Eastern Europe Publications

309. A Neoliberal Trojan Horse? The New EU Member States and EU Social Model

Jul 07, 2011
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? more

33. Romania's Unfinished Revolution

Jul 07, 2011
From the moment the megalomaniac "Great Leader" Nicolae Ceausescu, who turned his onetime maverick country into the new basket case of Europe, was overthrown, Romania became a special case again. It has opted for neither the gradual transformation chosen by Poland and Hungary nor the "velvet" revolutions of Czechoslovakia and the now defunct German Democratic Republic; even in Bulgaria, the coup that toppled Todor Zhivkov was not violent. But in Romania, the popular uprising that led to Ceausescu's overthrow on 22 December 1989 cost 1,033 lives, inflicted heavy suffering to a further 2,198 people, and damaged buildings, some of them historically significant. This paper analyzes the role disillusionment, credibility, revisionist history, and legitimacy play in the unstable result of an unfinished revolution. more

173. Philosopher-Kings and Technocrats: Intellectuals in Czech Politics

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

292. The Presidential Crisis in Lithuania: Its Roots and the Russian Factor

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

13. The Problems of Nationalism in Eastern Europe Past and Present

Jul 07, 2011
Defying the proclaimed ideological similarity of the various governments of Eastern Europe (except Greece) during the last 40 years, nationalism is the strongest single motivating force today in that region. Nationalism has forced those in power to make certain ideological concessions giving birth to a basic contradiction even in terminology, national communism. Still, a major issue for the leaders of the various parties and states remains unresolved: the people's primary loyalty has little if anything to do with the world view which they are supposed to accept as the sole valid motivating force for their behavior. more

156. Two Worlds of Arms Control, Two Visions of Europe

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

276. EU Enlargement: Implications for US Trade and International Financial Policies

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

214. European Integration: Who's In, Who's Out, Who Sits and Waits?

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

358. A Few Bumps in the Road: Obstacles to State-Building in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

137. Troubled Economic Transitions In The Yugoslav Successor States

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.