2014

Who Are the People?

The people have spoken. They have elected a government. No, wait, I hear the angry shouts of a demonstration in the streets. “We are the people,” they are crying. The crowd is getting larger and larger. They are pressing against the gates of parliament and the presidential palace. And now the government has fallen. The people… Continue reading Who Are the People?

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LeftEast

During the Communist era, the governments of East-Central Europe coordinated their policies with one another and the Soviet Union through a variety of institutions, including the Warsaw Pact and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Opposition movements did their best to coordinate their actions as well, attempting clandestine meetings and communicating with one another through… Continue reading LeftEast

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The Standoff in Ukraine (and also in Washington)

As the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance, U.S. politicians from both parties have been scrambling to take advantage of the crisis. Republicans in Congress have slammed President Barack Obama for his “trembling inaction.” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has revived the hawkish approach of her pre-secretary of state years by comparing Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s… Continue reading The Standoff in Ukraine (and also in Washington)

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The Hungarian Horseradish

In East-Central Europe, the Hungarians are something of an anomaly. They are not Slavic. They don’t speak a Slavic language. Even their origins are hotly contested, as some Hungarian nationalists have challenged the conventional “Finno-Ugric” explanation that present day Hungarians and Finns both derive from older Eurasian tribes. Instead, they argue that the Magyars derive… Continue reading The Hungarian Horseradish

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Running Political Campaigns in Slovakia

The campaign against Vladimir Meciar in 1998 launched many young Slovaks into politics. Young people were instrumental in the 1998 elections – as election observers, media monitors, and civil society activists – that broke Meciar’s authoritarian hold over the Slovak political system. Many of those young people remained in politics, either joining political parties or… Continue reading Running Political Campaigns in Slovakia

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