Europe Publications

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

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

253. Thinking Globally about Globalization: Economists, East-West Dialogue, and the Rise of Neo-Liberalism

Jul 07, 2011
February 2002- This paper seeks to provide a new understanding of globalization by examining the Cold War origins of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism includes the policies of mass privatization of state companies, the reduction of trade barriers, the lessening of state regulation, and the expanding role of the market. Among both proponents and critics of globalization, there has been a general view that Western economists brought neo-liberalism to Eastern Europe and other parts of the world. Both sides of the globalization debate have assumed that neoliberalism is a foreign import to Eastern Europe because of some incorrect assumptions. First, they see neoliberalism as the epitome of free market capitalism and, thus, assume it had to have originated in the United States or Western Europe. Second, they assume that since there was little contact between East and West during the Cold War, neo-liberal capitalist ideas could not have reached socialist Eastern Europe. These incorrect assumptions have led to a fundamentally distorted understanding of globalization. more

214. European Integration: Who's In, Who's Out, Who Sits and Waits?

Jul 07, 2011
One of the most critical and complex issues in U.S. foreign policy is the expansion of NATO and the European Union into Central and Eastern Europe. Even the terms are controversial - for example, "Central" versus "Eastern" Europe and who and what are encompassed in these categories. The issues are important, not just to the countries involved but to the future of Europe, U.S.-European relations, to say nothing of U.S.-Russian relations. Based upon on-site observations, interviews and research materials gathered during a recent visit to the area, the author offers some predictions on the future course of European integration as it presently looks. 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

309. A Neoliberal Trojan Horse? The New EU Member States and EU Social Model

Jul 07, 2011
December 2004 - European Union (EU) enlargement raises important questions about both the impact of EU membership on the postcommunist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the impact of these new member states on the EU. Although it has been a relatively short time since the May 1, 2004 enlargement, several trends can already be identified. The first trend reveals that the EU and its institutions have lost much of the influence they had in the new member states during the accession process. New member states now have somewhat more freedom in directing their economic, social and political development. A second trend indicates that some new member states (namely those that are poorer, more peripheral and "newer" nation states) have displayed a stronger preference for the Anglo-American model of social policy and opposed the traditional European social model, based on social cohesion and solidarity. The third trend is connected to the so-called "fiscal dumping" practiced by several of the new member states, where substantially lower levels of corporate and payroll taxes (compared to the average tax and payroll burden in the EU-15) were introduced. Several of the EU-15 states immediately expressed their disapproval. This unanticipated competition between the old and new member states goes hand in hand with "social dumping," which stems from the wage differentials between the old and new member states. As a result, governments in the EU-15 are afraid that prosperous companies in the West will move to Eastern Europe. These trends indicate an overall divergence between old and new EU member states. But, is it a serious gap or just a temporary digression? What are the underlying reasons for the divergent processes in the two parts of Europe and what are the possible consequences for the EU? more

142. The Enlargement of NATO and Central European Politics

Jul 07, 2011
October 1997 - The expansion of NATO is nothing new. NATO has enlarged itself several times in the past, most recently absorbing the G.D.R. (through the back door of the G.D.R.'s incorporation into one Germany). But the currently envisioned expansion is different from previous ones: this enlargement is primarily politically motivated and it is about the future shape of Europe. The foremost political challenge on the continent after the Cold War is the integration into European organizations of the countries previously included in the Soviet bloc, and NATO has stepped up to this challenge as part of its transformation. If the NATO-Russia Council is successful and NATO's relations with Russia develop along a constructive path, then the alliance's eastward enlargement has the potential to accelerate the integration of Central European countries into a Euro-Atlantic community in a manner that erases the animosities that caused armed conflict in the past. more

226. The Plight of the Roma in Eastern Europe: Free At Last?

Jul 07, 2011
January 2001- Roma arrived in Europe around the 13th century, after migrating from Northern India through Persia to Armenia and into Europe. They then spent three centuries - beginning around the 15th century and ending with the establishment of the modern Romanian state in 1864 - enslaved in what is now modern Romania and Moldova. The end of slavery led to the significant migration of the Roma from the Romanian/Moldovan states deeper into the Balkan peninsula. 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

Pages

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.