Events

32. The Significance of Political Elites in Post-Communist Poland

This paper analyzes the disintegration of communism in Poland and the formation of a new socio-economic and political system. The actions of political elites have been pivotal in this process. One of the basic conclusions of the analysis that follows is that, because of the weak articulation of the structures of civil society, political elites were not subjected to precise social demands and pressures.

170. New Trends In East European Higher Education

November 1998 - Structural reform of higher education in Eastern and Central Europe since 1989 has been driven by the conviction that the university and academic research institutions inherited from the Soviet system are both economically inefficient and out of touch with society's needs. Leszek Balcerowicz, Poland's finance minister, expressed this view in a 1994 lecture, proposing the market as both the instrument of change and the standard by which innovation ought to be judged. He advocated an educational and research system in which informed decisions, translated into demand (with actors paying for goods), result in a self-regulating mechanism that sustains consistent growth and development. In education and research, this means that "demand" by students and beneficiaries of research freely seeks optimal sources of "supply" (educational and research institutions, whose continued survival depends on success in attracting and satisfying demand). Balcerowicz excluded fundamental research from his considerations, noting that, because its producers and consumers are the same, it cannot be analyzed in market categories.

“Gej” (Gay) in Southeast Europe

“Southeastern European countries are positioned at one of the globe’s front lines of LGBTI organizing,” writes former Wilson Center research scholar Susan Pearce in her latest policy brief on LBGT rights “Gej” in Southeast Europe. According to Pearce, “There is an opportunity for this region’s activists and governments to assume unique leadership on these issues at this point in history.”

252. Tragedy, Transition, and Transformation: The Local-International Nexus of Transnational Organized Crime in the Former Yugoslav Republics

April 2002- Transnational organized crime in the former Yugoslav Republics is a complex amalgam of local and international crime groups. The crime groups are not mafia-like in that they are not hierarchical groups based on formal associations. Instead, these are network structures loosely cooperating, which are deeply embedded in their communities. Performing functions on the local level, they cannot easily be dislodged because of weak government, local passivity, and even outright complicity. Furthermore, these organizations have such strength because they draw on the traditional links among Slavic communities, such as established trade routes and the historic geopolitical importance of the Balkan Peninsula within Europe.

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Kristina N. Terzieva // Program Assistant
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant