Democratic Transition | Wilson Center

Democratic Transition

A Blow to Democracy: Election Fraud, Corruption and Political Violence in Albania

Erion Veliaj, a former civil society activist and coordinator of the Albanian opposition parties, discussed the demonstration held on January 21, 2011. The demonstration ended in violence, with four shot and killed by the Republican Guard. Prime Minister Sali Berisha characterized the event as an attempted coup d'état in an attempt to justify the violent response, and said that the demonstrators had been carrying weapons disguised as umbrellas.

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.

Contested Narratives, Controversial Rituals: Recent Debates over World War Two Commemorations and the Politics of History in Croatia

Commemorations (and counter-commemorations) of the World War Two antifascist resistance movement in Croatia continue to be a source of debates over both political and ethnic identities. This talk examines the transformation of several memorial days in Croatia during the post-communist transition, in particular focusing on the content of the commemorative speeches given at these political rituals.

Getting Kosovo out of Limbo?

Since Kosovo's declaration of independence in February 2008, it has been in limbo, as have Serbia, the EU and the broader international community. The hurry to finish the period of Yugoslav dissolution and conflict resulted in something other than the end of transitional administration and creation of a final frontier desired. Instead, there was a messy proliferation of transitional states, in even murkier circumstances than there had been previously. Broader regional drift has accompanied this process, with worries about Bosnia and Hercegovina increasing.

Challenges for Romania's Democratic Consolidation: Assessing the 2009 Presidential Elections

The Romanian presidential elections held last fall provoked accusations of mudslinging, electoral fraud and, most recently, even interference by the occult. Vladimir Tismaneanu offered to bring this debate back to solid ground by presenting his assessment of Romania's path to democracy. Although he found no evidence of the occult, Tismaneanu did point to some idiosyncrasies of the party system in the country as well as what he called the "baroque" coalitions that are characteristic not only of Romanian politics but also of other post-communist European democracies.

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.

Serbia's Transition to a Market Economy: Achievements and Failures

Milica Uvalic, Professor of Economics, University of Perugia and current WWICS Public Policy Scholar

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

The Human Factor in a New Democracy: Hungary in 2007

Elemer Hankiss, Director Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Sociology

Kosovo's Impending Settlement: Analyzing the Ahtisaari Proposal

For the last eight years, the international community has stalled on its decision to determine the status of Kosovo. Because this issue is so contentious, progress towards creating functioning markets and democracy in Kosovo and in Serbia has also been stalled. In the next few weeks, the United Nations Security Council is due to review the proposal for resolving the status of Kosovo, drafted by Martti Ahtisaari, the Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo.