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Tag: Eastern Europe

The emergence of new countries in Eastern Europe after the First World War: Lessons for all of Europe

A new report and exhibition from a project led by WiseEuropa revisits the developments in Eastern Europe in 1918 and their relevance for Europe today.

March 20, 2019 - New Eastern Europe

Where Eastern European intellectuals sit today

I was once amazed when someone said that without inheriting an apartment it is impossible to pursue an artistic profession, as all your energy would go towards paying off a mortgage. I heard these words in Eastern Europe around the year 2000. They were uttered in a discussion with a group of well-educated artists.

Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees is a unique novel about a public intellectual. Its protagonist meets all the characteristics of what we call a man of letters. Cosimo Piovasco di Rondo, as was his full name, read books, was involved in intellectual disputes with the brightest minds of his time, reflected on a variety of issues and had a positive impact on the life of the local community. At the same time, he had a unique personality. After having rebelled in his youth against eating snails, which he was trying to save, Cosimo escaped to live in the crown of a tree, a place he had not since left.

January 2, 2019 - Zofia Bluszcz

China’s Belt and Road Initiative – A project of trade and diplomacy

China’s ambitious quest to recreate the ancient trade routes into Europe is slowly taking shape. What does China’s growing presence mean for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus?

April 18, 2018 - Mihai Chihaia

A German riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

The definite re-election of Vladimir Putin in Russia will consolidate his authoritarian model of governance and assertive foreign policy for another six years. In Germany, the formation of a new government is to be expected after an unusually long time of coalition talks. The question will then turn towards the direction of Germany’s Ostpolitik and the future of relations between Russia and the West.

In 1939 Winston Churchill famously remarked that he cannot forecast the actions of Russia: “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” The same could be said of Germany’s Ostpolitik, which has left observers puzzled and perplexed in recent years. Previously and often simplistically explained by the catchwords “energy” and “business”, Germany’s role in the Ukraine conflict has seemingly defied all prior assumptions about Germany’s special relationship with Russia and its purely geo-economic interests.

February 26, 2018 - Liana Fix

What will 2018 bring for Central Europe?

Welcome to 2018! In this episode In Between Europe look back at the tumultuous events of last year and discuss what 2018 has in store for the region. Their guest is Tsveta Petrova, faculty at the European Institute at Columbia University, where she teaches and advises the MA students in European History, Politics, and Society.

January 26, 2018 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

Czech presidential election: A vote on Europe

The results of the January 26th and 27th Czech election will determine the relations between Central and Eastern Europe and Brussels: If Zeman wins, nationalistic positions will prevail in the region. If Drahos is elected, Central and Eastern Europe will not present a uniformly Eurosceptic front. In future struggles over individual freedoms and European funds this will be of importance.

January 23, 2018 - Cyrille Bret

France and Eastern Europe: Does Macron have a plan?

Emmanuel Macron wants to embody the return of a dynamic Europe, even if to envisage a multi-speed Europe around a state capable of stimulating a dynamic. To take the lead in this movement, he must show that France is credible on economic matters.

December 13, 2017 - Cyrille Bret and Florent Parmentier

A 21st century Homo sovieticus?

Instead of portraying the remnants of the Belarusian Homo sovieticus as a problem, we should see it as a challenge and potential advantage: subservience and passivity as potential openness; collectivism as a chance to build a civil community; adaptability and opportunism as resourcefulness; and the multi-layered identity as an expression of a modern civil nation.

October 4, 2017 - Maxim Rust

What is a Russian oligarch?

The use of the term “oligarch” or “oligarchy” in the Russian context speaks to debates about the very nature of the Russian political system. Historians and political scientists have long described Russia as oligarchic.The problem with using the term oligarch, however, is that its usage has changed repeatedly since Soviet times. Today, it seems to be much more about power than anything else.

The term “oligarch” is applied so flagrantly to Russians, it is hard to tell where Russia’s oligarchy begins and ends, who exactly inhabits this coterie and what ring do the oligarchs orbit around Vladimir Putin. Indeed, the meaning of the word oligarch is difficult to separate from Russia. According to the Oxford English Dictionary an “oligarch” means “a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence”. Though this definition could easily apply to most countries, the OED added a curious addendum: “Especially in Russia.”

October 4, 2017 - Sean Guillory

Slavic geopolitics

A review of Słowiańska geopolityka. Twórcy rosyjskiej, ukraińskiej i czechosłowackiej geopolityki oraz ich koncepcje ideologiczno-terytorialne (Slavic geopolitics. Shapers of Russian, Ukrainian and Czechoslovak geopolitics and their ideological-territorial conceptions). By: Piotr Eberhardt. Publisher: ARCANA, Kraków, 2017.

October 4, 2017 - Marek Wojnar

Illiberal winds from the East

This piece originally appeared in Issue 2/2017 of New Eastern Europe. Subscribe now.

March 17, 2017 - Bartosz Rydliński

Wilne – a walk through the Jewish Vilnius

This article was originally published in "Meanwhile in the Baltics...", a collection of articles written by the graduates of 2016 Solidarity Academy - Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue, organised by the European Solidarity Centre in partnership with the Council of the Baltic Sea States. 

February 22, 2017 - Marita Gasteiger

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