Funding Roma Autonomy

Between 1990 and 2010, according to the World Bank, the number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide was cut in half. This dramatic achievement, which was actually a major Millennium Development Goal, happened several years ahead of schedule. The reduction in extreme poverty varied from region to region, with great gains made in Asia and not much progress achieved in Africa. In...
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Democracy without Democrats

Anybody can claim the mantle of democracy. Russian neo-fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky runs a party called the Liberal Democratic Party. East Germany was called the German Democratic Republic. And even North Korea makes a nod in this direction when it calls itself the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The countries of East-Central Europe are, of course, in a different category. They have...
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Brown Is the New Black

The new spring season is just around the corner, and it looks as though the new “in” color is brown. That’s brown as in “brown shirts.” Perhaps you thought that fascism went out of fashion in the 20th century. But there’s nothing like a lingering economic crisis to bring out the vintage ideologies. The far right is expected to do well in the upcoming European Parliament elections in...
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Roma as Game Changers

In Bulgaria, the political system has been roughly balanced between the Left and the Right for the last two decades. As a result, the party that represents ethnic Turkish interests – the Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF) – can provide its constituency base, which is only about 10 percent of the population, with the benefits of the party’s kingmaker position. Similarly, the Roma are a...
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From Journalism to Activism

Many people are drawn to journalism because of their passion for social justice. They want to investigate wrongdoing. They want to expose corruption. They want to give voice to those who don’t have any other way to bring their stories to the public. Journalism can be powerful. It can bring down the mighty and elevate the underdog. But it can’t by itself transform social mores. People, in the...
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