Eastern Europe Events

Getting Kosovo out of Limbo?

April 12, 2010 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Since Kosovo's declaration of independence in February 2008, it has been in limbo, as have Serbia, the EU and the broader international community. The hurry to finish the period of Yugoslav dissolution and conflict resulted in something other than the end of transitional administration and creation of a final frontier desired. Instead, there was a messy proliferation of transitional states, in even murkier circumstances than there had been previously.

Building Democracy and State Institutions in Post-War Kosovo

April 05, 2010 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Following the NATO intervention in 1999, Kosovo became a de-facto international protectorate in which the United Nations led other international organizations and actors, in building democracy and state institutions capable of sustaining peace. My main research question is: Can ambitious political and economic international interventions, as in Kosovo, build democracy and effective state institutions?

Greek Gifts: Archaeophilia, Ochlocracy and Monochromatism in Contemporary Macedonia

March 10, 2010 // 11:00am12:30pm
Global Europe Program
As part of their program of "national revival," the Government of the Republic of Macedonia has embarked on a program of "antiquization" to lay claim to the legacy of Alexander the Great—in ways that resemble a longer process of antiquization in Greece, and which contribute to tensions between the two countries. This paper reviews the debate over antiquization within the Republic, focusing in particular on the robust critiques offered by a range of dissidents who risk being labeled as "dissidents" or "traitors." It then explores the similarities between the Republic's present and Greece's recent and more distant past, in which scholars and activists who questioned assumptions of cultural continuity and national purity have faced sanctions ranging from stalled career paths to lawsuits and death threats.

Extreme Politics: Nationalism, Violence, and the End of Eastern Europe

March 03, 2010 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
Charles King's new book Extreme Politics declares an end to the period of "post-communism," both as a period of European History and in terms of the conduct of US foreign policy. The book offers a critique of the way in which academics and policy makers have viewed this period, which began with the fall of the Berlin Wall on 11/9/1989 and ended with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. King argues that this period should be viewed as a unique interlude, rather than as a postscript to the Cold War.

Serbia's Foreign Policy: Substance and Rhetoric

February 24, 2010 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
Two years after Kosovo independence, the majority of Serbs still reel with the loss of their ancestral province and continue to resent the role the United States played in the break-up of their country. At the same time, most continue to support becoming part of "the West" and joining the European Union, and are almost equally eager to strengthen their country's political, cultural, and even military ties to the United States.

Islam at the EU Border: Muslim Minorities in Greece and Bulgaria

February 23, 2010 // 1:00pm2:30pm
Global Europe Program
Over the last 20 years, Bulgaria and Greece have pursued variable and divergent policies toward their Muslim minorities. During a brief period near the end of the Communist regime, Bulgaria forced Turks to assimilate. This policy was abandoned by the democratic government that took power in the 1990s. At the same time, Greece recognized its Muslim minority and facilitated the "Turkification" of its Muslim citizens throughout the 1980s, but then abandoned that policy by blocking minority rights in the 1990s. Harris Mylonas suggested that these policy shifts are commonly explained by assumptions or models that link minority treatment, regime type, ideology and leadership personalities. Rejecting these hypotheses, Mylonas argued that the structure of the international system was the most salient indicator influencing the treatment of Muslim minorities in both countries.

Human Rights in Post-Communist Transitions: Fulfillment or Betrayal?

February 22, 2010 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
The book "Human Rights and Their Limits" shows that the concept of human rights has developed in waves: each call for rights served the purpose of social groups that tried to stop further proliferation of rights once their own goals were reached. While defending the universality of human rights as norms of behavior, Osiatynski admits that the philosophy on human rights does not need to be universal.

Contemporary Women's Movements in Hungary: Globalization, Democracy, and Gender Equality

February 17, 2010 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
Although the postcommunist period brought an abrupt end to state policies that raised women's political and economic welfare, it also cleared the way for women to participate freely in democratic institutions and the market economy. Perhaps predictably, therefore, the impact that the postcommunist transition has had on women's welfare has also been mixed. Discussing the findings of her book, Katalin Fabian evaluated the gender regime and the growth of women's movements in postcommunist Hungary. She identified the interconnection between women's organizations, welfare policies and the impact that globalization has had on local activism.

Achieving the Grand Vision: Southeast Europe in the EU

February 02, 2010 // 1:00pm2:00pm
Global Europe Program
Crown Prince Alexander II voiced his strong support for Serbia's application for EU membership, which its leaders submitted to Brussels in December 2009. He asserted that "Serbia will gain political and economic benefit from EU membership," arguing that the reforms necessary to meet accession obligations will help to strengthen government institutions.

Challenges for Romania's Democratic Consolidation: Assessing the 2009 Presidential Elections

January 27, 2010 // 11:00am12:00pm
Global Europe Program
The Romanian presidential elections held last fall provoked accusations of mudslinging, electoral fraud and, most recently, even interference by the occult. Vladimir Tismaneanu offered to bring this debate back to solid ground by presenting his assessment of Romania's path to democracy. Although he found no evidence of the occult, Tismaneanu did point to some idiosyncrasies of the party system in the country as well as what he called the "baroque" coalitions that are characteristic not only of Romanian politics but also of other post-communist European democracies.

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