Society and Culture Publications

42. Civil Society Endangered: The Perils of Post- Communism

Jul 07, 2011
In June 1994, five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically ended the Communist hold on Eastern Europe, only a quarter of the eligible voters turned out for the local elections in Poland. Elections in Hungary and the Czech Republic and referenda in Lithuania have been plagued by similarly low turnouts. Even in countries where voter turnout was high in the first post-Communist elections, the number of people who say they intend to cast ballots in upcoming elections has dropped, an indication of declining turnout. This paper examines civil society, the participatory culture, and public legitimation in the region, as well as democratization policies. more

Religion, Culture, and Society: The Case of Cuba

Jul 07, 2011
Participants at the conference that produced this publication explored the applicability of the predominant analytical models used to comprehend the interaction of religion, culture and society. This was accompanied by an exploration of concepts of civil society, together with a review of the history of associationalism in Cuba and the impact of diasporas on Cuban identity. more

182. Language, Nationalism and Serbian Politics

Jul 07, 2011
In the former Yugoslavia, language issues have long been both a reflection of inter-ethnic tensions and a catalyst for deepening inter-ethnic animosities. Like religion and ethnicity, language serves as a marker of national identity. Given the ethnic polarization in the former Yugoslavia, language can be a highly emotional and politically sensitive topic. This piece first provides a brief overview of the history of the language-politics interface for the ethnic groups speaking the main language of the former Yugoslavia: Serbo-Croatian. Secondly, it outlines the disintegration of Serbo-Croatian language unity in 1991 as manifested in the emergence of at least three "successor languages" (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian). Finally, it focuses on the often acrimonious debates of the last few years within Serbia regarding the future of a Serbian standard language. more

39. Baltic Options: Ethnic Rivalry or Regional Cooperation?

Jul 07, 2011
These four papers analyze evolving patterns in the Baltics with regard to ethnic relations. The authors examine considerations for Baltic unity, as well as issues specific to the three countries. In Estonia, the author considers the effect of the country's declaration of independence on ethnic and economic stability. Another author discusses issues of nationhood in Latvia in 1993, while the final author examines the role of Russians in Lithuania. more

Training a New Generation of Leaders

Jul 07, 2011
To assess the state of public policy education in Latin America, the Wilson Center launched a research project to survey the institutional capacity for graduate level training in public policy in Latin America and the United States. This publication is the result and offers an overview of public policy education in Latin America while providing a groundwork for future efforts to improve its quality in the region. 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

36. Wrestling with Ghosts: Poles and Jews Today

Jul 07, 2011
Even though Jews and Poles no longer live together in Poland, the simple phrase "Poles and Jews" evokes powerful emotions. Jews have bitter memories of friction and conflict, of being despised and threatened by Poles. Distrust of and dislike of Poles is handed down within the culture; most Jews today have had no personal experience of living among Poles. This paper works to examine the current state of the relationship between Poles and Jews today, after the Holocaust and redrawing of Poland's borders. more

The Crisis of Democratic Governance in the Andes

Jul 07, 2011
Experts who took part in a June 2000 discussion reveal that countries in the Andean region suffer from deep problems of governance: crisis of citizenship, reflected in widespread apathy and low levels of participation in the political process; the decline of political parties; corruption and a lack of accountability of civilian as well as military elites; weak institutions; and the military's involvement in politics. more

168. The Dynamics of Religion and Politics In Poland

Jul 07, 2011
October 1998 - Clashes between Catholics and Jews in Poland are again in the news. Since last spring, a series of confrontations between religious radicals has occurred at the Auschwitz death camp in Oswiecim. Thus far, all attempts to resolve the controversy surrounding the placement of Christian religious symbols at the site have failed. Why has the unauthorized display of crosses at Auschwitz escalated to an international incident? What makes this such an intractable issue? This problem results from the intertwining of religious social action and political activity in Poland since 1989. In fact, the current controversy is a way of illustrating the contemporary dynamics of religion and politics in Poland. These dynamics can be broken into four aspects: the international dimension, church-state realignment, tensions within the Catholic hierarchy, and the differentiation of the Catholic community. more

35. Jews and Hungarians: A View after the Transition

Jul 07, 2011
The history of the Jews and anti-Semitism in Hungary has been a source of puzzlement for scholars of East European history. The reason for this is a feature of Hungarian history rarely found elsewhere in the region: an unusually large oscillation in the attitudes of the Hungarian political community between the extremes of resolute philosemitism on the one hand and obsessive anti-Semitism on the other. This paper examines why it is only now, at the end of the twentieth century, that the Jews have become free to "erect a parliamentary springboard" from which they can conspire to assimilate Hungarians in this breathtakingly paranoid vision? 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.