Eastern Europe Publications

352. Missile Defenses in Eastern Europe: Who Threatens Whom?

Jul 07, 2011
September 2008 - With predictable regularity, Russian officials regularly charge that American missile defenses (10 radars and interceptors) in Poland and the Czech Republic threaten Russian security. They claim that since there is no threat of Iranian missiles (conventional or nuclear), there is no justification for building these systems. Therefore, they can only represent a threat to Russia's vital interests. Since everyone admits that ten such units alone do not constitute that threat, Moscow charges that that these systems are merely the thin edge of the larger program to saturate Central and Eastern Europe with missile defenses to prevent Russia from launching its nuclear weapons in a first strike against a conventional or nuclear attack from the West. That first strike is in accordance with Russia's military doctrine that calls for such strikes to compensate for Russia's conventional inferiority vis-à-vis NATO and the United States. Missile defenses would then deprive Russia of the capability to launch a retaliatory strike or else degrade that capability, leaving Russia vulnerable to all manner of attacks. Because Warsaw and Prague defied Russia's objections and threats by accepting to host these missile defenses they have received numerous equally predictable and regular Russian threats to target them with nuclear and conventional missiles. more

170. New Trends In East European Higher Education

Jul 07, 2011
November 1998 - Structural reform of higher education in Eastern and Central Europe since 1989 has been driven by the conviction that the university and academic research institutions inherited from the Soviet system are both economically inefficient and out of touch with society's needs. Leszek Balcerowicz, Poland's finance minister, expressed this view in a 1994 lecture, proposing the market as both the instrument of change and the standard by which innovation ought to be judged. He advocated an educational and research system in which informed decisions, translated into demand (with actors paying for goods), result in a self-regulating mechanism that sustains consistent growth and development. In education and research, this means that "demand" by students and beneficiaries of research freely seeks optimal sources of "supply" (educational and research institutions, whose continued survival depends on success in attracting and satisfying demand). Balcerowicz excluded fundamental research from his considerations, noting that, because its producers and consumers are the same, it cannot be analyzed in market categories. more

19. Myth-Making in European Family History: The Zadruga Revisited

Jul 07, 2011
In this paper the author aims to demonstrate how and why myths are created and what political, ethical, or other ideological purposes they can be made to serve. In her overall project, "Demographic patterns and Family structure in Nineteenth-century Bulgaria" (which is outlined in detail in Appendix 1), she aims at empirical research whose ultimate and modest value would be to attempt to fill in some of the blank spots of the social history of this specific region. more

325. Slovakia's New Government in Comparative Perspective

Jul 07, 2011
June 2006 - History never quite repeats itself, but some echoes sound too familiar to ignore. The government assembled by Robert Fico after Slovakia's June 2006 elections bears notable similarities to the governing coalition led by Vladimír Meciar between 1994 and 1998. Since that earlier government gave Slovakia a reputation as a pariah state—"a hole in the map of Europe"—it is understandable that any prospect of its return should produce consternation and prompt the question "Could it happen again?" Though the short answer to this question is probably "No," there is considerable value in asking "Why not?" and in exploring the factors that made Slovakia's mid-1990's government such an unfortunate precedent. more

144. Bulgaria After The Elections: Reform Process Underway

Jul 07, 2011
October 1997 - Over the course of 1996, economic collapse and prolonged political malfeasance seriously shook the integrity of the Bulgarian body politic. As a result, the government of the "new democratic majority," elected in April 1997, has taken a number of extraordinary measures to recapture the confidence of the population and the international community. Top priorities for the new cabinet of Ivan Kostov have been to attempt to liquidate organized crime, to rebuild the macro-economic and the state institutional frameworks, and to aid the population, which has been battered by economic decay. Public perceptions have made these tasks all the more difficult. The government has had to push for reforms before a population that for years has been exposed to the schemes of many previous "reformers." more

229. Educational Reform in the First Decade of Slovenian Political Pluralism

Jul 07, 2011
February 2001- Since 1990, the Slovenian educational system has been undergoing continuous reform, stimulated by three major social incentives: introduction of political pluralism and market economy (1990); Slovenia's independence (1991); and, Slovenia's preparation for membership in the European Union (2003/04). To prepare and implement the reform, the Parliament and the Ministry of Education and Sport established a large and complex administrative apparatus with several permanent institutions and temporary commissions. more

212. Geopolitical and Geostrategic Aspects of War in the Former Yugoslavia: 1991-2000

Jul 07, 2011
October 2000 - The war in the former Yugoslavia was not a civil war as often asserted, but a war of aggression by the Serbian regime in Belgrade, led Slobodan Milosevic, with the aim of creating a "Greater Serbian" state. This Greater Serbia was to encompass all the Serbs that lived in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Belgrade's regime provided strong political and propaganda support to the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia to declare their regions autonomous. In both republics, the former Serbian-dominated Yugoslav People's Army (YPA) was used to arm the Serbian rebels and protect their self-declared autonomous areas. The YPA's attack against Slovenia in June 1991, and subsequent aggression against Croatia in July 1991, as well as against Bosnia in April 1992, were not spontaneous and improvised acts, but a part of a series of plans drawn up by the YPA's General Staff in late 1980s. more

293. Brcko District: An Example of Progress in the Basic Reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jul 07, 2011
February 2004 - Less than four years after its foundation, the Brcko District has become a leader in reform in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the first jurisdiction to completely reorganize and rehire an independent judiciary, and the first to introduce and implement modern criminal and civil codes. Brcko established the first truly multiethnic police force, which was the first to be certified as qualified by the UN Mission. The entire civil service was rehired on a more transparent, multiethnic basis, with new salary scales and modern budgetary and procurement systems. It was the first to reintegrate its schools into a single multiethnic school district. Brcko was among the first to establish a business-friendly climate for registering new businesses and to re-register old firms in order to weed out fictitious ones. It has been a leader in indicting former officials for abuse of office, in uncovering customs fraud, and developing mechanisms to discourage conflicts of interest. While certainly not the first place in Bosnia to rebuild, Brcko has successfully attracted foreign investment, privatized a large part of its state-owned companies and apartments, rebuilt thousands of homes and launched an economic recovery that seems to have momentum. The process of returning usable housing to original owners or occupancy-right holders is essentially complete. It has resolved sticky post-war issues, such as renaming streets and removing nationalist monuments peacefully through inter-ethnic negotiation. more

54. Liberal Humanism Abandoned: The Paradox of the Post-Communist Czech Republic

Jul 07, 2011
In their literature, culture and early twentieth-century politics, the Czech people have a history of emphasizing moral virtue, tolerance, and respect for human dignity and freedom. Sadly, there is a growing chasm in Czech society between pre-revolution aspirations and post-revolution reality. The Czech Republic is infected with the destructive kind of nationalism found in other parts of East Central Europe, and now is characterized by a xenophobic citizenship law and violence against Roma. Will the Czechs ultimately honor their legacy of liberal humanism? The answer will speak volumes on the compatibility of nationalism and constitutional liberalism in the heart of the European continent. 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.