European Studies is pleased to welcome Public Policy Scholar Terri Givens. Givens is an associate professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, and the author of several books on immigration policy, European politics and security, including Voting Radical Right in Western Europe and the Immigrant Politics: Race and Representation in Western Europe. Givens is currently working on a project titled “The Politics of Immigration Policy: Discourses and Denial.”
May 2005- If the last half of the 20th century was shaped largely by east-west relations, will the first decades of the 21st century be defined along north-south lines? Europe and the United States are increasingly affected, as societies, by developments on their southern peripheries – the southern Mediterranean states of North Africa and the Middle East in the case of Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean in the case of the U.S. Journalists, analysts and policymakers point to analogies between the Mediterranean and the Rio Grande, and the list of policy challenges – migration, trade and investment, transnational security issues, and questions of culture and identity – is outwardly similar.
63. Decentralization and Regionalization after Communism: Lessons from Administrative and Territorial Reform in Poland and the Czech Republic
While the regional level of authority has gained much attention in recent years in Western Europe, Eastern Europe is still emerging from decades of centralization and homogenization under communism. Several post-communist countries, however, have taken steps toward administrative decentralization and territorial regionalization. This article explores possible reasons for taking these steps and traces the progress of administrative and territorial reform in two post-communist cases: Poland and the Czech Republic. The conclusion considers several implications of these reforms for domestic politics and foreign relations.
February 2000 - The most cursory glance at economic growth statistics in post-communist Europe suggests that the past counts a lot. Yet, it isn't quite as simple as a Boeing analyst summarized in a conversation in 1991, when talking about economic growth potential in post-communist Eastern Europe: "Protestant and Catholic good, Orthodox bad, Muslim forget it." It is more complicated, of course, but this sort of gross and unfair generalization does succinctly capture what has happened as well as, or better than, some of the more sophisticated comparative theory models out there.
May 2000 - In its essentials, Poland was an East European communist country like any other. Like its fellow Soviet-bloc members, Poland had distinctive features, but its path to 1989 is best explained in terms of specific developments over the previous decade. Under repression since 1981, Solidarity had proved its staying power as the regime's necessary negotiating partner. Conversely the economic reforms of the 1980s had failed in their main objective - to bypass Solidarity. By creating some nomenklatura capitalism however, these economic reforms instilled in the communists the confidence that they could subsist in a Poland they did not entirely control. Consequently, the communist elite could genuinely negotiate with Solidarity. Both sides felt the need but also the strength to compromise.
Exploring the wider relevance of US policy in Bosnia was hard enough when I first addressed it in the early 1990s. Then, the fate of all Southeastern Europe was in the balance—whether these countries would be connected to a Europe whole and free or detached as the dangerous, dysfunctional Balkans. Today, our continuing commitments in Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are inviting comparison and contrast to the much larger and more daunting American commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq.