March 1997 - October-November 1956 witnessed the most momentous events in Hungarian history since 1848, according to Istvan Deak, but they escape an agreed definition despite remaining a defining memory. The debate in Hungary over the events of 1956 even extends to what to call them, with "revolution and struggle for freedom" being the current compromise. Deak, the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and a former Wilson Center Fellow, began his Noon Discussion on 12 March by reviewing the way the 1956 revolution has been treated in Hungary from the Communist to the post-Communist period. To bring his audience up to date on the political debate and the current best understanding of what happened, he concluded with his impressions from the fortieth anniversary conference held in Budapest in September 1996. The meeting was cosponsored by the Center's Cold War International History Project, the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the National Security Archive.
February 2007 - The world as we know it today is rapidly changing. On the one hand, we witness a rise of new military and economic powers; we trace the nearly-invisible threats posed by the international terror networks and see new dividing lines between democracies and authoritarian regimes. On the other hand, two things remain the same: grave threats for global security and a necessity to think and act globally in response. Without our common actions, peace and stability will be in deficit around the world, divided by the haves and have-nots of the universal right to security and development.
February 2002- It was the federal system or its insufficiently consistent implementation that tormented and eventually broke down the first and the second Yugoslavia. The third one, which we live in today, or more precisely, on whose ruins we live today, has also failed to produce an adequate solution for this issue. Therefore, we are trying with a vengeance to identify a good federal formula, quite new in many aspects, so that it could serve as a framework for a fourth, sustainable Yugoslavia, or, if you like, a newly established community of Serbia and Montenegro.
This author's objective is to investigate how intellectual activity in Romania under Ceausescu contributed to reproducing an ideology in which "the nation" had pride of place. Much as had occurred in the period between the two World Wars, Romanian intellectuals debating with one another helped to strengthen a national ideology; their actions, and not simply Ceausescu's much-invoked "manipulation of nationalism to promote legitimacy" contributed to fortifying the idea of the nation and undermining the discourse of Marxism-Leninism on which Romania's socialist system supposedly rested.
In the former Yugoslavia, language issues have long been both a reflection of inter-ethnic tensions and a catalyst for deepening inter-ethnic animosities. Like religion and ethnicity, language serves as a marker of national identity. Given the ethnic polarization in the former Yugoslavia, language can be a highly emotional and politically sensitive topic. This piece first provides a brief overview of the history of the language-politics interface for the ethnic groups speaking the main language of the former Yugoslavia: Serbo-Croatian. Secondly, it outlines the disintegration of Serbo-Croatian language unity in 1991 as manifested in the emergence of at least three "successor languages" (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian). Finally, it focuses on the often acrimonious debates of the last few years within Serbia regarding the future of a Serbian standard language.
In June 1994, five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically ended the Communist hold on Eastern Europe, only a quarter of the eligible voters turned out for the local elections in Poland. Elections in Hungary and the Czech Republic and referenda in Lithuania have been plagued by similarly low turnouts. Even in countries where voter turnout was high in the first post-Communist elections, the number of people who say they intend to cast ballots in upcoming elections has dropped, an indication of declining turnout. This paper examines civil society, the participatory culture, and public legitimation in the region, as well as democratization policies.
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.
We must reinvigorate the comprehensive—and reject the exclusively militaristic—definition of security, Margaret Brusasco-Mackenzie warns.
September 2004 - The latest challenges to a world order based on liberalism seem to render the Communist and post-Communist experiences obsolete. Some believe that Communism was so exceptional that, at the end of day, its lessons can teach us little. But I disagree. An enormous wealth of experience can be gained from the communist experiment, its rise, its reign and its fall. Perhaps the most important one is in the field of state and nation building, since no regime before communism had both the drive and the coercive power to impose institutions upon people that were so far from the organic development of both the state and the nation. Although the initial conditions for transformation vary greatly, some clear lessons do emerge out of a comparison between the successful and unsuccessful state-building projects in postcommunist Europe.
October 2005 - The constitutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina is complex, emerging as it did from a peacemaking process between Serb forces of Republika Srpska and a coalition of Bosniak (or Muslim) and Croat forces under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the fundamental obligations of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its two subordinate Entities, Republika Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), arise from the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its Annexes, often called the Dayton Accords, signed in Paris on December 14, 1995.