Society and Culture Publications
January 1999 - The image of humanist intellectuals opposing absolutist power in the name of Enlightenment ideals is a powerful one. Yet it represents only one way intellectuals have engaged in political activity in Europe. Czech intellectuals have been more than dissidents: they have also led political parties and served as parliamentary delegates, ministers, and presidents. Moreover, some of the best-known figures in Czech politics have been intellectuals. This essay addresses the careers of four intellectuals who have played important roles both in Czech letters and in Czech politics from 1848 to 1998.
Relying on the metaphors of plan and clan, this essay endeavors to show the similarities and differences in Hungarian and Russian paths and will evaluate the starting points, factors, processes and outcomes of post-communist transformation in Hungary and Russia. Focusing on clientelistic privatization and corruption networks, as well as on forces countervailing clandestine relationships, the author argues that whereas “clans for market” proved to be an accurate description of Hungary’s development, this interpretation is hardly applicable to Russia. The Russian-style clans endangered market building and prepared the reemergence of “clans for plan.” The following discussion will address what these opposite trajectories may mean for Hungary and Russia, as well as for the world at large.
In June 1994, five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically ended the Communist hold on Eastern Europe, only a quarter of the eligible voters turned out for the local elections in Poland. Elections in Hungary and the Czech Republic and referenda in Lithuania have been plagued by similarly low turnouts. Even in countries where voter turnout was high in the first post-Communist elections, the number of people who say they intend to cast ballots in upcoming elections has dropped, an indication of declining turnout. This paper examines civil society, the participatory culture, and public legitimation in the region, as well as democratization policies.
Experts who took part in a June 2000 discussion reveal that countries in the Andean region suffer from deep problems of governance: crisis of citizenship, reflected in widespread apathy and low levels of participation in the political process; the decline of political parties; corruption and a lack of accountability of civilian as well as military elites; weak institutions; and the military's involvement in politics.
This author's objective is to investigate how intellectual activity in Romania under Ceausescu contributed to reproducing an ideology in which "the nation" had pride of place. Much as had occurred in the period between the two World Wars, Romanian intellectuals debating with one another helped to strengthen a national ideology; their actions, and not simply Ceausescu's much-invoked "manipulation of nationalism to promote legitimacy" contributed to fortifying the idea of the nation and undermining the discourse of Marxism-Leninism on which Romania's socialist system supposedly rested.
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.
Gender and Islam in Africa examines ways in which women in Africa are interpreting traditional Islamic concepts in order to empower themselves and their societies.
This empirically grounded collection examines the growth of participatory institutions in Latin American democracy and how such institutions affect representative government. While most existing literature concentrates on model cases of participatory budgeting in Brazil, this volume investigates cases in Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina, where conditions for innovation have been far less favorable.
Cities after the Fall of Communism traces the cultural reorientation of East European cities since 1989. Analyzing the architecture, commemorative practices, and urban planning of cities such as Lviv, Vilnius, and Odessa, the contributors illustrate how history may be selectively re-imagined in light of present political and cultural realities.