March 2000 - The current trans-Atlantic/European partnership is characterized by some remarkable structural tensions. The overlap between membership in the European Union and NATO is limited to only 11 countries. The European Union (EU) has four members - Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden - which, though not officially part of the Alliance, are beneficiaries of NATO's protection. This is a classical free rider situation. It is quite remarkable that one of the four free riders, Austria, is the first EU-member country with a government party holding fifty percent of the decision-making power, whose policies openly denounce the very idea of 'eastern enlargement' on the basis of an argument that posits the essential inferiority of all applicants. That list of "inferior applicants" includes Hungary - an economy in which Austrian capital has been the fourth largest investor since the collapse of socialism.
March 2008 - Since the 1990s, an array of international organizations has devoted considerable time and energy to democracy promotion in the Western Balkans. A major strand of this work has comprised civil society assistance, increasingly targeted at the community level. Official evaluations of this work tend to emphasize quantitative indicators of increasing civic participation, reduced incidence of inter-ethnic violence and socio-economic progress. They tend not to portray the empirical realities of democratization, or the less tangible, longer-term impacts of such efforts. The ongoing research project described here aims to offer a longitudinal case-study in US civil society programming which combines academic and policy perspectives. Our goal is to examine closely and systematically the impacts and lessons from a single project, while factoring in the wider context.
May 2004 - Seemingly discredited just a few short years ago, the nationalist parties that were the main perpetrators of war, undemocratic politics and economic mismanagement in the former Yugoslavia's two largest successor states have made an electoral comeback after several years of rule by reformist, pro-Western coalitions. In Croatia, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ-Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica), which held a virtual monopoly on political power throughout the 1990s, won the largest number of seats (43 percent) in the November 2003 parliamentary elections and became the governing party in a four-party coalition and Ivo Sanader, the HDZ leader, became prime minister. The far-right Croatian Party of Rights (HSP-Hrvatska Stranka Prava) doubled its representation in parliament from four to eight seats, but did not join the ruling coalition. In the Serbian parliamentary election of December 2003, the top vote- and seat-getter (32 percent of parliamentary seats) was the Serbian Radical Party (Srpska Radikalna Stranka—SRS) of Vojislav Seselj, currently detained in the Netherlands for war crimes. The SRS, albeit never the ruling party in Serbia, had played a key role as the ideological surrogate of Slobodan Milosevic and the former ruling Serbian Socialist Party (SPS-Srpska Partija Socjalisticka). Besides helping Milosevic solidify his nationalist credentials, the SRS also performed some of the former regime's dirty work by organizing paramilitaries to fight in Croatia and Bosnia. The SPS itself managed to win only 22 seats in the December 2003 election. Both Seselj and Milosevic topped their parties' lists and were elected in absentia. Despite its strong showing in the election, however, the SRS did not form a government, a task that was undertaken by a group of democratically-minded parties led by the Serbian Democratic Party (DSS-Demokratska Stranka Srbije) of Vojislav Kostunica, who decided, to the great dismay of Western diplomats, to seek nominal support of Milosevic's Socialists for his government. These developments (along with the fact that nationalist parties prevailed in 2002 federal elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina) could lead some observers to find a resurgent nationalism throughout the Balkans.
This paper will present the findings of the author's research entitled “Violence against women and social changes in post-communist societies,” conducted during 1999 in Hungary, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia. The author focuses her analysis on findings regarding both the negative and positive impact of changes on women’s vulnerability to and protection from domestic violence. The paper is based on both quantitative and qualitative analysis of interviews with 86 people (58 women and 28 men), 45 professionals and women’s groups activists, documentation of victim support organizations, and media and research reports from the above mentioned countries.
April 2001- The European Union's (EU) eastward enlargement is said to be a well-designed strategy aimed at overcoming the divisions in Europe and strengthening the process of European integration. This paper will question the very essence of this claim. It will, first, show that the EU's policies towards the candidate states from Eastern Europe emerge more by default than by design. Second, it will show that the EU's policies, while overcoming some divisions in Europe, also created new ones. And third, it will show that widening the Union makes its deepening quite difficult. In other words, the long-term vision of a highly integrated European federation is being challenged by the enlargement project.
The following report is aimed at a broad analysis of the most important changes that the author has observed in his travels and studies in Eastern Europe over a period of 50 years. The main theme behind all these changes has been a transition toward modernity.
October 1998 - Clashes between Catholics and Jews in Poland are again in the news. Since last spring, a series of confrontations between religious radicals has occurred at the Auschwitz death camp in Oswiecim. Thus far, all attempts to resolve the controversy surrounding the placement of Christian religious symbols at the site have failed. Why has the unauthorized display of crosses at Auschwitz escalated to an international incident? What makes this such an intractable issue? This problem results from the intertwining of religious social action and political activity in Poland since 1989. In fact, the current controversy is a way of illustrating the contemporary dynamics of religion and politics in Poland. These dynamics can be broken into four aspects: the international dimension, church-state realignment, tensions within the Catholic hierarchy, and the differentiation of the Catholic community.
October 2002- In parliamentary elections held on September 20-21, 2002, Slovak voters showed a clear preference for pro-Western and reform-oriented parties, while turning away from populists aimed at protecting "national" interests and potentially returning the country to international isolation. The elections produced the most homogenous government in Slovakia's short history, and the country's future – at least for the next four years – now appears rather predictable, even boring. Following an awkward introduction to the world, the elections signify that Slovakia may finally be growing up.
289. America's New Friends in the East: Does EU and NATO Expansion Promise to Re-energize the Transatlantic Alliance?Jul 07, 2011
December 2003 - When France and Germany announce their nominations for "Man of the Year 2003" it is a safe bet that Donald Rumsfeld will not make the shortlist. The US Defense Secretary's pointed reference to the Franco-German axis against the war in Iraq as being merely representative of "old Europe" compared with a new, more pro-American Europe emerging with the accession of eight formerly communist countries to the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004, cranked up the tension in Transatlantic relations to levels not seen for decades. Americans were already well aware of Rumsfeld's talent for stirring controversy. Now it was Europe's turn. And France and Germany rose dutifully to take his bait. But why, we need to ask, were they so easily angered? Was Rumsfeld right after all?