July 1999 - In March 1999, shortly before the start of NATO’s war in Kosovo, EES initiated a series of seminars and discussions on different aspects and implications of the crisis designed to apply the same scholarly and policy-oriented focus to the war in Kosovo that typifies the Wilson Center’s approach to all public policy issues. This volume brings together the highlights of several of these talks, which hopefully will provide useful insights on and analyses of the crisis to those who were unable to attend the sessions. In it you will find a wide variety of views, some supportive of the Administration and NATO’s approach, others critical. The intent of the report is to provide a balanced view of events in the region as well as U.S. and NATO policy, presented by a distinguished group of academics and policy experts.
September 1999 - The war in Kosovo internationalized the dilemma of democracy - how to treat non-democratic forces that act against democratic premises. Or, how tolerant can one be against intolerance?
In 1991, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia—two multinational Communist federal states with comparable histories of indigenous revolutions and similar nationality policies—disintegrated. As the only two countries that fully implemented the system of ethno-territorial federalism, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia shared important structural features. In both cases, the basic political-administrative units—the republics—were organized along ethnic lines and were seen as the quasi-national homelands of the titular nations.
7. The Political Articulation and Aggregation of Plural Interests in Self-Management Systems: The Case of YugoslaviaJul 07, 2011
This paper was written as part of the preparation of a new book dealing with the problems of articulation and aggregation of interests in the political system of Yugoslavia in order to compare it with other political systems, especially with those systems in the countries of so-called really existing socialism, i.e., the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
September 2000 - In his opening remarks, Zbigniew Brzezinski outlined three categories of democracy: functioning, malfunctioning, and fictitious. Functioning democracies are characterized by political and economic pluralism. Poland represents one of the most successful "functioning democracies" in the post-communist world. Malfunctioning democracies, such as many former Soviet states today, may aspire to democracy, but are crippled by legacies of the communist past. In fictitious democracies, the organs of the Communist Party remain but the regime pursues limited, reformist economic and social policies, such as in China. Brzezinski also pointed out that wide-scale, growing poverty impedes the movement toward democracy in many post-communist countries.
May 1998 - The Roma, or Gypsies, have lived in Eastern Europe, particularly the Balkans, since the Middle Ages. Originally a warrior class in India, they were driven out as victims of war by the invading Muslims. Modern Gypsies prefer to be called Roma, which is a Romani (the language of the Roma) word meaning husband or man. "Gypsy" comes from "Egyptian," which medieval Eastern Europeans mistakenly called the Roma. Gypsy, cigány, and other European derivatives of Byzantine terms, such as Atsínganoi (meaning itinerant musician or soothsayer) and Adsincani are laden with prejudicial stereotypes and meanings.
September 2004 - On May 1, 2004, ten countries joined the European Union (EU). On the day of the accession, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary all had Central-Left governments in power. One day later, Leszek Miller, the Polish premier was forced to resign. In June, Czech social democrat Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla followed suit, and in August, the head of the Center-Left government of Hungary, Peter Medgyessy, was also forced to resign. "Too weak," "lacks energy," "cannot communicate effectively"—these were some of the accusations lodged against them. In spite of the fact that all three leaders where very popular at the beginning of their terms, it appeared that the initial success of their materialist-redistributive politics faded quickly. None of these countries was in bad shape economically—on the contrary, they were experiencing economic booms—yet political observers sensed that there was a crisis in the leadership. This situation had clear ties to EU accession. A national consensus supported the European accession almost everywhere: EU membership seemed logical and would clearly serve the common good. So, once the long-held goal of EU accession was achieved, why did these governments collapse? Was it just coincidence that all three were replaced by much younger prime ministers with very different outlooks from their predecessors? The answers to these questions are directly related to the fact that EU enlargement has brought the region to a new stage in its development, and one in which the former communists need to redefine their political roles. Indeed, this stage could be interpreted as the end of postcommunism.
June 2006 - It is an article of faith that an independent, diverse and reasonably professional media is an essential fixture of democracy. As irritating as it can sometimes be, fact-based journalism practiced by public-spirited people really does help make the machinery of democracy work. Over the past 15 years, the U.S. and European governments along with private donors, including George Soros, have backed this premise with substantial funds. Since 1990, international donors have spent at least $600 million and probably much more on media training and development in emerging democracies, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and more recently in Afghanistan and the Middle East. While in the overall context of international aid $600 million is not a great sum, it is a very substantial resource to be focused on the care and feeding of one particular professional endeavor, in this case journalism, especially one whose normal relationship with government is adversarial.
These four papers analyze evolving patterns in the Baltics with regard to ethnic relations. The authors examine considerations for Baltic unity, as well as issues specific to the three countries. In Estonia, the author considers the effect of the country's declaration of independence on ethnic and economic stability. Another author discusses issues of nationhood in Latvia in 1993, while the final author examines the role of Russians in Lithuania.