Short summaries of EES lectures and talks of relevance to the general public and the policy-making community prepared by the speakers.
Issues in this Series
February 2009 - This is an interesting time in Bosnia and Herzegovina; interesting in the sense of the old Chinese curse—may you live in interesting times. Another High Representative has just resigned. The future of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) itself hangs in the balance. Will it close this summer, as many want? Or will it stick around even longer than everyone thought a few years back? I do not have the answers to these questions, but I would like to offer few thoughts on why we are still having this debate 13 years after the war in former Yugoslavia came to an end and why we should perhaps not slam the door on OHR quite so fast.
December 2008 - In December 2008, a friend in Bucharest sent me a message quoting a recent statement by an influential political commentator from the Romanian media. This columnist reminds me of the former spokesman for the Polish military junta in the 1980s, who has since become a very successful capitalist: Jerzy Urban. Urban is the editor of the weekly magazine Nie, which irreverently makes fun of everybody. In my mind, Urban is no hero, but is a former Communist Party lackey who turned into the transition's profiteering buffoon. So, I am referring here to somebody who is the equivalent of Urban in Romania, and his name is Ion Cristoiu.
356. Strengthening US-Slovak Cooperation and the Transatlantic Partnership: Opportunities and Challenges in Today's World
November 2008 - For Slovakia and for our friend and neighbor the Czech Republic, autumn is a good time of balancing out, commemorating and remembering many common historical events that determined the future for both of our countries. This particular autumn is marked by a growing number of global challenges, including the global financial crisis and recession which require bold and comprehensive global solutions. At the same time, for the USA and the whole world, this autumn is a time of much hope and expectation, given the presidential elections and accession of the new U.S. administration in January 2009.
November 2008 - Scholars of international institutions have long praised the ability of international organizations such as the European Union (EU) to promote cooperative behavior, stability and the rule of law. Implicit in that praise is the idea that the EU closely monitors member states' behavior and punishes those that break the rules. In practice, however, the EU rarely enforces its own rules, restricting itself for the most part to strongly worded statements, taking states to court for non-compliance with directives, and only occasional formal punishment. Indeed, the EU's freezing of structural funds to Bulgaria this past summer, due to the country's lack of progress on anticorruption measures, was one of the rare examples of Brussels making good on its threats to rein in its members' behavior: so much for the rule of law, in practice.
354. A Litmus Test of the Century and its Social and Moral Order: Lithuania in the Twentieth Century
October 2008 - Lithuania cherishes historical memories of once belonging to a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country. It also cherishes the most generous and noble-spirited traditions of the Romantic ethos of liberal nationalism, and quite justifiably so. In the late 1980s, Lithuania's national rebirth movement, Sajudis, and its "singing revolution" not only revived the spirit of the 19th Century epoch of the springtime of the peoples (whose slogan—For your and our freedom!—was raised as the banner), but also became a litmus test for the Soviet policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (reorganization). As the first republic to breakaway from the Soviet Union, Lithuania came to embody the historical triumph of East-Central Europe's time-honored struggle for freedom.
October 2008 - Inside the UN-run airport in besieged Sarajevo hung a makeshift sign: Maybe Airlines. Along the edges of the sign, aid workers, journalists, and diplomats had posted stickers—CNN, ITN, CBS, RTL, MSF, VOX, UNICEF, the French flag, the Canadian flag, the Swedish flag and so on. Above the sign was a piece of plywood with the word destinations hand-written at the top, with a changeable placard below (the placard choices included New York, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Zagreb, Paris and Heaven). Maybe Airlines was the nickname given to the unreliable UN flights in and out of wartime Sarajevo—the longest airlift ever attempted and the centerpiece of the international humanitarian response to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, underneath the airport tarmac ran a narrow and damp 800-meter-long tunnel that bypassed both UN controls and the siege lines. Protected from Serb shelling and sniper fire, thousands of people and tons of food, arms and other supplies moved through the underground passageway every day (which the UN pretended did not exist), providing both a vital lifeline for the city and an enormous opportunity for black market profiteering. While the UN airlift was part of the highly visible front-stage of the siege, the tunnel was part of the much less visible but equally important backstage action. Together, they helped Sarajevo survive for more than three-and-a-half years, setting a siege longevity record.
September 2008 - With predictable regularity, Russian officials regularly charge that American missile defenses (10 radars and interceptors) in Poland and the Czech Republic threaten Russian security. They claim that since there is no threat of Iranian missiles (conventional or nuclear), there is no justification for building these systems. Therefore, they can only represent a threat to Russia's vital interests. Since everyone admits that ten such units alone do not constitute that threat, Moscow charges that that these systems are merely the thin edge of the larger program to saturate Central and Eastern Europe with missile defenses to prevent Russia from launching its nuclear weapons in a first strike against a conventional or nuclear attack from the West. That first strike is in accordance with Russia's military doctrine that calls for such strikes to compensate for Russia's conventional inferiority vis-à-vis NATO and the United States. Missile defenses would then deprive Russia of the capability to launch a retaliatory strike or else degrade that capability, leaving Russia vulnerable to all manner of attacks. Because Warsaw and Prague defied Russia's objections and threats by accepting to host these missile defenses they have received numerous equally predictable and regular Russian threats to target them with nuclear and conventional missiles.
June 2008 - Slobodan Milosevic was removed from office in October 2000, after a historic election which he lost to the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) candidate Vojislav Kostunica. For the past eight years, Serbia has been muddling through its transition from being an international pariah state with a controlled economy—a society isolated from the rest of the world, burdened with its past and suffering from virulent nationalism—to a modern European state with a market economy and thriving democracy.
June 2008 - This essay reflects the main points that made at a June EES meeting on the question of a "Kosovo precedent." It considers the legal issues implicated by Kosovo's declaration of independence and the subsequent recognition by various states of Kosovo as an independent country. It also tries to set out the differences between political and legal precedent and how we may frame arguments about what Kosovo means in terms of these two different uses "precedent." It also includes short updates to reflect recent events.
349. Capacity Building and Education for Stability and Integration in Kosovo and the Western Balkans
May 2008 - The Western Balkan region has three chronic problems. First, none of the states that comprise the region have the capacity to function at a reasonable level. Second, there is little co-operation between these state and no realistic long-term strategies of how to build cooperation. Finally, the entire region continues to suffer economically and is in desperate need of reforms that create a sustainable economic and social base in each country.
March 2008 - Since the 1990s, an array of international organizations has devoted considerable time and energy to democracy promotion in the Western Balkans. A major strand of this work has comprised civil society assistance, increasingly targeted at the community level. Official evaluations of this work tend to emphasize quantitative indicators of increasing civic participation, reduced incidence of inter-ethnic violence and socio-economic progress. They tend not to portray the empirical realities of democratization, or the less tangible, longer-term impacts of such efforts. The ongoing research project described here aims to offer a longitudinal case-study in US civil society programming which combines academic and policy perspectives. Our goal is to examine closely and systematically the impacts and lessons from a single project, while factoring in the wider context.
November 2007 - On August 5, 2007, Croatia celebrated the twelfth anniversary of Operation Storm (Oluja), the four-day military action that liberated over 10,000 square kilometers (18.4 percent of Croatia) after peace negations to reintegrate the territory failed to make progress. The entire Croatian political leadership gathered in Knin, the capital of the former Krajina para-state and the actual and symbolic center of the Serb rebellion against rule from Zagreb. Since 1996, Croatia has commemorated the day Knin fell to the Croatian Army as the Day of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving.
346. Serbia's October Revolution: Evaluating International Efforts Promoting Democratic Breakthrough
October 2007 - In 1987, the former Yugoslav communist apparatchik-turned national protagonist, Slobodan Milosevic, showed promise as a modern liberator. Enjoying immense initial support, he rose to power swiftly and retained the authority he achieved with violence, xenophobic propaganda, appeals to history, legalism, patronage and appropriation of the country's wealth. He ruled as Yugoslavia's constituent republics devolved into separate nations, through four wars and as a NATO bombing campaign pitted his regime against the West. The stirring electoral victory of his opposition and subsequent protests that removed Milosevic on October 5, 2000, came after more than a decade during which the autocrat often seemed unassailable, invulnerable and incorrigible. His fall was hailed inside and outside of Serbia as a decisive moment of revolutionary democratic change.
January 2008 - Among the many unanticipated developments in the former Soviet world, the decay of infrastructures of governance was one of the most visible. By the late 1990s, the assertion that the capacity and organizational integrity of postcommunist states had declined considerably did not engender serious dissent. That the state was weaker than before, that it was weaker than it should have been, were among the very few empirical and normative propositions around which a genuine consensus coalesced.
January 2008 - The integration of Macedonia into the European Union and NATO becomes a more complex issue every day. The reasons behind this complexity can be found both within Macedonia and outside its borders. However, at this moment the chief issue seems to be the fact that EU member states—vigilantly protecting their own interests first—tend to disagree on many issues related to Macedonia's readiness to accede to the EU. This has significantly slowed down the process of reaching an agreement on Macedonia's swift integration into the European Union.
December 2007 - Western attention in Southeastern Europe is focused on Kosovo, Bosnia and the surrounding Western Balkans. But, I ask that some attention also be paid to neighboring Bulgaria. This core state of the historical Ottoman Balkans is completing its first year as a member of the European Union and its fourth year as a member of NATO. I resist the temptation of dwelling on how unlikely this prospect seemed when I first went to Sofia as a young Foreign Service Officer some 40 years ago. Now, with the same special interest in wider economic prospects and the same domestic pessimism about its own political process that has repeatedly surfaced over the past century, Bulgarians should nonetheless be looking back with satisfaction on their initial year as a full member of the largest common organization in European history. On a personal level, a Bulgarian friend traveling to Italy welcomed the smile and a wave that replaced a scowl and a Schengen visa check at the Rome airport. Some 60 percent of Bulgaria's foreign trade is now with the EU, and as a new member, it is expecting 11 billion euros of adjustment assistance over the next six years. But before turning to the clouds that I found gathering over Sofia, let me first address the silver lining.
November 2007 - The Wilson Center's East European Studies program, in cooperation with the American College of Thessaloniki, the University division of Anatolia College, held a workshop November 30-December 1, 2007, which aimed at trouble-shooting the complex process of European integration of the Western Balkans. This meeting was sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Discussions built upon the dual premise that EU accession holds the best hope for overcoming stagnation in the Western Balkans and that the traditional enlargement process is not working in the region. The US, the EU and neighboring countries, such as Greece, certainly have much to contribute in reinvigorating this process, and coordinating their policies seems to be of paramount importance.
September 2007 - The war in the East differed dramatically from that in the West in terms of human cost, ideological fanaticism and brutality. The contrasting fates of Denmark and Poland are instructive. The former was certainly the safest zone in Nazi-occupied Europe: between 1940 and 1945 deaths at the hand of the Nazis there numbered only slightly more than the total of automobile fatalities in California in one year. On the other hand, central Poland constituted a black hole of genocidal depravity, arguably the worst place in the world in all of the twentieth century. There is also the chronological dissonance—one can find a number of locales in Lithuania where more people were killed after V-E Day than during the Second World War. It is not difficult to see that the Western (primarily British and American) perspective and imagery of World War II is largely irrelevant to the experiences of the population inhabiting the regions between Germany and Russia. The vocabulary of the "good war," the Holocaust and the Greatest Generation is meaningless to many Lithuanians. Appreciating the conflicting memories and narratives of the war is crucial in seeking to understand Lithuanian perception of the country's difficult past.
340. Acting Globally, Thinking Locally: The Side-Effects of Pursuing International Justice in the Former Yugoslavia
October 2007 - Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a marked rise in support for the international prosecution of leaders involved in some of the most heinous human rights violations. This process began with the two ad hoc international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (1993) and Rwanda (1995) and continued into the new century with the UN's Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002) and efforts to launch similar international prosecutions in other states such as Cambodia (2003) and Iraq (2005). In all but the latter case, criminal prosecutions were launched by international authorities relying on the non-coerced cooperation of leaders in sovereign states. As a result, transitional justice has become an important issue in these countries' bilateral and multilateral relations. The establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2003 suggests that the international diplomacy of transitional justice is not merely a fad but instead may become a staple.
September 2007 - Over the last year, the question of whether Kosovo should become a sovereign state or remain an autonomous part of Serbia has been overshadowed by the inability of the international community to reach a diplomatic consensus on this issue. The Kosovo status issue is complex, touching upon various levels of international concern including the ethics of nationalism, the ability of the international community to engage in state-building and the setting of international legal precedents, to name a few. The result of this complexity is that various states agree and disagree, not always consistently, on the many issues related to Kosovo's status, and this has slowed down the process of reaching agreement on status considerably.
September 2007 - Over the past few months, the Biden-Gelb plan has been widely discussed as a solution for the faltering policy in Iraq. A major component of the plan is to decentralize power in Iraq—Bosnian style—to the three main ethnic and religious groups in an effort to end the civil war. While the applicability of the Bosnian model has been challenged in the press based on the differences in the circumstances under which the Dayton Agreement was signed in Bosnia and the current environment in Iraq, the desirability of the Bosnian model has largely gone unchallenged. This meeting aimed at bringing up some of the rather uncomfortable realities that the Dayton model created in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The debate on what to do in Iraq should not ignore the fact that-although the fighting in Bosnia has ended-inter-ethnic cooperation and dialogue have languished. Twelve years after Dayton, Bosnia is still far from the effective, sovereign and democratic state that the agreement had envisioned. In the end the Bosnian model may serve up more questions than answers for Iraq.
337. Language Politics and Language Policies in the Contemporary Western Balkans: Infinitives, Turkisms and EUrolinguistics
April 2007 - Although the Western Balkans today is generally construed as Albania and former Yugoslavia, from the point of view of Balkan linguistics, Greece is also in this region. Here I shall examine some recent policy and political developments through the prisms of linguistics and of language ideology, i.e., the ways people think about language. Because language is both act and artifact—it exists in documents and the minds of speakers but at the same time it is constituted by everyday practices—the intersections of linguistics and politics are complex. This is true in Western Europe no less than in the Western Balkans, as can be seen, for example, in official French persecution of regional languages from 1794 to 1951, the 1972 statement of Georges Pompidou, then President of France, that there was no place for regional languages in France, the exclusion of Breton schools from French public funding in 2002 (Mercator-Education: Breton, 2003), the recent contretemps over the use of Occitanian in examinations ("L'occitan interdit en Ile de France?" Communique: Federacion dels Ensenhaires de Lengua e Cutlura d'Oc, 31 October 2006), etc. It can even be argued that EU ideologies of inclusiveness are being reflected in certain types of linguistic research that peripheralize the Balkans. In order to provide the necessary context for the following discussion, I will give a brief outline of some basics of Balkan linguistics.
February 2007 - My recent research on donor funding for democracy development and civil society in European postcommunist states uncovers important differences in donor approaches and the key role played by non-state donor organizations. This research examines assistance for democratic development in postcommunist Europe for 1990-2004, with particular attention to funding for civil society. The purpose of the research was to examine trends and patterns of civil society funding from donors in order to gain insights on how such assistance may have shaped civil society, how it may be changing, and what we may see in the future. The data collected reveals that the distribution of funding priorities and the changing mix of assistance may foreshadow trouble for civil society in many of these countries.
