John Lampe's recent trip reminded him, a crucial priority. Only full-scale reform will allow the economy to service its present foreign debt, attract private investment, and mobilize its domestic resources, human as well as financial. more

219. KFOR's Record in Kosovo

Jul 07, 2011
November 2000- The undeclared war between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, initiated by NATO on March 24, 1999, was formally ended on June 9, 1999, with the signing of a military technical agreement under which the Kosovo International Security Force (KFOR) obtained a legal foundation. more

300. The Slovak Presidential Elections: The Final Defeat of Meciarism?

Jul 07, 2011
June 2004 - Despite Slovakia's remarkable progress in political and economic reforms since 1998, considerable alarm was raised last April when, just weeks before the country's accession to the European Union (EU), it appeared that the very man who was blamed for Slovakia's international isolation in the mid-1990s could win the presidency. While serving as prime minister, Vladimir Meciar's controversial political and economic policies prevented Slovakia from joining the first wave of countries to accede to NATO and from starting accession negotiations with the EU. Meciar ultimately failed in the second round of the presidential elections, but the high level of popular support he continues to enjoy remains a subject of concern. Still, as those elections demonstrated, the prospect of Meciar's return to high politics appears unlikely, given the polarizing effect he has on the Slovak population and the reluctance of other politicians to cooperate with him. In addition, signs of "Meciarism," characterized by the use of populism, nationalism and clientelism as ways of winning and maintaining political support, appear to be diminishing on the political scene. The future of Meciar and Meciarism clearly depends not so much on Meciar himself but on his competitors and their ability to move society forward. 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.