Diaspora communities played a major role in feeding the fires of conflict in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. As Paul Hockenos detailed in his book Homeland Calling, émigré communities of Serbs, Croats, Kosovars and others supported nationalist leaders, funded guerrilla armies, returned to fight in the wars and serve in the new governments, and even… Continue reading Guilt as Destiny
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… Continue reading Reviving Local Media in Serbia
When people praise or criticize the centralized planning of the Communist era in East-Central Europe, they focus most of their attention on the “planning” side. The chief vice – or virtue – of this system was its claim to replace the market with a state that could determine prices, dictate supply and demand, own much… Continue reading The Center Holds (Too Much)
Catharsis is an important element in both theater and politics. On stage, the actors enact a drama that generates a great change of emotion in the audience. Through this outpouring of emotion – of pity, of fear — the audience can experience some kind of spiritual renewal. In politics, too, catharsis is an important stage… Continue reading Catharsis!
Even at an intuitive level, sanctions never made much sense to me. If North Korea is such an isolated country, and isolation only reinforces the leadership’s paranoia, then adopting a policy of further isolating the country through sanctions seems counterproductive. If you want the people of Iran to rise up against their leaders, why give… Continue reading Life under Sanctions