Eastern Europe Publications

354. A Litmus Test of the Century and its Social and Moral Order: Lithuania in the Twentieth Century

Jul 07, 2011
October 2008 - Lithuania cherishes historical memories of once belonging to a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country. It also cherishes the most generous and noble-spirited traditions of the Romantic ethos of liberal nationalism, and quite justifiably so. In the late 1980s, Lithuania's national rebirth movement, Sajudis, and its "singing revolution" not only revived the spirit of the 19th Century epoch of the springtime of the peoples (whose slogan—For your and our freedom!—was raised as the banner), but also became a litmus test for the Soviet policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (reorganization). As the first republic to breakaway from the Soviet Union, Lithuania came to embody the historical triumph of East-Central Europe's time-honored struggle for freedom. more

207. Yugoslavia Faces the Millennium: Conflict and Continuity

Jul 07, 2011
May 2000 - A decade after the fall of Communism, there remains little discussion within the public sphere of the fundamental differences that separate the states and societies of Western and Eastern Europe. This oversight is regrettable not only because it limits our ability to resolve problems in the Balkans, but also because that region is far more representative of the world at large than is Western Europe. more

256. Croatia and Euro-Atlantic Integration

Jul 07, 2011
June 2002- I am very pleased to have this opportunity to present to you the short overview of the situation on-the-ground in Croatia, the government's achievements in the last two years, as well as our short- and long-term priorities and objectives. more

50. Memory and Experience: Anti-Roma Prejudice in Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
All nationalities, ethnic groups, or peoples are by definition intrinsically unique, set apart from one another by their cultures, languages, and historical experiences. Yet it can be said confidently that in many respects the Roma (Gypsies) constitute a most unusual ethnic group, not only in Eastern Europe but also in a larger, global sense. The uniqueness of the Roma lies in the fact that they are a transnational, nonterritorially based people that do not have a homeland to provide haven or extend protection. As the author discusses, it is this characterization of the Roma which explains their marginality as well as their relationship to the states and societies of Europe and beyond. more

337. Language Politics and Language Policies in the Contemporary Western Balkans: Infinitives, Turkisms and EUrolinguistics

Jul 07, 2011
April 2007 - Although the Western Balkans today is generally construed as Albania and former Yugoslavia, from the point of view of Balkan linguistics, Greece is also in this region. Here I shall examine some recent policy and political developments through the prisms of linguistics and of language ideology, i.e., the ways people think about language. Because language is both act and artifact—it exists in documents and the minds of speakers but at the same time it is constituted by everyday practices—the intersections of linguistics and politics are complex. This is true in Western Europe no less than in the Western Balkans, as can be seen, for example, in official French persecution of regional languages from 1794 to 1951, the 1972 statement of Georges Pompidou, then President of France, that there was no place for regional languages in France, the exclusion of Breton schools from French public funding in 2002 (Mercator-Education: Breton, 2003), the recent contretemps over the use of Occitanian in examinations ("L'occitan interdit en Ile de France?" Communique: Federacion dels Ensenhaires de Lengua e Cutlura d'Oc, 31 October 2006), etc. It can even be argued that EU ideologies of inclusiveness are being reflected in certain types of linguistic research that peripheralize the Balkans. In order to provide the necessary context for the following discussion, I will give a brief outline of some basics of Balkan linguistics. more

191. Biased Justice: "Humanrightsism" and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Jul 07, 2011
December 1999 - Many American lawyers, commentators and politicians view the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (hereafter, ICTY or "the Tribunal") as a manifestation of the triumph of law and justice in international affairs, since those who violate international humanitarian law and the laws of war are not shielded by state sovereignty. The ICTY, however, delivers a "justice" that is biased, with prosecutorial decisions based on the personal and national characteristics of the accused rather than on what available evidence indicates that he has done. This bias is seen in the failure to prosecute NATO personnel for acts that are comparable to those of people already indicted, and in the failure to prosecute NATO personnel for prima facie war crimes. This pattern of politically driven prosecution is accompanied by the use of the Tribunal as a tool for those Western countries that support it, and especially the United States, to pursue political goals in the Balkans. Further, the Tribunal's rules (some of which resemble those of the Spanish Inquisition) and procedural decisions make it difficult for defendants to receive a fair trial. more

