With the collapse of state socialism in 1989, the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (hereafter CEE) had no choice but to shake off their deeply ingrained Cold War mentality and try to take their place in a world characterized by globalization and increased regional integration. Their “return to Europe,” or integration into the structures of the European Community/European Union (EC/EU), passed an important milestone in 1993, when the EU made the historic decision to enlarge eastwards and accept new members from the formerly communist countries. Accession negotiations opened in spring 1998 for "fast-track" countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Estonia), and in February 2000 for "slow-track" countries (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, and Lithuania). This paper focuses on the CEE countries’ “accession perspective”—their motives, expectations, deliberations, and practical difficulties as they strive to become part of the EU’s anticipated eastward enlargement.
In the past generation so much has happened in this region that many of the old categories of description and analysis were sterile, perhaps redundant. Not only had new issues arisen about which little had been written in the West, but the very terms in which social debate in Eastern Europe is now undertaken have undergone radical transformation. Some fresh overall assessment of these changes is called for. This paper has been confined to one theme, albeit central; the emergence of new forms of opposition and dissent in this region over the past decade.
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.
Special reports: State Failure Task Force Report: Phase II Findings (continued); and Making a Difference at the Intersection of Population, Environment, and Security Issues: A Look at the University of Michigan Population Fellows Program.
November 2002- On December 8, 2002, Serbs failed to elect a president for their republic for the third time since September. After rancorous campaigning, an October television debate, and a disturbingly strong showing by radical nationalist Vojislav Seselj in the election's first round in September, Serbs could not be bothered to come out in sufficient numbers to validate the December election between current Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, nationalist firebrand Vojislav Seselj, and Borislav Pelevic. As expected, Kostunica won handily with 57.5 percent of the vote and Pelevic's performance at the polls was inconsequential. Seselj's take of 36.3 percent of the electorate, however, was both astonishing and distressing. Yet, in spite of the fact that three candidates competed for the presidency, the principal opponent of each was once again voter apathy and Serbia's threshold requirement that a minimum of 50 percent of voters vote in order to validate an election.
February 1998 - In May 1998, Hungary's third, free, parliamentary election will be held. Hungary's first free election in 1990 changed the political system, and the former Communists lost. In 1994, Hungarians voted for a change in the government, and the post-Communists won. This year, the major question facing voters is the composition of the next government coalition. To understand the present political situation, it is helpful to analyze the results of the recent public surveys.
A series of three conferences were held during the Spring of 2000 to discuss issues such as: environmental and sustainable initiatives in the Amazon Basin; the roles of local, national, and international actors; Brazil's national security agenda in relation to the Amazon Basin; and the rising threat of international drug trafficking. This volume is a compilation of papers presented.
68. NATO as a Factor of Security Community Building: Enlargement and Democratization in Central and Eastern EuropeJul 07, 2011
This research project is motivated by a double empirical puzzle underlying the implications of NATO enlargement for the process of security community formation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). First, the development of institutional relationships between NATO and most of the former communist countries has led to ambiguous results in terms of reducing sources of political tension and military conflict (i.e., positive, in the case of Romania and Hungary or Hungary and Slovakia; inconclusive for Armenia and Azerbaijan; and negative for Belarus). Second, despite their relatively similar, constant and strong support for NATO membership, the countries of the region have demonstrated curious policy discrepancies, especially in contrast with the vast majority of long-term NATO members, when faced with the option of assisting certain NATO operations (i.e., the1999 military intervention in Kosovo). Accordingly, while the first empirical anomaly calls attention to possible NATO institutional effects, the second one hints to its potential normative influences.
These four papers attempt to summarize and understand the successes and failures of the Constantinescu presidency one year into it. The authors analyze changes to Romania's media, inconsistencies in the country's parliament, alterations in U.S.-Romanian relations, as well as the state of the Romanian economy one year after the 1996 democratic election.