Eastern Europe Publications

296. The Return of Nationalists in Serbia and Croatia: Is Democracy Threatened?

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

74. Changes in the Constitutional Structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jul 07, 2011
October 2005 - The constitutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina is complex, emerging as it did from a peacemaking process between Serb forces of Republika Srpska and a coalition of Bosniak (or Muslim) and Croat forces under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the fundamental obligations of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its two subordinate Entities, Republika Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), arise from the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its Annexes, often called the Dayton Accords, signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. more

216. Language, Identity and Balkan Politics: Struggle for Identity in the Former Yugoslavia

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

280. The European Union, the Balkans and Turkey: Can "Soft Power" Bring Stability and Democracy

Jul 07, 2011
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." more

"NATO Enlargement and Peacekeeping: Journeys to Where?"

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

57. Civil Society Development in Post-war Kosovo and in Post-war Serbia

Jul 07, 2011
This two-part report presents the findings of the August 1999, Freedom House assessment mission to Kosovo, as well as the author's own September 1999 trip to Serbia. It focuses on the status of civil society, specifically non-governmental organizations, development. The overall goal of the four person assessment team to Kosovo was to determine the conditions, status, and potential for development of civil society and democratic governance in the war-torn province and to formulate recommendations to strengthen its transition to a democratic society based on the rule of law. In the author's visit to Belgrade he observed another face of Serbia, and aims to share it with those who are genuinely interested in assisting Serbia and the rest of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in its transition to a stable and democratic country. more

199. The Road to Bosnia and Kosovo: The Role of the Great Powers in the Balkans

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

351. Where is Serbia Going?

Jul 07, 2011
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. more

46. Hierarchies of Eastern Europe: East-Central Europe Versus the Balkans

Jul 07, 2011
In the geographical and political classification after World War II, a portion of the Balkans secured an unobtrusive place as part of a common Eastern Europe perceived by the West as a homogeneous appendix of the Soviet Union; another portion was willingly included in Western Europe, something that would have been inconceivable under any circumstance other than the prevailing anti-Communist paranoia. In the Balkans themselves, the feeling of a certain Balkan commonality was pushed aside but never entirely submerged, and the priority of the self-designation and orientation followed an East-West axis. This paper discusses the implications of such a dynamic in light of the disappearance of a bipolar world. more

188. The Southeast Europe Stability Pact: Stability Without Security is Bad for the Balkans

Jul 07, 2011
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. 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.