Eastern Europe Publications
262. Gendered Entanglements in the Time of Marxism: The Friendship of Wanda Wasilewska and Janina Broniewska in a Man's RevolutionJul 07, 2011
March 2002- During the bleak Polish winter of 1922, the young poet Wladyslaw Broniewski was dreaming of a fantastical romance with a demonic woman; instead he fell in love with a pretty girl named Janina Kunig. Broniewski lived in the elegant prewar city of Warsaw, where he would spend his evenings with a small group of young writers – including Aleksander Wat – who gathered on the upper floor of Cafe Ziemianska. The young poets were, for the most part, Poles and cosmopolitans – "non-Jewish Jews." Broniewski, in this respect, was an exception, an ethnic Pole, of all of them the most tied to the Polish romantic tradition. It was Broniewski who came out of Marshal Jozef Pilsudski's military Legions, who fought against the Soviets in his youth and later became a proletarian poet. He wrote Janina love letters in a language reminiscent of the knights and castles of premodern chivalry. Janina loved him as well, with an affection and concern that would last her entire life. Her greatest, most undying love, though, was for Wanda Wasilewska, who in the 1920s was a promising young leader of the Polish Socialist Party to which her father had devoted his life. She lived in Cracow, where she drank endless cups of black coffee and chain-smoked and wrote poems for a newspaper called Robotnik (The Worker). She was a very tall woman with a large voice in a man's world, and she and Janina would come to mean more to each other than any of the six husbands they had between them.
November 1999 - Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania found themselves caught between the experiences of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Unlike Warsaw Pact states, the Baltic States did not maintain a degree of independence following World War II. Unlike the Soviet Socialist Republics, however, the Baltic States were independent nation-states in the inter-war period.
December 1998 - How effectively have multilateral development banks (MDBs) addressed environmental issues in Central and Eastern Europe? The World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and European Investment Bank (EIB) are among the major donors to the region, providing more than $25 billion in loans, which usually attract additional private sector, and bilateral and recipient government financing as well. All three banks have been struggling in recent years to respond to pressure to better address environmental issues in their global and regional work, while often facing criticism by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for doing a poor job in translating ideas and policies into action.
These four papers attempt to summarize and understand the successes and failures of the Constantinescu presidency one year into it. The authors analyze changes to Romania's media, inconsistencies in the country's parliament, alterations in U.S.-Romanian relations, as well as the state of the Romanian economy one year after the 1996 democratic election.
March 2004 - The results of the December 28, 2003 parliamentary elections began a new phase in Serbia's post-Milosevic development. Considerable attention has been focused on the surge of support for the highly nationalistic Serbian Radical Party (SRP), formerly headed by Vojislav Seselj, who at the time of the election was awaiting trial at The Hague tribunal. Seselj's Radicals, now headed by Tomislav Nikolic, received 28 percent of the vote and 82 seats in the 250-seat Serbian National Assembly. But it is important to remember that the other major election winners were from a broad grouping of reformist, democratically-oriented parties, albeit some quite conservative. For example, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DPS), headed by Vojislav Kostunica, received 18 percent of the vote and 53 seats. The party of the assassinated Premier Zoran Djindjic, the Democratic Party, received 13 percent of the vote, garnering 37 seats. The G-17 Plus, headed by Miroljub Labus, won 34 seats and 11.5 percent of the vote. And Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SRM) received 7.7 percent of the vote and 22 seats in alliance with the small party called New Serbia (NS).
December 2008 - In December 2008, a friend in Bucharest sent me a message quoting a recent statement by an influential political commentator from the Romanian media. This columnist reminds me of the former spokesman for the Polish military junta in the 1980s, who has since become a very successful capitalist: Jerzy Urban. Urban is the editor of the weekly magazine Nie, which irreverently makes fun of everybody. In my mind, Urban is no hero, but is a former Communist Party lackey who turned into the transition's profiteering buffoon. So, I am referring here to somebody who is the equivalent of Urban in Romania, and his name is Ion Cristoiu.
January 1997 - Two American economists resident in Croatia and Macedonia weighed the balance of pluses and minuses in the economies of these two former Yugoslav successor states in a joint presentation at an EES Noon Discussion. Evan Kraft and Michael Wyzan both found inflation well under control and industrial production rising in the respective economies, but they also emphasized a number of daunting structural problems, particularly the slow pace and politically manipulated nature of privatization.
February 2005 - In his 1978 novel The Great Winter, Ismail Kadare paints a chilling picture of a family that doctors its personal photo albums with ink to remove (most of) the faces and figures of people who have fallen out of favor with the Party of Labor. Readers might find themselves immediately reminded of Milan Kundera's great work from the same year, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, in which the Czechoslovak party boss Klement Gottwald appears first in company, and then alone, on a balcony, wearing the hat of a colleague airbrushed from the photograph after his fall from grace. There is, indeed another novel that underscores these themes of manipulation and expendability: The Taste of Power (1967) by the Slovak writer and journalist Ladislav Mnacko, in which a "major retouching department" in the state press office tweaks photos and "rubs out" people who are now undesirable. That Stalin's regime made widespread use of tactics such as these has also been demonstrated by David King in his 1997 study The Commissar Vanishes. Kadare, an internationally famous, prolific and highly regarded author from Albania, has written a number of works about communism that show similarities to fiction from other East European countries and can be fruitfully examined in a comparative context. It is my assertion in this essay, however, that he also makes use of innovative and unique modes of writing about his homeland under the Hoxha dictatorship.
7. The Political Articulation and Aggregation of Plural Interests in Self-Management Systems: The Case of YugoslaviaJul 07, 2011
This paper was written as part of the preparation of a new book dealing with the problems of articulation and aggregation of interests in the political system of Yugoslavia in order to compare it with other political systems, especially with those systems in the countries of so-called really existing socialism, i.e., the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
April 2002- In February 2001, violent clashes between armed Albanian insurgents and Macedonian forces broke out in Macedonia's mountainous northwest. It was thought initially that the violence was a spillover from clashes in the Presevo valley on Serbia's southern border with Kosovo, where a splinter group from the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was fighting Serb forces for control. However, over the ensuing months, it became apparent that a new group - the National Liberation Army (NLA) - had formed on Macedonian soil and, with the help of recruits from Kosovo and elsewhere, was mounting a rebellion against Macedonian authority. They claimed to fight because of discrimination against Albanians in Macedonian society, and because of the slow pace of reform. Macedonian authorities, however, believed the insurgents sought to carve out a piece of northwestern Macedonia, near the city of Tetovo, where ethnic Albanians predominate.