Maintaining a Moral Politics

In the early days of the changes in 1989, a new kind of politics emerged within the opposition movements poised to enter parliaments and governments. Many dissidents had a deep distrust of political parties and of political compromise. After all, under Communism, all the official political parties merely followed the script provided by the ruling elite. And political compromise was nothing less...
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Reviving Local Media in Serbia

There is a famous scene in the movie Spartacus, with Kirk Douglas in the role of the leader of the Roman Empire’s most famous slave revolt. The Romans have captured the slave army and demanded that they give up their leader or else be slaughtered. Spartacus steps forward to save his men. He says, “I am Spartacus.” Out of a deep loyalty to their leader, one slave, then another, and finally a...
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Doing Business in Eastern Europe

A typical story of the economic transition in East-Central Europe is of the frustrated manager in a state-owned company under Communism who becomes a rich and successful entrepreneur after 1989. Certainly there were plenty of frustrated managers during the Communist period. And you can read plenty of stories about the new fabulously wealthy business owners that have emerged in the region over the...
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Roma and the Civil Rights Movement

The comparison has frequently been made between the experience of Roma in East-Central Europe and African Americans in the United States. Roma have likewise suffered from slavery, segregation, rampant discrimination, forced assimilation. They have also campaigned for their civil rights in nearly every country where they live. So far, however, these campaigns have had only limited effect. Although...
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The Disease of Short-Termism

It was famously described as the “end of history.” The collapse of Communism and the victory of liberalism near the end of the 20th century seemed to suggest that the great ideological conflicts of the previous eras had come to an end. A new and powerful consensus formed around the notion that market capitalism was the only way to organize the economy and democracy was the only way to...
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