335. Religious Freedoms and Islamic Revivalism: Some Contradictions of American Foreign Policy in Southeast Europe
May 2007 - Religion was one of the most strictly controlled elements of everyday life under the 45 years of communist rule in Bulgaria. The 1949 Law of Religious Denominations gave the state broad powers over the spiritual life of its citizens. The Bulgarian Communist Party promoted a Marxist atheist ideology, which held that communist subjects would abandon their faith as the living standards of the workers and peasants were improved through the marvels of the command economy. Religious education was largely banned and foreign religious exchanges were prohibited. The official clergies of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian Muslim denomination were infiltrated by Communist Party members who mobilized religious discourses to solidify support for the centralized state. In the case of Islam, traditional clothing, burial practices and circumcision were outlawed, and Bulgaria's Muslims were forced to trade their Turko-Arabic names in for Slavic ones.
334. Ending the State-Building Impasse: What Can Be Learned from Previous EU Enlargements that Might Offer Solutions for Bosnia and Herzegovina?
February 2007 - Over the last two years, the international community's policy has been to accelerate the process of state-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that a strong, unified state can "plug into" European institutions. Certainly, the United States hopes that the European Union (EU) can replicate the strong and positive impact it has had on its 10 member states from postcommunist Europe. At the same time, the EU is eager to test the capacity of its Common Foreign and Security Policy in the Western Balkans and therefore has taken up the challenge to play a larger role in Bosnia and, hopefully, lead it through the accession process.
January 2007 - When Serbian artillery began pounding Sarajevo in spring 1992, Bosnian Muslims struck back by destroying a potent symbol of Serb nationalism: the footprints marking the exact spot Gavrilo Princip stood when he shot dead Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The infamous June 28, 1914 assassination aimed to remove Austria-Hungary from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and thus clear the way for a unified Yugoslav (South Slav) state. Yet the consequences were far more than Princip and his co-conspirators had bargained for: this event became the euphemistic "spark that lit the fuse," igniting the First World War. Yugoslavia, with the help of the Great Powers, was indeed born out of that war, and so too was the short, but troubled twentieth century.
February 2007 - The world as we know it today is rapidly changing. On the one hand, we witness a rise of new military and economic powers; we trace the nearly-invisible threats posed by the international terror networks and see new dividing lines between democracies and authoritarian regimes. On the other hand, two things remain the same: grave threats for global security and a necessity to think and act globally in response. Without our common actions, peace and stability will be in deficit around the world, divided by the haves and have-nots of the universal right to security and development.
331. An Analysis of the Recent Serbian Elections: Will the Path to Democracy and European Integration Prevail?
February 2007 - I would like to start with a few comments about the conduct of the Serbian parliamentary elections. While post-election politics and the formation of a government are of greater interest one month later (especially given the impact of Martti Ahtisaari's status proposal for Kosovo), I believe it is important to recall some aspects of how the citizens of Serbia choose their leaders. It reveals some insights on the commitment to building democratic institutions in Serbia as well as on how these institutions influence Serbian politics in turn.
February 2007 - These comments draw on my visit to Belgrade this past January, initially arranged as a research trip for my ongoing and optimistically titled book project with Lenard Cohen, "Embracing Democracy in the Western Balkans: From Post-Conflict Struggles to European Integration." The visit's overlapping with January 21 meant that the elections dominated most of my conversations and also the current press that I collected. I met with a variety of scholars, the editors of the daily Danas, for which I provided an interview, Slobodan G. Markovic of the Institute for European Studies, Srdjan Gligorijevic of the International and Security Affairs Center, and Sonja Licht, now President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. Supplementing their varied impressions for this balance sheet are articles from the daily papers Danas and Politika, and the weekly magazines Vreme and NIN.
329. Migrating Icons: Politics and Serbian Cultural Heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina before and after 1992
November 2006 - Despite all the efforts to preserve the multi-cultural character of the four major cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina—Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar and Livno—the war has changed each city's ethnic composition, probably forever. One of the major demographic trends is that most Serbs have moved out of these cities. The question I pose is: should they take their material culture with them? I will present a brief history of icon collecting in Serbian churches in Bosnia—how the collections were formed and how these icons are related to Serbian national identity, history and current ideology. By understanding some of the historical issues important to the formation of these collections, we can better understand the role these icons played in the formation of Serbian identity in these territories.
328. The Increased Salience of Corruption in East and Central Europe: The Role of the EU and Other International Organizations
October 2006 - Over the past decade, corruption seems to have become an issue dominating political discourse in East and Central Europe (ECE). Every day, the press offers multiple stories about high-level corruption scandals as well as petty street-level corrupt practices. It, covers statements, studies, and decisions regarding the fight against corruption that emerge from the government, opposition parties, or international organizations. This increased anti-corruption rhetoric has led some observers to argue that the region has become "obsessed with corruption."
October 2006- From all accounts, the talks that have been held in Vienna over the last year, which brought together delegations from Serbia and Kosovo to negotiate Kosovo's status, have not enjoyed the substantial progress that some might have expected. Despite this deadlock, the undertones of official public statements regarding Kosovo's status clearly point to the fact that Kosovo's status will eventually be as an independent state, although the details of how and when are not clear. What seems to be neglected almost completely in this discussion is what will happen "the day after" the status decision is announced. The focus on the Talks has meant that all energies in Serbia have been spent on crafting arguments for why Kosovo must not become independent, while nothing is being done to prepare the Serbian electorate or the Serbs living in Kosovo for the separation that seems imminent. Likewise in Pristina, calls for independence ring hollow, given the poor record of self-governance there. To address these neglected issues, EES organized a short conference of experts to discuss the many consequences of the Kosovo status decision and the international community's continuing efforts to create a functioning democracy in Kosovo and maintain peace throughout the Balkan region.
September 2005 - For the last decade, I have tried to understand the evolving nature of European integration and the process of EU enlargement. These two themes led me to the topic of empires. An empire is for me a complex paradigm describing the nature of the emerging European polity. My paradigm is empirically grounded, and it relates to the situation of today. I do not intend to suggest any historical analogy by using the term neo-medieval. There was hardly any democracy or market economy in the Middle Ages. There was at the time a Holy Roman Empire, but students of the Middle Ages argue that it was neither Roman, nor holy, nor even an empire.
June 2006 - History never quite repeats itself, but some echoes sound too familiar to ignore. The government assembled by Robert Fico after Slovakia's June 2006 elections bears notable similarities to the governing coalition led by Vladimír Meciar between 1994 and 1998. Since that earlier government gave Slovakia a reputation as a pariah state—"a hole in the map of Europe"—it is understandable that any prospect of its return should produce consternation and prompt the question "Could it happen again?" Though the short answer to this question is probably "No," there is considerable value in asking "Why not?" and in exploring the factors that made Slovakia's mid-1990's government such an unfortunate precedent.
June 2006 - It is an article of faith that an independent, diverse and reasonably professional media is an essential fixture of democracy. As irritating as it can sometimes be, fact-based journalism practiced by public-spirited people really does help make the machinery of democracy work. Over the past 15 years, the U.S. and European governments along with private donors, including George Soros, have backed this premise with substantial funds. Since 1990, international donors have spent at least $600 million and probably much more on media training and development in emerging democracies, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and more recently in Afghanistan and the Middle East. While in the overall context of international aid $600 million is not a great sum, it is a very substantial resource to be focused on the care and feeding of one particular professional endeavor, in this case journalism, especially one whose normal relationship with government is adversarial.
May 2006 - Ten years after the adoption of the Dayton Accords, the awkward, redundant, expensive and often ineffective institutional structure that resulted from that process is largely still in place today. Careful not to give too much power at the federal level to any one ethnic group, the Dayton Accords divested power from the center to local governing bodies. Among other problems, the nearly powerless central government was not granted authority over crucial state interests—such as defense, taxation and the environment—which are necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to accede to the European Union.
March 2006 - Among the wealth of ethnic media outlets in Eastern Europe, the Romani media has grown faster than all others despite small audiences, poverty, illiteracy and the absence of cultural, linguistic, political and social cohesiveness of their natural constituency in the region. Consequently, except for their potential symbolic value, the growth of the Romani media appears to defy the customary functions, roles and effects of minority media: to aid in minority identity creation, cultural preservation and political participation.
March 2006 - Back from a February visit to Belgrade, I concluded that simply situating Serbia between one rock—Kosovo—and one hard place—the European Union—will not suffice. A number of rocks and hard places need to be identified. Start with Mladic and Montenegro as well as Kosovo and the European Union, then add a dispirited public, a troubled economy and a discouraged electorate, suspicious of all political parties. And they feed off each other. Both Bosnia's suit against Serbia in The Hague's International Court and anniversary dates of the NATO bombing campaign were also impending, even before the demonstrations that followed the death of Slobodan Milosevic. Yet their limited extent and impact is one positive sign.
January 2006 - What role did the international community play in the Yugoslav crisis in the first half of the 1990s? Could the bloody demise of Yugoslavia have been prevented, if the international community had reacted sooner? On the basis of current literature, the role of international organizations (the UN, NATO, OSCE, EC/EU, WEU), key world powers (USA, Germany, Soviet Union/Russia, Great Britain, France), the standpoints of the non-aligned countries, smaller countries of EC/EU (especially Greece) and other neighboring countries of former Yugoslavia will be considered here.
February 2005 - In his 1978 novel The Great Winter, Ismail Kadare paints a chilling picture of a family that doctors its personal photo albums with ink to remove (most of) the faces and figures of people who have fallen out of favor with the Party of Labor. Readers might find themselves immediately reminded of Milan Kundera's great work from the same year, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, in which the Czechoslovak party boss Klement Gottwald appears first in company, and then alone, on a balcony, wearing the hat of a colleague airbrushed from the photograph after his fall from grace. There is, indeed another novel that underscores these themes of manipulation and expendability: The Taste of Power (1967) by the Slovak writer and journalist Ladislav Mnacko, in which a "major retouching department" in the state press office tweaks photos and "rubs out" people who are now undesirable. That Stalin's regime made widespread use of tactics such as these has also been demonstrated by David King in his 1997 study The Commissar Vanishes. Kadare, an internationally famous, prolific and highly regarded author from Albania, has written a number of works about communism that show similarities to fiction from other East European countries and can be fruitfully examined in a comparative context. It is my assertion in this essay, however, that he also makes use of innovative and unique modes of writing about his homeland under the Hoxha dictatorship.
November 2005 - Mostar was the most heavily damaged city of the 1992 to 1995 war in Bosnia. Ninety percent of its center was damaged and a third of its buildings were completely destroyed. Thousands were killed and tens of thousands were displaced from their homes and from the city, while tens of thousands of others moved to Mostar. This physical and demographic change clearly affected the city's postwar climate. However, the war's most notorious legacy in Mostar is the city's political and psychological division into Croat and Muslim sides.
October 2005 - While all governments face the challenge of specifying fiscal arrangements that guarantee the state adequate resources to ward off physical or material threats to the citizenry, the new governments after the collapse of communism faced certain challenges specific to their capitalist transformation. They had to design tax systems within the context of creating an entirely new economic system. Fundamental public sector reforms eliminated the previous system's main source of taxation. As a result of privatization, East European states could no longer rely on appropriating profits from state-owned enterprises. In the past, the state would finance expenditures primarily by transferring revenue from state firms to the federal budget. With a large portion of these enterprises undergoing privatization, the state had to develop a tax policy to collect revenue from private sector production and private individuals. Thus, a wide range of taxes had to be put into place or be significantly reformed, including private property taxes, personal income taxes, inheritance taxes, consumption taxes, real estate taxes, capital gains taxes and excise duties. In allocating the tax burden across these different tax forms, leaders had to reconcile several competing considerations: which kinds of taxes would reliably raise budgetary revenue, which tax forms were hardest to evade, which forms would seem distributionally just to a population raised in a paternalistic state and lacking personal experience in honoring tax responsibilities and which would advance the country's foreign policy goals and international interests.
316. Where Have All the Illiberal Democracies Gone? Privatization as a Catalyst to Regime Change in Postcommunist Europe
May 2005 - Scholars of postcommunist change are beginning to take analytical note of a recent wave of regime liberalizations. What do we make of it? As scholars, we have misdiagnosed the trend. While we have rightly focused on the collapse of moderately authoritarian regimes in the face of mass resistance movements, we must begin to do more comparative analysis that includes illiberal countries that have become more authoritarian during the same period. Behind the headlines about liberal oppositions facing down corrupt, illiberal incumbents, the analytically salient pattern might be the instability of illiberal democracies and their movement in either a more democratic or authoritarian direction.
December 2004 - The pages that follow, I first place the Hungarian debate into a comparative framework of emerging kin state politics in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), then comment on the particularities of the Hungarian case. The lessons that emerge from this discussion highlight two important aspects of CEE politics today. First, rather than weakening nation-building aspirations, the pursuit of EU membership in many instances reinforces such aspirations. Second, rather than uniting "the nation," some ambitious propositions for nation-building create or reinforce divisions within the population they proposed to unite.
April 2005 - Yugoslavia's dramatic dissolution provoked an outpouring of scholarly, journalistic and autobiographical commentary throughout the 1990s, and it was only with the end of major bloodshed and the departure of the primary villain(s) from the scene at the start of the new millennium that the Balkans receded from the center of the public eye. Yet now that the dust has settled, it is appropriate to ask whether or not we have learned anything from the events of that decade. In particular, what caused a once-functioning and respected state to disintegrate, and to disintegrate as violently as it did, and are there any inferences we can make about the management of sectarian strife in other multinational polities—including the entities that once made up pre-1990 Yugoslavia?
March 2005 - The most dangerous outcome of the destruction of command socialism in the Balkans has been the resurfacing of militant nationalism particularly, it seems, in the western part of the peninsula. These events have encouraged a reexamination of the various Balkan nationalisms in terms of origins and course. It is the purpose of this paper briefly to examine the Albanian variant and some aspects of nationalist formation during its various stages of development, followed by some thoughts on the future of nationalism in Albania.
March 2005 - The traffic in women and girls for prostitution has recently commanded the attention of state authorities, activists and academics the world over, although it is hardly a new phenomenon. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, increasing globalization, accompanied by population increases, urbanization, international migration, colonization and political upheaval contributed importantly to the growth of prostitution and the traffic in women and girls around the world. European countries, China and Japan supplied prostitutes to other countries. For example, French, Polish, Russian and Italian women went to brothels in other European countries, Argentina and Brazil while Chinese and Japanese women, including women of Korean ethnicity, went to brothels in colonial holdings such as British Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies, French Indo-China, Manchuria, Singapore and Shanghai.
February 2005 - Two recent trips to the region, to Sofia in October and to Belgrade in January, inform these observations. Beyond simply reporting on the latest in my long series of visits to both cities, I welcome the chance to call attention to Southeastern Europe at a time when American interest is flagging. Since 9/11 and the occupation of Iraq, the Middle East has understandably moved to the forefront of policy-relevant regions. But that priority does not justify neglecting Southeastern Europe. Its problems may be "forgotten but not fixed," as Edward Joseph put it in "Back to the Balkans," Foreign Affairs (Jan.-Feb. 2005).
January 2005 - In November 2004, the US government recognized the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia. State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher described this as underscoring US commitment to "a permanent, multiethnic and democratic Macedonia within its existing borders." The recognition, on the eve of a potentially divisive referendum in the country, can be seen as belated acknowledgment of the achievement of Macedonia's political leadership since the country's declaration of independence in 1991. Despite economic and political pressure from its southern neighbor Greece, persistent military threat from Milosevic's Serbia to the north and high-profile tensions over the collective rights of Albanians within the country, which precipitated an armed insurgency in 2001, Macedonia has emerged as a candidate for EU membership, with all major political forces committed to interethnic accommodation and market democracy.
