Europe Publications

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

329. Migrating Icons: Politics and Serbian Cultural Heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina before and after 1992

Jul 07, 2011
November 2006 - Despite all the efforts to preserve the multi-cultural character of the four major cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina—Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar and Livno—the war has changed each city's ethnic composition, probably forever. One of the major demographic trends is that most Serbs have moved out of these cities. The question I pose is: should they take their material culture with them? I will present a brief history of icon collecting in Serbian churches in Bosnia—how the collections were formed and how these icons are related to Serbian national identity, history and current ideology. By understanding some of the historical issues important to the formation of these collections, we can better understand the role these icons played in the formation of Serbian identity in these territories. more

138. Persistent Problems of Transition: Higher Education Reform In Hungary

Jul 07, 2011
June 1997 - Transition in the Hungarian higher education system, begun with high hopes about ten years ago, has proven to be slow and difficult. Erno Zalai , professor and chair of mathematical economics and econometrics at the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, and a Wilson Center Guest Scholar, acknowledged that he and his colleagues greatly underestimated the magnitude of the political, economic, and cultural gap between East-Central Europe and Western Europe. more

224. The October 5th Mass March on Belgrade: An Eyewitness Account

Jul 07, 2011
February 2001- The regime of Slobodan Milosevic created great problems not only for those of us who live in Serbia, but also for the entire world. His regime, which was probably one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world, basically brought the Serbian people to the edge of insanity - to a point where they did not know what to do. The terror and repression that occurred in terms of kidnapings, arrests, and even murders, had tremendous impact on the people of Serbia. more

343. Bulgaria's First Year in the European Union: Progress, Problems and Pessimism

Jul 07, 2011
December 2007 - Western attention in Southeastern Europe is focused on Kosovo, Bosnia and the surrounding Western Balkans. But, I ask that some attention also be paid to neighboring Bulgaria. This core state of the historical Ottoman Balkans is completing its first year as a member of the European Union and its fourth year as a member of NATO. I resist the temptation of dwelling on how unlikely this prospect seemed when I first went to Sofia as a young Foreign Service Officer some 40 years ago. Now, with the same special interest in wider economic prospects and the same domestic pessimism about its own political process that has repeatedly surfaced over the past century, Bulgarians should nonetheless be looking back with satisfaction on their initial year as a full member of the largest common organization in European history. On a personal level, a Bulgarian friend traveling to Italy welcomed the smile and a wave that replaced a scowl and a Schengen visa check at the Rome airport. Some 60 percent of Bulgaria's foreign trade is now with the EU, and as a new member, it is expecting 11 billion euros of adjustment assistance over the next six years. But before turning to the clouds that I found gathering over Sofia, let me first address the silver lining. 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

72. Privatization in Brcko District: Why It Is Different and Why It Works

Jul 07, 2011
April 2004 - The Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina is small, with less than 100,000 people. In 2001, about 30 public companies were selected for privatization. At the outset, there were good reasons to ask whether the District would have any success in privatizing them. Many of the public companies had been shut down for up to ten years, while the rest were operating at a small fraction of their pre-1991 output. 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

302. Think before We Act: New Questions about Decentralization in Kosovo

Jul 07, 2011
October 2004 - Nuk ndërtohet shtëpia prej kulmit — You cannot build a house by starting with the roof For generations in Kosovo, the idiom above has served to reflect a collective mistrust of the many hasty and ill-conceived attempts to contain Kosovo's dynamic society. Unfortunately, much of its introspective irony has slipped the attention of foreign rulers. As one occupying regime left in 1999 and was replaced by an equally hostile community of foreign administrators, the intractable realities of Kosovo's house have once again faded into the background. 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.