November 1998 - We know the story of ancient Balkan ethnic hatred is largely false: before the late 19th century, conflict in the Balkan peninsula generally ran between South Slavs and their imperial neighbors, not among the South Slavs themselves. That said, there was one genuinely ancient conflict in the region involving the Ottoman Empire. From the 13th to the 18th century, the Ottoman armies were a permanent threat to the South Slavs. Since many (but by no means all) of the Ottoman armed forces were of Slavic origin, kin to their enemies, this period of Ottoman wars can plausibly be seen as the sole example of "ancient" hatred in the Balkans.
December 2000 Conference Report - The conference program was designed to encourage discussion about Ukraine and its neighbors outside of the standard categories for considering this important region. First, the presentations framed Ukraine almost exclusively in terms of its neighbors to its west; and second, the speakers explored Ukraine's relations with its neighbors at a number of different levels and not just as a problem of state-to-state relations. The conference participants attempted to engage a wider audience to think about Ukraine first and foremost within the context of Europe by adding texture and substance to discussions of cross-border relations. Second, the conference's discussion of Ukraine was predicated on the notion that Ukraine exists in numerous realities, only one of which is that of the state.
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.
November 2004 - The purpose of this paper is to address two questions associated with Lithuania’s political crisis in 2004. First, what were the domestic circumstances that led to the impeachment of Lithuania’s President, Rolandas Paksas? Second, what evidence is there that Russia has played a significant role in the crisis and what are the motives behind Moscow’s meddling in Lithuania’s internal affairs?
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.
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.
In the past generation so much has happened in this region that many of the old categories of description and analysis were sterile, perhaps redundant. Not only had new issues arisen about which little had been written in the West, but the very terms in which social debate in Eastern Europe is now undertaken have undergone radical transformation. Some fresh overall assessment of these changes is called for. This paper has been confined to one theme, albeit central; the emergence of new forms of opposition and dissent in this region over the past decade.
January 2004 - In the aftermath of World War II, Czechoslovakia expelled close to three million ethnic Germans into occupied Austria and Germany. These so-called Sudeten Germans had long lived in borderland regions ringing the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, with the heaviest concentration inhabiting the industrially advanced north and west of Bohemia. During and after the expulsions, over two million Czechs settled in the formerly German areas, taking over houses, businesses and factories. The popular Communist Party controlled the resettlement process from the beginning in 1945, using its influence to create a web of patronage in the borderlands. This helped the Party win over 50 percent of the vote in north Bohemia in free elections in May of 1946. Even before Stalinism took hold in Czechoslovakia in 1948, north Bohemia's coal mining, power production and chemical industry were renowned. With the onset of a Communist policy of heavy industrialization, north Bohemia's industry became a model for the entire country. By the 1960s, north Bohemia also became known for its almost unrivaled pollution, with air and water so foul that trees died in waves and children decamped to the mountains for doses of clean air.
September 1998 - Because of the press coverage and the policy interest both here and in Europe, a fundamental question arises over why the US--and the international community--should be concerned with Kosovo. The answer has two levels. The first is the issue of the violation of the Kosovar Albanians' human rights within their own country, although suffering and human rights violations are not unique to Kosovo. The second is the issue of Balkan stability in which the United States and Europe--including NATO--have a stated interest. The threat of spillover violence to an already unstable Albania and the precarious democracy in Macedonia (FYROM) is great. Spillover violence could have an impact on the Dayton peace process--here the United States has committed substantial resources including 6,900 troops--and potentially across the broader Balkan region, which might lead to a collapse of the former Yugoslavia and embroil Greece and Turkey.