December 2004 - European Union (EU) enlargement raises important questions about both the impact of EU membership on the postcommunist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the impact of these new member states on the EU. Although it has been a relatively short time since the May 1, 2004 enlargement, several trends can already be identified. The first trend reveals that the EU and its institutions have lost much of the influence they had in the new member states during the accession process. New member states now have somewhat more freedom in directing their economic, social and political development. A second trend indicates that some new member states (namely those that are poorer, more peripheral and "newer" nation states) have displayed a stronger preference for the Anglo-American model of social policy and opposed the traditional European social model, based on social cohesion and solidarity. The third trend is connected to the so-called "fiscal dumping" practiced by several of the new member states, where substantially lower levels of corporate and payroll taxes (compared to the average tax and payroll burden in the EU-15) were introduced. Several of the EU-15 states immediately expressed their disapproval. This unanticipated competition between the old and new member states goes hand in hand with "social dumping," which stems from the wage differentials between the old and new member states. As a result, governments in the EU-15 are afraid that prosperous companies in the West will move to Eastern Europe. These trends indicate an overall divergence between old and new EU member states. But, is it a serious gap or just a temporary digression? What are the underlying reasons for the divergent processes in the two parts of Europe and what are the possible consequences for the EU?
308. Framing the Gap between International and Local Perspectives on Addressing Organized Crime and Corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina
December 2004 - A careful look at the nature of the ongoing discussions about organized crime and corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) between internationals and locals forces the observer to ask why there appears to be such a marked difference between the ways each side describes and understands the problems. The international community (IC) talks about BiH's organized crime and corruption problems in terms of institutional weakness and failure. International approaches separate organized crime and corruption from larger society as illicit, parasitic predators on an otherwise democratic state. In response, the international community conceives aggressive institutional solutions, which appear ineffective and land on deaf ears in the local communities affected by them. Local professionals—opinion makers, legal personnel, and business persons—describe the problems in terms of their connectedness to larger structural issues. They talk about how organized crime and corruption are part of a broader set of social, political and economic circumstances, in which the international community is a part. In the course of interviewing 266 local professionals, I discovered some important characteristics of the shape and scope of this discontinuity. The following is a short discussion about these findings.
November 2004 - Over the past 15 years, a fascinating experiment has taken place in Europe regarding the codification of minority rights. As communism collapsed in 1989, several ethnic conflicts broke out in the Caucuses and Balkans, and commentators feared that ethnic violence would spiral out of control throughout Central and Eastern Europe. In response, Western democracies decided to "internationalize" the treatment of national minorities in postcommunist Europe, creating a pan-European regime to monitor whether countries are meeting European standards in the treatment of their minorities. Some of these standards have been formulated by the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)–a position established in 1993. Other standards were formulated by the Council of Europe (COE) in its 1995 "Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities." Complying with these OSCE and COE standards is required for countries to ‘join the West,' and in particular to join the European Union (EU) and NATO.
September 2004 - On May 1, 2004, ten countries joined the European Union (EU). On the day of the accession, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary all had Central-Left governments in power. One day later, Leszek Miller, the Polish premier was forced to resign. In June, Czech social democrat Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla followed suit, and in August, the head of the Center-Left government of Hungary, Peter Medgyessy, was also forced to resign. "Too weak," "lacks energy," "cannot communicate effectively"—these were some of the accusations lodged against them. In spite of the fact that all three leaders where very popular at the beginning of their terms, it appeared that the initial success of their materialist-redistributive politics faded quickly. None of these countries was in bad shape economically—on the contrary, they were experiencing economic booms—yet political observers sensed that there was a crisis in the leadership. This situation had clear ties to EU accession. A national consensus supported the European accession almost everywhere: EU membership seemed logical and would clearly serve the common good. So, once the long-held goal of EU accession was achieved, why did these governments collapse? Was it just coincidence that all three were replaced by much younger prime ministers with very different outlooks from their predecessors? The answers to these questions are directly related to the fact that EU enlargement has brought the region to a new stage in its development, and one in which the former communists need to redefine their political roles. Indeed, this stage could be interpreted as the end of postcommunism.
October 2004 - The situation in the southern Balkans had generally been seen to be improving in 2003, with some institutional progress in Kosovo, the gradual implementation of the Ohrid Accords in Macedonia and activity on European Union (EU) accession in all countries. The international community was, though, excessively optimistic about the post-Milosevic climate in Serbia, which it believed would usher in a series of benevolent changes for the whole region and thus undermine nationalist sentiment in both Kosovo and Montenegro. In reality, little has changed in the Serbia-Kosovo relationship over the last three years. In this context, the Kosovo rioting and attacks on property and religious buildings in March 2004 were a shock to most of the international community. A number of random incidents led to the riots, which were also fueled by popular dissatisfaction with UNMIK's performance regarding unemployment and electric power generation. The riots did not halt the progress in transferring power and competencies to the new local institutions or the withdrawal of UNMIK from some spheres of Kosovo life. Nevertheless, they were a symbol of the deep underlying problems in Kosovo.
October 2004 - Whether or not Franjo Tudjman was the father of his country, there can be no denying that he played a pivotal role in the creation of contemporary Croatia. While it can be argued that someone else may have been better able to lead the Croatian people through the wastelands of war, occupation and diplomacy during the early 1990s, it was Tudjman who actually did so. If his Croatia was not the peasant republic envisioned by Stjepan Radic or the Croatian state imagined by Ante Starcevic, it was a viable democratic state with a powerful military, a skilled diplomatic corps and citizens who both fought for its survival and criticized its policies.
September 2004 - The latest challenges to a world order based on liberalism seem to render the Communist and post-Communist experiences obsolete. Some believe that Communism was so exceptional that, at the end of day, its lessons can teach us little. But I disagree. An enormous wealth of experience can be gained from the communist experiment, its rise, its reign and its fall. Perhaps the most important one is in the field of state and nation building, since no regime before communism had both the drive and the coercive power to impose institutions upon people that were so far from the organic development of both the state and the nation. Although the initial conditions for transformation vary greatly, some clear lessons do emerge out of a comparison between the successful and unsuccessful state-building projects in postcommunist Europe.
October 2004 - Nuk ndërtohet shtëpia prej kulmit — You cannot build a house by starting with the roof For generations in Kosovo, the idiom above has served to reflect a collective mistrust of the many hasty and ill-conceived attempts to contain Kosovo's dynamic society. Unfortunately, much of its introspective irony has slipped the attention of foreign rulers. As one occupying regime left in 1999 and was replaced by an equally hostile community of foreign administrators, the intractable realities of Kosovo's house have once again faded into the background.
September 2004 - With the fall of communist regimes across Eastern Europe in 1989 and the subsequent breakup of the multiethnic Soviet, Yugoslav and Czechoslovak states, many scholars and journalists warned of the imminent danger of ethnic conflict throughout the region. Yet if the bloody dismemberment of Yugoslavia realized most of these dire forecasts, the dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in surprisingly little ethnic conflict, outside Central Asia and the Caucasus. The large-scale ethnic mobilization that accelerated in Soviet republics under Gorbachev seemed to lose steam after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Recent ethnic demobilization in the former Soviet Union presents a puzzle for scholars of nationalism and comparative politics, since the conditions for ethnic conflict cited by area specialists have only worsened over time.
June 2004 - Despite Slovakia's remarkable progress in political and economic reforms since 1998, considerable alarm was raised last April when, just weeks before the country's accession to the European Union (EU), it appeared that the very man who was blamed for Slovakia's international isolation in the mid-1990s could win the presidency. While serving as prime minister, Vladimir Meciar's controversial political and economic policies prevented Slovakia from joining the first wave of countries to accede to NATO and from starting accession negotiations with the EU. Meciar ultimately failed in the second round of the presidential elections, but the high level of popular support he continues to enjoy remains a subject of concern. Still, as those elections demonstrated, the prospect of Meciar's return to high politics appears unlikely, given the polarizing effect he has on the Slovak population and the reluctance of other politicians to cooperate with him. In addition, signs of "Meciarism," characterized by the use of populism, nationalism and clientelism as ways of winning and maintaining political support, appear to be diminishing on the political scene. The future of Meciar and Meciarism clearly depends not so much on Meciar himself but on his competitors and their ability to move society forward.
June 2004 - The European Union (EU) has been taking international cooperation on migration and border controls into sensitive areas of state sovereignty, government surveillance and data collection and exchange. In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, EU member states not only passed antiterrorism legislation and committed to joining the US in Afghanistan, but they also tightened borders and accelerated border control information technology programs with the goal of creating a common transatlantic security space. At the same time, the EU and its member states increased budgets, staffing and improved technology for border controls in anticipation of enlargement and the prospect of lifting internal borders with the new member states while moving the common external border eastward. In light of these simultaneous border shifts, the European Commission is endeavoring to bring the new member states into the evolving transatlantic security space.
June 2004 - As eight post-communist countries entered the EU last May, Romania was among the few applicant countries that did not manage to implement the accession criteria. Like the other applicant countries, Romania has been aggressively lobbying to enter Western institutions and it has been successful in arguing for its geostrategic importance in Europe, as is reflected by the fact that it was admitted to NATO last June. Yet, despite the strides it has taken and its commitment to recreating the western ideal at home, Romania is still far behind most of its neighbors in its transition from communism to liberal democracy. Here, I will attempt to address the major obstacles to Romania's progress and the country's prospects for stepping up the pace of reforms in the near future.
May 2004 - Because the European Union (EU) and the US share the same goals in the region, the Western Balkans have become a cornerstone of transatlantic cooperation over the last decade. Despite the many rifts that have appeared in the transatlantic partnership, the US and Europe continue to be united in their commitment to contain violent nationalism in the Balkans and help the region in its transition to liberal democracy and European integration.
May 2004 - Seemingly discredited just a few short years ago, the nationalist parties that were the main perpetrators of war, undemocratic politics and economic mismanagement in the former Yugoslavia's two largest successor states have made an electoral comeback after several years of rule by reformist, pro-Western coalitions. In Croatia, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ-Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica), which held a virtual monopoly on political power throughout the 1990s, won the largest number of seats (43 percent) in the November 2003 parliamentary elections and became the governing party in a four-party coalition and Ivo Sanader, the HDZ leader, became prime minister. The far-right Croatian Party of Rights (HSP-Hrvatska Stranka Prava) doubled its representation in parliament from four to eight seats, but did not join the ruling coalition. In the Serbian parliamentary election of December 2003, the top vote- and seat-getter (32 percent of parliamentary seats) was the Serbian Radical Party (Srpska Radikalna Stranka—SRS) of Vojislav Seselj, currently detained in the Netherlands for war crimes. The SRS, albeit never the ruling party in Serbia, had played a key role as the ideological surrogate of Slobodan Milosevic and the former ruling Serbian Socialist Party (SPS-Srpska Partija Socjalisticka). Besides helping Milosevic solidify his nationalist credentials, the SRS also performed some of the former regime's dirty work by organizing paramilitaries to fight in Croatia and Bosnia. The SPS itself managed to win only 22 seats in the December 2003 election. Both Seselj and Milosevic topped their parties' lists and were elected in absentia. Despite its strong showing in the election, however, the SRS did not form a government, a task that was undertaken by a group of democratically-minded parties led by the Serbian Democratic Party (DSS-Demokratska Stranka Srbije) of Vojislav Kostunica, who decided, to the great dismay of Western diplomats, to seek nominal support of Milosevic's Socialists for his government. These developments (along with the fact that nationalist parties prevailed in 2002 federal elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina) could lead some observers to find a resurgent nationalism throughout the Balkans.
December 2003 - Barely one week before the European Union's biggest enlargement ever on May 1, 2004, the European Commission gave Croatia the green light to open formal accession negotiations for EU membership. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader toasted the news with champagne in Zagreb, declaring: "Today we turn a new page in history." The Commission's decision is a remarkable turnaround for a country that was mired in violent conflict a decade ago and diplomatically isolated for most of the 1990s. It is significant as well that Sanader, elected in December 2003 when the Croatian Democratic Union (CDU) resumed power, celebrates this historic moment. The nationalist policies of his party's founder, Franjo Tudman, thwarted Croatia's European aspirations throughout the 1990s. CDU leaders and their supporters continued in recent years to undermine the previous regime's commitment to meeting EU conditions, namely turning over indicted war criminals to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The election of the CDU in December 2003 thus provided an important test for whether changes brought about by the EU's accession process are enduring. By fulfilling his pledge to make a clear and determined effort to enter the EU, even at the expense of marginalizing nationalist factions, Sanader appears to have turned a new page.
March 2004 - The results of the December 28, 2003 parliamentary elections began a new phase in Serbia's post-Milosevic development. Considerable attention has been focused on the surge of support for the highly nationalistic Serbian Radical Party (SRP), formerly headed by Vojislav Seselj, who at the time of the election was awaiting trial at The Hague tribunal. Seselj's Radicals, now headed by Tomislav Nikolic, received 28 percent of the vote and 82 seats in the 250-seat Serbian National Assembly. But it is important to remember that the other major election winners were from a broad grouping of reformist, democratically-oriented parties, albeit some quite conservative. For example, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DPS), headed by Vojislav Kostunica, received 18 percent of the vote and 53 seats. The party of the assassinated Premier Zoran Djindjic, the Democratic Party, received 13 percent of the vote, garnering 37 seats. The G-17 Plus, headed by Miroljub Labus, won 34 seats and 11.5 percent of the vote. And Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SRM) received 7.7 percent of the vote and 22 seats in alliance with the small party called New Serbia (NS).
February 2004 - Less than four years after its foundation, the Brcko District has become a leader in reform in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the first jurisdiction to completely reorganize and rehire an independent judiciary, and the first to introduce and implement modern criminal and civil codes. Brcko established the first truly multiethnic police force, which was the first to be certified as qualified by the UN Mission. The entire civil service was rehired on a more transparent, multiethnic basis, with new salary scales and modern budgetary and procurement systems. It was the first to reintegrate its schools into a single multiethnic school district. Brcko was among the first to establish a business-friendly climate for registering new businesses and to re-register old firms in order to weed out fictitious ones. It has been a leader in indicting former officials for abuse of office, in uncovering customs fraud, and developing mechanisms to discourage conflicts of interest. While certainly not the first place in Bosnia to rebuild, Brcko has successfully attracted foreign investment, privatized a large part of its state-owned companies and apartments, rebuilt thousands of homes and launched an economic recovery that seems to have momentum. The process of returning usable housing to original owners or occupancy-right holders is essentially complete. It has resolved sticky post-war issues, such as renaming streets and removing nationalist monuments peacefully through inter-ethnic negotiation.
January 2004 - On the eve of the 2002 presidential elections, a growing number of Lithuanians had cause to rejoice. Scholars proclaimed Lithuania to be a consolidated democracy, while the economy had achieved a steady rate of growth—with declining rates of inflation and unemployment on the one hand and rising rates of investment on the other. Several rounds of legislative and presidential elections had been conducted since Lithuania reclaimed its independence in 1990, and there had been a peaceful exchange of authority between right and left more than once. A free press was flourishing and, unlike neighboring Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania did not have a minority problem.
January 2004 - Over the past decade, international organizations and development NGOs have broadened their efforts to nurture democratic governance from the centers of power in capital cities to local government. Local government is the first tier of public authority that people confront in their everyday lives. Good local governance provides services to diverse populations, facilitates the development of political institutions and cross cutting social networks and fosters economic development. At the same time, effective local government has the capacity to resolve conflicts at an early stage, preventing them from escalating into violence. In this light, the circumstances enhancing the sustainability of post-conflict local democracy command great interest.
