Eastern Europe Publications
As part of NATO’s and Europe’s continuing and open-ended processes of enlargement and military-political integration, in 1999, NATO presented aspiring members with a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to guide them in their activities preparing their governments and armed forces for membership in NATO. The MAP, if fulfilled according to NATO's requirements and approbation, allegedly would make the aspiring members’ military forces more nearly congruent or interoperable with NATO forces. With this document, NATO has arguably created its own version of the EU's acquis communautaire “against which the Alliance can assess the technical preparations and capacities of the nine MAP partners and judge their readiness for membership.”
September 2007 - Over the past few months, the Biden-Gelb plan has been widely discussed as a solution for the faltering policy in Iraq. A major component of the plan is to decentralize power in Iraq—Bosnian style—to the three main ethnic and religious groups in an effort to end the civil war. While the applicability of the Bosnian model has been challenged in the press based on the differences in the circumstances under which the Dayton Agreement was signed in Bosnia and the current environment in Iraq, the desirability of the Bosnian model has largely gone unchallenged. This meeting aimed at bringing up some of the rather uncomfortable realities that the Dayton model created in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The debate on what to do in Iraq should not ignore the fact that-although the fighting in Bosnia has ended-inter-ethnic cooperation and dialogue have languished. Twelve years after Dayton, Bosnia is still far from the effective, sovereign and democratic state that the agreement had envisioned. In the end the Bosnian model may serve up more questions than answers for Iraq.
July 2000 Conference Report - The Wilson Center's East European Studies and West European Studies programs organized this day-long conference on April 19, 2000. The conference conducted a comprehensive examination of the NATO-Europe partnership and its future prospects, as well as an analysis of the implications of the Bosnian and Kosovo wars for NATO and for the new and aspiring members of the NATO alliance and the European Union (EU). The goal of the conference was to provide a comprehensive view of the West's key integrative institutions, NATO and the EU, as well as a clear summary of the evolving security picture in Europe and of America's future role in an ever-evolving NATO.
In 1991, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia—two multinational Communist federal states with comparable histories of indigenous revolutions and similar nationality policies—disintegrated. As the only two countries that fully implemented the system of ethno-territorial federalism, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia shared important structural features. In both cases, the basic political-administrative units—the republics—were organized along ethnic lines and were seen as the quasi-national homelands of the titular nations.
September 2000 - In his opening remarks, Zbigniew Brzezinski outlined three categories of democracy: functioning, malfunctioning, and fictitious. Functioning democracies are characterized by political and economic pluralism. Poland represents one of the most successful "functioning democracies" in the post-communist world. Malfunctioning democracies, such as many former Soviet states today, may aspire to democracy, but are crippled by legacies of the communist past. In fictitious democracies, the organs of the Communist Party remain but the regime pursues limited, reformist economic and social policies, such as in China. Brzezinski also pointed out that wide-scale, growing poverty impedes the movement toward democracy in many post-communist countries.
January 1998 - The spectacular collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe in 1989 was greeted by social scientists and regional experts with considerable caution. The tasks facing the region in order to create liberal democracies and market economies seemed enormous. In the past, Eastern Europe functioned as the continent's unstable and backward periphery, and then it had been reshaped by decades of communist domination. By 1989, the region was experiencing fast economic decline. Any change was bound to be slow and difficult.
June 2008 - Slobodan Milosevic was removed from office in October 2000, after a historic election which he lost to the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) candidate Vojislav Kostunica. For the past eight years, Serbia has been muddling through its transition from being an international pariah state with a controlled economy—a society isolated from the rest of the world, burdened with its past and suffering from virulent nationalism—to a modern European state with a market economy and thriving democracy.
June 2001- This study considers future trends in Southeast Europe with an eye to problems of governance by examining what is typically understood as state functions and processes that promote institutional accountability and transparency. Three interdependent sets of local factors, that speak to the future of the region, are identified: 1) national or ethnic conflicts and unresolved issues around sovereignty and self-determination; 2) weak governments and fragile political coalitions and alliances unable to provide necessary goods and services and implement sound fiscal and regulatory policies, establish and maintain rule of law, and gain public trust; and 3) weak legal economies plagued by crime, illegal trade and trafficking, energy shortages, inadequate infrastructure, strained budgets, unemployment, poverty, and increasing gaps between the rich and the poor.
February 1999 - Since major changes swept through Hungary in the late 1980s, there has been dramatic growth in the non-profit sector of society. From just under 8,800 non-profit organizations in 1989 the sector grew to more than 43,000 in 1995. The most rapid growth occurred in 1990 and 1991 but there has been steady expansion in succeeding years. In 1995, there were 27,685 associations, which are membership-based organizations, and 15,650 foundations that are property-based.
In their literature, culture and early twentieth-century politics, the Czech people have a history of emphasizing moral virtue, tolerance, and respect for human dignity and freedom. Sadly, there is a growing chasm in Czech society between pre-revolution aspirations and post-revolution reality. The Czech Republic is infected with the destructive kind of nationalism found in other parts of East Central Europe, and now is characterized by a xenophobic citizenship law and violence against Roma. Will the Czechs ultimately honor their legacy of liberal humanism? The answer will speak volumes on the compatibility of nationalism and constitutional liberalism in the heart of the European continent.