2013

Slovakia’s Pendulum Swing

All the countries of East-Central Europe have experienced collective mood swings since 1989. Political parties have rotated in and out of power. The economic fortunes have oscillated considerably. And the level of social enthusiasm – on a spectrum from malaise to engagement – has also fluctuated a great deal. Slovakia has been perhaps the most… Continue reading Slovakia’s Pendulum Swing

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The Slovak Example

Of the three multiethnic countries that dissolved in the aftermath of the Cold War, Czechoslovakia fared the best. The two successor states suffered none of the violence, economic catastrophe, or political discord that Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union experienced. Indeed, the relations between Prague and Bratislava are probably better now than they’ve ever been. The… Continue reading The Slovak Example

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Doing Business in Eastern Europe

A typical story of the economic transition in East-Central Europe is of the frustrated manager in a state-owned company under Communism who becomes a rich and successful entrepreneur after 1989. Certainly there were plenty of frustrated managers during the Communist period. And you can read plenty of stories about the new fabulously wealthy business owners… Continue reading Doing Business in Eastern Europe

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Pushing Boundaries

Approaching 1989, the Communist governments in East-Central Europe were like the residents of a continuing care facility. Some governments – in Czechoslovakia, for instance – appeared to be very sturdy and, although quite elderly, were capable of living independently for some time. Others, as in Poland, were already in assisted care, needing the help of… Continue reading Pushing Boundaries

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Training the Next Generation

There is a great unease among young people in Europe today. You can measure the dissatisfaction in a variety of ways. The protests that swept the continent over the last couple years – the indignados in Spain, the anti-austerity demonstrations in Greece, some scattered Occupy demonstrations – brought young people into the streets to voice… Continue reading Training the Next Generation

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