Romania’s revolution in 1989 was not as clear-cut as those in other countries in the region. There was not, for instance, a sharp divide between the Communist political elite and the post-Communist elite. And the street demonstrations that faded elsewhere in the region intensified in Romania through the spring of 1990. For instance in April… Continue reading The Accidental Activist
Political parties in East-Central Europe are like amoebas. They are constantly splitting apart (mitosis) and then banding together in coalitions (aggregation). For someone coming from a U.S. context of two relatively stable parties, the political scene in East-Central Europe seems hopelessly complex. That goes double for Romania. During the 1989 revolution in Romania, a popular… Continue reading Playing Party Politics
In 1990, the issue that catapulted Romania into the headlines in the West, after the rise and fall of Ceausescu, was the country’s orphanages. Journalists and foreign health care workers were appalled to discover the condition of babies and children in the many state-run institutions in the country. During the Ceausescu era, abortions were difficult… Continue reading What Happened to Romania’s Irrecuperables?
“All politics is local,” said legendary politician Tip O’Neill. But if O’Neill hadn’t risen to the nationally prominent position of speaker of the House of Representatives, no one would remember this quotation, which comes from the time when he lost his only election – to the Cambridge City Council in the 1930s. All politics might… Continue reading Roma and Local Politics
An ethnic map of Romania explains a great deal about the relations between the majority and the minorities in the country. Ethnic Hungarians have an absolute majority in two counties – Harghita and Covasna – in the very heart of the country. Together with parts of Mures county, this region is known as Szekely Land. This… Continue reading Resolving Conflicts in Romania
It is commonly said (on the Internet) that the second most widely spoken language at Microsoft, after English, is Romanian. Even if this is just a fanciful e-myth, it’s certainly true that the corporation does a great deal of recruiting in Romania and, in 2007, established its Global Business Support Center in Timisoara and Bucharest.… Continue reading The No-Complex Generation
Romania has come a long way on LGBT issues. Homosexuality was illegal in the country up until 1996. Public manifestations of homosexuality were decriminalized only in 2000, and the last discriminatory law was repealed in 2002. The European Union applied considerable pressure during the accession process and so did the United States, which sent an… Continue reading Promoting Molecular Revolution in Romania
One of the great advantages of the Internet is the ability to plan out one’s trip in great detail. I can reserve hotels, buy train tickets, even map out the routes that I will take between meetings. I can arrange by email or Facebook to see long-lost friends for dinner. I can be a great… Continue reading Adventures in Romania