Race and Ethnicity Publications
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.
The history of the Jews and anti-Semitism in Hungary has been a source of puzzlement for scholars of East European history. The reason for this is a feature of Hungarian history rarely found elsewhere in the region: an unusually large oscillation in the attitudes of the Hungarian political community between the extremes of resolute philosemitism on the one hand and obsessive anti-Semitism on the other. This paper examines why it is only now, at the end of the twentieth century, that the Jews have become free to "erect a parliamentary springboard" from which they can conspire to assimilate Hungarians in this breathtakingly paranoid vision?
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.
March 2001- The Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, resulted in the replacement of a unified state by a puppet regime in Serbia and an ideologically-fascist Independent State of Croatia under the Ustasa regime. This regime claimed for Croatia most of the ethnically mixed Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the Serb-dominated eastern Slavonia and Krajina. To cleanse those areas of ethnic Serbs, the Ustasa committed atrocities, the brutality of which was most potently symbolized by the death camp at Jasenovac, later to also become symbol for Yugoslavia's 1990s disintegration. Until recently, however, most historical inquiry into World War II Yugoslavia has focused on the civil war between Tito's communist Partisans and Draza Mihailovic's Serb-dominated Cetniks. The royal government-in-exile, based in London, appointed Mihailovic war minister in January 1942, and considered the Cetniks its representative in Yugoslavia. A historical issue that has not been sufficiently examined is the British relationship with the government-in exile during the war and how that relationship prompted the British to lead the Allies into switching support from Mihailovic to Tito.
55. National Identity and Cultural Self Definition: Modern and Postmodern Romanian Artistic ExpressionJul 07, 2011
The scope of this analysis is to discuss the extent of change of post-communist Romania’s cultural society in its self-definition, with its reclaimed national independence and its greater exposure to Western ideas, as well as the extent to which it parallels inter-war national identity developments. Some of the issues addressed include the following: How have globalization and modernization affected Romanian artistic expression in the post-1989 period? To what extent is contemporary Romanian artistic expression using the language of modernity to perpetuate old symbols of national identity?
This report draws from the dialogue and seminar papers shared at a December 2008 meeting co-hosted by the Wilson Center and the Fetzer Institute to explore conditions that promote resilience and examine compelling examples of community resilience worldwide.
December 2003 - Approximately one-third of Estonian residents are not ethnic Estonians, and an overwhelming majority of that proportion of the population are Russian-speakers. Probably the most telling fact about Estonia's ethnic minorities is that only 38 percent of them hold Estonian citizenship, despite of having been residents for decades. The remaining are either stateless persons or citizens of the Russian Federation. Since 1998, the government has made efforts to encourage these residents to apply for Estonian citizenship. The major obstacle to obtaining the blue Estonian passport for many is passing the Estonian language proficiency examination.
January 2000 - Inter-ethnic disputes have been one of the worst setbacks in Eastern Europe since the fall of communism, and their impact has been disastrous. These conflicts have inhibited peaceful development in the post-communist period by displacing and killing large populations, retarding regional economies and investments, dragging reluctant Americans and Europeans into unpopular regional conflicts, as well as placing serious strains on the Euro-Atlantic alliance. Despite these outcomes, the majority of these conflicts have proven to be a case of political will. Their peaceful resolution necessitates the creation of institutional forms and practices which will accommodate rather than isolate and ignore inter- ethnic disputes.
Even though Jews and Poles no longer live together in Poland, the simple phrase "Poles and Jews" evokes powerful emotions. Jews have bitter memories of friction and conflict, of being despised and threatened by Poles. Distrust of and dislike of Poles is handed down within the culture; most Jews today have had no personal experience of living among Poles. This paper works to examine the current state of the relationship between Poles and Jews today, after the Holocaust and redrawing of Poland's borders.
November 2004 - Over the past 15 years, a fascinating experiment has taken place in Europe regarding the codification of minority rights. As communism collapsed in 1989, several ethnic conflicts broke out in the Caucuses and Balkans, and commentators feared that ethnic violence would spiral out of control throughout Central and Eastern Europe. In response, Western democracies decided to "internationalize" the treatment of national minorities in postcommunist Europe, creating a pan-European regime to monitor whether countries are meeting European standards in the treatment of their minorities. Some of these standards have been formulated by the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)–a position established in 1993. Other standards were formulated by the Council of Europe (COE) in its 1995 "Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities." Complying with these OSCE and COE standards is required for countries to ‘join the West,' and in particular to join the European Union (EU) and NATO.