January 2004 - In the aftermath of World War II, Czechoslovakia expelled close to three million ethnic Germans into occupied Austria and Germany. These so-called Sudeten Germans had long lived in borderland regions ringing the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, with the heaviest concentration inhabiting the industrially advanced north and west of Bohemia. During and after the expulsions, over two million Czechs settled in the formerly German areas, taking over houses, businesses and factories. The popular Communist Party controlled the resettlement process from the beginning in 1945, using its influence to create a web of patronage in the borderlands. This helped the Party win over 50 percent of the vote in north Bohemia in free elections in May of 1946. Even before Stalinism took hold in Czechoslovakia in 1948, north Bohemia's coal mining, power production and chemical industry were renowned. With the onset of a Communist policy of heavy industrialization, north Bohemia's industry became a model for the entire country. By the 1960s, north Bohemia also became known for its almost unrivaled pollution, with air and water so foul that trees died in waves and children decamped to the mountains for doses of clean air.
289. America's New Friends in the East: Does EU and NATO Expansion Promise to Re-energize the Transatlantic Alliance?
December 2003 - When France and Germany announce their nominations for "Man of the Year 2003" it is a safe bet that Donald Rumsfeld will not make the shortlist. The US Defense Secretary's pointed reference to the Franco-German axis against the war in Iraq as being merely representative of "old Europe" compared with a new, more pro-American Europe emerging with the accession of eight formerly communist countries to the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004, cranked up the tension in Transatlantic relations to levels not seen for decades. Americans were already well aware of Rumsfeld's talent for stirring controversy. Now it was Europe's turn. And France and Germany rose dutifully to take his bait. But why, we need to ask, were they so easily angered? Was Rumsfeld right after all?
December 2003 - Approximately one-third of Estonian residents are not ethnic Estonians, and an overwhelming majority of that proportion of the population are Russian-speakers. Probably the most telling fact about Estonia's ethnic minorities is that only 38 percent of them hold Estonian citizenship, despite of having been residents for decades. The remaining are either stateless persons or citizens of the Russian Federation. Since 1998, the government has made efforts to encourage these residents to apply for Estonian citizenship. The major obstacle to obtaining the blue Estonian passport for many is passing the Estonian language proficiency examination.
Although not an immediately obvious pairing, much can be learned from the fall of Serbia's autocracy that may be applied to Iraq. Both countries were isolated and run for a long time by forcefully imposed autocratic regimes that developed a breed of patriotism which did not allow for dissent. Opportunities for these two countries to cooperate were enhanced by the similar position of the two regimes under international sanctions and fighting for survival against a ‘common enemy.' Thus, not only do autocracies act similarly under similar conditions, but they also band together as they attempt to offset the ill effects of international pariah status. The reaction of the public in Serbia to the 1999 NATO campaign and the mind set that allowed for the continuation and at least temporary strengthening of Slobodan Milosevic's rule could have provided many clues, if not a template, for how Iraqis would behave under occupation. Moreover, the difficulties and slow pace of transformation in Serbia offer tips for state-building in Iraq.
Jorge Santayana would be pleased. Nearly every policy proposal on Iraq these days mentions lessons learned from past interventions, such as postwar Germany and Japan, East Timor, Bosnia and Kosovo. In the spirit of Santayana's famous dictum—"those who forget the past are destined to relive it"—analysts have been doggedly culling US state-building experience for lessons learned.
The antagonistic division between ‘old' and ‘new' Europe, as coined by Donald Rumsfeld, underscores the uncertainty of the transatlantic relationship as well as the ambiguous roles of NATO, its new members and Partnership for Peace (PFP) partners. This antagonism became exacerbated by the war in Iraq and, even as the ‘major hostilities' ended in Iraq and the guerrilla counter-insurgency against US-led coalition forces accelerated, significant security rifts persist between ‘old' Europe and the US, with ‘new' Europe caught in the middle and forced to take sides.
284. Military Capabilities of the Central Europeans: What Can They Contribute to the Stabilization of Iraq?
Among the three new NATO allies, only Poland has both the potential and the political will to meaningfully contribute to the stabilization mission in Iraq. In comparison, the Hungarian and Czech contributions have been and will likely remain small, limited to the symbolic troop deployment to the Polish and British zones, the continued access to Hungarian air space and the deployment of the Czech hospital assigned to the operation. Unlike the Hungarian and Czech governments, where support for US policy in Iraq has been quite tenuous, Poland has consistently backed the US position on Iraq despite increased friction with Germany—its core European partner. The Polish government has also been willing to back its political support with a substantial military contribution. Arguably, Poland has promised to deploy and command forces abroad that exceed the country's actual military capacity.
Involvement in the Middle East is not something new for the states of East Europe, especially those in southeast Europe, such as Bulgaria and Romania. During the communist period both countries traded extensively with Iraq and Libya, whose regimes were not receptive to Western countries. Bulgarian and Romanian involvement in the Middle East now comes, not as supporters of a putative struggle against Western imperialism or exploitation, but as allies in a security—based struggle against tyranny and terrorism. Moreover, it is the US—more than any European ally—that is determining the terms of that struggle and demanding contributions, including from new allies. Although the East European allies have seemed more eager than most to contribute to the US-led coalition, these new circumstances and demands set up unique challenges to the new allies in East Europe.
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.
October 2003 - The shortest answer to the question posed by the title is, yes, it does. But this answer is only partially true. A truer answer, but still only partially true, is that it does and does not. And the real answer is, I think, that it does exist but is only one among the many dividing lines that criss-cross Europe and it may not be the most important one—or at least its importance is rapidly decreasing. I emphasize this point because the reality or myth of the East-West divide has become part of the political game in Europe. It has become an argument against integration on both sides of the continent. Conservatives in the West repeat: "they are so different," while conservatives in the East echo: "we are so different
October 2003 - The European Union (EU) is widely recognized as the international actor with the most potential influence in promoting ethnic reconciliation, shoring up democracy and supporting the economic revitalization of the Balkans. The EU's influence is immediate—providing humanitarian aid, economic assistance, market access and political support. It is also long-term—shaping the tenor of domestic politics by offering the prospect of EU membership. The prospect of EU membership may be more diffuse, but it is ultimately more powerful. It provides substantial and consistent incentives for political moderation and reform on the part of elites in the Balkans and also in Turkey. The World Bank's 2001 report noted that its strategy for the region is "built upon the assumption that a credible commitment to integration with European and global structures, especially the European Union, is a critical ingredient of success, as it will serve as an external driver of reform and intra-regional integration."
279. Leading the Way to Regionalization in East Central Europe: An Evaluation of Poland's Territorial and Administrative Reforms
October 2003 - In 1998, elections were held in Poland to create regional councils. Soon afterwards, similar elections were held in the Czech Republic (2000) and Slovakia (2002). This trend invites many questions: Why have these East Central European countries established regions and regional political authorities? What factors drove this process of region-building? What explains variance in region-building across post-communist countries? Why has Poland taken the first and the most significant steps toward regionalization? My approach to answering these questions is to consider a number of factors and incentives that drive the regional reform processes in post-communist countries in general and to examine the Polish case in particular.
March 2003 - The collapse of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia had many wonderful consequences. For historians it has meant that so many archives that were once closed to us have been open for more than a decade. As a result, those who write about Czech and Czechoslovak history now have unprecedented access to sources and have had ten-plus years to poke around and to consider what we have found very carefully. At the same time, a new generation of historians interested in Czech, Slovak and Czechoslovak history has appeared, both in Europe and in North America. In North America alone, there are now quite literally dozens of historians who have taken up Czech, Slovak and Czechoslovak history since the mid-1980s and this generation has benefited tremendously from the opening of the archives. The intersection of these two events has meant that much that was once unavailable as a subject of historical study is now at the center of the research programs of many talented historians.
September 2003 - With Iraq, Israel-Palestine and North Korea so prominent in the headlines these days, it is little wonder that the Balkans have received scant attention. However, substantial risks remain, and policy makers do not help matters by prematurely ‘declaring victory.'
EU Enlargement, now scheduled to take place in May 2004, will involve the addition of ten states: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. I will highlight the potential benefits of enlargement as well as the possible areas of contention between the EU and US stemming from the enlargement process.
For some, Poland's emergence as a leading partner in the US-led campaign to rebuild Iraq came as a surprise. After all, so much effort has been spent on reforms, concessions and negotiations in preparation for EU accession, that it seemed to many that Poland, the Baltic States, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic were antagonizing precisely those countries they had been courting for years by supporting the US-led coalition. In response to the confusion, I would like to offer a historical-cultural explanation for those puzzled by this new world order.
In 1991, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia—two multinational Communist federal states with comparable histories of indigenous revolutions and similar nationality policies—disintegrated. As the only two countries that fully implemented the system of ethno-territorial federalism, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia shared important structural features. In both cases, the basic political-administrative units—the republics—were organized along ethnic lines and were seen as the quasi-national homelands of the titular nations.
A defining moment during my two-year stay in Romania, struggling with the archives there, occurred when an American history doctoral student, who was in Romania on a Fulbright grant, turned to me one day and earnestly asked why on earth I would ever pick Ana Pauker as a subject for a biography. He evidently failed to see the irony in his question, since he was writing a biography of Ion Antonescu, the wartime dictator of Romania.
In April 1992, the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was deployed to Croatia with a 12-month term and a mission to demilitarize and protect "the continuing functioning, on an interim basis, of the existing local authorities and police, under United Nations supervision, pending the achievement of an overall political solution to the crisis." More than ten years, thousands of peacekeepers, and hundreds of millions of dollars later, the former states of Yugoslavia are arguably as far from a political solution as they ever were. In a recent meeting sponsored by the East European Studies Program, two Balkans experts, A. Ross Johnson and Misha Glenny assessed the past ten years of peacekeeping in Southeastern Europe and offered alternative strategies for the future.
The good news for Macedonia is that the current government, led by Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski (of the Social Democratic Union), has initiated a high-profile attack on corruption in the country. The Social Democrats (SDSM) and their Albanian coalition partners, Ali Ahmeti's Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), were elected in September 2002, on the heels of a damning report by the International Crisis Group (ICG). This document highlighted the serious levels of corruption in the country. Since taking the reins of power, the SDSM and BDI have launched a two-pronged strategy. One part involves clamping down on the activities of the Albanian mafia in western Macedonia. The other concerns prosecuting those who abused power in the previous government and setting forth new rules to increase the transparency and integrity of the government.
December 2002- Bulgaria's post-1989 transition to a multi-party democracy and market economy, both functioning under the rule of law, has obviously been slow if judged by Hungary's exemplary standard. Ten governments and five parliaments in 12 years have hampered the political pursuit of sustained policies. The shock of a collapsing Soviet trade regime hit Bulgarian exports – one half of which had gone to the USSR – particularly hard. Legal foreign trade suffered and illegal activity mushroomed with Western sanctions against Serbia and Greece's embargo against what it still calls the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. But that was the 1990s, and now in the new century, there are enough signs of progress to hope that impending NATO membership will indeed be followed before the end of the decade by EU membership.
January 2002- In the 21st century, organized crime in the Balkans has accomplished what empires like the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Hapsburgs and, briefly, Hitler's Third Reich achieved in centuries past. Namely, to compel the myriad, rival ethnic groups of the region to work together for a common purpose. The difference, of course, is in the compulsions and incentives. Past empires used limited doses of advantages for those who cooperated, combined with brute force against those who resisted.
January 2003- This essay challenges the conventional wisdom that there are definite "lessons" to be drawn from NATO's war over Kosovo. To the contrary, the Kosovo intervention offers a number of compelling (and often contradictory) implications that should concern — and may even confound — serious analysts and policymakers. At best, the most reasonable conclusion in the after-math of the war is that the lessons of Kosovo are terminally ambiguous. While the intent here is not to promote a specific solution or set of policy recommendations, there does exist a broad problem-set of dynamics that were, and are, driving forces in the shaping, analysis and future direction of the European security architecture. Attempts to explain conflict that focus too narrowly on ethnic differences, or too broadly evoke human justice as grounds for intervention, will consistently miss the strategic mark.
November 2002- On December 8, 2002, Serbs failed to elect a president for their republic for the third time since September. After rancorous campaigning, an October television debate, and a disturbingly strong showing by radical nationalist Vojislav Seselj in the election's first round in September, Serbs could not be bothered to come out in sufficient numbers to validate the December election between current Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, nationalist firebrand Vojislav Seselj, and Borislav Pelevic. As expected, Kostunica won handily with 57.5 percent of the vote and Pelevic's performance at the polls was inconsequential. Seselj's take of 36.3 percent of the electorate, however, was both astonishing and distressing. Yet, in spite of the fact that three candidates competed for the presidency, the principal opponent of each was once again voter apathy and Serbia's threshold requirement that a minimum of 50 percent of voters vote in order to validate an election.
December 2002- On November 28, 2002, Albanians all over the world celebrated Albania's Independence Day. President Alfred Moisiu; Prime Minister Fatos Nano; opposition leader Sali Berisha; the Prime Minister of Kosova Bajram Rexhepi; former KLA leaders, now party leaders, Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj; the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians in Macedonia, Arben Xhaferri; and, representatives of Albanians in Montenegro and abroad, all gathered in the southern port of Vlore, where 90 years ago Albanian patriots declared Albania's independence. Such a gathering was seen by some politicians and analysts in the region as further proof that Albanians are working for the creation of a "Greater Albania."
November 2002- Scholarly debates on the nature of the European Union typically revolve around the question of the degree to which state sovereignty is being impaired (or transcended) by the process of integration. Realists and intergovernmentalists, such as Alan Milward and Andrew Moravcsik, argue that integration serves the interests of the member states and, hence, consolidates the nation-state by enabling positive domestic results that could not be achieved without multilateral cooperation. Others, more supranationally-inclined, like Joseph Weiler, maintain that what may begin as an issue of specific "pooling" of sovereignty can take on a life of its own, as new structures of governance are created that ultimately supercede and curtail national authorities. Not surprisingly, these divergent views of integration posit continuous tensions and conflicts between national governments and supranational institutions over the contested question of where ultimate sovereignty and decision-making authority should reside. In the context of the EU's eastern enlargement, however, such tensions appear to have fallen largely by the wayside. Both the Brussels bureaucracy and the national governments are in agreement that preserving the gains of integration to date – regardless of whether these accrue mainly to the benefit of the nation state or the supranational entity – entails a concentrated effort of EU-assisted ‘institution-building' in the East European candidate countries.
October 2002- In parliamentary elections held on September 20-21, 2002, Slovak voters showed a clear preference for pro-Western and reform-oriented parties, while turning away from populists aimed at protecting "national" interests and potentially returning the country to international isolation. The elections produced the most homogenous government in Slovakia's short history, and the country's future – at least for the next four years – now appears rather predictable, even boring. Following an awkward introduction to the world, the elections signify that Slovakia may finally be growing up.
May 2002- There has been an obvious uneven evolution of the East European countries in the last ten years. Theoretically, the process of transformation still points in the same direction: modern capitalism. Practically, however, many of the new democracies seem to have stopped along the road. A classification of political systems in Eastern Europe according to economic performance in the decade 1990-99 shows that there are competitive democracies and concentrated political regimes alongside war-torn societies and non-competitive political regimes. There are also differences among countries and regions. (World Bank Report on Eastern Europe, November 2001) How can one explain the large divergence among performance levels in Eastern Europe after 1989? What constitutes the new East European ruling elite, what is the dominant political ideology, and how do the new capitalist institutions work? There are two prevailing viewpoints. The first one is known as the path-dependency approach; the second is the neo-classic sociology school of thought.
