Eastern Europe Publications

30. Czechs and Germans: Yesterday and Today

Jul 07, 2011
The question the author here asks is: if President Havel has been able to overcome the traditional Czech stereotyping of the Germans, is the same true of the bulk of his compatriots, especially those bearing bitter memories of the last world war? While the majority of the Czechs may have accepted Havel's hopeful message about a united democratic Germany, whose territorial limits were irrelevant, they were much more reluctant to accept his apology for the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans. Havel's two statements opened a Pandora's box containing many taboos about the Czech-German relationship of which most Czechs preferred not to be reminded. Several questions about this relationship require elaboration.

260. Competing for the Albanian Soul: Are Islamic Missionaries Making Another Lebanon in the Balkans?

Jul 07, 2011
September 2002- Rexhep Boja's recent retort to Arab "non-governmental organizations" (NGOs) efforts to impose their literalist (Wahabbi/Salafi) interpretation of Islamic tradition in Kosova reflects a largely ignored phenomenon in the post-Communist Balkans. While most of the international organizations (UN, OSCE etc.) and governments who fund them have ignored the needs of the victims of Communism to rebuild their shattered spiritual lives, a significant combination of forces have converged on the region, instigating a "Lebanonization" of the Balkans. Understanding the process of social fragmentation in multi-faith societies requires a greater appreciation for the destructive effects of outside influences.

185. Burdens of the Past: Separation as Solution to Post-War Kosovo

Jul 07, 2011
September 1999 - The war in Kosovo internationalized the dilemma of democracy - how to treat non-democratic forces that act against democratic premises. Or, how tolerant can one be against intolerance?

196. Why the Balkans?

Jul 07, 2011
March 2000 - At the beginning of this new century we may ask what problems we inherited, unresolved, from the last century. One of those problems is the Balkans.

63. Decentralization and Regionalization after Communism: Lessons from Administrative and Territorial Reform in Poland and the Czech Republic

Jul 07, 2011
While the regional level of authority has gained much attention in recent years in Western Europe, Eastern Europe is still emerging from decades of centralization and homogenization under communism. Several post-communist countries, however, have taken steps toward administrative decentralization and territorial regionalization. This article explores possible reasons for taking these steps and traces the progress of administrative and territorial reform in two post-communist cases: Poland and the Czech Republic. The conclusion considers several implications of these reforms for domestic politics and foreign relations.

352. Missile Defenses in Eastern Europe: Who Threatens Whom?

Jul 07, 2011
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.

292. The Presidential Crisis in Lithuania: Its Roots and the Russian Factor

Jul 07, 2011
January 2004 - On the eve of the 2002 presidential elections, a growing number of Lithuanians had cause to rejoice. Scholars proclaimed Lithuania to be a consolidated democracy, while the economy had achieved a steady rate of growth—with declining rates of inflation and unemployment on the one hand and rising rates of investment on the other. Several rounds of legislative and presidential elections had been conducted since Lithuania reclaimed its independence in 1990, and there had been a peaceful exchange of authority between right and left more than once. A free press was flourishing and, unlike neighboring Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania did not have a minority problem.

"NATO Enlargement and Peacekeeping: Journeys to Where?"

Jul 07, 2011
April 2001 Conference Report - Given the importance of the twin challenges - the MAP and NATO enlargement as well as the future of peacekeeping in the Balkans - not only for NATO but for all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the East European Studies Program (EES) at the Woodrow Wilson Center organized substantial seminars on each of these issues in late 2000 and early 2001. Participants in each of these seminars included both experts in residence at the Wilson Center and pre-eminent scholars in the field, all of whom shared important insights and perspectives on these two timely and pivotal issues.

228. Rediscovering the Black Sea: The Wider Southeast Europe in History, Politics, and Policy

Jul 07, 2011
February 2001- The Black Sea, in many ways, is back. Neal Ascherson's evocative travel book, Black Sea (1995), sparked new interest among travelers to Crimea, the Caucasus, and the northern coast of Turkey. The Black Sea Trade Project at the University of Pennsylvania promises to uncover new archaeological evidence of the connections among Greek trading colonies around the sea's rim, as well as of ancient settlements long since covered by the sea's waters. Then there is news that the great deluge of Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh may actually have had its origins perhaps 8,000 years ago or so, when a great freshwater lake joined with the salty Mediterranean to form the strange ecological system of the Black Sea.

317. The Decline of Domestic Politics and Other Taxing Problems in Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
October 2005 - While all governments face the challenge of specifying fiscal arrangements that guarantee the state adequate resources to ward off physical or material threats to the citizenry, the new governments after the collapse of communism faced certain challenges specific to their capitalist transformation. They had to design tax systems within the context of creating an entirely new economic system. Fundamental public sector reforms eliminated the previous system's main source of taxation. As a result of privatization, East European states could no longer rely on appropriating profits from state-owned enterprises. In the past, the state would finance expenditures primarily by transferring revenue from state firms to the federal budget. With a large portion of these enterprises undergoing privatization, the state had to develop a tax policy to collect revenue from private sector production and private individuals. Thus, a wide range of taxes had to be put into place or be significantly reformed, including private property taxes, personal income taxes, inheritance taxes, consumption taxes, real estate taxes, capital gains taxes and excise duties. In allocating the tax burden across these different tax forms, leaders had to reconcile several competing considerations: which kinds of taxes would reliably raise budgetary revenue, which tax forms were hardest to evade, which forms would seem distributionally just to a population raised in a paternalistic state and lacking personal experience in honoring tax responsibilities and which would advance the country's foreign policy goals and international interests.

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