This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.
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.
260. Competing for the Albanian Soul: Are Islamic Missionaries Making Another Lebanon in the Balkans?Jul 07, 2011
September 2002- Rexhep Boja's recent retort to Arab "non-governmental organizations" (NGOs) efforts to impose their literalist (Wahabbi/Salafi) interpretation of Islamic tradition in Kosova reflects a largely ignored phenomenon in the post-Communist Balkans. While most of the international organizations (UN, OSCE etc.) and governments who fund them have ignored the needs of the victims of Communism to rebuild their shattered spiritual lives, a significant combination of forces have converged on the region, instigating a "Lebanonization" of the Balkans. Understanding the process of social fragmentation in multi-faith societies requires a greater appreciation for the destructive effects of outside influences.
December 2002- On November 28, 2002, Albanians all over the world celebrated Albania's Independence Day. President Alfred Moisiu; Prime Minister Fatos Nano; opposition leader Sali Berisha; the Prime Minister of Kosova Bajram Rexhepi; former KLA leaders, now party leaders, Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj; the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians in Macedonia, Arben Xhaferri; and, representatives of Albanians in Montenegro and abroad, all gathered in the southern port of Vlore, where 90 years ago Albanian patriots declared Albania's independence. Such a gathering was seen by some politicians and analysts in the region as further proof that Albanians are working for the creation of a "Greater Albania."
February 2000 - The year 1999 was a very traumatic year for the six million Albanians in the Balkans. Thanks to NATO's intervention and after long years of bad luck, national tragedy, and economic misery, the future looks relatively bright. Despite daunting challenges, Albanians in Kosova are finally free of Serbian repression and can now begin building a new, more stable future. In Albania, there are some signs of recovery from the 1997 economically-induced government crash, although politically, it is still pervaded by a lack of cohesion and direction.
March 2005 - The most dangerous outcome of the destruction of command socialism in the Balkans has been the resurfacing of militant nationalism particularly, it seems, in the western part of the peninsula. These events have encouraged a reexamination of the various Balkan nationalisms in terms of origins and course. It is the purpose of this paper briefly to examine the Albanian variant and some aspects of nationalist formation during its various stages of development, followed by some thoughts on the future of nationalism in Albania.
April 2000- The Balkans in general and Macedonia in particular have been characterized by widespread multi-lingualism. Ironically, while the term Balkanization has come to mean "fragmentation," the linguistic term Balkanism refers to shared grammatical and lexical features which originated through intense multi-lingual contact. Such contact could only have arisen under conditions of predominantly peaceful coexistence. Yet, although language served as a group marker, religion was a more important source of identity in Ottoman Turkey where it constituted the basis of an individual's millet ('nationality').
This publication stemmed from a conference held on April 23, 2004 entitled "Women in East European Politics." The event was co-sponsored by the Kennan Institute, the Watson Institute, Brown University and the George Washington University.