262. Gendered Entanglements in the Time of Marxism: The Friendship of Wanda Wasilewska and Janina Broniewska in a Man's Revolution
March 2002- During the bleak Polish winter of 1922, the young poet Wladyslaw Broniewski was dreaming of a fantastical romance with a demonic woman; instead he fell in love with a pretty girl named Janina Kunig. Broniewski lived in the elegant prewar city of Warsaw, where he would spend his evenings with a small group of young writers – including Aleksander Wat – who gathered on the upper floor of Cafe Ziemianska. The young poets were, for the most part, Poles and cosmopolitans – "non-Jewish Jews." Broniewski, in this respect, was an exception, an ethnic Pole, of all of them the most tied to the Polish romantic tradition. It was Broniewski who came out of Marshal Jozef Pilsudski's military Legions, who fought against the Soviets in his youth and later became a proletarian poet. He wrote Janina love letters in a language reminiscent of the knights and castles of premodern chivalry. Janina loved him as well, with an affection and concern that would last her entire life. Her greatest, most undying love, though, was for Wanda Wasilewska, who in the 1920s was a promising young leader of the Polish Socialist Party to which her father had devoted his life. She lived in Cracow, where she drank endless cups of black coffee and chain-smoked and wrote poems for a newspaper called Robotnik (The Worker). She was a very tall woman with a large voice in a man's world, and she and Janina would come to mean more to each other than any of the six husbands they had between them.
October 2002- Contemporary war economies in places such as the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and West Africa tend to be clandestine economies, utilizing criminal actors as combatants and smuggling networks and black marketeering for financing and supplies. The importance of clandestine flows and criminal actors becomes even more apparent in the context of evading international economic sanctions and arms embargoes. Consequently, the business of war and the business of crime closely intersect—producing a form of criminalized conflict. In the case of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, for example, understanding the role of criminal actors and clandestine flows is crucial in explaining the war's outbreak, persistence, termination, and aftermath. Calling this war a criminalized conflict does not take politics out and simply reduce all aspects of the conflict to criminality and economic motives. It does, however, stress the analytical insights that can be gained from a more sharply-focused exploration of the intersection between smuggling practices, criminal actors, and warfare. It also has important implications for understanding the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction.
260. Competing for the Albanian Soul: Are Islamic Missionaries Making Another Lebanon in the Balkans?
September 2002- Rexhep Boja's recent retort to Arab "non-governmental organizations" (NGOs) efforts to impose their literalist (Wahabbi/Salafi) interpretation of Islamic tradition in Kosova reflects a largely ignored phenomenon in the post-Communist Balkans. While most of the international organizations (UN, OSCE etc.) and governments who fund them have ignored the needs of the victims of Communism to rebuild their shattered spiritual lives, a significant combination of forces have converged on the region, instigating a "Lebanonization" of the Balkans. Understanding the process of social fragmentation in multi-faith societies requires a greater appreciation for the destructive effects of outside influences.
September 2002- The importance of the media is axiomatic to the new political elites in the post-Communist nations, so they seek to own, control and, at the very least, to influence the media. Consequently, Eastern Europe's media are judged to be dependent on the state - the new political forces and the newly established market - instead of being outgrowths of civil society. Furthermore, the new media systems are seen as lacking autonomy, pluralism and diversity, not contributing to the democratization process, and worse yet, being inimical to it, thwarting citizen participation. Journalism is considered unprofessional, being tendentious, opinionated, highly politicized, often inaccurate and incomplete, and pandering "to low instincts and prurient tastes."1
April 2002- The legacy of the war in Bosnia, ten years after, is deeply ambivalent. There is peace in Bosnia, and as far as one can see, no one is preparing for a new war. This is an immense achievement. The new Bosnia, however, has yet to come to terms with itself. There is a danger that the country will become a destitute backwater now that the era of massive foreign aid and reconstruction is coming to a close. What this means for the people of Bosnia, who remain at odds over the nature of their new country, remains unclear. Many, of course, will seek to leave, robbing the country of its most valuable resource its young, its educated, and its talented citizens.
May 2002- The trial in the Hague of former Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic marks a pivotal moment and is likely to be seen as such in history. It does not only have ramifications for Milosevic himself and for Serbia, but also for efforts to internationalize justice in this globalized, 21st century world. This is a world in which the United States has become the dominant power, as demonstrated by its military reach and its war on terrorism.
June 2002- I am very pleased to have this opportunity to present to you the short overview of the situation on-the-ground in Croatia, the government's achievements in the last two years, as well as our short- and long-term priorities and objectives.
April 2002- In February 2001, violent clashes between armed Albanian insurgents and Macedonian forces broke out in Macedonia's mountainous northwest. It was thought initially that the violence was a spillover from clashes in the Presevo valley on Serbia's southern border with Kosovo, where a splinter group from the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was fighting Serb forces for control. However, over the ensuing months, it became apparent that a new group - the National Liberation Army (NLA) - had formed on Macedonian soil and, with the help of recruits from Kosovo and elsewhere, was mounting a rebellion against Macedonian authority. They claimed to fight because of discrimination against Albanians in Macedonian society, and because of the slow pace of reform. Macedonian authorities, however, believed the insurgents sought to carve out a piece of northwestern Macedonia, near the city of Tetovo, where ethnic Albanians predominate.
Since the end of the Cold War, key regional organizations like NATO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and lately, with the development of a security dimension, the EU, have been engaged in a race to transform and adapt to the changing security environment. These entities, however, have been transforming in competition rather than coordination with each other.
253. Thinking Globally about Globalization: Economists, East-West Dialogue, and the Rise of Neo-Liberalism
February 2002- This paper seeks to provide a new understanding of globalization by examining the Cold War origins of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism includes the policies of mass privatization of state companies, the reduction of trade barriers, the lessening of state regulation, and the expanding role of the market. Among both proponents and critics of globalization, there has been a general view that Western economists brought neo-liberalism to Eastern Europe and other parts of the world. Both sides of the globalization debate have assumed that neoliberalism is a foreign import to Eastern Europe because of some incorrect assumptions. First, they see neoliberalism as the epitome of free market capitalism and, thus, assume it had to have originated in the United States or Western Europe. Second, they assume that since there was little contact between East and West during the Cold War, neo-liberal capitalist ideas could not have reached socialist Eastern Europe. These incorrect assumptions have led to a fundamentally distorted understanding of globalization.
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.
April 2002- Governor Dinkic succinctly summarized the achievements and challenges of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia in economic reform since the ouster of Milosevic in October 2000. Among some of the most important economic reform achievements over the last year, Dinkic listed: attaining durable market economic stability; lowering inflation; the reform of the banking sector; the start of serious privatization of national industries; and, the reintegration of Yugoslavia in international institutions, especially financial institutions. These successes were made possible, according to Dinkic, by the coordination of monetary and fiscal policies - a factor lacking in the previous reform attempts of the 1990s.
February 2002- The U.S. Congress is often an easy target for criticism, especially in foreign policy. This happened frequently during the 1990s, as Congress involved itself in the Yugoslav conflict and the U.S. response to it.
February 2002- With the exceptions of Macedonia and Poland, 2001 was not a bad year for Central and Eastern Europe, especially in light of all the economic turmoil throughout the rest of the world. Ironically, after a tumultuous decade in the 1990s, in 2001 the transition economies have been relatively immune to economic recession. In Central Europe in 2001, economic growth accelerated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to 3 percent or more. PlanEcon projects Hungary will post a final figure of 4 percent and Slovenia will register 3.4 percent growth for 2001, commendable performances in both cases, although lower rates than in 2000. In addition, these two countries enjoyed better balance in their economies. Inflation has fallen. Hungary's current account deficit has narrowed sharply; Slovenia's deficit has turned to surplus.
December 2001- At the meetings of ELTE Klub, a university-based environmental organization, heated discussions took place on the nature and challenges of the Hungarian environmental movement. In 1996, at one of the meetings, one of the members was asked to comment on the changes observed in the Hungarian environmental movement. Comparing the challenges faced by environmentalists under state socialism and in the post-socialist era, she pointed out that: "In the 1950s there was the belief that there simply weren't nature conservation problems in socialist countries because natural resources were being harnessed for the benefit of the workers. Today, nature conservation is seen as an obstacle holding back development and marketization. It's this vadkapitalista (or "wild capitalist") perspective that we are up against."
247. Romania's Return to its Western Identity: Internal Reforms and International Security Contribution
February 2002- Geographically, Romania lays in Central Europe, equidistant between the Atlantic and Urals Mountains. Our Latin language and cultural heritage - connected to the Mediterranean civilization, with ancient Greece and Rome - are part of Europe. Our political and intellectual elite, educated in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Paris, Berlin, Vienna or Rome, always defined their identity with reference to the values, ideas and developments of Western Europe.
February 2002- It was the federal system or its insufficiently consistent implementation that tormented and eventually broke down the first and the second Yugoslavia. The third one, which we live in today, or more precisely, on whose ruins we live today, has also failed to produce an adequate solution for this issue. Therefore, we are trying with a vengeance to identify a good federal formula, quite new in many aspects, so that it could serve as a framework for a fourth, sustainable Yugoslavia, or, if you like, a newly established community of Serbia and Montenegro.
December 2001- The Central and East European (CEE) countries aspiring to accede to the European Union (EU) have been harmonizing their visa policies with Union standards. The EU has made obligatory the full adoption of the visa acquis (a set of regulations and practices) by the CEE countries without an option for derogation, even though such an option has been granted to some of the EU members - the UK, Ireland and Denmark. The CEE countries are under the obligation to comply with the EU visa regulations even if this requires the imposition of visas on nationals of states which have never before been under such a duty and where there are close historic, economic, and family links. At the same time, the EU has encouraged cross-border cooperation and has urged the CEE countries to establish and foster good bilateral relations with their neighbors. However, the adoption of the EU visa policy by the CEE countries has had the undesirable effect of creating obstacles to cross-border movement of people (and goods) in the region and has led to political, economic, and social tensions rather than to the desired good neighborly relations. Ironically, the implementation of the EU visa acquis has, in fact, jeopardized what Helen Wallace has called "a kind of central European acquis," which fostered constructive forms of multilateralism and bilateralism that have been vastly important in West European integration.
244. The Social Roots of Ethnic Conflict in East Central Europe: A Comparative Study of the German Diaspora in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia
November 2001- In the twentieth century, one of the most explosive issues of European history was the ethnic-national question in East Central Europe. From the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the struggle of minorities for nationhood leading up to World War I, to the rise of National Socialism and the horrors of the Holocaust, to the recent bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia, the ethnic-national question in East Central Europe significantly altered the course of European as well as world civilization. Arguably the most controversial ethnic-minorities of East Central Europe were the Germans. Sometimes referred to as the 'fifth column' or as 'Himmler's auxiliaries' in popular and academic minds, the German Diaspora in Eastern Europe is often viewed as having been Hitler's willing accomplices in his eastward expansion.
January 2002- The key question for NATO, according to Dr. Prizel, is how to maintain the alliance when the security agendas of Europe and the U.S. have begun to differ so greatly. While this divergence began with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, we can expect to see an even greater divergence in NATO between the two entities, particularly on the issues of pan-Islamicism and NATO's relationship with Russia.
January 2002- Jeffrey Simon and Chris Donnelly addressed specific challenges facing NATO now and in the immediate future, and the impact of those problems on the enlargement process. Donnelly stressed that over the past ten years NATO has evolved from a purely defense organization into a security organization, taking on wider and larger tasks and challenges. But NATO's primary problem, and one that cannot be ignored, is that it's structure and organization have not evolved to effectively accommodate these changes.
October 2001- The comparison between Nazism and Communism is justified on both moral and scholarly grounds. But scholars are not judges, and the confusion between these two roles can make some scholars oblivious to important distinctions. French historian Francois Furet, in his correspondence with German historian Ernst Nolte, insisted that there is something absolutely evil, both at 1) the level of original intention and 2) the implementation of the utopian goals in Nazi practice. Comparable as the two mass horrors of Nazism and Communism are, however, there is something singular about the Holocaust.
November 2001- The events of September 11 and the subsequent military and diplomatic reactions have consumed the attention of the world's media and viewing public. While the horrible events have been condemned by the global community, that does not mean they have been immune from manipulation by the unscrupulous. Unfortunately, September 11 has provided the latest rhetorical backdrop for a number of personalities in the Balkans who seek to recharge a rationale of war. With its attention directed elsewhere, the mainstream media has failed to cover how policy-making entities in the Balkans have actively sought to associate so-called Islamic terrorism with the region's millions of Muslims. This is a rhetorical gesture that had been frequently used in the past to promote social tensions and create a sense of siege. The new wave instigated by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic and counterparts in Skopje must be addressed if Western diplomats want to bring lasting peace to the region.
October 2001- During October 1956, Hungarians reached out to join the West and found that, by intent and purpose, they were alone. Even the international community appeared to have abandoned their call for freedom. By the second invasion of the Red Army on November 4, the Hungarians seemed to stand alone, refugees in their own country. Yet throughout the fight, the Austrians remained loyal to their historic neighbors and the ideals that drove the uprising.
October 2001- Budapest was the fastest growing European city in the 19th century and about a quarter of its population was Jewish. Jews in Eastern Europe have functioned like the canary in the mine: what happened to the canary would soon enough happen to the miners. The degree Hungarian Jews felt included, excluded, then ambivalent and confused about leaving or staying also provides a glimpse of the history of Hungarian nationalism in its various manifestations between 1848 and the present.
September 2001- The events of September 11, 2001 have pushed the crisis in Macedonia very much into the background of world affairs. Nevertheless, events there remain of crucial importance to stability in the Balkans. Macedonia's future is anything but clear. It faces the multiple threats of civil war, political and social disintegration, and economic disaster.
September 2001- The tragedy of the Jews of Banat and Southern Transylvania was different from that of the Jews of the Old Kingdom of Romania. The dictatorial regimes of King Carol II and Marshall Ion Antonescu did not recognize the civil rights granted by the 1923 Constitution. The Jews were discriminated against on the basis of the historical regions in which they lived. The pretexts of the authorities were that: the Jews of Transylvania did not participate in the Romanian War of Independence (deliberately ignoring the fact that in 1877 they were citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire); did not fight in the Balkan Wars of 1912- 1913; did not take part in the unionist propaganda; did not integrate into Romanian culture; and, many of them used Hungarian as a language of communication and culture.
June 2001- This study considers future trends in Southeast Europe with an eye to problems of governance by examining what is typically understood as state functions and processes that promote institutional accountability and transparency. Three interdependent sets of local factors, that speak to the future of the region, are identified: 1) national or ethnic conflicts and unresolved issues around sovereignty and self-determination; 2) weak governments and fragile political coalitions and alliances unable to provide necessary goods and services and implement sound fiscal and regulatory policies, establish and maintain rule of law, and gain public trust; and 3) weak legal economies plagued by crime, illegal trade and trafficking, energy shortages, inadequate infrastructure, strained budgets, unemployment, poverty, and increasing gaps between the rich and the poor.
June 2001- Four main factors should be considered in assessing the legitimacy of intervention in the name of humanitarianism: (i) the existence of humanitarian motives; (ii) humanitarian grounds for intervention; (iii) humanitarian means of intervention; and (iv) humanitarian results. Debate over the NATO bombing in Kosovo has concerned application of these factors.
May 2001- When speaking about the former communist Europe, understanding its history and the emerging ideologies provides a key to comprehending its present. This paper presents some of the ideas that contributed both to shaping dissident movements after 1950 and to the collapse of totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. I will focus particularly on the role of the intelligentsia in their respective societies' emancipation and transformation from objects into entities able to engage in the struggle for their interests.
