Eastern Europe Events

Can Intervention Work? Lessons From Bosnia and the Balkans

May 09, 2011 // 2:00pm3:30pm
Global Europe Program
Support for international interventions around the world is more often driven by the relative success of the most recent experience of intervention, rather than on the merits and context of each specific case, according to Gerald Knaus. With the current debate about NATO's intervention in Libya in the news, Knaus evaluated the methods recently employed to assess and plan interventions, and offered his own framework for how to conduct international interventions, based on lessons learned in the ongoing intervention in Bosnia.

Threats to the Free Press in the Baltic States: Assessing the Impact of Government Policies and the Financial Crisis

May 05, 2011 // 1:00pm2:30pm
Global Europe Program
The 2008 economic crisis had a dramatic impact on the societies and economies of the Baltic States. To give a sense of the scale: in Latvia, GDP plummeted from 11.9 percent in 1996 to -19 percent in 2009. Two journalists from the region, Inga Springe and Dainius Radzevicius, asserted that among the many other consequences of the crisis, it has had a significant impact on the quality of the media. The panelists discussed the impact that these developments may have on democracy in the region.

An Incoherent Policy: Rule of Law Reform in Central Europe and Beyond

April 29, 2011 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Stephen Humphreys's analysis of rule of law theory and practice identified a wide gulf between the theory and the manner in which "rule of law" is promoted abroad. Moreover, according to Humphreys, the extraordinarily ambitious rule of law promotion project has devolved into an incoherent policy because it is treated simply as a technocratic exercise, with few resources and little controversy.

The Variable Impact of EU Conditionality: Differentiated Reforms in the Entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina

April 20, 2011 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Since the Dayton Peace Accord was signed 16 years ago, the European Union (EU) has been actively involved in Bosnia and Herzegovina in various capacities and has created a number of local institutions to support its four current missions. At the same time, the complicated state institutional structure in Bosnia means that the EU must simultaneously interact with a number of local and state-level institutions. Mujo Hadzic discussed a central puzzle: Does EU conditionality work in such a complex environment? Given this institutional complexity, Hadzic argued, both the Bosnian government and the EU struggle to speak with one voice, which dilutes the EU's impact and diffuses the energies of Bosnian institutions.

Serbia's Transition: Towards a Better Future

March 30, 2011 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
The 20 years of Serbia's transition to a market economy was discussed, explaining why a country that had among the best starting conditions in 1989 to implement the transition ended up substantially lagging behind.

Why There Is (Almost) No Post-Communist Christian Democracy

March 23, 2011 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Compared to their West European cousins, post-communist Christian Democratic parties are notable for their lack of success.

Book Presentation: Bosnia Remade: Ethnic Cleansing and Its Reversal

March 09, 2011 // 11:00am12:30pm
Global Europe Program
The book Bosnia Remade: Ethnic Cleansing and Its Reversal (Oxford University Press, 2011) is an authoritative account of ethnic cleansing and its partial undoing from the onset of the 1990s Bosnian wars up through the present. Gerard Toal and Carl Dahlman combine a bird's-eye view of the entire war from onset to aftermath with a micro-level account of three towns that underwent ethnic cleansing and--later--the return of refugees.

Stability and Democracy in Albania: Clearing the Path towards European Integration

March 04, 2011 // 12:30pm1:30pm
Global Europe Program
The recent January events in Albania have proved once again that more needs to be done in order to strengthen democracy, democratic institutions and rule of law. As a NATO member country Albania was expected to radiate stability in the still fragile region and to behave as a proper candidate for the EU integration status. However the recent events and the sudden damage these events brought to Albania's image, after years of stability, moderate foreign policy, economic and social developments, have once again put forward the idea that democracy or stability alone can not be a paradigm for a country's or regional development, but only a combination of both well-harmonised by social development and reforms which will make possible a clear separation from the communist past, would guarantee a steady development to the country which until not long ago was considered a regional hub.

A Blow to Democracy: Election Fraud, Corruption and Political Violence in Albania

February 08, 2011 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
Erion Veliaj, a former civil society activist and coordinator of the Albanian opposition parties, discussed the demonstration held on January 21, 2011. The demonstration ended in violence, with four shot and killed by the Republican Guard. Prime Minister Sali Berisha characterized the event as an attempted coup d'état in an attempt to justify the violent response, and said that the demonstrators had been carrying weapons disguised as umbrellas. Veliaj argued at the meeting that these contentions were "ludicrous": according to Veliaj, this was just another in a number of peaceful demonstrations organized by the opposition to protest what they see were unfair elections in 2009. The Albanian government, Veliaj said, was trying to force the population to choose between stability and freedom.

Hungary Under FIDESZ: A Retreat from Democracy?

January 25, 2011 // 10:30am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
The economic crisis in Hungary has evolved into a political crisis, as Viktor Orban's FIDESZ government has passed a number of laws and initiatives that severely thwart democracy. Orban's populism has led his government to restrict press freedoms, undermine the balance of powers and silence opponents in the arts and academia by cutting institutional budgets, while claiming austerity. According to Attila Mesterházy, leader of the opposition Hungarian Socialist Party, the FIDESZ government's reforms do not serve the national interest and have harmed Hungary's reputation abroad during this crucial period when it holds the rotating EU presidency.

Pages

EMAIL UPDATES