Eastern Europe Publications
A decade has passed since the extraordinary events that led to the collapse of the Leninist regimes of East and Central Europe. The decade has been filled by high expectations, noble dreams of justice and freedom, as well as by frustrations, neuroses, and painful disappointments. Throughout the last ten years of the twentieth century, some countries of East and Central Europe have initiated and consolidated viable democratic practices and institutions. Others have lagged behind and are still quasi-democracies with little prospects to be accepted into the much coveted and often idealized Western "club."
January 2007 - When Serbian artillery began pounding Sarajevo in spring 1992, Bosnian Muslims struck back by destroying a potent symbol of Serb nationalism: the footprints marking the exact spot Gavrilo Princip stood when he shot dead Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The infamous June 28, 1914 assassination aimed to remove Austria-Hungary from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and thus clear the way for a unified Yugoslav (South Slav) state. Yet the consequences were far more than Princip and his co-conspirators had bargained for: this event became the euphemistic "spark that lit the fuse," igniting the First World War. Yugoslavia, with the help of the Great Powers, was indeed born out of that war, and so too was the short, but troubled twentieth century.
The Polish nation had experienced both Nazism and communism. These were not equal experiences, and social memory about them differs to a considerable degree. In order to perform such an operation, it would be necessary to halt history in June 1941. Since it is impossible to stop history in order to examine the period from mid-September 1939 to June 1941, it is helpful, as this article does, to study Polish recollections of their experiences so as to understand their continued impact on national history and memory.
January 2002- In the 21st century, organized crime in the Balkans has accomplished what empires like the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Hapsburgs and, briefly, Hitler's Third Reich achieved in centuries past. Namely, to compel the myriad, rival ethnic groups of the region to work together for a common purpose. The difference, of course, is in the compulsions and incentives. Past empires used limited doses of advantages for those who cooperated, combined with brute force against those who resisted.
July 2001 Conference Report - Given the obvious importance of minority and ethnic issues for the stability of the continent, the continuing threat of further disintegration of the region on the basis of minority conflicts, and the still elusive solution to this contentious issue, the East European Studies program (EES), the Kennan Institute, and the Conflict Prevention Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center cosponsored an all day conference on April 24, 2001, to address "Minorities and Tolerance in Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS." Intended to analyze the role of national and shared minorities and their impact on security and stability in the region, the conference highlighted the important roles played by the EU and NATO enlargement processes in promoting tolerance and encouraging strategies to deflect ethnic tensions. The event concluded with a session seeking to propose strategies to avert ethnic hatred by focusing on lessons learned from Chechnya and a broad-brush look at what has worked for international efforts in conflict prevention.
May 2000 - In the early nineties, during the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the international community supported the independence of all of its six constituent republics. Four republics - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia - became independent states. The remaining two other republics, Serbia and Montenegro, created the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in April 1992. One month later the new state, driven by international sanctions, fell prey to isolation. In a referendum, held in March 1992, a majority of the citizens of Montenegro voted for co-existence with Serbia in a new common Federal state.
February 1997 - Observers of Polish Politics may feel a strong sense of déja vu. Like the historic election of 1989 which precipitated the collapse of Communist regimes across Eastern Europe, Solidarity emerged victorious from the parliamentary elections of September 1997, a showdown between the former Communists and the Electoral Action Solidarity (AWS). The AWS, a coalition of the trade union "Solidarity" and several minor parties, won decidedly, with 33.8% of the votes and 201 of the 460 seats in the Sejm. The post-Communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) finished second with 27.1% of the votes and 164 seats. A distant third was the Freedom Union (UW) party, dominated by the former Solidarity intellectual elite, with 13.4% of the votes and 60 seats. It was followed by the Polish Peasant Party (PSL), the 1993-97 coalition partner of the SLD (7.3% and 27 seats), and the Movement for the Rebirth of Poland, another party with Solidarity roots (5.6% and 6 seats). The remaining two seats were won by the Silesian Germans, exempt from the 5% threshold as a national minority. Among those who didn't clear the threshold was the leftist Labor Union (UP) with 4.7%.
23. Preventing the Spillover of Domestic Crises into the International Arena: New Thinking from Eastern EuropeJul 07, 2011
The internationalization of domestic politics has become one of the main features of international life today. Preventing the spillover of domestic crises into the international arena, taking advantage of domestic developments to strengthen international cooperation without undue interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, has become a major concern for statesmen and a topical issue of scholarly inquiry.
March 2001- The Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, resulted in the replacement of a unified state by a puppet regime in Serbia and an ideologically-fascist Independent State of Croatia under the Ustasa regime. This regime claimed for Croatia most of the ethnically mixed Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the Serb-dominated eastern Slavonia and Krajina. To cleanse those areas of ethnic Serbs, the Ustasa committed atrocities, the brutality of which was most potently symbolized by the death camp at Jasenovac, later to also become symbol for Yugoslavia's 1990s disintegration. Until recently, however, most historical inquiry into World War II Yugoslavia has focused on the civil war between Tito's communist Partisans and Draza Mihailovic's Serb-dominated Cetniks. The royal government-in-exile, based in London, appointed Mihailovic war minister in January 1942, and considered the Cetniks its representative in Yugoslavia. A historical issue that has not been sufficiently examined is the British relationship with the government-in exile during the war and how that relationship prompted the British to lead the Allies into switching support from Mihailovic to Tito.
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.