April 2001- The European Union's (EU) eastward enlargement is said to be a well-designed strategy aimed at overcoming the divisions in Europe and strengthening the process of European integration. This paper will question the very essence of this claim. It will, first, show that the EU's policies towards the candidate states from Eastern Europe emerge more by default than by design. Second, it will show that the EU's policies, while overcoming some divisions in Europe, also created new ones. And third, it will show that widening the Union makes its deepening quite difficult. In other words, the long-term vision of a highly integrated European federation is being challenged by the enlargement project.
March 2001- John Ikenberry's important new book, After Victory, contends that victorious states seek stable alliances and cooperative relations after major wars. Rather than using military victory to assert further dominance, the urge for stability should trump triumphalism.
March 2001- The Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, resulted in the replacement of a unified state by a puppet regime in Serbia and an ideologically-fascist Independent State of Croatia under the Ustasa regime. This regime claimed for Croatia most of the ethnically mixed Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the Serb-dominated eastern Slavonia and Krajina. To cleanse those areas of ethnic Serbs, the Ustasa committed atrocities, the brutality of which was most potently symbolized by the death camp at Jasenovac, later to also become symbol for Yugoslavia's 1990s disintegration. Until recently, however, most historical inquiry into World War II Yugoslavia has focused on the civil war between Tito's communist Partisans and Draza Mihailovic's Serb-dominated Cetniks. The royal government-in-exile, based in London, appointed Mihailovic war minister in January 1942, and considered the Cetniks its representative in Yugoslavia. A historical issue that has not been sufficiently examined is the British relationship with the government-in exile during the war and how that relationship prompted the British to lead the Allies into switching support from Mihailovic to Tito.
February 2001- Since 1990, the Slovenian educational system has been undergoing continuous reform, stimulated by three major social incentives: introduction of political pluralism and market economy (1990); Slovenia's independence (1991); and, Slovenia's preparation for membership in the European Union (2003/04). To prepare and implement the reform, the Parliament and the Ministry of Education and Sport established a large and complex administrative apparatus with several permanent institutions and temporary commissions.
February 2001- The Black Sea, in many ways, is back. Neal Ascherson's evocative travel book, Black Sea (1995), sparked new interest among travelers to Crimea, the Caucasus, and the northern coast of Turkey. The Black Sea Trade Project at the University of Pennsylvania promises to uncover new archaeological evidence of the connections among Greek trading colonies around the sea's rim, as well as of ancient settlements long since covered by the sea's waters. Then there is news that the great deluge of Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh may actually have had its origins perhaps 8,000 years ago or so, when a great freshwater lake joined with the salty Mediterranean to form the strange ecological system of the Black Sea.
Of all of the Yugoslav successor states, Slovenia has recorded the smoothest and least problematic transition toward liberal democracy and has maintained the highest level of system stability, as measured by several conventional indicators. What accounts for this relative success? It is fashionable in some quarters to attribute Slovenia's smoother transition to the country's high degree of ethnic homogeneity or to its greater prosperity. While it may be that these factors are not entirely irrelevant, I would prefer to place the stress on two rather different factors, viz., the fact that the League of Communists of Slovenia already embarked on the transition to a pluralist system in the mid-1980s, building bridges with the Slovenian opposition, and, in the process, beginning the transition to legitimate government; and the fact that liberal political culture was planting its seeds in Slovenia already in the 1980s, if not before. Indeed, the activities of pacifist, environmentalist, punk, and lesbian and gay associations at that time helped to lay the foundations for a tolerant liberal culture in Slovenia, at a time when Serbia was sinking ever deeper into a thoroughly nationalist culture.
January 2001- Roma arrived in Europe around the 13th century, after migrating from Northern India through Persia to Armenia and into Europe. They then spent three centuries - beginning around the 15th century and ending with the establishment of the modern Romanian state in 1864 - enslaved in what is now modern Romania and Moldova. The end of slavery led to the significant migration of the Roma from the Romanian/Moldovan states deeper into the Balkan peninsula.
January 2001- The results of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Romania in November- December 2000 came as a surprise to those unaware of the sharp decline in popularity of both President Emil Constantinescu and the Democratic Convention (CDR), the coalition that swept him into office in the November 1996 elections.
February 2001- The regime of Slobodan Milosevic created great problems not only for those of us who live in Serbia, but also for the entire world. His regime, which was probably one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world, basically brought the Serbian people to the edge of insanity - to a point where they did not know what to do. The terror and repression that occurred in terms of kidnapings, arrests, and even murders, had tremendous impact on the people of Serbia.
January 2001- Three months ago the whole world was relieved when Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia's ruler for the past thirteen years, was removed from power. The opposition won the election but it is the people who went to the streets, willing to risk their very lives, who are the real victor and nobody must forget that including the new government. The Serbian population was fed up with failed promises and patriotic slogans and had enough of the isolation and everyday misery which it had to endure for over a decade. Most importantly, they wanted to reclaim their lives and the future of their children.
December 2000- The current priorities of the office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), headed by Max Van der Stoel, are problems in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine, Central Asia and Yugoslavia. What is most notable is what is not on the list. Since it's establishment in 1993, the HCNM has concentrated on ethnic tensions in Slovakia, Romania, and the Baltic States. None of these states remain on the current list of priorities. While this does not mean that the problems have been solved, it is a sign that minority politics in much of Eastern Europe has moved into the arena of "normal politics."
December 2000- When Croatia and Slovenia declared independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, they surpassed all other Yugoslav republics in their readiness to enter European institutions, due to their Hapsburg legacies, geographical locations and advanced civic and entrepreneurial traditions. Leaders of the independence movements of both countries made euphoric proclamations of their "return to Europe" after being held "captive" in Balkan federations.
November 2000- On March 24, 1999, NATO attacked Serbia and bombed it for two and half months. Around two thousand civilians were killed - a figure most often quoted locally and probably realistic. Milosevic's regime quoted a figure of five thousand, NATO of five hundred. There is more agreement about the number of Serbian soldiers (both in the military service and the reservists) and policemen killed - seven hundred and two hundred respectively. The material damages are between thirty and fifty billion dollars. As a result, Serbia, which had been poor, became even poorer, unemployment increased and wages decreased.
November 2000- The undeclared war between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, initiated by NATO on March 24, 1999, was formally ended on June 9, 1999, with the signing of a military technical agreement under which the Kosovo International Security Force (KFOR) obtained a legal foundation.
November 2000- NATO was conceived and functioned during the Cold War as a collective defense organization. The centerpiece of the allied mission was to deter an attack and to prepare for the emergencies of Article 5 - defending the territory of the members-states against an attack by the Warsaw Pact. Although the ultimate test never came, it is fair to say that the alliance acquitted itself well in this area.
October 2000- Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria share more than a common border with Serbia. Both of their disparate governments are engaged in a common enterprise, which if unsuccessful, will render their proper connection to Europe, their democratic prospects, and indeed their very survival unlikely. That common enterprise is not "nation-building," understood across Southeastern Europe to mean the construction of nation-states on the basis of the respective ethnic majority. Such ethnic states override the rights of individuals or ethnic minorities.
April 2000- In the former Yugoslavia, language issues have long been both a reflection of inter-ethnic tensions and a catalyst for deepening inter-ethnic animosities. Since the collapse of the Yugoslav Federation in 1991, the insistence that the Serbo-Croatian language be broken up along ethnic lines has at times resulted in what some analysts have considered to be absurd and unnatural consequences. Indeed, given the ethnic polarization in the 1980s and 1990s, language has proven to be a highly emotional and politically sensitive topic. These two decades were characterized by increased competition among the Serbs, Croats, and Muslim Slavs for the populations of ethnically mixed regions. The official concern was for the language rights of ethnic kin residing outside the borders of their home republic. This concern was strongest within Serbian linguistic circles where dialectologists actively engaged in documenting the dialects of Serbs residing in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In a similar fashion, Croat linguists became concerned about the dialects of ethnic Croats in the Herzegovina and Posavian regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
April 2000- The Balkans in general and Macedonia in particular have been characterized by widespread multi-lingualism. Ironically, while the term Balkanization has come to mean "fragmentation," the linguistic term Balkanism refers to shared grammatical and lexical features which originated through intense multi-lingual contact. Such contact could only have arisen under conditions of predominantly peaceful coexistence. Yet, although language served as a group marker, religion was a more important source of identity in Ottoman Turkey where it constituted the basis of an individual's millet ('nationality').
One of the most critical and complex issues in U.S. foreign policy is the expansion of NATO and the European Union into Central and Eastern Europe. Even the terms are controversial - for example, "Central" versus "Eastern" Europe and who and what are encompassed in these categories. The issues are important, not just to the countries involved but to the future of Europe, U.S.-European relations, to say nothing of U.S.-Russian relations. Based upon on-site observations, interviews and research materials gathered during a recent visit to the area, the author offers some predictions on the future course of European integration as it presently looks.
November 2000 - Europe is currently enjoying an unprecedented level of integration and unity in a number of key areas. Among some of the most important elements of an integrated union, the EU has achieved: * a common commercial policy; * a single market; * a common foreign and security policy; * a single currency (Euro); and * a European judicial system. Given the recent progress the EU has made on internal integrative measures in these key organizational areas it is harder to join Europe now then in the past. Regardless, Mr. Cameron states, Europe will expand within this decade. Indeed the process is well under way, started shortly after the fall of communism in the early 1990s with the signing of association agreements with certain Central East European countries and continued with the recent stabilization and association agreements signed with the former Yugoslav states. The EU also has free-trade agreements in place with nations of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
October 2000 - The war in the former Yugoslavia was not a civil war as often asserted, but a war of aggression by the Serbian regime in Belgrade, led Slobodan Milosevic, with the aim of creating a "Greater Serbian" state. This Greater Serbia was to encompass all the Serbs that lived in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Belgrade's regime provided strong political and propaganda support to the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia to declare their regions autonomous. In both republics, the former Serbian-dominated Yugoslav People's Army (YPA) was used to arm the Serbian rebels and protect their self-declared autonomous areas. The YPA's attack against Slovenia in June 1991, and subsequent aggression against Croatia in July 1991, as well as against Bosnia in April 1992, were not spontaneous and improvised acts, but a part of a series of plans drawn up by the YPA's General Staff in late 1980s.
September 2000 - Yugoslavia is again at a crossroads. The elections on September 24 may determine whether a peaceful solution of the crisis will get a chance or whether the tensions will continue to build while the West braces itself for yet another conflict in that region. After a decade of violent destruction, there is no end of the disintegration process in sight. Even if the opposition wins the elections and the current regime in Serbia is toppled, the contentious nature of the relationship between Serbia and Montenegro - the two remaining republics forming the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - has yet to be resolved. The future of Kosovo similarly looms on the horizon with uncertainty. The reasons for the elusiveness of these political settlements are outlined below.
September 2000 - In his opening remarks, Zbigniew Brzezinski outlined three categories of democracy: functioning, malfunctioning, and fictitious. Functioning democracies are characterized by political and economic pluralism. Poland represents one of the most successful "functioning democracies" in the post-communist world. Malfunctioning democracies, such as many former Soviet states today, may aspire to democracy, but are crippled by legacies of the communist past. In fictitious democracies, the organs of the Communist Party remain but the regime pursues limited, reformist economic and social policies, such as in China. Brzezinski also pointed out that wide-scale, growing poverty impedes the movement toward democracy in many post-communist countries.
October 2000 - In their discussion, Robert Hayden and Eric Gordy identified the main reasons for the opposition's electoral victory in the September 24 presidential elections and elaborated on potential challenges facing the new regime once in power. Several factors contributed to the opposition party's victory. Hayden and Gordy cited the: the decreasing amount of support for Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) party as well as a crisis of orientation within the party; the ongoing repression and open violence which exposed a sign of desperation within the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS); the influence of the student resistance movement OTPOR; and, the uncertainty of support for Milosevic by the military and the police. In addition, several potential divisions and defections within Milosevic's coalition further threaten to weaken the ruling regime's hold on power.
September 2000 - Milosevic has gradually been losing credibility over the past few years and these recent elections signify the beginning of the end for him. According to Cerovic, Milosevic's cronies will most likely turn their support towards the victorious presidential candidate of the democratic opposition, Vojislav Kostunica. Election results tallied by the opposition indicate an overwhelming 55% support for Kostunica. By contrast, election votes counted by the regime's Federal Election Commission gave Kostunica only 48% - short of the 50% +1 margin needed to forgo a second round. Cerovic believes that only by seizing the moment and defying the government's call for a second round of elections can the united opposition continue to exert additional pressure on Milosevic and further weaken his grip on power.
May 2000 - A decade after the fall of Communism, there remains little discussion within the public sphere of the fundamental differences that separate the states and societies of Western and Eastern Europe. This oversight is regrettable not only because it limits our ability to resolve problems in the Balkans, but also because that region is far more representative of the world at large than is Western Europe.
June 2000 - Shortly after the referendum on independence in the spring of 1992, war exploded in Bosnia- Herzegovina (BiH) and ended only when the Dayton Peace Accords were agreed to in November 1995 and formally signed in December 1995. Expected to bring peace and stability to the area, many critics today are declaring Dayton a failure. Yet, to conclude that the Dayton Peace Accords are a failure after less than five years of implementation is premature.
May 2000 - In the early nineties, during the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the international community supported the independence of all of its six constituent republics. Four republics - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia - became independent states. The remaining two other republics, Serbia and Montenegro, created the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in April 1992. One month later the new state, driven by international sanctions, fell prey to isolation. In a referendum, held in March 1992, a majority of the citizens of Montenegro voted for co-existence with Serbia in a new common Federal state.
April 2000 - Not long ago, subregional frameworks of cooperation were perceived, due to their "soft" security issue approach, as "the Cinderellas of European security." However, throughout the last couple of years, there has been a growing awareness, both politically and institutionally, of the value of these groupings. Consequently, subregional arrangements have begun to gain their rightful place within the new evolving, institutionally comprehensive and complementary European security architecture. Currently, there is a plethora of cooperative arrangements in Central and Southeastern Europe, including the Visegrad Group, the Central European Free Trade Agreement, the Central European Initiative, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the Royaumont Process, the South-East European Cooperation Agreement, the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, and the Stability Pact for South-East Europe, as well as a number of trilateral arrangements (between Romania, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Hungary and Austria). Euroregions such as the Carpathian, Upper Prut, and Lower Danube as well as a number of multinational, multilateral, trilateral, and bilateral military units also exist.
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.
March 2000 - An important aspect of Hungarian politics in the first post-communist decade has been the governments' consistent efforts to create institutionalized forms for maintaining a Hungarian nation across the borders of Hungary. The "Hungarian project" aims to find trans-sovereign institutional solutions to a trans-sovereign problem in an international system that continues to be based on the principle of territorial sovereignty. Consequently, the Hungarian national strategy is best understood in the comparative context of contemporary challenges to the principle of territorial sovereignty.
March 2000 - The current trans-Atlantic/European partnership is characterized by some remarkable structural tensions. The overlap between membership in the European Union and NATO is limited to only 11 countries. The European Union (EU) has four members - Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden - which, though not officially part of the Alliance, are beneficiaries of NATO's protection. This is a classical free rider situation. It is quite remarkable that one of the four free riders, Austria, is the first EU-member country with a government party holding fifty percent of the decision-making power, whose policies openly denounce the very idea of 'eastern enlargement' on the basis of an argument that posits the essential inferiority of all applicants. That list of "inferior applicants" includes Hungary - an economy in which Austrian capital has been the fourth largest investor since the collapse of socialism.
April 2000 - As a young boy, I was unusually aware of Russia as our home in Kensington creaked under the weight of many tomes written in Cyrillic while prints of Tsarist and Bolshevik Russia stared at us from walls with their unmistakable 'dare to survive the cauldron of history' quality.
