Society and Culture Publications
In the former Yugoslavia, language issues have long been both a reflection of inter-ethnic tensions and a catalyst for deepening inter-ethnic animosities. Like religion and ethnicity, language serves as a marker of national identity. Given the ethnic polarization in the former Yugoslavia, language can be a highly emotional and politically sensitive topic. This piece first provides a brief overview of the history of the language-politics interface for the ethnic groups speaking the main language of the former Yugoslavia: Serbo-Croatian. Secondly, it outlines the disintegration of Serbo-Croatian language unity in 1991 as manifested in the emergence of at least three "successor languages" (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian). Finally, it focuses on the often acrimonious debates of the last few years within Serbia regarding the future of a Serbian standard language.
February 1997 - The Yugoslav crisis demonstrates the importance of concerted international action to prevent or resolve conflicts before they turn violent. The community of democratic states, working through multilateral institutions, might prevent the outbreak of similar crises elsewhere by adopting a strategy of "preventive engagement" to promote the democratic development of new governments. Elements of such a strategy are already in place in Macedonia, where international actors are attempting to resolve the tensions between the Albanian and Macedonian ethnic communities.
The extraordinary census of the summer of 1994 provides an opportunity to view both the complexity of the Macedonian scene, of which the Albanians are a part, and the role of European mediation more broadly. The 1994 Macedonian census raises fundamental issues of which the more recent conflicts such as those over education and language use at the federal level are continuations. It is also worthy of a more detailed account as a historical moment around which national and international tensions crystallized. As this paper finds, regardless of what the future holds for Macedonia, the 1994 census is one of the key links in the chain of events leading to that future.
In this paper the author aims to demonstrate how and why myths are created and what political, ethical, or other ideological purposes they can be made to serve. In her overall project, "Demographic patterns and Family structure in Nineteenth-century Bulgaria" (which is outlined in detail in Appendix 1), she aims at empirical research whose ultimate and modest value would be to attempt to fill in some of the blank spots of the social history of this specific region.
A series of three conferences were held during the Spring of 2000 to discuss issues such as: environmental and sustainable initiatives in the Amazon Basin; the roles of local, national, and international actors; Brazil's national security agenda in relation to the Amazon Basin; and the rising threat of international drug trafficking. This volume is a compilation of papers presented.
This book comparatively explores the obstacles countries face in sustaining and consolidating democratic systems. Topics include social services, poverty, and inequality, specific case studies, and how government policy and development practices improve the quality of life of citizens in democratic regimes.
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.
In their literature, culture and early twentieth-century politics, the Czech people have a history of emphasizing moral virtue, tolerance, and respect for human dignity and freedom. Sadly, there is a growing chasm in Czech society between pre-revolution aspirations and post-revolution reality. The Czech Republic is infected with the destructive kind of nationalism found in other parts of East Central Europe, and now is characterized by a xenophobic citizenship law and violence against Roma. Will the Czechs ultimately honor their legacy of liberal humanism? The answer will speak volumes on the compatibility of nationalism and constitutional liberalism in the heart of the European continent.
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.