February 2000 - The most cursory glance at economic growth statistics in post-communist Europe suggests that the past counts a lot. Yet, it isn't quite as simple as a Boeing analyst summarized in a conversation in 1991, when talking about economic growth potential in post-communist Eastern Europe: "Protestant and Catholic good, Orthodox bad, Muslim forget it." It is more complicated, of course, but this sort of gross and unfair generalization does succinctly capture what has happened as well as, or better than, some of the more sophisticated comparative theory models out there.
The series of articles that follows confront a fundamental question of socio-political development, the nature of social allegiances and the two main systems of classification that have been proposed to explain them: class and nation. All of the articles revolve around issues raised by Roman Szporluk in his book "Communism and Nationalism: Marx vs. List," published by the Oxford University Press in the spring of 1988.
Communist parties have inherited from Lenin and other great Bolsheviks an ideal-logical paradigm. In terms of this paradigm the Bolsheviks understand themselves and the world, which they try to disqualify ideologically and to change through revolutionary activity.
September 1998 - Grand narratives of Southeast European history can be objects of suspicion, especially when today's confrontations are traced into the past and dubbed as "ancient hatreds." The careful scholar who deconstructs such presentist approaches, however, faces another problem. Past national distinctiveness, when asserted by collective struggle, is a key asset in current political claims. By maintaining a neutral stance on a nation's history, a scholar may be branded as hostile to that nation.
NKIDP Working Paper #1, “Juche and North Korea’s Global Aspirations,” written by Charles K. Armstrong, follows North Korea’s expansion of diplomatic and economic ties both within and outside of the socialist bloc from the late 1960s into the early 1980s.
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.
From the moment the megalomaniac "Great Leader" Nicolae Ceausescu, who turned his onetime maverick country into the new basket case of Europe, was overthrown, Romania became a special case again. It has opted for neither the gradual transformation chosen by Poland and Hungary nor the "velvet" revolutions of Czechoslovakia and the now defunct German Democratic Republic; even in Bulgaria, the coup that toppled Todor Zhivkov was not violent. But in Romania, the popular uprising that led to Ceausescu's overthrow on 22 December 1989 cost 1,033 lives, inflicted heavy suffering to a further 2,198 people, and damaged buildings, some of them historically significant. This paper analyzes the role disillusionment, credibility, revisionist history, and legitimacy play in the unstable result of an unfinished revolution.
Fidelity to traditional values has generated a peculiar approach to politics as such throughout Eastern Europe. The author found in Poland that the criteria people used to judge political excellence, or political leadership, had little to do with programs and performance, and almost everything to do with morals and ethics. Poles tended to judge leaders not by whether they were or were likely to be effective at moving the country in a given direction, but by whether they were good or bad men: decent or indecent, strong or weak, kind or brutal, loyal or disloyal. The author's conclusion was that this moralization of politics made swinstwo--swinishness--the primary category for political condemnation. This paper then analyzes this phenomenon throughout the region as a whole.
Defying the proclaimed ideological similarity of the various governments of Eastern Europe (except Greece) during the last 40 years, nationalism is the strongest single motivating force today in that region. Nationalism has forced those in power to make certain ideological concessions giving birth to a basic contradiction even in terminology, national communism. Still, a major issue for the leaders of the various parties and states remains unresolved: the people's primary loyalty has little if anything to do with the world view which they are supposed to accept as the sole valid motivating force for their behavior.
March 2000 - At the beginning of this new century we may ask what problems we inherited, unresolved, from the last century. One of those problems is the Balkans.