November 1999 - Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania found themselves caught between the experiences of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Unlike Warsaw Pact states, the Baltic States did not maintain a degree of independence following World War II. Unlike the Soviet Socialist Republics, however, the Baltic States were independent nation-states in the inter-war period.
February 2000 - The U.S. has a tendency to repeatedly back the worst of candidates in foreign elections. This is especially true in Eastern Europe where high marks are given for the candidate's ability to be charming, speak good English and wear deodorant but who otherwise have zero effectiveness in their own societies.
March 2000 - At the beginning of this new century we may ask what problems we inherited, unresolved, from the last century. One of those problems is the Balkans.
February 2000 - The year 1999 was a very traumatic year for the six million Albanians in the Balkans. Thanks to NATO's intervention and after long years of bad luck, national tragedy, and economic misery, the future looks relatively bright. Despite daunting challenges, Albanians in Kosova are finally free of Serbian repression and can now begin building a new, more stable future. In Albania, there are some signs of recovery from the 1997 economically-induced government crash, although politically, it is still pervaded by a lack of cohesion and direction.
The unexpected and impressive growth and development of the Slovak non-governmental organization (NGO) community, which has simply mushroomed over the past few years, stems from a rather unique situation. Paradoxically, it was the very policies of the former Vladimir Meciar-led government, ousted from power through democratic elections in 1998 and dubbed by the West as isolationist, nationalist and, in general, domestically repressive, that are responsible for the breadth and strength of the NGO community . And this has happened in a place which until recently, with the exception of Yugoslavia, was the least likely to promote such healthy civic democratic growth.
January 2000 - The year 1989 was a global revolutionary year that started a series of unprecedented social and economic processes. Among these ranked the two simultaneous transitions all the post-communist states embraced and engaged in: the transition from dictatorship to democracy, and from a command economy to a free market economy.
January 2000 - Bulgaria once existed as a totalitarian state and a faithful Soviet ally with a centralized socialist economy. Today, it is a functioning pluralist democracy which embraces the liberal views of the West and strives for integration into the prosperous global civilization of the 21st century. The transition has been long and painful, but one that should be examined and recognized for its accomplishments, particularly those within the past year.
191. Biased Justice: "Humanrightsism" and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
December 1999 - Many American lawyers, commentators and politicians view the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (hereafter, ICTY or "the Tribunal") as a manifestation of the triumph of law and justice in international affairs, since those who violate international humanitarian law and the laws of war are not shielded by state sovereignty. The ICTY, however, delivers a "justice" that is biased, with prosecutorial decisions based on the personal and national characteristics of the accused rather than on what available evidence indicates that he has done. This bias is seen in the failure to prosecute NATO personnel for acts that are comparable to those of people already indicted, and in the failure to prosecute NATO personnel for prima facie war crimes. This pattern of politically driven prosecution is accompanied by the use of the Tribunal as a tool for those Western countries that support it, and especially the United States, to pursue political goals in the Balkans. Further, the Tribunal's rules (some of which resemble those of the Spanish Inquisition) and procedural decisions make it difficult for defendants to receive a fair trial.
January 2000 - Inter-ethnic disputes have been one of the worst setbacks in Eastern Europe since the fall of communism, and their impact has been disastrous. These conflicts have inhibited peaceful development in the post-communist period by displacing and killing large populations, retarding regional economies and investments, dragging reluctant Americans and Europeans into unpopular regional conflicts, as well as placing serious strains on the Euro-Atlantic alliance. Despite these outcomes, the majority of these conflicts have proven to be a case of political will. Their peaceful resolution necessitates the creation of institutional forms and practices which will accommodate rather than isolate and ignore inter- ethnic disputes.
November 1999 - A decade later, the events of 1989 have lost none of their capacity to astonish. The sheer possibilities open at that time are enough to baffle even the knowledgeable observer. For those of us who lived through these events as they happened and had a certain role in shaping them, the enormity of what transpired that fateful year becomes even more amazing with the passage of time.
October 1999 - Southeastern Europe has challenged the future of Europe and North America. While some of the region's intractable disputes simmer (e.g., between Greece and Turkey), the events, policies and personalities that inflamed the Balkans since 1989 have endangered principles for which advanced democracies stand and the alliance that unites them in common defense. If and how we pre-empt, halt and un-do heinous measures by nationalists and extremists in the Balkans will largely determine how the Euro-Atlantic community enters the 21s century.
December 1999 - Ten years ago, when we returned to Belgrade to report on the Balkans, Yugoslavia was a place with a future. It seemed best positioned to make the jump from communist dictatorship to democracy. Marshall Tito had made it the freest communist country in Eastern Europe. Under Tito, Yugoslavs had been allowed to travel, work abroad and had other personal freedoms, provided they did not criticize Tito or provoke nationalism. The late New York Times correspondent, Cy Sulzberger, stated at the time: "Sure, Tito is a Marxist. But his dogma is that of Groucho, not Marx."
A decade has passed since the extraordinary events that led to the collapse of the Leninist regimes of East and Central Europe. The decade has been filled by high expectations, noble dreams of justice and freedom, as well as by frustrations, neuroses, and painful disappointments. Throughout the last ten years of the twentieth century, some countries of East and Central Europe have initiated and consolidated viable democratic practices and institutions. Others have lagged behind and are still quasi-democracies with little prospects to be accepted into the much coveted and often idealized Western "club."
September 1999 - The war in Kosovo internationalized the dilemma of democracy - how to treat non-democratic forces that act against democratic premises. Or, how tolerant can one be against intolerance?
October 1999 - The century's main principles responsible for the redefinition of empires and nation-states in Europe and the launching of an era of democracy - self-determination and liberalism - have one overarching flaw, Aleksa Djilas states: there are no formal guidelines for application or instruction. Had there been a more clear definition of applicability of these two pillars of democracy, and had the West chosen a more uniform pattern of across-the-board action, perhaps the Yugoslav disaster might have been prevented. As an example, Djilas pointed out that the political option of pressure for multi-ethnic integration and cooperation was unfortunately not even explored prior to 1991 at the outset of the Yugoslav crisis. Another example: had the West exerted pressure on the Albanians to vote and participate in the political process in Serbia as early as 1992, Slobodan Milosevic would have lost the presidency of Serbia to Milan Panic and the war in Kosovo could have been averted.
September 1999 - "The Balkans create more history then they can endure. Unfortunately," Ambassador Acevska asserts, "this is true." The region's long history of uprising and violence dates back to the 15th century and is rooted in a tradition of cultural, religious and territorial misunderstanding and mistrust. To date, the region's most immediate and ominous threat is that of border changes. Ambassador Acevska views this as a direct threat to the international security of the entire European continent.
In the former Yugoslavia, language issues have long been both a reflection of inter-ethnic tensions and a catalyst for deepening inter-ethnic animosities. Like religion and ethnicity, language serves as a marker of national identity. Given the ethnic polarization in the former Yugoslavia, language can be a highly emotional and politically sensitive topic. This piece first provides a brief overview of the history of the language-politics interface for the ethnic groups speaking the main language of the former Yugoslavia: Serbo-Croatian. Secondly, it outlines the disintegration of Serbo-Croatian language unity in 1991 as manifested in the emergence of at least three "successor languages" (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian). Finally, it focuses on the often acrimonious debates of the last few years within Serbia regarding the future of a Serbian standard language.
The achievement of security in a post-Warsaw Pact Europe dominated by NATO continues to be a formidable task for the Czech national security infrastructure. The Czech Republic earned its NATO membership as an overall result of its progress in its political and economic transitions and by fulfilling the criteria that NATO set out for the Czech Republic in terms of its civil-military relations and interoperability goals.
After two and a half months of NATO bombing, fighting between the Yugoslav Army and the KLA, and the exodus of half of the Kosovo Albanian population, the war has ended. Though both sides were claiming victory there was little to celebrate except that the killing and destruction were stopped. The agreement reached amounts to a truce, while no political settlement is in sight. Did diplomacy fail in Paris as well as the formidable military power of NATO in the field or is this a crisis which cannot be resolved by any means?
Once again, NATO has been drawn into the search for the least bad solution in the Balkans. This time the crisis has surfaced in Kosovo, the province that, ten years ago, seemed to be the most dangerous ethnic flashpoint in what was then Yugoslavia. For the Serbs, Kosovo is politically and religiously attached to Serbia. For the Albanians, Kosova is demographically dominated by Kosovar Albanians and geographically contiguous with northern Albania. Today, both sides are armed, dangerous, and likely to keep fighting without an international agreement. Even with an accord, they are more menacing to the proposed NATO peacekeeping force than were the war-weary local forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995.
Critics of American involvement in Kosovo generally charge that the United States has no business entering yet another bloody Balkan quarrel and that, if we did, we would never get out. Such fears are hardly groundless. An intervention undertaken without at least some agreement among the parties about long-term political objectives and without sufficient force to meet likely challenges on the ground could well end up the worst of all outcomes. It might well fail to stop the bloodshed among the parties. It could also produce significant casualties among the intervention troops. Unlike Bosnia in 1995, both sides in Kosovo still have the will to attempt to prevail by force.
1999 - The international strategy on Kosovo, developed in early 1999, ran off course when the Kosovar Albanians did not initially accept proposals for an agreement because it did not offer their ultimate goal: separation. The international strategy assumed that the Kosovar Albanians would agree and that a threat to use air power against Serbian forces to coerce agreement might be required. It also assumed that eventually Belgrade would back down.
February 1999 - Since major changes swept through Hungary in the late 1980s, there has been dramatic growth in the non-profit sector of society. From just under 8,800 non-profit organizations in 1989 the sector grew to more than 43,000 in 1995. The most rapid growth occurred in 1990 and 1991 but there has been steady expansion in succeeding years. In 1995, there were 27,685 associations, which are membership-based organizations, and 15,650 foundations that are property-based.
February 1999 - Since the fall of communist dictator Todor Zhivkov in 1989 Bulgaria has developed a working parliamentary democracy in which personal freedoms are respected and in which open and free discourse are the norm. It has not been as successful in the economic sector.
December 1998 - Many scholars suggest that both NATO and the Warsaw Pact developed out of the failure of the US and the USSR to come to agreement on the reconstitution of postwar Germany. Beyond this argument, however, one can also suggest that the central mechanism of the Cold War arms race in Europe was the political competition between West Germany's Bundeswehr and the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) for legitimacy in the eyes of the German people.
January 1999 - The image of humanist intellectuals opposing absolutist power in the name of Enlightenment ideals is a powerful one. Yet it represents only one way intellectuals have engaged in political activity in Europe. Czech intellectuals have been more than dissidents: they have also led political parties and served as parliamentary delegates, ministers, and presidents. Moreover, some of the best-known figures in Czech politics have been intellectuals. This essay addresses the careers of four intellectuals who have played important roles both in Czech letters and in Czech politics from 1848 to 1998.
December 1998 - How effectively have multilateral development banks (MDBs) addressed environmental issues in Central and Eastern Europe? The World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and European Investment Bank (EIB) are among the major donors to the region, providing more than $25 billion in loans, which usually attract additional private sector, and bilateral and recipient government financing as well. All three banks have been struggling in recent years to respond to pressure to better address environmental issues in their global and regional work, while often facing criticism by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for doing a poor job in translating ideas and policies into action.
December 1998 - In 1977 Czechoslovakia and Hungary agreed to build a barrage complex on the Danube River with large dams at Gabcikovo (Czechoslovakia) and Nagymaros (Hungary). According to the treaty, the jointly-owned and -operated system would "strengthen the fraternal relations of the two states and significantly contribute to the bringing about of the[ir] socialist integration." In reality, however, it sparked a controversy between these two neighbors that has plagued Hungarian-Slovak relations for more than two decades.
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.
November 1998 - We know the story of ancient Balkan ethnic hatred is largely false: before the late 19th century, conflict in the Balkan peninsula generally ran between South Slavs and their imperial neighbors, not among the South Slavs themselves. That said, there was one genuinely ancient conflict in the region involving the Ottoman Empire. From the 13th to the 18th century, the Ottoman armies were a permanent threat to the South Slavs. Since many (but by no means all) of the Ottoman armed forces were of Slavic origin, kin to their enemies, this period of Ottoman wars can plausibly be seen as the sole example of "ancient" hatred in the Balkans.
October 1998 - Clashes between Catholics and Jews in Poland are again in the news. Since last spring, a series of confrontations between religious radicals has occurred at the Auschwitz death camp in Oswiecim. Thus far, all attempts to resolve the controversy surrounding the placement of Christian religious symbols at the site have failed. Why has the unauthorized display of crosses at Auschwitz escalated to an international incident? What makes this such an intractable issue? This problem results from the intertwining of religious social action and political activity in Poland since 1989. In fact, the current controversy is a way of illustrating the contemporary dynamics of religion and politics in Poland. These dynamics can be broken into four aspects: the international dimension, church-state realignment, tensions within the Catholic hierarchy, and the differentiation of the Catholic community.
October 1998 - Although opposition political parties won a decisive victory in September's parliamentary elections in Slovakia, their triumph was made possible by the country's non-political civil society. No group did more to overturn the authoritarian rule of Vladimir Meciar than the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of Slovakia's third sector. In fact, public opinion polling and surveys had indicated for more than a year that the opposition would win--if Slovakia's citizens understood what was at stake and turned out to vote.
May 1998 - Kosovo is often seen as the most recent example of the clash between two established principles of international politics: self-determination and the inviolability of borders. However, it is better seen as a clash between a principle and reality.
April 1998 - Prior to the revolution of December 1989, communist-controlled Romanian Radio and Television was the country's only broadcasting station. The government's incessant quest to save energy limited TV programming to two hours a day, from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. Day in and day out, the program began with a newscast on the activities of Nicolae Ceausescu, the president of Romania, and his wife, Elena. Had he done something important, this would be the only news that day. The first item to be sacrificed in this case was the international news. Sometimes the entire newscast or even the entire program was dedicated to Ceausescu's "extraordinary deeds and brilliant speeches."
October 1998 - The mass-based, extreme brand of nationalism, connected with the rise of Slobodan MiloŠevic and with the most cataclysmic years of Yugoslavia's meltdown and disintegration (1990-93), has to a large extent dissipated. However, political forces advancing extreme nationalist sentiments, as well as popular support for those views, remain strong in Serbia and among Serbs in other areas such as Kosovo and the Republika Srpska (as we have just seen from the electoral results in Bosnia). Although intellectual ideologists of Serbian nationalism and ultra-nationalism have been dispirited by MiloŠevic's failures, fundamental views about Serbia's national and territorial interests persist, related to feelings of "wounded national pride." Talk of pursuing a "Greater Serbia" and open revanchism are now rather less visible, as soul-searching occurs about recent Serb experiences in the Balkans. There is still, however, a strong commitment in various circles to the pursuit of Serbian national interests, as well as resentment about what has occurred over the last decade.
September 1998 - Grand narratives of Southeast European history can be objects of suspicion, especially when today's confrontations are traced into the past and dubbed as "ancient hatreds." The careful scholar who deconstructs such presentist approaches, however, faces another problem. Past national distinctiveness, when asserted by collective struggle, is a key asset in current political claims. By maintaining a neutral stance on a nation's history, a scholar may be branded as hostile to that nation.
September 1998 - Because of the press coverage and the policy interest both here and in Europe, a fundamental question arises over why the US--and the international community--should be concerned with Kosovo. The answer has two levels. The first is the issue of the violation of the Kosovar Albanians' human rights within their own country, although suffering and human rights violations are not unique to Kosovo. The second is the issue of Balkan stability in which the United States and Europe--including NATO--have a stated interest. The threat of spillover violence to an already unstable Albania and the precarious democracy in Macedonia (FYROM) is great. Spillover violence could have an impact on the Dayton peace process--here the United States has committed substantial resources including 6,900 troops--and potentially across the broader Balkan region, which might lead to a collapse of the former Yugoslavia and embroil Greece and Turkey.
