March 14, 2013 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
The eastern European revolutions of 1989 were a watershed in global history. Despite this, in the two decades since, their meaning has become a source of debate. While they have been promoted as a founding myth for a newly unified Europe, eastern Europeans have repeatedly represented them as a moment of betrayal, martyrdom, liberation, victory, disappointment, loss, colonization, or nostalgia.
March 05, 2013 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
"Exciting, deeply engaged, and shrewdly perceptive, Stalin's Curse is an unprecedented revelation of the sinister machinations of Stalin's Kremlin." Based on newly declassified archival materials author Robert Gellately offers a more clearly defined picture of what went on behind the scenes.
From Challengers to Partners? Relations Between Human Rights NGOs and their Home Governments from the 1970s on
January 30, 2013 // 12:00pm — 12:45pm
History and Public Policy Program
The concept of human rights acquired global significance during the 1970s, spurred by the activities of a growing number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) responding to state repression in Chile, South Africa, the Warsaw Pact states, and elsewhere. Key interlocutors for NGOs like Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch were their home governments, whom they influenced through a combination of public campaigning and private lobbying. Crucially, it seems that during this period human rights NGOs experienced a trajectory from ‘outsider’ to ‘insider’ status. Does this mean that they paid a costly price for their newfound influence, namely abandoning their original ‘apolitical’ appeal and becoming less impartial and independent? Or should we understand this to be their success in transforming the character of international politics?
January 23, 2013 // 12:00pm — 1:30pm
Drawing on archival documents and testimonies of high-ranking American diplomats and intelligence officers, "On the Edge of the Cold War" explores the postwar political crisis in former Czechoslovakia from the perspective of the U.S. Embassy under Laurence Steinhardt and of U.S. Intelligence under Charles Katek and Spencer Taggart. The book paints a critical portrait of Ambassador Steinhardt, and shows that his groundless optimism caused Washington to ignore signs that democracy in Czechoslovakia was in trouble.
Is Europe facing a new Era? The Treaty on Stability and the Struggle for Economic Sovereignty in a Political Perspective
December 06, 2012 // 3:00pm — 4:00pm
The current European crisis is not only the crisis of a single country or the crisis of a small group of countries; this crisis is structural. It is not a crisis similar to the 1929 crisis, or similar to the crisis of the 70s. To face it the European Union (without the United Kingdom) has agreed to sign a Treaty on Stability, which is intended to provide economic measures to reduce public debt and to control public finance. This system, however, has a critical weakness: it perpetuates the gap existing between a fully integrated economic system and independent political decision making on the part of EU member states.
December 03, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:30pm
Greece in the 1960s produced one of Europe's arguably most controversial post-WWII politicians. Andreas Papandreou’s maverick politics grew out of his conflict laden re-engagement with Greece in the 1960s. In this biography of Andreas Papandreou, the author Stan Draenos chronicles the events, struggles and ideas that defined the man's dramatic, intrigue-filled transformation from Kennedy-era modernizer to Cold War maverick.
November 26, 2012 // 2:30pm — 3:30pm
Julija Šukys, author of Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė, carefully collected, preserved, and archived the written record of the life of Ona Šimaitė. Šimaitė, a librarian at Vilnius University, used her position to aid and rescue Jews in the Vilna Ghetto.
November 16, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
This Director's Forum will feature Martin Bútora, Honorary President of the Institute for Public Affairs in Bratislava and former Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United States (1999-2003). Ambassador Bútora will deliver the keynote address at the 13th annual Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture.
November 16, 2012 // 9:00am — 10:00am
Bosnia and Herzegovina still has the potential to catch up with other countries in the region on the Euro-Atlantic path and to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity. Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, will discuss the international and domestic factors that may facilitate, or impede the country's Euro-Atlantic integraton.
Crisis of Democracy or Renaissance of Authoritarinism? Authoritarian Challenges to New Democracies in the Western Balkans
November 14, 2012 // 3:30pm — 4:30pm
In the last few years and in the course of global crisis we have been observing growing authoritarian challenges to New Democracies in the Western Balkans. Such crisis changes the political landscape of the region resulting in an adaptation of political elites and modes of rule, and seeking for new tools to retain power and secure the legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry. Vedran Dzihic, assistant professor at the Institute of Political Sciences at the University of Vienna, argues that current regimes in the Western Balkans increasingly seek answers to the political crisis by combining democratic with (newly) authoritarian practices and policies.