356. Strengthening US-Slovak Cooperation and the Transatlantic Partnership: Opportunities and Challenges in Today's WorldJul 07, 2011
November 2008 - For Slovakia and for our friend and neighbor the Czech Republic, autumn is a good time of balancing out, commemorating and remembering many common historical events that determined the future for both of our countries. This particular autumn is marked by a growing number of global challenges, including the global financial crisis and recession which require bold and comprehensive global solutions. At the same time, for the USA and the whole world, this autumn is a time of much hope and expectation, given the presidential elections and accession of the new U.S. administration in January 2009.
October 1997 - The expansion of NATO is nothing new. NATO has enlarged itself several times in the past, most recently absorbing the G.D.R. (through the back door of the G.D.R.'s incorporation into one Germany). But the currently envisioned expansion is different from previous ones: this enlargement is primarily politically motivated and it is about the future shape of Europe. The foremost political challenge on the continent after the Cold War is the integration into European organizations of the countries previously included in the Soviet bloc, and NATO has stepped up to this challenge as part of its transformation. If the NATO-Russia Council is successful and NATO's relations with Russia develop along a constructive path, then the alliance's eastward enlargement has the potential to accelerate the integration of Central European countries into a Euro-Atlantic community in a manner that erases the animosities that caused armed conflict in the past.
Defying the proclaimed ideological similarity of the various governments of Eastern Europe (except Greece) during the last 40 years, nationalism is the strongest single motivating force today in that region. Nationalism has forced those in power to make certain ideological concessions giving birth to a basic contradiction even in terminology, national communism. Still, a major issue for the leaders of the various parties and states remains unresolved: the people's primary loyalty has little if anything to do with the world view which they are supposed to accept as the sole valid motivating force for their behavior.
Since the end of the Cold War, key regional organizations like NATO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and lately, with the development of a security dimension, the EU, have been engaged in a race to transform and adapt to the changing security environment. These entities, however, have been transforming in competition rather than coordination with each other.
January 2000 - Inter-ethnic disputes have been one of the worst setbacks in Eastern Europe since the fall of communism, and their impact has been disastrous. These conflicts have inhibited peaceful development in the post-communist period by displacing and killing large populations, retarding regional economies and investments, dragging reluctant Americans and Europeans into unpopular regional conflicts, as well as placing serious strains on the Euro-Atlantic alliance. Despite these outcomes, the majority of these conflicts have proven to be a case of political will. Their peaceful resolution necessitates the creation of institutional forms and practices which will accommodate rather than isolate and ignore inter- ethnic disputes.
This paper seeks the publics' answer to the question "transition to what?" While public opinion is only one piece of the complex mosaic necessary to understand the changes in the region, the revolutions of 1989 have certainly shown that mass publics cannot be ignored. Based on over thirty national surveys in Central and East Europe commissioned by the United States Information Agency (USIA) over the last three years, the authors examine public beliefs about the role of the individual and the state, the degree of public support for market reform, and attitudes toward ethnic rights as well as assessments of "outsiders." After consideration of each of these dimensions, they present a typology classifying countries based on public attitudes.
279. Leading the Way to Regionalization in East Central Europe: An Evaluation of Poland's Territorial and Administrative ReformsJul 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.
April 2000- The Balkans in general and Macedonia in particular have been characterized by widespread multi-lingualism. Ironically, while the term Balkanization has come to mean "fragmentation," the linguistic term Balkanism refers to shared grammatical and lexical features which originated through intense multi-lingual contact. Such contact could only have arisen under conditions of predominantly peaceful coexistence. Yet, although language served as a group marker, religion was a more important source of identity in Ottoman Turkey where it constituted the basis of an individual's millet ('nationality').
349. Capacity Building and Education for Stability and Integration in Kosovo and the Western BalkansJul 07, 2011
May 2008 - The Western Balkan region has three chronic problems. First, none of the states that comprise the region have the capacity to function at a reasonable level. Second, there is little co-operation between these state and no realistic long-term strategies of how to build cooperation. Finally, the entire region continues to suffer economically and is in desperate need of reforms that create a sustainable economic and social base in each country.
70. Mobility in Bulgaria and the European Union: Brain Drain, Bogus Asylum Seekers, Replacement Migration, and FertilityJul 07, 2011
This paper examines the multiple and overlapping discussions on migration from Southeastern Europe in the context of the demographic crises in both the sending and receiving countries. The author argues that many of these migration discourses obscure the most important underlying issue of demographic decline: fertility. Discussions about migration are conducted in lieu of conversations about the social, political and economic reasons why women in both Eastern and Western European countries are not having children. Both in Bulgaria and in the current 15 EU member states, migration is either a safety valve or a stopgap measure that allows governments to avoid making difficult and unpopular decisions regarding necessary social and economic reforms.