From the moment the megalomaniac "Great Leader" Nicolae Ceausescu, who turned his onetime maverick country into the new basket case of Europe, was overthrown, Romania became a special case again. It has opted for neither the gradual transformation chosen by Poland and Hungary nor the "velvet" revolutions of Czechoslovakia and the now defunct German Democratic Republic; even in Bulgaria, the coup that toppled Todor Zhivkov was not violent. But in Romania, the popular uprising that led to Ceausescu's overthrow on 22 December 1989 cost 1,033 lives, inflicted heavy suffering to a further 2,198 people, and damaged buildings, some of them historically significant. This paper analyzes the role disillusionment, credibility, revisionist history, and legitimacy play in the unstable result of an unfinished revolution.
This paper examines the conditions under which the so-called Soviet model of industrialization was introduced into East Central Europe. While it is difficult to define direct Soviet economic policy, one can discern the Soviet interest and its direct economic impact by analyzing Czechoslovakia and Romania in terms of both their internal development and their relations with the Soviet Union. No doubt, the primacy of politics is the main component of the Soviet relationship to East Central Europe; this paper, however, will focus on the economic side of that relationship.
316. Where Have All the Illiberal Democracies Gone? Privatization as a Catalyst to Regime Change in Postcommunist EuropeJul 07, 2011
May 2005 - Scholars of postcommunist change are beginning to take analytical note of a recent wave of regime liberalizations. What do we make of it? As scholars, we have misdiagnosed the trend. While we have rightly focused on the collapse of moderately authoritarian regimes in the face of mass resistance movements, we must begin to do more comparative analysis that includes illiberal countries that have become more authoritarian during the same period. Behind the headlines about liberal oppositions facing down corrupt, illiberal incumbents, the analytically salient pattern might be the instability of illiberal democracies and their movement in either a more democratic or authoritarian direction.
A defining moment during my two-year stay in Romania, struggling with the archives there, occurred when an American history doctoral student, who was in Romania on a Fulbright grant, turned to me one day and earnestly asked why on earth I would ever pick Ana Pauker as a subject for a biography. He evidently failed to see the irony in his question, since he was writing a biography of Ion Antonescu, the wartime dictator of Romania.
December 1998 - Many scholars suggest that both NATO and the Warsaw Pact developed out of the failure of the US and the USSR to come to agreement on the reconstitution of postwar Germany. Beyond this argument, however, one can also suggest that the central mechanism of the Cold War arms race in Europe was the political competition between West Germany's Bundeswehr and the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) for legitimacy in the eyes of the German people.
The question the author here asks is: if President Havel has been able to overcome the traditional Czech stereotyping of the Germans, is the same true of the bulk of his compatriots, especially those bearing bitter memories of the last world war? While the majority of the Czechs may have accepted Havel's hopeful message about a united democratic Germany, whose territorial limits were irrelevant, they were much more reluctant to accept his apology for the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans. Havel's two statements opened a Pandora's box containing many taboos about the Czech-German relationship of which most Czechs preferred not to be reminded. Several questions about this relationship require elaboration.
NKIDP Working Paper #1, “Juche and North Korea’s Global Aspirations,” written by Charles K. Armstrong, follows North Korea’s expansion of diplomatic and economic ties both within and outside of the socialist bloc from the late 1960s into the early 1980s.
June 2004 - As eight post-communist countries entered the EU last May, Romania was among the few applicant countries that did not manage to implement the accession criteria. Like the other applicant countries, Romania has been aggressively lobbying to enter Western institutions and it has been successful in arguing for its geostrategic importance in Europe, as is reflected by the fact that it was admitted to NATO last June. Yet, despite the strides it has taken and its commitment to recreating the western ideal at home, Romania is still far behind most of its neighbors in its transition from communism to liberal democracy. Here, I will attempt to address the major obstacles to Romania's progress and the country's prospects for stepping up the pace of reforms in the near future.
October 2001- During October 1956, Hungarians reached out to join the West and found that, by intent and purpose, they were alone. Even the international community appeared to have abandoned their call for freedom. By the second invasion of the Red Army on November 4, the Hungarians seemed to stand alone, refugees in their own country. Yet throughout the fight, the Austrians remained loyal to their historic neighbors and the ideals that drove the uprising.
March 1997 - October-November 1956 witnessed the most momentous events in Hungarian history since 1848, according to Istvan Deak, but they escape an agreed definition despite remaining a defining memory. The debate in Hungary over the events of 1956 even extends to what to call them, with "revolution and struggle for freedom" being the current compromise. Deak, the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and a former Wilson Center Fellow, began his Noon Discussion on 12 March by reviewing the way the 1956 revolution has been treated in Hungary from the Communist to the post-Communist period. To bring his audience up to date on the political debate and the current best understanding of what happened, he concluded with his impressions from the fortieth anniversary conference held in Budapest in September 1996. The meeting was cosponsored by the Center's Cold War International History Project, the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the National Security Archive.