Blog, Eastern Europe, Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe

What’s Not at the Museum of Broken Relationships

You can find a Newsweek cover depicting President Barack Obama with the caption, “I really wanted it to work out.” There is also a portrait of Ivo Sanader, the former Croatian prime minister. The accompanying note from Kasum Cana, the president of the Croatian Roma Forum, explains that his “emotional relationship” with Sanader failed because… Continue reading What’s Not at the Museum of Broken Relationships

Russia and Eastern Europe

Nigeria with Nukes

John F. Kennedy essentially bought his way into politics. His father, the wealthy Joseph Kennedy, picked out a nice congressional seat in Massachusetts and basically paid the occupant of the position to step down and run instead for the Boston mayoralty.

Russia and Eastern Europe

Balkan Myths

He nicknamed himself “The Killer” because he was tired of all the stereotypes about the Balkans. “It was a reaction to the typical perception of internationals to the Balkans, to balkanization, and to the wars and the people here,” Ranko “The Killer” Milanović-Blank explains. “Wherever I went after the war, in Europe, in the United… Continue reading Balkan Myths

Russia and Eastern Europe

Strategic Dialogue: Yugoslavia

Reply to John Feffer by Ed Herman: John Feffer uses the word “revisionism” or “revisionist” 16 times in his critique of my work on Yugoslavia. This is curious, as IPS and FPIF are supposedly dedicated to offering “unconventional wisdom,” which clearly ought to “revise” conventional and established opinion. But Feffer’s own analysis is hard to… Continue reading Strategic Dialogue: Yugoslavia

Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe

Why Yugoslavia Still Matters

Yugoslavia, though you cannot find it any longer on maps, is still very much with us. The wars and political turmoil that convulsed this multiethnic country in the 1990s continue to reverberate today. These aftershocks can be felt in the standoff around Kosovo’s independence, the political fragmentation in Bosnia, the conflict between Macedonia and Greece,… Continue reading Why Yugoslavia Still Matters

Russia and Eastern Europe

Die Hard

Empires die hard. The war that broke out last week between Russia and Georgia is a terrifying reminder that the disintegration of the Soviet Union is far from over. Seventeen years ago, it looked as though that region might escape the worst consequences of imperial collapse. After all, the Baltic states achieved their independence with… Continue reading Die Hard

Russia and Eastern Europe

Postcard from Ljubljana

The huge yellow banners on the façade of the building under renovation contain short statements that could be part of an advertising campaign or perhaps a conceptual art project. But the stories that are now appearing on this building (pictured) and bus shelters throughout downtown Ljubljana, the capital of the former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia,… Continue reading Postcard from Ljubljana

Russia and Eastern Europe

A Return to Diversity in the Balkans

Southeastern Europe is bracing for one final aftershock from the break-up of former Yugoslavia. The largely Albanian enclave of Kosovo is poised to declare its independence from Serbia after multi-party talks failed to reach a compromise by the UN deadline of December 10. Around the epicenter of Kosovo, the tectonic plates of geopolitics threaten to… Continue reading A Return to Diversity in the Balkans

Highlighted, Russia and Eastern Europe

Containment Lite: U.S. Policy toward Russia and Its Neighbors, FPIF

Containment Lite: US policy toward Russia and its neighbors If the US government had wanted to destroy Russia from the inside out, it couldn’t have devised a more effective policy than the so-called “strategic partnership.” From aggressive foreign policy to misguided economic advice to undemocratic influence-peddling, the U.S. has ushered in a cold peace on… Continue reading Containment Lite: U.S. Policy toward Russia and Its Neighbors, FPIF

Russia and Eastern Europe

US and Former Yugoslavia: Improving on Dayton

Key Problems The Clinton administration has gradually accepted the partition of Bosnia. The administration negotiated the Dayton Accords in part to improve Clinton’s re-election chances. The Dayton Accords have largely stopped the bloodshed in Bosnia, but remain deeply flawed. When war erupted in the former Yugoslavia in 1991, the U.S. kept its distance. “We do… Continue reading US and Former Yugoslavia: Improving on Dayton

Economics, Russia and Eastern Europe

Restructuring East-Central European Economies

Key Problems Structural adjustment has been pitched as the only acceptable economic reform model. This unpopular reform has created political and economic instability. In promoting structural adjustment, the U.S. has concentrated on short-term profits for businesses and narrow diplomatic gain. In 1990, after the collapse of its communist governments, East-Central Europe confronted a daunting challenge:… Continue reading Restructuring East-Central European Economies

Russia and Eastern Europe

Poland After Solidarity

Poland After Solidarity by John Feffer   Winter 1992/93   ~ In Solidarity’s regional office in Warsaw, Mariusz Ambroziak fielded my 
questions like a penitent wrestling with 
his conscience in the confessional. Yes, he conceded, Poland’s famous trade 
union was in deep trouble. Its membership 
was declining precipitously, it wasn’t organizing in the new private… Continue reading Poland After Solidarity