This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.
March 1998 - Latvia will hold its next parliamentary elections in October 1998. How will the political left fare? Given the social and economic travails of the post-Communist period (the radical drop in living standards, the plight of those on fixed incomes, the loss of status of the cultural intelligentsia), one might predict that the left would score successes. Since 1991, however, the political left has seemed almost quiescent in Latvian politics. The parties of the left in the renewed parliament (Saeima) have controlled at best only about a third of all seats, and only one of these leftist parties received a plurality in the last Saeima elections in 1995. Why is this so? The political left in Latvia has not succeeded because it has not come to grips with six dilemmas-or, better said, problems with equally unsatisfying solutions.
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.
November 1999 - Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania found themselves caught between the experiences of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Unlike Warsaw Pact states, the Baltic States did not maintain a degree of independence following World War II. Unlike the Soviet Socialist Republics, however, the Baltic States were independent nation-states in the inter-war period.
Since the Paris and Madrid conferences, which created a NATO-Russia Joint Council and ratified NATO's enlargement, Russia has modified its Baltic policies. Because those policies are widely regarded as a litmus test of Russia's European policy, this modification bears close scrutiny. Although Russian opposition to NATO's enlargement has not declined, the most recent terms Moscow has offered the Baltics, though insufficient to stabilize the region, seem to represent a small but measurable step away from the negative, bullying tone that has characterized much of Russia's Baltic and European policies-and which is still heard, if less strident than before these conferences. This paper attempts to both explain and assess Russia's new Baltic Policy.
March 2001- John Ikenberry's important new book, After Victory, contends that victorious states seek stable alliances and cooperative relations after major wars. Rather than using military victory to assert further dominance, the urge for stability should trump triumphalism.
January 1998 - One of the key issues in the debate over NATO enlargement is the question of the relationship between NATO and the Baltic states and how an expansion of the alliance would affect Russia's relations with Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. While it is clear that the Baltic states will not be entering NATO anytime soon, it is worth noting that the arguments of those who opposed NATO's enlargement because of its impact on Russia have already been proven wrong.
September 2004 - With the fall of communist regimes across Eastern Europe in 1989 and the subsequent breakup of the multiethnic Soviet, Yugoslav and Czechoslovak states, many scholars and journalists warned of the imminent danger of ethnic conflict throughout the region. Yet if the bloody dismemberment of Yugoslavia realized most of these dire forecasts, the dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in surprisingly little ethnic conflict, outside Central Asia and the Caucasus. The large-scale ethnic mobilization that accelerated in Soviet republics under Gorbachev seemed to lose steam after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Recent ethnic demobilization in the former Soviet Union presents a puzzle for scholars of nationalism and comparative politics, since the conditions for ethnic conflict cited by area specialists have only worsened over time.
This publication stemmed from a conference held on April 23, 2004 entitled "Women in East European Politics." The event was co-sponsored by the Kennan Institute, the Watson Institute, Brown University and the George Washington University.
This volume examines the case for environmental peacemaking by comparing progress, prospects, and problems of initiatives in six regions—South Asia, Central Asia, the Baltics, Southern Africa, the Caucasus, and the U.S.-Mexico border.