240. Making a Drizzle into a Rain Storm: Lessons to be Learned from the Conflict in Macedonia

Jul 07, 2011
November 2001- The events of September 11 and the subsequent military and diplomatic reactions have consumed the attention of the world's media and viewing public. While the horrible events have been condemned by the global community, that does not mean they have been immune from manipulation by the unscrupulous. Unfortunately, September 11 has provided the latest rhetorical backdrop for a number of personalities in the Balkans who seek to recharge a rationale of war. With its attention directed elsewhere, the mainstream media has failed to cover how policy-making entities in the Balkans have actively sought to associate so-called Islamic terrorism with the region's millions of Muslims. This is a rhetorical gesture that had been frequently used in the past to promote social tensions and create a sense of siege. The new wave instigated by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic and counterparts in Skopje must be addressed if Western diplomats want to bring lasting peace to the region. more

33. Romania's Unfinished Revolution

Jul 07, 2011
From the moment the megalomaniac "Great Leader" Nicolae Ceausescu, who turned his onetime maverick country into the new basket case of Europe, was overthrown, Romania became a special case again. It has opted for neither the gradual transformation chosen by Poland and Hungary nor the "velvet" revolutions of Czechoslovakia and the now defunct German Democratic Republic; even in Bulgaria, the coup that toppled Todor Zhivkov was not violent. But in Romania, the popular uprising that led to Ceausescu's overthrow on 22 December 1989 cost 1,033 lives, inflicted heavy suffering to a further 2,198 people, and damaged buildings, some of them historically significant. This paper analyzes the role disillusionment, credibility, revisionist history, and legitimacy play in the unstable result of an unfinished revolution. more

319. The Albanian Experience of Communism in the Fiction of Ismail Kadare

Jul 07, 2011
February 2005 - In his 1978 novel The Great Winter, Ismail Kadare paints a chilling picture of a family that doctors its personal photo albums with ink to remove (most of) the faces and figures of people who have fallen out of favor with the Party of Labor. Readers might find themselves immediately reminded of Milan Kundera's great work from the same year, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, in which the Czechoslovak party boss Klement Gottwald appears first in company, and then alone, on a balcony, wearing the hat of a colleague airbrushed from the photograph after his fall from grace. There is, indeed another novel that underscores these themes of manipulation and expendability: The Taste of Power (1967) by the Slovak writer and journalist Ladislav Mnacko, in which a "major retouching department" in the state press office tweaks photos and "rubs out" people who are now undesirable. That Stalin's regime made widespread use of tactics such as these has also been demonstrated by David King in his 1997 study The Commissar Vanishes. Kadare, an internationally famous, prolific and highly regarded author from Albania, has written a number of works about communism that show similarities to fiction from other East European countries and can be fruitfully examined in a comparative context. It is my assertion in this essay, however, that he also makes use of innovative and unique modes of writing about his homeland under the Hoxha dictatorship. more

173. Philosopher-Kings and Technocrats: Intellectuals in Czech Politics

Jul 07, 2011
January 1999 - The image of humanist intellectuals opposing absolutist power in the name of Enlightenment ideals is a powerful one. Yet it represents only one way intellectuals have engaged in political activity in Europe. Czech intellectuals have been more than dissidents: they have also led political parties and served as parliamentary delegates, ministers, and presidents. Moreover, some of the best-known figures in Czech politics have been intellectuals. This essay addresses the careers of four intellectuals who have played important roles both in Czech letters and in Czech politics from 1848 to 1998. 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.