Special Reports

Summaries of major conferences, including a collection of the papers presented during the conference sessions, and booklets that summarize research findings intended for general dissemination on an aspect of East European studies.

Issues in this Series

Women in East European Politics

Nida Gelazis
This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.

The Tenth Anniversary of the Dayton Accords and Afterwards: Reflections on Post-Conflict State- and Nation-Building

Nida Gelazis
This publication stemmed from the December 7, 2005 conference, co-sponsored by East European Studies, West European Studies, and the Southeast Europe Project. The 1995 Dayton Accords ended the violent conflict that raged in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995. Yet, while the fighting has ended, ten years afterwards the Dayton Accords have not been replaced by a more permanent legal foundation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. More than simply commemorating the end of a war, East European Studies proposes holding a conference to reflect on what the Dayton Accords achieved over the last decade, what remains to be done in terms of creating a cohesive and self-sustaining state in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and what role the international community can play to promote state-building there. A better understanding of the Dayton Accords will add to the knowledge of peace brokering and state-building, which has become highly relevant in terms of U.S. Security Policy towards the wider world.

Fighting Poverty and Reforming Social Security: What Can Post-Soviet States Learn From the New Democracies of Central Europe?

Michael Cain, Nida Gelazis, and Tomasz Inglot
Conference proceedings from a meeting held in Washington, DC, June 10, 2005. After decades of communist rule, reforming social policies and welfare state institutions turned out to be much more difficult and complex than previously anticipated. Regional trends emerged. Most Central European democracies introduced significant institutional reforms in social security, while changing social assistance programs to fight risks associated with poverty. In contrast, many post-Soviet states are still struggling to provide modernized and reliable welfare state protections to the elderly, the disabled and the poor during the prolonged era of political and economic transformation. This one-day conference convened international scholars and policy practitioners to examine patterns of welfare state development in select post-communist states and to analyze how national histories, international actors, domestic institutional contexts and the interdependence of recent social, economic and political reforms have contributed to differences in social policies and welfare state provision. Conference participants explored major similarities and differences in social protection reform in various countries with special attention to practical and theoretical lessons of transition that can enhance our understanding of present and future problems and challenges facing the evolving post-Soviet welfare states in Russia and the neighboring states.

"Implications of Enlarging the Euro-Atlantic Space: Problems and Prospects for Northeastern and Southeastern Europe"

Sabina Auger
November 2002 Policy Bulletin- The anticipated expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) in November and December 2002, respectively, will have a profound impact on the security environment in Eastern Europe—a region that, a decade after the fall of communism, still faces a number of critical security uncertainties and daunting reform challenges. NATO enlargement will likely take a “big bang” approach with invitations issued to seven countries at the Prague Summit in November — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Romania. However, uncertainties and challenges remain and include questions about the future US commitment to, and interest in, Europe; the credibility of European leadership in the region; territorial and ethnic disputes; incomplete democratic and economic reform processes; and the proliferation of organized crime and corruption. To address these challenges and encourage much needed debate on these issues, the Euro – Atlantic Initiatives program of the Stanley Foundation, in conjunction with the East European Studies program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, organized a two - phase project entitled Enlarging the Euro - Atlantic Space: Problems and Prospects for Northeastern and Southeastern Europe.

"EU Enlargement and the Environment: Central and Eastern Europe & Beyond"

Sabina Crisen and JoAnn Carmin
August 2002 Conference Report- European Union (EU) accession is no longer a question of “if” but “when” for the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. But accession has required these countries to adopt wholesale European regulations on a broad number of topics, including environmental standards and protection. Tremendous environmental progress has been made in many candidate countries since 1995. Yet, at best, one can express guarded optimism about the ultimate environmental consequences of enlargement. On March 14, 2002, a diverse group of international experts came together for a one-day conference to explore the potential effects EU enlargement might have on national and EU environmental quality and policies. This publication reflects the mix of optimism and pessimism held by the conference participants.

"Minorities and Tolerance in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia"

Sabina Crisen
July 2001 Conference Report - Given the obvious importance of minority and ethnic issues for the stability of the continent, the continuing threat of further disintegration of the region on the basis of minority conflicts, and the still elusive solution to this contentious issue, the East European Studies program (EES), the Kennan Institute, and the Conflict Prevention Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center cosponsored an all day conference on April 24, 2001, to address "Minorities and Tolerance in Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS." Intended to analyze the role of national and shared minorities and their impact on security and stability in the region, the conference highlighted the important roles played by the EU and NATO enlargement processes in promoting tolerance and encouraging strategies to deflect ethnic tensions. The event concluded with a session seeking to propose strategies to avert ethnic hatred by focusing on lessons learned from Chechnya and a broad-brush look at what has worked for international efforts in conflict prevention.

"NATO Enlargement and Peacekeeping: Journeys to Where?"

Sabina Crisen
April 2001 Conference Report - Given the importance of the twin challenges - the MAP and NATO enlargement as well as the future of peacekeeping in the Balkans - not only for NATO but for all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the East European Studies Program (EES) at the Woodrow Wilson Center organized substantial seminars on each of these issues in late 2000 and early 2001. Participants in each of these seminars included both experts in residence at the Wilson Center and pre-eminent scholars in the field, all of whom shared important insights and perspectives on these two timely and pivotal issues.

"Ukraine and Its Western Neighbors"

James Clem and Nancy Popson
December 2000 Conference Report - The conference program was designed to encourage discussion about Ukraine and its neighbors outside of the standard categories for considering this important region. First, the presentations framed Ukraine almost exclusively in terms of its neighbors to its west; and second, the speakers explored Ukraine's relations with its neighbors at a number of different levels and not just as a problem of state-to-state relations. The conference participants attempted to engage a wider audience to think about Ukraine first and foremost within the context of Europe by adding texture and substance to discussions of cross-border relations. Second, the conference's discussion of Ukraine was predicated on the notion that Ukraine exists in numerous realities, only one of which is that of the state.

"NATO and Europe in the 21st Century: New Roles for a Changing Partnership"

Sabina Crisen
July 2000 Conference Report - The Wilson Center's East European Studies and West European Studies programs organized this day-long conference on April 19, 2000. The conference conducted a comprehensive examination of the NATO-Europe partnership and its future prospects, as well as an analysis of the implications of the Bosnian and Kosovo wars for NATO and for the new and aspiring members of the NATO alliance and the European Union (EU). The goal of the conference was to provide a comprehensive view of the West's key integrative institutions, NATO and the EU, as well as a clear summary of the evolving security picture in Europe and of America's future role in an ever-evolving NATO.

"Kosovo and NATO: Impending Challenges. The Views of Experts at the Woodrow Wilson Center"

Sabina Crisen
July 1999 - In March 1999, shortly before the start of NATO’s war in Kosovo, EES initiated a series of seminars and discussions on different aspects and implications of the crisis designed to apply the same scholarly and policy-oriented focus to the war in Kosovo that typifies the Wilson Center’s approach to all public policy issues. This volume brings together the highlights of several of these talks, which hopefully will provide useful insights on and analyses of the crisis to those who were unable to attend the sessions. In it you will find a wide variety of views, some supportive of the Administration and NATO’s approach, others critical. The intent of the report is to provide a balanced view of events in the region as well as U.S. and NATO policy, presented by a distinguished group of academics and policy experts.

Experts & Staff

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