Japan and South Korea have very close alliances with the United States. They also have had diplomatic relations with each other for 50 years, not to mention considerable trade back and forth during that time. At a popular level, many Japanese are wild about Korean bulgogi and soap operas while many Koreans love Japanese sushi… Continue reading Japan and South Korea: A New Beginning?
Most countries in East-Central Europe have seen the development of two main parties, one liberal and one conservative. In some cases, the former Communist parties – like the Bulgarian Socialist Party – have occupied the liberal position. In other cases, former liberal parties – like Fidesz in Hungary – have moved across the political spectrum… Continue reading Shaking Up Politics
There is an infamous story in Poland about a sign at the shipyard in Gdansk where the trade union movement Solidarity got started in 1980. Although nobody actually saw the sign, many people firmly believe that it existed. The sign read: “Women, do not disturb us. We are fighting for Poland.” “The sign is very… Continue reading Poland’s Feminist Genealogy
It took a while before the new democracies of East-Central Europe acquired the trappings of a modern political system. One of the new features borrowed from the West was lobbying. To engage in lobbying, however, the new NGOs first had to overcome the perception of politics as “dirty,” since engaging with official political structures still… Continue reading Lobbying for Women
When it comes to people expressing trust in others, Hungary ranks rather low. In 2011, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a ranking that put Hungary 24th out of 30 countries. Hungary’s ranking – 47 percent of the population expressed high trust in others – put it at nearly half the rate… Continue reading Cultivating Empathy in Hungary
Every few years in East-Central Europe, a new political movement emerges that challenges not only the status quo but the very substance of the political system. Sometimes the movement targets the party patronage system. Sometimes it focuses on the corruption that enriches those who participate in governance. Sometimes it elevates a set of issues that… Continue reading Can Politics Be Different?
The Communist governments and the oppositions shared at least one feature in common: they were overwhelmingly male. The leaders of the countries and the members of the Politburos were mostly men. And the dissidents that received all the coverage in the West – Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, Victor Orban – were also men. There were… Continue reading Engendering Change