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.
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.
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.
April 2002- The legacy of the war in Bosnia, ten years after, is deeply ambivalent. There is peace in Bosnia, and as far as one can see, no one is preparing for a new war. This is an immense achievement. The new Bosnia, however, has yet to come to terms with itself. There is a danger that the country will become a destitute backwater now that the era of massive foreign aid and reconstruction is coming to a close. What this means for the people of Bosnia, who remain at odds over the nature of their new country, remains unclear. Many, of course, will seek to leave, robbing the country of its most valuable resource its young, its educated, and its talented citizens.
The unexpected and impressive growth and development of the Slovak non-governmental organization (NGO) community, which has simply mushroomed over the past few years, stems from a rather unique situation. Paradoxically, it was the very policies of the former Vladimir Meciar-led government, ousted from power through democratic elections in 1998 and dubbed by the West as isolationist, nationalist and, in general, domestically repressive, that are responsible for the breadth and strength of the NGO community . And this has happened in a place which until recently, with the exception of Yugoslavia, was the least likely to promote such healthy civic democratic growth.
March 2006 - Back from a February visit to Belgrade, I concluded that simply situating Serbia between one rock—Kosovo—and one hard place—the European Union—will not suffice. A number of rocks and hard places need to be identified. Start with Mladic and Montenegro as well as Kosovo and the European Union, then add a dispirited public, a troubled economy and a discouraged electorate, suspicious of all political parties. And they feed off each other. Both Bosnia's suit against Serbia in The Hague's International Court and anniversary dates of the NATO bombing campaign were also impending, even before the demonstrations that followed the death of Slobodan Milosevic. Yet their limited extent and impact is one positive sign.
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.
Involvement in the Middle East is not something new for the states of East Europe, especially those in southeast Europe, such as Bulgaria and Romania. During the communist period both countries traded extensively with Iraq and Libya, whose regimes were not receptive to Western countries. Bulgarian and Romanian involvement in the Middle East now comes, not as supporters of a putative struggle against Western imperialism or exploitation, but as allies in a security—based struggle against tyranny and terrorism. Moreover, it is the US—more than any European ally—that is determining the terms of that struggle and demanding contributions, including from new allies. Although the East European allies have seemed more eager than most to contribute to the US-led coalition, these new circumstances and demands set up unique challenges to the new allies in East Europe.
We must reinvigorate the comprehensive—and reject the exclusively militaristic—definition of security, Margaret Brusasco-Mackenzie warns.