January 2000 - Bulgaria once existed as a totalitarian state and a faithful Soviet ally with a centralized socialist economy. Today, it is a functioning pluralist democracy which embraces the liberal views of the West and strives for integration into the prosperous global civilization of the 21st century. The transition has been long and painful, but one that should be examined and recognized for its accomplishments, particularly those within the past year.
October 1998 - The mass-based, extreme brand of nationalism, connected with the rise of Slobodan MiloŠevic and with the most cataclysmic years of Yugoslavia's meltdown and disintegration (1990-93), has to a large extent dissipated. However, political forces advancing extreme nationalist sentiments, as well as popular support for those views, remain strong in Serbia and among Serbs in other areas such as Kosovo and the Republika Srpska (as we have just seen from the electoral results in Bosnia). Although intellectual ideologists of Serbian nationalism and ultra-nationalism have been dispirited by MiloŠevic's failures, fundamental views about Serbia's national and territorial interests persist, related to feelings of "wounded national pride." Talk of pursuing a "Greater Serbia" and open revanchism are now rather less visible, as soul-searching occurs about recent Serb experiences in the Balkans. There is still, however, a strong commitment in various circles to the pursuit of Serbian national interests, as well as resentment about what has occurred over the last decade.
March 2006 - Back from a February visit to Belgrade, I concluded that simply situating Serbia between one rock—Kosovo—and one hard place—the European Union—will not suffice. A number of rocks and hard places need to be identified. Start with Mladic and Montenegro as well as Kosovo and the European Union, then add a dispirited public, a troubled economy and a discouraged electorate, suspicious of all political parties. And they feed off each other. Both Bosnia's suit against Serbia in The Hague's International Court and anniversary dates of the NATO bombing campaign were also impending, even before the demonstrations that followed the death of Slobodan Milosevic. Yet their limited extent and impact is one positive sign.
November 2000- NATO was conceived and functioned during the Cold War as a collective defense organization. The centerpiece of the allied mission was to deter an attack and to prepare for the emergencies of Article 5 - defending the territory of the members-states against an attack by the Warsaw Pact. Although the ultimate test never came, it is fair to say that the alliance acquitted itself well in this area.
September 1999 - "The Balkans create more history then they can endure. Unfortunately," Ambassador Acevska asserts, "this is true." The region's long history of uprising and violence dates back to the 15th century and is rooted in a tradition of cultural, religious and territorial misunderstanding and mistrust. To date, the region's most immediate and ominous threat is that of border changes. Ambassador Acevska views this as a direct threat to the international security of the entire European continent.
This two-part report presents the findings of the August 1999, Freedom House assessment mission to Kosovo, as well as the author's own September 1999 trip to Serbia. It focuses on the status of civil society, specifically non-governmental organizations, development. The overall goal of the four person assessment team to Kosovo was to determine the conditions, status, and potential for development of civil society and democratic governance in the war-torn province and to formulate recommendations to strengthen its transition to a democratic society based on the rule of law. In the author's visit to Belgrade he observed another face of Serbia, and aims to share it with those who are genuinely interested in assisting Serbia and the rest of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in its transition to a stable and democratic country.
June 2008 - This essay reflects the main points that made at a June EES meeting on the question of a "Kosovo precedent." It considers the legal issues implicated by Kosovo's declaration of independence and the subsequent recognition by various states of Kosovo as an independent country. It also tries to set out the differences between political and legal precedent and how we may frame arguments about what Kosovo means in terms of these two different uses "precedent." It also includes short updates to reflect recent events.
Exploring the wider relevance of US policy in Bosnia was hard enough when I first addressed it in the early 1990s. Then, the fate of all Southeastern Europe was in the balance—whether these countries would be connected to a Europe whole and free or detached as the dangerous, dysfunctional Balkans. Today, our continuing commitments in Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are inviting comparison and contrast to the much larger and more daunting American commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
February 2000 - The year 1999 was a very traumatic year for the six million Albanians in the Balkans. Thanks to NATO's intervention and after long years of bad luck, national tragedy, and economic misery, the future looks relatively bright. Despite daunting challenges, Albanians in Kosova are finally free of Serbian repression and can now begin building a new, more stable future. In Albania, there are some signs of recovery from the 1997 economically-induced government crash, although politically, it is still pervaded by a lack of cohesion and direction.
May 1998 - Kosovo is often seen as the most recent example of the clash between two established principles of international politics: self-determination and the inviolability of borders. However, it is better seen as a clash between a principle and reality.