Democracy | Wilson Center


Hungary Under FIDESZ: A Retreat from Democracy?

The economic crisis in Hungary has evolved into a political crisis, as Viktor Orban's FIDESZ government has passed a number of laws and initiatives that severely thwart democracy. Orban's populism has led his government to restrict press freedoms, undermine the balance of powers and silence opponents in the arts and academia by cutting institutional budgets, while claiming austerity.

Freedom, Democracy and Prosperity in Central Europe: Story of Transformation and Integration of Slovakia

Slovakia has made much progress in its transition from part of a socialist, pro-Soviet republic to an independent, democratic nation, but there remains much hard work ahead; that was the theme of remarks by Prime Minister Iveta Radicová at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on November 10, 2010. Her lecture was part of the Wilson Center's Director's Forum series and the 10th Annual Czech and Slovak Lecture.

Support for Democracy From Poland to Serbia to Georgia: The Role of Supranational Identity, International Institutions, and Soft Power

Competing democratization theories analyze various factors—such as economic development, history, culture, or elite inclination—to determine the propensity of a particular state to become democratic. Each of these theories has distinct policy implications for external democracy promoters. Ryan Kennedy suggested another factor, based on social identity theory, which posits that diplomacy figures much more prominently in democracy promotion than current practice would suggest.

10th Annual Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture: Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

Mirek Topolanek remarked that, at the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the democratic development of the Czech Republic is entering uncharted territory. To date, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been governed democratically for a record 20 years. Although the legend of Tomas Masaryk is often remembered as the golden age of democratic thought, the first and second republics proved to be only an intermediate step to the authoritarian Communist period.

Democracy, Memory and Moral Justice in Postcommunist Europe: The Case of Romania

Vladimir Tismaneanu, Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland-College Park and WWICS Fellow

This event will take place in the 6th floor boardroom.

Social and Political Responses to Economic Crises: Reflections on the State of Democracy in EU Member States Bordering the CIS

Ginta T. Palubinskas, Undergraduate Program Director, Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University

This event will take place in the 6th floor auditorium.

Embracing Democracy in the Western Balkans: A Progress Report

Lenard Cohen, Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University; John Lampe, Professor of History, University of Maryland-College Park

This event will take place in the 5th floor conference room.

Director's Forum: Bosnia and Herzegovina: A View From Inside the Government

This event will take place in the 6th floor Auditorium.

4th Annual Serbian-American Lecture: Of Novelty and Oblivion, What Can We Learn From Dissidents under Communism

At the beginning of his essay "Of Vicissitude of Things," Francis Bacon stresses the futility of all human endeavors: "… ‘There is no new thing upon the earth.'...all novelty is but oblivion…the river of Lethe runneth as well above ground as below." Who has not experienced such weariness? Everything changes but is eternally the same. Nothing is truly new – it only appears so because we have forgotten. And soon we realize this. Like the dead in Hades we drink from the river that makes us forget but, alas, oblivion is merely temporary, and novelty vanishes.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Any Future?

Neven Andjelic, Visiting Fulbright Scholar with the Institute of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, University of California-Berkeley