Eastern Europe Publications

265. The European Union's Eastern Enlargement: State-Building or Empire-Building?

Jul 07, 2011
November 2002- Scholarly debates on the nature of the European Union typically revolve around the question of the degree to which state sovereignty is being impaired (or transcended) by the process of integration. Realists and intergovernmentalists, such as Alan Milward and Andrew Moravcsik, argue that integration serves the interests of the member states and, hence, consolidates the nation-state by enabling positive domestic results that could not be achieved without multilateral cooperation. Others, more supranationally-inclined, like Joseph Weiler, maintain that what may begin as an issue of specific "pooling" of sovereignty can take on a life of its own, as new structures of governance are created that ultimately supercede and curtail national authorities. Not surprisingly, these divergent views of integration posit continuous tensions and conflicts between national governments and supranational institutions over the contested question of where ultimate sovereignty and decision-making authority should reside. In the context of the EU's eastern enlargement, however, such tensions appear to have fallen largely by the wayside. Both the Brussels bureaucracy and the national governments are in agreement that preserving the gains of integration to date – regardless of whether these accrue mainly to the benefit of the nation state or the supranational entity – entails a concentrated effort of EU-assisted ‘institution-building' in the East European candidate countries. more

347. Eye of the Storm: The ICTY, Commemorations and Contested Histories of Croatia's Homeland War

Jul 07, 2011
November 2007 - On August 5, 2007, Croatia celebrated the twelfth anniversary of Operation Storm (Oluja), the four-day military action that liberated over 10,000 square kilometers (18.4 percent of Croatia) after peace negations to reintegrate the territory failed to make progress. The entire Croatian political leadership gathered in Knin, the capital of the former Krajina para-state and the actual and symbolic center of the Serb rebellion against rule from Zagreb. Since 1996, Croatia has commemorated the day Knin fell to the Croatian Army as the Day of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving. more

6. The Political Leadership and the Armed Forces in Postwar Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
The armed forces serve two important functions in the eyes of the East European political leaderships. First, they are a vehicle for maintaining political stability if the system is threatened from within. Second, from an external standpoint, to the degree the political leadership is able to field a modern, viable military, the regime's hand is strengthened in its dealings with the Soviets. Unfortunately for the East European leaderships, the historical record over the past forty years suggests that these militaries are of only limited utility in the first area, and, with the exception of the GDR, are becoming less valuable by the second. more

150. A Dayton Update From Bosnia: December 1997; Contradictory Croatia and The Dayton Process

Jul 07, 2011
January 1998 - Critics of continued US involvement in Bosnia have described the Dayton peace process as a real-life "mission impossible" that is doomed to fail. More than one of these skeptics has likened plans for reconstructing Bosnia's prewar multiethnic society to putting "Humpty-Dumpty back together again." My own guarded optimism stems largely from a quarter century studying the former Habsburg monarchy, a state which provides numerous models for multiethnic coexistence when there is a reasonably democratic society based on the rule of law. It is also informed by four trips to post-Dayton Bosnia, during which I've seen that Bosnia has more than all the king's horses and all the king's men at work piecing together this shell of a country. Even the seemingly limitless resources of the industrial world may not be enough to make Bosnia whole, but there is little question that the cumulative efforts of the international community and more than 200 governmental and private organizations can accomplish a great deal. more

136. Present Day Hungarian Politics and The Memory of 1956

Jul 07, 2011
March 1997 - October-November 1956 witnessed the most momentous events in Hungarian history since 1848, according to Istvan Deak, but they escape an agreed definition despite remaining a defining memory. The debate in Hungary over the events of 1956 even extends to what to call them, with "revolution and struggle for freedom" being the current compromise. Deak, the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and a former Wilson Center Fellow, began his Noon Discussion on 12 March by reviewing the way the 1956 revolution has been treated in Hungary from the Communist to the post-Communist period. To bring his audience up to date on the political debate and the current best understanding of what happened, he concluded with his impressions from the fortieth anniversary conference held in Budapest in September 1996. The meeting was cosponsored by the Center's Cold War International History Project, the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the National Security Archive. more

222. Europe and the Politics of Minority Rights

Jul 07, 2011
December 2000- The current priorities of the office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), headed by Max Van der Stoel, are problems in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine, Central Asia and Yugoslavia. What is most notable is what is not on the list. Since it's establishment in 1993, the HCNM has concentrated on ethnic tensions in Slovakia, Romania, and the Baltic States. None of these states remain on the current list of priorities. While this does not mean that the problems have been solved, it is a sign that minority politics in much of Eastern Europe has moved into the arena of "normal politics." more

238. Nationalism and the Problem of Inclusion in Hungary

Jul 07, 2011
October 2001- Budapest was the fastest growing European city in the 19th century and about a quarter of its population was Jewish. Jews in Eastern Europe have functioned like the canary in the mine: what happened to the canary would soon enough happen to the miners. The degree Hungarian Jews felt included, excluded, then ambivalent and confused about leaving or staying also provides a glimpse of the history of Hungarian nationalism in its various manifestations between 1848 and the present. more

317. The Decline of Domestic Politics and Other Taxing Problems in Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
October 2005 - While all governments face the challenge of specifying fiscal arrangements that guarantee the state adequate resources to ward off physical or material threats to the citizenry, the new governments after the collapse of communism faced certain challenges specific to their capitalist transformation. They had to design tax systems within the context of creating an entirely new economic system. Fundamental public sector reforms eliminated the previous system's main source of taxation. As a result of privatization, East European states could no longer rely on appropriating profits from state-owned enterprises. In the past, the state would finance expenditures primarily by transferring revenue from state firms to the federal budget. With a large portion of these enterprises undergoing privatization, the state had to develop a tax policy to collect revenue from private sector production and private individuals. Thus, a wide range of taxes had to be put into place or be significantly reformed, including private property taxes, personal income taxes, inheritance taxes, consumption taxes, real estate taxes, capital gains taxes and excise duties. In allocating the tax burden across these different tax forms, leaders had to reconcile several competing considerations: which kinds of taxes would reliably raise budgetary revenue, which tax forms were hardest to evade, which forms would seem distributionally just to a population raised in a paternalistic state and lacking personal experience in honoring tax responsibilities and which would advance the country's foreign policy goals and international interests. more

330. Serbia's Elections of January 21, 2007: More Pluses than Minuses

Jul 07, 2011
February 2007 - These comments draw on my visit to Belgrade this past January, initially arranged as a research trip for my ongoing and optimistically titled book project with Lenard Cohen, "Embracing Democracy in the Western Balkans: From Post-Conflict Struggles to European Integration." The visit's overlapping with January 21 meant that the elections dominated most of my conversations and also the current press that I collected. I met with a variety of scholars, the editors of the daily Danas, for which I provided an interview, Slobodan G. Markovic of the Institute for European Studies, Srdjan Gligorijevic of the International and Security Affairs Center, and Sonja Licht, now President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. Supplementing their varied impressions for this balance sheet are articles from the daily papers Danas and Politika, and the weekly magazines Vreme and NIN. more

64. The Poles and Their Past: Society, Historiography and the Legislation Process

Jul 07, 2011
The Polish nation had experienced both Nazism and communism. These were not equal experiences, and social memory about them differs to a considerable degree. In order to perform such an operation, it would be necessary to halt history in June 1941. Since it is impossible to stop history in order to examine the period from mid-September 1939 to June 1941, it is helpful, as this article does, to study Polish recollections of their experiences so as to understand their continued impact on national history and memory. 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.