As part of NATO’s and Europe’s continuing and open-ended processes of enlargement and military-political integration, in 1999, NATO presented aspiring members with a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to guide them in their activities preparing their governments and armed forces for membership in NATO. The MAP, if fulfilled according to NATO's requirements and approbation, allegedly would make the aspiring members’ military forces more nearly congruent or interoperable with NATO forces. With this document, NATO has arguably created its own version of the EU's acquis communautaire “against which the Alliance can assess the technical preparations and capacities of the nine MAP partners and judge their readiness for membership.”
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.
January 1998 - The spectacular collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe in 1989 was greeted by social scientists and regional experts with considerable caution. The tasks facing the region in order to create liberal democracies and market economies seemed enormous. In the past, Eastern Europe functioned as the continent's unstable and backward periphery, and then it had been reshaped by decades of communist domination. By 1989, the region was experiencing fast economic decline. Any change was bound to be slow and difficult.
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.
This author asserts that symbolically, the new Polish republic will be regarded as a direct continuation of the prewar republic: what existed in the period between them will be enclosed in historical parentheses. This article examines what the reason is for this East European preoccupation with the past? Why do people get so excited when trying on this or that antiquated garb or disposing of the garbage of the past?
The antagonistic division between ‘old' and ‘new' Europe, as coined by Donald Rumsfeld, underscores the uncertainty of the transatlantic relationship as well as the ambiguous roles of NATO, its new members and Partnership for Peace (PFP) partners. This antagonism became exacerbated by the war in Iraq and, even as the ‘major hostilities' ended in Iraq and the guerrilla counter-insurgency against US-led coalition forces accelerated, significant security rifts persist between ‘old' Europe and the US, with ‘new' Europe caught in the middle and forced to take sides.
In their literature, culture and early twentieth-century politics, the Czech people have a history of emphasizing moral virtue, tolerance, and respect for human dignity and freedom. Sadly, there is a growing chasm in Czech society between pre-revolution aspirations and post-revolution reality. The Czech Republic is infected with the destructive kind of nationalism found in other parts of East Central Europe, and now is characterized by a xenophobic citizenship law and violence against Roma. Will the Czechs ultimately honor their legacy of liberal humanism? The answer will speak volumes on the compatibility of nationalism and constitutional liberalism in the heart of the European continent.
December 2000- When Croatia and Slovenia declared independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, they surpassed all other Yugoslav republics in their readiness to enter European institutions, due to their Hapsburg legacies, geographical locations and advanced civic and entrepreneurial traditions. Leaders of the independence movements of both countries made euphoric proclamations of their "return to Europe" after being held "captive" in Balkan federations.
Fighting Poverty and Reforming Social Security: What Can Post-Soviet States Learn From the New Democracies of Central Europe?Jul 07, 2011
Conference proceedings from a meeting held in Washington, DC, June 10, 2005. After decades of communist rule, reforming social policies and welfare state institutions turned out to be much more difficult and complex than previously anticipated. Regional trends emerged. Most Central European democracies introduced significant institutional reforms in social security, while changing social assistance programs to fight risks associated with poverty. In contrast, many post-Soviet states are still struggling to provide modernized and reliable welfare state protections to the elderly, the disabled and the poor during the prolonged era of political and economic transformation. This one-day conference convened international scholars and policy practitioners to examine patterns of welfare state development in select post-communist states and to analyze how national histories, international actors, domestic institutional contexts and the interdependence of recent social, economic and political reforms have contributed to differences in social policies and welfare state provision. Conference participants explored major similarities and differences in social protection reform in various countries with special attention to practical and theoretical lessons of transition that can enhance our understanding of present and future problems and challenges facing the evolving post-Soviet welfare states in Russia and the neighboring states.