July 2000 Conference Report - The Wilson Center's East European Studies and West European Studies programs organized this day-long conference on April 19, 2000. The conference conducted a comprehensive examination of the NATO-Europe partnership and its future prospects, as well as an analysis of the implications of the Bosnian and Kosovo wars for NATO and for the new and aspiring members of the NATO alliance and the European Union (EU). The goal of the conference was to provide a comprehensive view of the West's key integrative institutions, NATO and the EU, as well as a clear summary of the evolving security picture in Europe and of America's future role in an ever-evolving NATO.
January 2005 - In November 2004, the US government recognized the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia. State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher described this as underscoring US commitment to "a permanent, multiethnic and democratic Macedonia within its existing borders." The recognition, on the eve of a potentially divisive referendum in the country, can be seen as belated acknowledgment of the achievement of Macedonia's political leadership since the country's declaration of independence in 1991. Despite economic and political pressure from its southern neighbor Greece, persistent military threat from Milosevic's Serbia to the north and high-profile tensions over the collective rights of Albanians within the country, which precipitated an armed insurgency in 2001, Macedonia has emerged as a candidate for EU membership, with all major political forces committed to interethnic accommodation and market democracy.
February 1997 - The Yugoslav crisis demonstrates the importance of concerted international action to prevent or resolve conflicts before they turn violent. The community of democratic states, working through multilateral institutions, might prevent the outbreak of similar crises elsewhere by adopting a strategy of "preventive engagement" to promote the democratic development of new governments. Elements of such a strategy are already in place in Macedonia, where international actors are attempting to resolve the tensions between the Albanian and Macedonian ethnic communities.
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.
The activities of the United States Army and Navy in the Adriatic following the end of World War I remain largely unknown. From November 1918 to September 1921, US naval and army units controlled a wide territory along the eastern Adriatic coast, including islands, stretching from Istria to Montenegro. Their presence offers us an attractive opportunity to study the military and naval, as well as political and psychological, aspects of the dispute which emerged because of Italian claims to the eastern coast.
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.
February 2007 - These comments draw on my visit to Belgrade this past January, initially arranged as a research trip for my ongoing and optimistically titled book project with Lenard Cohen, "Embracing Democracy in the Western Balkans: From Post-Conflict Struggles to European Integration." The visit's overlapping with January 21 meant that the elections dominated most of my conversations and also the current press that I collected. I met with a variety of scholars, the editors of the daily Danas, for which I provided an interview, Slobodan G. Markovic of the Institute for European Studies, Srdjan Gligorijevic of the International and Security Affairs Center, and Sonja Licht, now President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. Supplementing their varied impressions for this balance sheet are articles from the daily papers Danas and Politika, and the weekly magazines Vreme and NIN.
Transforming external regimes has proven to be one of the most problematic aspects of the economic transition in the former Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) countries. These difficulties result both from internal factors such as the all too frequent failure of macroeconomic stabilization programs and from external factors such as the collapse of Soviet-era multinational integration mechanisms. This paper analyzes how, at the macroeconomic level, large declines in regional trade flows during 1990-93 have reinforced the macroeconomic perturbations buffeting the post-Communist economies, while at the microeconomic level, difficulties encountered in sustaining trade liberalization and making currencies more convertible have weakened demonopolizing tendencies and hurt prospects for integration into the international economy.
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.