Eastern Europe Publications
May 2002- The trial in the Hague of former Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic marks a pivotal moment and is likely to be seen as such in history. It does not only have ramifications for Milosevic himself and for Serbia, but also for efforts to internationalize justice in this globalized, 21st century world. This is a world in which the United States has become the dominant power, as demonstrated by its military reach and its war on terrorism.
January 2000 - The year 1989 was a global revolutionary year that started a series of unprecedented social and economic processes. Among these ranked the two simultaneous transitions all the post-communist states embraced and engaged in: the transition from dictatorship to democracy, and from a command economy to a free market economy.
October 1998 - Although opposition political parties won a decisive victory in September's parliamentary elections in Slovakia, their triumph was made possible by the country's non-political civil society. No group did more to overturn the authoritarian rule of Vladimir Meciar than the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of Slovakia's third sector. In fact, public opinion polling and surveys had indicated for more than a year that the opposition would win--if Slovakia's citizens understood what was at stake and turned out to vote.
In the geographical and political classification after World War II, a portion of the Balkans secured an unobtrusive place as part of a common Eastern Europe perceived by the West as a homogeneous appendix of the Soviet Union; another portion was willingly included in Western Europe, something that would have been inconceivable under any circumstance other than the prevailing anti-Communist paranoia. In the Balkans themselves, the feeling of a certain Balkan commonality was pushed aside but never entirely submerged, and the priority of the self-designation and orientation followed an East-West axis. This paper discusses the implications of such a dynamic in light of the disappearance of a bipolar world.
289. America's New Friends in the East: Does EU and NATO Expansion Promise to Re-energize the Transatlantic Alliance?Jul 07, 2011
December 2003 - When France and Germany announce their nominations for "Man of the Year 2003" it is a safe bet that Donald Rumsfeld will not make the shortlist. The US Defense Secretary's pointed reference to the Franco-German axis against the war in Iraq as being merely representative of "old Europe" compared with a new, more pro-American Europe emerging with the accession of eight formerly communist countries to the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004, cranked up the tension in Transatlantic relations to levels not seen for decades. Americans were already well aware of Rumsfeld's talent for stirring controversy. Now it was Europe's turn. And France and Germany rose dutifully to take his bait. But why, we need to ask, were they so easily angered? Was Rumsfeld right after all?
January 2001- The results of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Romania in November- December 2000 came as a surprise to those unaware of the sharp decline in popularity of both President Emil Constantinescu and the Democratic Convention (CDR), the coalition that swept him into office in the November 1996 elections.
September 2008 - With predictable regularity, Russian officials regularly charge that American missile defenses (10 radars and interceptors) in Poland and the Czech Republic threaten Russian security. They claim that since there is no threat of Iranian missiles (conventional or nuclear), there is no justification for building these systems. Therefore, they can only represent a threat to Russia's vital interests. Since everyone admits that ten such units alone do not constitute that threat, Moscow charges that that these systems are merely the thin edge of the larger program to saturate Central and Eastern Europe with missile defenses to prevent Russia from launching its nuclear weapons in a first strike against a conventional or nuclear attack from the West. That first strike is in accordance with Russia's military doctrine that calls for such strikes to compensate for Russia's conventional inferiority vis-à-vis NATO and the United States. Missile defenses would then deprive Russia of the capability to launch a retaliatory strike or else degrade that capability, leaving Russia vulnerable to all manner of attacks. Because Warsaw and Prague defied Russia's objections and threats by accepting to host these missile defenses they have received numerous equally predictable and regular Russian threats to target them with nuclear and conventional missiles.
71. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: How the US-EU Battle over Article 98 Played Out in Croatia and MacedoniaJul 07, 2011
This paper outlines how two Yugoslav successor states, Macedonia and Croatia, faced the dilemma of having to choose between two vital allies. It traces how the issue played itself out in the domestic political arena in the late spring and early summer of 2003, and explains why in the end Croatia rejected US demands in favor of the EU while Macedonia chose to comply with the US. Both the US and the EU are monitoring the postcommunist and post-conflict transitions of the Balkan states closely. All this attention has meant that the Balkans became a particularly crucial battleground for the ICC issue. The decision-making process described in this paper tells a lot about how small post-communist states define their national interests (in terms of politics, economics, and security) and balance external pressures with internal realities in their bids to join Western institutions. Moreover, the outcomes are instructive about the dynamics of US-EU competition and its consequences for the ongoing transition in the region.
April 2005 - Yugoslavia's dramatic dissolution provoked an outpouring of scholarly, journalistic and autobiographical commentary throughout the 1990s, and it was only with the end of major bloodshed and the departure of the primary villain(s) from the scene at the start of the new millennium that the Balkans receded from the center of the public eye. Yet now that the dust has settled, it is appropriate to ask whether or not we have learned anything from the events of that decade. In particular, what caused a once-functioning and respected state to disintegrate, and to disintegrate as violently as it did, and are there any inferences we can make about the management of sectarian strife in other multinational polities—including the entities that once made up pre-1990 Yugoslavia?
The following report is aimed at a broad analysis of the most important changes that the author has observed in his travels and studies in Eastern Europe over a period of 50 years. The main theme behind all these changes has been a transition toward modernity.