With the collapse of state socialism in 1989, the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (hereafter CEE) had no choice but to shake off their deeply ingrained Cold War mentality and try to take their place in a world characterized by globalization and increased regional integration. Their “return to Europe,” or integration into the structures of the European Community/European Union (EC/EU), passed an important milestone in 1993, when the EU made the historic decision to enlarge eastwards and accept new members from the formerly communist countries. Accession negotiations opened in spring 1998 for "fast-track" countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Estonia), and in February 2000 for "slow-track" countries (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, and Lithuania). This paper focuses on the CEE countries’ “accession perspective”—their motives, expectations, deliberations, and practical difficulties as they strive to become part of the EU’s anticipated eastward enlargement.
September 2004 - With the fall of communist regimes across Eastern Europe in 1989 and the subsequent breakup of the multiethnic Soviet, Yugoslav and Czechoslovak states, many scholars and journalists warned of the imminent danger of ethnic conflict throughout the region. Yet if the bloody dismemberment of Yugoslavia realized most of these dire forecasts, the dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in surprisingly little ethnic conflict, outside Central Asia and the Caucasus. The large-scale ethnic mobilization that accelerated in Soviet republics under Gorbachev seemed to lose steam after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Recent ethnic demobilization in the former Soviet Union presents a puzzle for scholars of nationalism and comparative politics, since the conditions for ethnic conflict cited by area specialists have only worsened over time.
September 2001- The events of September 11, 2001 have pushed the crisis in Macedonia very much into the background of world affairs. Nevertheless, events there remain of crucial importance to stability in the Balkans. Macedonia's future is anything but clear. It faces the multiple threats of civil war, political and social disintegration, and economic disaster.
January 1999 - The image of humanist intellectuals opposing absolutist power in the name of Enlightenment ideals is a powerful one. Yet it represents only one way intellectuals have engaged in political activity in Europe. Czech intellectuals have been more than dissidents: they have also led political parties and served as parliamentary delegates, ministers, and presidents. Moreover, some of the best-known figures in Czech politics have been intellectuals. This essay addresses the careers of four intellectuals who have played important roles both in Czech letters and in Czech politics from 1848 to 1998.
This paper examines the market changes which developed in Poland in the late 1950s, where one could observe small-scale, timid changes in the traditional communist view toward free enterprise. One of the results of political liberalization was a drastic reduction in the numbers of secret police, party bureaucrats, and censors. Many former guardians of communist morality, now deprived of their posts and Privileges, succumbed to the temptations of Mammon and established small industrial enterprises, shops, and brokerage agencies themselves. Moreover, it now seems that the Party authorities, silently and discreetly, fully supported these undertakings, treating them as a safe and simple safety valve to release the anger and frustrations of forcIbly retired apparatchiks and as a reward for their faithful service.
January 2002- In the 21st century, organized crime in the Balkans has accomplished what empires like the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Hapsburgs and, briefly, Hitler's Third Reich achieved in centuries past. Namely, to compel the myriad, rival ethnic groups of the region to work together for a common purpose. The difference, of course, is in the compulsions and incentives. Past empires used limited doses of advantages for those who cooperated, combined with brute force against those who resisted.
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.
In this paper, the author examines the initial outcomes of post-1989 transformations in countries outside the former Soviet Union. He identifies the patterns of transformation emerging in the region and proposes some tentative ideas that help to account for disparities in initial outcomes of these transformations.