Eastern Europe Publications

337. Language Politics and Language Policies in the Contemporary Western Balkans: Infinitives, Turkisms and EUrolinguistics

Jul 07, 2011
April 2007 - Although the Western Balkans today is generally construed as Albania and former Yugoslavia, from the point of view of Balkan linguistics, Greece is also in this region. Here I shall examine some recent policy and political developments through the prisms of linguistics and of language ideology, i.e., the ways people think about language. Because language is both act and artifact—it exists in documents and the minds of speakers but at the same time it is constituted by everyday practices—the intersections of linguistics and politics are complex. This is true in Western Europe no less than in the Western Balkans, as can be seen, for example, in official French persecution of regional languages from 1794 to 1951, the 1972 statement of Georges Pompidou, then President of France, that there was no place for regional languages in France, the exclusion of Breton schools from French public funding in 2002 (Mercator-Education: Breton, 2003), the recent contretemps over the use of Occitanian in examinations ("L'occitan interdit en Ile de France?" Communique: Federacion dels Ensenhaires de Lengua e Cutlura d'Oc, 31 October 2006), etc. It can even be argued that EU ideologies of inclusiveness are being reflected in certain types of linguistic research that peripheralize the Balkans. In order to provide the necessary context for the following discussion, I will give a brief outline of some basics of Balkan linguistics. more

137. Troubled Economic Transitions In The Yugoslav Successor States

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

207. Yugoslavia Faces the Millennium: Conflict and Continuity

Jul 07, 2011
May 2000 - A decade after the fall of Communism, there remains little discussion within the public sphere of the fundamental differences that separate the states and societies of Western and Eastern Europe. This oversight is regrettable not only because it limits our ability to resolve problems in the Balkans, but also because that region is far more representative of the world at large than is Western Europe. more

240. Making a Drizzle into a Rain Storm: Lessons to be Learned from the Conflict in Macedonia

Jul 07, 2011
November 2001- The events of September 11 and the subsequent military and diplomatic reactions have consumed the attention of the world's media and viewing public. While the horrible events have been condemned by the global community, that does not mean they have been immune from manipulation by the unscrupulous. Unfortunately, September 11 has provided the latest rhetorical backdrop for a number of personalities in the Balkans who seek to recharge a rationale of war. With its attention directed elsewhere, the mainstream media has failed to cover how policy-making entities in the Balkans have actively sought to associate so-called Islamic terrorism with the region's millions of Muslims. This is a rhetorical gesture that had been frequently used in the past to promote social tensions and create a sense of siege. The new wave instigated by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic and counterparts in Skopje must be addressed if Western diplomats want to bring lasting peace to the region. more

304. Father of His Country? Franjo Tudjman and the Creation of Contemporary Croatia

Jul 07, 2011
October 2004 - Whether or not Franjo Tudjman was the father of his country, there can be no denying that he played a pivotal role in the creation of contemporary Croatia. While it can be argued that someone else may have been better able to lead the Croatian people through the wastelands of war, occupation and diplomacy during the early 1990s, it was Tudjman who actually did so. If his Croatia was not the peasant republic envisioned by Stjepan Radic or the Croatian state imagined by Ante Starcevic, it was a viable democratic state with a powerful military, a skilled diplomatic corps and citizens who both fought for its survival and criticized its policies. more

49. Russia and the Baltic States in the Age of NATO Enlargement

Jul 07, 2011
Since the Paris and Madrid conferences, which created a NATO-Russia Joint Council and ratified NATO's enlargement, Russia has modified its Baltic policies. Because those policies are widely regarded as a litmus test of Russia's European policy, this modification bears close scrutiny. Although Russian opposition to NATO's enlargement has not declined, the most recent terms Moscow has offered the Baltics, though insufficient to stabilize the region, seem to represent a small but measurable step away from the negative, bullying tone that has characterized much of Russia's Baltic and European policies-and which is still heard, if less strident than before these conferences. This paper attempts to both explain and assess Russia's new Baltic Policy. more

181. Once In The Club: Continuing Reform In The Czech Military and NATO

Jul 07, 2011
The achievement of security in a post-Warsaw Pact Europe dominated by NATO continues to be a formidable task for the Czech national security infrastructure. The Czech Republic earned its NATO membership as an overall result of its progress in its political and economic transitions and by fulfilling the criteria that NATO set out for the Czech Republic in terms of its civil-military relations and interoperability goals. more

279. Leading the Way to Regionalization in East Central Europe: An Evaluation of Poland's Territorial and Administrative Reforms

Jul 07, 2011
October 2003 - In 1998, elections were held in Poland to create regional councils. Soon afterwards, similar elections were held in the Czech Republic (2000) and Slovakia (2002). This trend invites many questions: Why have these East Central European countries established regions and regional political authorities? What factors drove this process of region-building? What explains variance in region-building across post-communist countries? Why has Poland taken the first and the most significant steps toward regionalization? My approach to answering these questions is to consider a number of factors and incentives that drive the regional reform processes in post-communist countries in general and to examine the Polish case in particular. more

21. The Ideology of Illiberalism in the Professions: Leftist and Rightist Radicalism among Hungarian Doctors, Lawyers, and Engineers,1918-45

Jul 07, 2011
In the period between the two world wars, Hungary's professions were transformed from a politically liberal and professionally oriented elite into an illiberal pressure group attracted to radical politics. This metamorphosis of the professions contradicted the expectations of many analysts of modernization who viewed the professions as the most secure element of Western liberal culture. The professional elites of Eastern and Central Europe defied this kind of sociological optimism. They increasingly turned from being allies of the liberal state into the partners of illiberal movements and governments. Already in the 1930s, this transformation gave birth to a new, more pessimistic school of thought on the professions. more

345. Understanding State Weakness in Postcommunism

Jul 07, 2011
January 2008 - Among the many unanticipated developments in the former Soviet world, the decay of infrastructures of governance was one of the most visible. By the late 1990s, the assertion that the capacity and organizational integrity of postcommunist states had declined considerably did not engender serious dissent. That the state was weaker than before, that it was weaker than it should have been, were among the very few empirical and normative propositions around which a genuine consensus coalesced. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

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Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.