May 2001- When speaking about the former communist Europe, understanding its history and the emerging ideologies provides a key to comprehending its present. This paper presents some of the ideas that contributed both to shaping dissident movements after 1950 and to the collapse of totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. I will focus particularly on the role of the intelligentsia in their respective societies' emancipation and transformation from objects into entities able to engage in the struggle for their interests.
November 1998 - We know the story of ancient Balkan ethnic hatred is largely false: before the late 19th century, conflict in the Balkan peninsula generally ran between South Slavs and their imperial neighbors, not among the South Slavs themselves. That said, there was one genuinely ancient conflict in the region involving the Ottoman Empire. From the 13th to the 18th century, the Ottoman armies were a permanent threat to the South Slavs. Since many (but by no means all) of the Ottoman armed forces were of Slavic origin, kin to their enemies, this period of Ottoman wars can plausibly be seen as the sole example of "ancient" hatred in the Balkans.
October 1997 - Over the course of 1996, economic collapse and prolonged political malfeasance seriously shook the integrity of the Bulgarian body politic. As a result, the government of the "new democratic majority," elected in April 1997, has taken a number of extraordinary measures to recapture the confidence of the population and the international community. Top priorities for the new cabinet of Ivan Kostov have been to attempt to liquidate organized crime, to rebuild the macro-economic and the state institutional frameworks, and to aid the population, which has been battered by economic decay. Public perceptions have made these tasks all the more difficult. The government has had to push for reforms before a population that for years has been exposed to the schemes of many previous "reformers."
November 2007 - On August 5, 2007, Croatia celebrated the twelfth anniversary of Operation Storm (Oluja), the four-day military action that liberated over 10,000 square kilometers (18.4 percent of Croatia) after peace negations to reintegrate the territory failed to make progress. The entire Croatian political leadership gathered in Knin, the capital of the former Krajina para-state and the actual and symbolic center of the Serb rebellion against rule from Zagreb. Since 1996, Croatia has commemorated the day Knin fell to the Croatian Army as the Day of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving.
November 2002- Scholarly debates on the nature of the European Union typically revolve around the question of the degree to which state sovereignty is being impaired (or transcended) by the process of integration. Realists and intergovernmentalists, such as Alan Milward and Andrew Moravcsik, argue that integration serves the interests of the member states and, hence, consolidates the nation-state by enabling positive domestic results that could not be achieved without multilateral cooperation. Others, more supranationally-inclined, like Joseph Weiler, maintain that what may begin as an issue of specific "pooling" of sovereignty can take on a life of its own, as new structures of governance are created that ultimately supercede and curtail national authorities. Not surprisingly, these divergent views of integration posit continuous tensions and conflicts between national governments and supranational institutions over the contested question of where ultimate sovereignty and decision-making authority should reside. In the context of the EU's eastern enlargement, however, such tensions appear to have fallen largely by the wayside. Both the Brussels bureaucracy and the national governments are in agreement that preserving the gains of integration to date – regardless of whether these accrue mainly to the benefit of the nation state or the supranational entity – entails a concentrated effort of EU-assisted ‘institution-building' in the East European candidate countries.
Since the Paris and Madrid conferences, which created a NATO-Russia Joint Council and ratified NATO's enlargement, Russia has modified its Baltic policies. Because those policies are widely regarded as a litmus test of Russia's European policy, this modification bears close scrutiny. Although Russian opposition to NATO's enlargement has not declined, the most recent terms Moscow has offered the Baltics, though insufficient to stabilize the region, seem to represent a small but measurable step away from the negative, bullying tone that has characterized much of Russia's Baltic and European policies-and which is still heard, if less strident than before these conferences. This paper attempts to both explain and assess Russia's new Baltic Policy.
January 2004 - In the aftermath of World War II, Czechoslovakia expelled close to three million ethnic Germans into occupied Austria and Germany. These so-called Sudeten Germans had long lived in borderland regions ringing the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, with the heaviest concentration inhabiting the industrially advanced north and west of Bohemia. During and after the expulsions, over two million Czechs settled in the formerly German areas, taking over houses, businesses and factories. The popular Communist Party controlled the resettlement process from the beginning in 1945, using its influence to create a web of patronage in the borderlands. This helped the Party win over 50 percent of the vote in north Bohemia in free elections in May of 1946. Even before Stalinism took hold in Czechoslovakia in 1948, north Bohemia's coal mining, power production and chemical industry were renowned. With the onset of a Communist policy of heavy industrialization, north Bohemia's industry became a model for the entire country. By the 1960s, north Bohemia also became known for its almost unrivaled pollution, with air and water so foul that trees died in waves and children decamped to the mountains for doses of clean air.
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.
January 2001- Roma arrived in Europe around the 13th century, after migrating from Northern India through Persia to Armenia and into Europe. They then spent three centuries - beginning around the 15th century and ending with the establishment of the modern Romanian state in 1864 - enslaved in what is now modern Romania and Moldova. The end of slavery led to the significant migration of the Roma from the Romanian/Moldovan states deeper into the Balkan peninsula.