Eastern Europe Publications
May 2000 - In its essentials, Poland was an East European communist country like any other. Like its fellow Soviet-bloc members, Poland had distinctive features, but its path to 1989 is best explained in terms of specific developments over the previous decade. Under repression since 1981, Solidarity had proved its staying power as the regime's necessary negotiating partner. Conversely the economic reforms of the 1980s had failed in their main objective - to bypass Solidarity. By creating some nomenklatura capitalism however, these economic reforms instilled in the communists the confidence that they could subsist in a Poland they did not entirely control. Consequently, the communist elite could genuinely negotiate with Solidarity. Both sides felt the need but also the strength to compromise.
1999 - The international strategy on Kosovo, developed in early 1999, ran off course when the Kosovar Albanians did not initially accept proposals for an agreement because it did not offer their ultimate goal: separation. The international strategy assumed that the Kosovar Albanians would agree and that a threat to use air power against Serbian forces to coerce agreement might be required. It also assumed that eventually Belgrade would back down.
55. National Identity and Cultural Self Definition: Modern and Postmodern Romanian Artistic ExpressionJul 07, 2011
The scope of this analysis is to discuss the extent of change of post-communist Romania’s cultural society in its self-definition, with its reclaimed national independence and its greater exposure to Western ideas, as well as the extent to which it parallels inter-war national identity developments. Some of the issues addressed include the following: How have globalization and modernization affected Romanian artistic expression in the post-1989 period? To what extent is contemporary Romanian artistic expression using the language of modernity to perpetuate old symbols of national identity?
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.
Of all of the Yugoslav successor states, Slovenia has recorded the smoothest and least problematic transition toward liberal democracy and has maintained the highest level of system stability, as measured by several conventional indicators. What accounts for this relative success? It is fashionable in some quarters to attribute Slovenia's smoother transition to the country's high degree of ethnic homogeneity or to its greater prosperity. While it may be that these factors are not entirely irrelevant, I would prefer to place the stress on two rather different factors, viz., the fact that the League of Communists of Slovenia already embarked on the transition to a pluralist system in the mid-1980s, building bridges with the Slovenian opposition, and, in the process, beginning the transition to legitimate government; and the fact that liberal political culture was planting its seeds in Slovenia already in the 1980s, if not before. Indeed, the activities of pacifist, environmentalist, punk, and lesbian and gay associations at that time helped to lay the foundations for a tolerant liberal culture in Slovenia, at a time when Serbia was sinking ever deeper into a thoroughly nationalist culture.
March 1997 - Over the past two years, the economic performance of three of the most prosperous East European countries, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia, has in some respects been disappointing. In an effort to understand the reasons, Keith Crane analyzed their monetary and fiscal policies and evaluated the progress of their privatization programs.
May 2006 - Ten years after the adoption of the Dayton Accords, the awkward, redundant, expensive and often ineffective institutional structure that resulted from that process is largely still in place today. Careful not to give too much power at the federal level to any one ethnic group, the Dayton Accords divested power from the center to local governing bodies. Among other problems, the nearly powerless central government was not granted authority over crucial state interests—such as defense, taxation and the environment—which are necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to accede to the European Union.
This paper is not intended as a policy statement, rather the aim is to inject some ideas into the debate, and of these some will necessarily be speculative. The task that the United States faces in approaching Eastern Europe in the late 1980s is to define our objectives and to use whatever influence we have to move events in the direction of those objectives.
September 2002- The importance of the media is axiomatic to the new political elites in the post-Communist nations, so they seek to own, control and, at the very least, to influence the media. Consequently, Eastern Europe's media are judged to be dependent on the state - the new political forces and the newly established market - instead of being outgrowths of civil society. Furthermore, the new media systems are seen as lacking autonomy, pluralism and diversity, not contributing to the democratization process, and worse yet, being inimical to it, thwarting citizen participation. Journalism is considered unprofessional, being tendentious, opinionated, highly politicized, often inaccurate and incomplete, and pandering "to low instincts and prurient tastes."1
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.