May 1998 - A historian tends to look at current foreign policy problems from a long-range perspective. Such an approach appears particularly relevant when dealing with Poland, and this presentation begins with a sketch of historical background up to 1989 followed by an analysis of developments during the last decade up to the present.
May 1998 - The Roma, or Gypsies, have lived in Eastern Europe, particularly the Balkans, since the Middle Ages. Originally a warrior class in India, they were driven out as victims of war by the invading Muslims. Modern Gypsies prefer to be called Roma, which is a Romani (the language of the Roma) word meaning husband or man. "Gypsy" comes from "Egyptian," which medieval Eastern Europeans mistakenly called the Roma. Gypsy, cigány, and other European derivatives of Byzantine terms, such as Atsínganoi (meaning itinerant musician or soothsayer) and Adsincani are laden with prejudicial stereotypes and meanings.
April 1998 - This presentation is devoted to the current status of the language and politics interface among the Yugoslav successor states and entities. By perusing the recently published dictionaries, grammars, orthographic manuals, and polemical articles on the successor languages to Serbo-Croatian, one can examine the viability of the new languages and the prospects for ethnic reconciliation, given the deepening linguistic divide. Since the Serbo-Croatian linguistic union was agreed upon in 1850, language controversies have reflected broader ethnic/political tensions or, in some instances, may have served to spark a worsening of ethnic relations.
March 1998 - Latvia will hold its next parliamentary elections in October 1998. How will the political left fare? Given the social and economic travails of the post-Communist period (the radical drop in living standards, the plight of those on fixed incomes, the loss of status of the cultural intelligentsia), one might predict that the left would score successes. Since 1991, however, the political left has seemed almost quiescent in Latvian politics. The parties of the left in the renewed parliament (Saeima) have controlled at best only about a third of all seats, and only one of these leftist parties received a plurality in the last Saeima elections in 1995. Why is this so? The political left in Latvia has not succeeded because it has not come to grips with six dilemmas-or, better said, problems with equally unsatisfying solutions.
March 1998 - With the end of the Cold War, we have been given the opportunity not only to research in archives hitherto inaccessible but also to rethink aspects of East European history freed from the ideological preconceptions carried in that struggle. In this regard, and particularly in light of Eastern Europe's search for a usable past, the question of the postwar slide into communist dictatorship seems ripe for rethinking. The fact is that there were significant elements in each society of the region that were in favor of the communist "solution" to the problems of postwar reorganization and reconstruction, and many more amenable to that solution.
March 1998 - The new millennium will begin without a consensus among world leaders on the direction or importance of arms control. This being the case, two scenarios exsist that US policy makers must take into account. The first is tha the quantitative dimension of arms control will disappear. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the superpower-driven urgency of arms control (which made for high politics at U.S.-Soviet summits) will be replaced by efforts to implement and verify exsisting treaties: START I and II, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and perhaps a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (if the Senate ratifies it in 1998 or 1999). "Free market arms control" will become the norm; additional reductions or impose tighter verification regimes will be regarded as too expensive to implement. Quantitative arms control may not be an issues in any case, since rising social and financial costs dictate downsizing forces and discarding weapons.
February 1998 - Has fast reform in Russia and some East European countries created the right incentives for an orderly capitalist economy to develop? Or has it opened the door to a tyranny of the strong over the weak? These are crucial institutional questions raised by the shock therapy strategy of transformation in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Latin America.
February 1998 - In May 1998, Hungary's third, free, parliamentary election will be held. Hungary's first free election in 1990 changed the political system, and the former Communists lost. In 1994, Hungarians voted for a change in the government, and the post-Communists won. This year, the major question facing voters is the composition of the next government coalition. To understand the present political situation, it is helpful to analyze the results of the recent public surveys.
February 1997 - Observers of Polish Politics may feel a strong sense of déja vu. Like the historic election of 1989 which precipitated the collapse of Communist regimes across Eastern Europe, Solidarity emerged victorious from the parliamentary elections of September 1997, a showdown between the former Communists and the Electoral Action Solidarity (AWS). The AWS, a coalition of the trade union "Solidarity" and several minor parties, won decidedly, with 33.8% of the votes and 201 of the 460 seats in the Sejm. The post-Communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) finished second with 27.1% of the votes and 164 seats. A distant third was the Freedom Union (UW) party, dominated by the former Solidarity intellectual elite, with 13.4% of the votes and 60 seats. It was followed by the Polish Peasant Party (PSL), the 1993-97 coalition partner of the SLD (7.3% and 27 seats), and the Movement for the Rebirth of Poland, another party with Solidarity roots (5.6% and 6 seats). The remaining two seats were won by the Silesian Germans, exempt from the 5% threshold as a national minority. Among those who didn't clear the threshold was the leftist Labor Union (UP) with 4.7%.
January 1998 - One of the key issues in the debate over NATO enlargement is the question of the relationship between NATO and the Baltic states and how an expansion of the alliance would affect Russia's relations with Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. While it is clear that the Baltic states will not be entering NATO anytime soon, it is worth noting that the arguments of those who opposed NATO's enlargement because of its impact on Russia have already been proven wrong.
January 1998 - Critics of continued US involvement in Bosnia have described the Dayton peace process as a real-life "mission impossible" that is doomed to fail. More than one of these skeptics has likened plans for reconstructing Bosnia's prewar multiethnic society to putting "Humpty-Dumpty back together again." My own guarded optimism stems largely from a quarter century studying the former Habsburg monarchy, a state which provides numerous models for multiethnic coexistence when there is a reasonably democratic society based on the rule of law. It is also informed by four trips to post-Dayton Bosnia, during which I've seen that Bosnia has more than all the king's horses and all the king's men at work piecing together this shell of a country. Even the seemingly limitless resources of the industrial world may not be enough to make Bosnia whole, but there is little question that the cumulative efforts of the international community and more than 200 governmental and private organizations can accomplish a great deal.
January 1998 - The spectacular collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe in 1989 was greeted by social scientists and regional experts with considerable caution. The tasks facing the region in order to create liberal democracies and market economies seemed enormous. In the past, Eastern Europe functioned as the continent's unstable and backward periphery, and then it had been reshaped by decades of communist domination. By 1989, the region was experiencing fast economic decline. Any change was bound to be slow and difficult.
December 1997 - Since the early 1990s, much of Romania's cultural politics has revolved around two crucial questions that have divided political and cultural elites in the region for much of this century. First, what does it mean to be Romanian in an ethnic or national sense? And second, how do non-Romanians fit into the politics of a country that is defined in the first sentence of its constitution as a "national and unitary" state? In other words, how does "Romanianness" relate to the boundaries of the Romanian state? Nowhere are these issues as strikingly revealed as in the politics of language. Many of these questions have equal importance in the "other" Romanian state, the Republic of Moldova, although the Moldovan case provides some instructive contrasts.
The Polish United Workers' Party (PUWP) believed television had a specific function in socialist society. November 1997 - From the earliest days of the medium, party leaders sought to use TV as a vehicle to transmit socialism to the masses. They found out, however, that television was a very problematic device. The inability to control television fully and completely (try though the party may), and perhaps more importantly, the party's misunderstanding of the myriad functions of TV in society, prevented it from achieving its goals. In fact, one can even suggest that the government's television policy was a contributing factor in the collapse of the Polish socialist state.
November 1997 - According to Jan Vanous, through 1996 the Czech Republic was "the darling of the Western economic and financial community." In 1995-96, the economy was growing at a satisfactory rate, the inflation rate was low, privatization seemed nearly complete, and the government kept a tight rein on spending. The national unemployment rate was no more than 3.5 percent, with the figure for Prague being just .2 percent. A joke going around the Czech Republic was that, in some respects, the Czechs should teach the West how to run a market economy.
October 1997 - Over the course of 1996, economic collapse and prolonged political malfeasance seriously shook the integrity of the Bulgarian body politic. As a result, the government of the "new democratic majority," elected in April 1997, has taken a number of extraordinary measures to recapture the confidence of the population and the international community. Top priorities for the new cabinet of Ivan Kostov have been to attempt to liquidate organized crime, to rebuild the macro-economic and the state institutional frameworks, and to aid the population, which has been battered by economic decay. Public perceptions have made these tasks all the more difficult. The government has had to push for reforms before a population that for years has been exposed to the schemes of many previous "reformers."
November 1997 - An external military presence will be required in Bosnia after June 1998. This will remain the case for perhaps 15 years to come. However, over those years ahead, to make progress and to achieve eventual success, a more creative and proactive approach is required. This entails understanding WhatFOR? and recasting the nature of outside military involvement. Although Bosnia will need international military engagement, over time partnership should replace external implementation.
October 1997 - The expansion of NATO is nothing new. NATO has enlarged itself several times in the past, most recently absorbing the G.D.R. (through the back door of the G.D.R.'s incorporation into one Germany). But the currently envisioned expansion is different from previous ones: this enlargement is primarily politically motivated and it is about the future shape of Europe. The foremost political challenge on the continent after the Cold War is the integration into European organizations of the countries previously included in the Soviet bloc, and NATO has stepped up to this challenge as part of its transformation. If the NATO-Russia Council is successful and NATO's relations with Russia develop along a constructive path, then the alliance's eastward enlargement has the potential to accelerate the integration of Central European countries into a Euro-Atlantic community in a manner that erases the animosities that caused armed conflict in the past.
October 1997 - Why did the Yugoslav state end? And why was its dismemberment violent? One approach to answering these questions is to compare Yugoslavia with Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union--the other two states in the region that broke apart following the collapse of Communist Party rule, but significantly did so in a peaceful manner.
May 1997 - One of the weakest aspects of Polish democracy, according to Marian Krzaklewski, Chair of the Solidarity trade union and leader of Akcja Wyborcza Solidarnosc (AWS--Solidarity Electoral Action Coalition), has been the inability of the post-Solidarity political parties to maintain a united front. Eight years after the collapse of Communism, the "destructive diffusion" of these groups has inhibited the creation of a well-defined political landscape and has left Poland's former Communists in control of the country.
September 1997 - Nearly a decade after the end of the Cold War (black resigned, in the chess parlance chosen by one Hungarian observer), the issues in Eastern Europe are not black and white, but neither are they a uniform shade of grey. They are different shades and degrees of grey in which the security issues confronting the United States and the NATO alliance, especially an enlarged alliance, are likely to be defined from now on. For anyone unwilling to face these complexities, especially in a situation where all parties see the United States as the only decisive external force, "let them come to Bosnia."
June 1997 - Transition in the Hungarian higher education system, begun with high hopes about ten years ago, has proven to be slow and difficult. Erno Zalai , professor and chair of mathematical economics and econometrics at the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, and a Wilson Center Guest Scholar, acknowledged that he and his colleagues greatly underestimated the magnitude of the political, economic, and cultural gap between East-Central Europe and Western Europe.
May 1997 - The successor states to the former Yugoslavia may be unanimous in their opposition to any political project even hinting at its recreation, but they still face a set of surprisingly common economic problems. (On the emergence of the successor states from the collapse of Yugoslavia, see Yugoslavia and After: A Study in Fragmentation, Despair, and Rebirth, edited by David A. Dyker and Ivan Vojvoda [New York: Longman, 1996].) For one, there is the obvious absence of the economic boom that a postwar recovery period often generates. As a partial solution, business enterprises are turning back toward their nearest neighbors, their former compatriots. Even this movement faces two further problems. First, their transitions to a market economy based on private enterprise are in the best case half-finished and have in the worst cases created new vested interests grounded in political power and corruption. Second, while private entrepreneurship has indeed grown apace, its enterprises are typically too small or too closely linked to political or outright criminal networks to press effectively, from below, for a legal market framework.
March 1997 - October-November 1956 witnessed the most momentous events in Hungarian history since 1848, according to Istvan Deak, but they escape an agreed definition despite remaining a defining memory. The debate in Hungary over the events of 1956 even extends to what to call them, with "revolution and struggle for freedom" being the current compromise. Deak, the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and a former Wilson Center Fellow, began his Noon Discussion on 12 March by reviewing the way the 1956 revolution has been treated in Hungary from the Communist to the post-Communist period. To bring his audience up to date on the political debate and the current best understanding of what happened, he concluded with his impressions from the fortieth anniversary conference held in Budapest in September 1996. The meeting was cosponsored by the Center's Cold War International History Project, the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the National Security Archive.
March 1997 - Over the past two years, the economic performance of three of the most prosperous East European countries, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia, has in some respects been disappointing. In an effort to understand the reasons, Keith Crane analyzed their monetary and fiscal policies and evaluated the progress of their privatization programs.
February 1997 - The Yugoslav crisis demonstrates the importance of concerted international action to prevent or resolve conflicts before they turn violent. The community of democratic states, working through multilateral institutions, might prevent the outbreak of similar crises elsewhere by adopting a strategy of "preventive engagement" to promote the democratic development of new governments. Elements of such a strategy are already in place in Macedonia, where international actors are attempting to resolve the tensions between the Albanian and Macedonian ethnic communities.
March 1997 - Two March meetings at the Wilson Center outlined the economic catastrophe and unprecedented political promise which have crowded into this small country. The political promise, only in part the consequence of catastrophe, must fulfill the long-delayed privatization of major enterprises and banks and construction of an iron-clad framework for legal business and transform the Bulgarian economy. Its partial criminalization over the past few years makes the legal framework, as John Lampe's recent trip reminded him, a crucial priority. Only full-scale reform will allow the economy to service its present foreign debt, attract private investment, and mobilize its domestic resources, human as well as financial.
October 1997 - The expansion of NATO is nothing new. NATO has enlarged itself several times in the past, most recently absorbing the G.D.R. (through the back door of the G.D.R.'s incorporation into one Germany). But the currently envisioned expansion is different from previous ones: this enlargement is primarily politically motivated and it is about the future shape of Europe. The foremost political challenge on the continent after the Cold War is the integration into European organizations of the countries previously included in the Soviet bloc, and NATO has stepped up to this challenge as part of its transformation. If the NATO-Russia Council is successful and NATO's relations with Russia develop along a constructive path, then the alliance's eastward enlargement has the potential to accelerate the integration of Central European countries into a Euro-Atlantic community in a manner that erases the animosities that caused armed conflict in the past.
January 1997 - Two American economists resident in Croatia and Macedonia weighed the balance of pluses and minuses in the economies of these two former Yugoslav successor states in a joint presentation at an EES Noon Discussion. Evan Kraft and Michael Wyzan both found inflation well under control and industrial production rising in the respective economies, but they also emphasized a number of daunting structural problems, particularly the slow pace and politically manipulated nature of privatization.
December 1997 - Speaking at a Noon Discussion, Krzysztof Jasiewicz reminded his audience that it was exactly fifteen years ago, on December 13, 1981, that General Wojciech Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland in order to suppress Solidarity. If someone had told him then that in fifteen years Aleksander Kwasniewski would be president of Poland, Jasiewicz would have said, "Oh, sure, that's quite likely. If Jaruzelski dies, and Mieczyslaw Rakowski dies, then Kwasniewski is a likely candidate for succession." If, however, someone had told him that between Jaruzelski and Kwasniewski's tenures, the presidency would belong to Lech Walesa, he would have been mystified. What has in fact happened is proof for Jasiewicz that the totalitarian model of succession has been fully replaced by the mechanisms of pluralist democracy.