Eastern Europe Publications
January 2003- This essay challenges the conventional wisdom that there are definite "lessons" to be drawn from NATO's war over Kosovo. To the contrary, the Kosovo intervention offers a number of compelling (and often contradictory) implications that should concern — and may even confound — serious analysts and policymakers. At best, the most reasonable conclusion in the after-math of the war is that the lessons of Kosovo are terminally ambiguous. While the intent here is not to promote a specific solution or set of policy recommendations, there does exist a broad problem-set of dynamics that were, and are, driving forces in the shaping, analysis and future direction of the European security architecture. Attempts to explain conflict that focus too narrowly on ethnic differences, or too broadly evoke human justice as grounds for intervention, will consistently miss the strategic mark.
April 2000 - Not long ago, subregional frameworks of cooperation were perceived, due to their "soft" security issue approach, as "the Cinderellas of European security." However, throughout the last couple of years, there has been a growing awareness, both politically and institutionally, of the value of these groupings. Consequently, subregional arrangements have begun to gain their rightful place within the new evolving, institutionally comprehensive and complementary European security architecture. Currently, there is a plethora of cooperative arrangements in Central and Southeastern Europe, including the Visegrad Group, the Central European Free Trade Agreement, the Central European Initiative, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the Royaumont Process, the South-East European Cooperation Agreement, the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, and the Stability Pact for South-East Europe, as well as a number of trilateral arrangements (between Romania, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Hungary and Austria). Euroregions such as the Carpathian, Upper Prut, and Lower Danube as well as a number of multinational, multilateral, trilateral, and bilateral military units also exist.
Once again, NATO has been drawn into the search for the least bad solution in the Balkans. This time the crisis has surfaced in Kosovo, the province that, ten years ago, seemed to be the most dangerous ethnic flashpoint in what was then Yugoslavia. For the Serbs, Kosovo is politically and religiously attached to Serbia. For the Albanians, Kosova is demographically dominated by Kosovar Albanians and geographically contiguous with northern Albania. Today, both sides are armed, dangerous, and likely to keep fighting without an international agreement. Even with an accord, they are more menacing to the proposed NATO peacekeeping force than were the war-weary local forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995.
This two-part report presents the findings of the August 1999, Freedom House assessment mission to Kosovo, as well as the author's own September 1999 trip to Serbia. It focuses on the status of civil society, specifically non-governmental organizations, development. The overall goal of the four person assessment team to Kosovo was to determine the conditions, status, and potential for development of civil society and democratic governance in the war-torn province and to formulate recommendations to strengthen its transition to a democratic society based on the rule of law. In the author's visit to Belgrade he observed another face of Serbia, and aims to share it with those who are genuinely interested in assisting Serbia and the rest of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in its transition to a stable and democratic country.
June 2004 - Despite Slovakia's remarkable progress in political and economic reforms since 1998, considerable alarm was raised last April when, just weeks before the country's accession to the European Union (EU), it appeared that the very man who was blamed for Slovakia's international isolation in the mid-1990s could win the presidency. While serving as prime minister, Vladimir Meciar's controversial political and economic policies prevented Slovakia from joining the first wave of countries to accede to NATO and from starting accession negotiations with the EU. Meciar ultimately failed in the second round of the presidential elections, but the high level of popular support he continues to enjoy remains a subject of concern. Still, as those elections demonstrated, the prospect of Meciar's return to high politics appears unlikely, given the polarizing effect he has on the Slovak population and the reluctance of other politicians to cooperate with him. In addition, signs of "Meciarism," characterized by the use of populism, nationalism and clientelism as ways of winning and maintaining political support, appear to be diminishing on the political scene. The future of Meciar and Meciarism clearly depends not so much on Meciar himself but on his competitors and their ability to move society forward.
February 2001- Since 1990, the Slovenian educational system has been undergoing continuous reform, stimulated by three major social incentives: introduction of political pluralism and market economy (1990); Slovenia's independence (1991); and, Slovenia's preparation for membership in the European Union (2003/04). To prepare and implement the reform, the Parliament and the Ministry of Education and Sport established a large and complex administrative apparatus with several permanent institutions and temporary commissions.
May 1997 - The successor states to the former Yugoslavia may be unanimous in their opposition to any political project even hinting at its recreation, but they still face a set of surprisingly common economic problems. (On the emergence of the successor states from the collapse of Yugoslavia, see Yugoslavia and After: A Study in Fragmentation, Despair, and Rebirth, edited by David A. Dyker and Ivan Vojvoda [New York: Longman, 1996].) For one, there is the obvious absence of the economic boom that a postwar recovery period often generates. As a partial solution, business enterprises are turning back toward their nearest neighbors, their former compatriots. Even this movement faces two further problems. First, their transitions to a market economy based on private enterprise are in the best case half-finished and have in the worst cases created new vested interests grounded in political power and corruption. Second, while private entrepreneurship has indeed grown apace, its enterprises are typically too small or too closely linked to political or outright criminal networks to press effectively, from below, for a legal market framework.
June 2006 - History never quite repeats itself, but some echoes sound too familiar to ignore. The government assembled by Robert Fico after Slovakia's June 2006 elections bears notable similarities to the governing coalition led by Vladimír Meciar between 1994 and 1998. Since that earlier government gave Slovakia a reputation as a pariah state—"a hole in the map of Europe"—it is understandable that any prospect of its return should produce consternation and prompt the question "Could it happen again?" Though the short answer to this question is probably "No," there is considerable value in asking "Why not?" and in exploring the factors that made Slovakia's mid-1990's government such an unfortunate precedent.
The activities of the United States Army and Navy in the Adriatic following the end of World War I remain largely unknown. From November 1918 to September 1921, US naval and army units controlled a wide territory along the eastern Adriatic coast, including islands, stretching from Istria to Montenegro. Their presence offers us an attractive opportunity to study the military and naval, as well as political and psychological, aspects of the dispute which emerged because of Italian claims to the eastern coast.
October 2002- Contemporary war economies in places such as the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and West Africa tend to be clandestine economies, utilizing criminal actors as combatants and smuggling networks and black marketeering for financing and supplies. The importance of clandestine flows and criminal actors becomes even more apparent in the context of evading international economic sanctions and arms embargoes. Consequently, the business of war and the business of crime closely intersect—producing a form of criminalized conflict. In the case of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, for example, understanding the role of criminal actors and clandestine flows is crucial in explaining the war's outbreak, persistence, termination, and aftermath. Calling this war a criminalized conflict does not take politics out and simply reduce all aspects of the conflict to criminality and economic motives. It does, however, stress the analytical insights that can be gained from a more sharply-focused exploration of the intersection between smuggling practices, criminal actors, and warfare. It also has important implications for understanding the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction.