Bernie Sanders and a Progressive International

In his recent speeches and articles, Bernie Sanders has been talking about forming a Progressive International. It’s about time. The alt-right, thanks in part to Steve Bannon, has formed an international network centered in Europe on the National Front in France and the Northern League in Italy. Authoritarian leaders from Vladimir Putin in Russia to… Continue reading Bernie Sanders and a Progressive International

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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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Voice to the Voiceless

The media in East-Central Europe used to be idea-centric. The unofficial samizdat publications focused on the cruelties and inanities of the regimes, unearthed nearly forgotten history, and often featured philosophic meditations on politics and morality. Even the government-run media tended to be rather high-minded in its emphasis on economic statistics, proletarian values, the activities of… Continue reading Voice to the Voiceless

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A Tale of Two Reforms

Slovenia and Bulgaria are, respectively, the best-case scenario and the cautionary example of “transition” states. Both have struggled to transform communist-era economic and political structures. Both are now members of the European Union and NATO. But their economic and political realities place them practically on different planets. Slovenia has a per capita GDP of $29,000… Continue reading A Tale of Two Reforms

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