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Issue 1-2/2020: Bound to explode?

Now available – the latest issue of NEE looks at the region in 2020 and debates the relationship between Russia and the West.

January 28, 2020 - New Eastern Europe - Issue 1-2 2020MagazineNew Eastern Europe

At the outbreak of 2020, tensions are on the rise – not only in our region but also in global affairs. If the final weeks of 2019 were any indicator, this decade may indeed bring a new level of instability and uncertainty towards the future. Thus, in this issue we dig deeper to explore the emerging trends in the world and try to better understand what they mean for the region on which we focus. Among the issues that we consider vital now are political polarisation, growing populism, the battle of narratives, economic shifts and the start of the next generational change.

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The issue opens with an interview with American analyst Brian Whitmore, who explains these new trends in detail, looking in particular at Russia, Ukraine and the mood in Washington DC ahead of this year’s US presidential election. The provocative essay by Paweł Kowal outlines why we may be nearing the end of a second belle époque and what this means for the West. Kowal argues that the growing power of the oligarchy is becoming an underestimated trend in the West and poses a serious danger to democracy.

Another trend that we address in this issue is the growing call from some western politicians, experts and media for better relations with Russia and the Kremlin, despite no progress in the war in Ukraine (and constant attempts to undermine the western democratic process).

Most vocal and prominent were Emmanuel Macron’s statements calling for a renewed strategic dialogue with Russia. Likewise, a recent issue of Foreign Affairs published Thomas Graham’s essay meant to convince US policy-makers to “let Russia be Russia” and give up on any Euro-Atlantic ambitions of the post-Soviet space. We believe that New Eastern Europe should be at the centre of this debate, which is far from over. We asked a group of experts to weigh in on this discussion – including from the United States, France, Germany, Poland and Russia.

Table of Contents Issue 1-2/2020 (January-March)


The West Berlins of our time
An interview with Brian Whitmore

The end of the belle époque
Paweł Kowal

A renewed strategic dialogue with Russia? A debate

Putin has done nothing to deserve an extended hand from the West
David J. Kramer

France-Russia, a love-hate history
Cyrille Bret

To Macron or not to Macron?
Liana Fix

How not to be a useful idiot in relations with Russia
Agnieszka Legucka

A “Grand Bargain”. What would Russia want?
Igor Gretskiy

A clash of narratives
Wojciech Michnik

The battle of the USSR in Georgia rages on
Beka Chedia

Rough road ahead for Belarus
Maxim Rust

A real game changer in the region
Adam Balcer

What’s next for Ukraine’s oligarchs?
Anton Naychuk

God, luck and Viktor Orbán
Edit Zgut

The intervention in Kosovo revisited. Twelve lessons for the future
Visar Xhambazi

Illegitimate election observation and conflict resolution
Daria Paprocka

Russia and its Tatar diaspora in Europe
Aleksandra Kuczyńska-Zonik


The drama of the Polish outsider
Krzysztof Czyżewski

The Swedish Academy and Peter Handke. Justice for whom?
Joanna Hosa

The revolution on the periphery and the reflection of 1989 in Slovakia
Samuel Abrahám


No one will hear us if we scream
Omar Marques

Herzog continues puzzling love affair with Gorbachev
Kristijan Fidanovski

Azerbaijan. A new chapter?
Anna Zamejc

The Herculean task of saving Europe’s oldest spa town
Elizabeth Short


The poisonous apple
Wojciech Przybylski

The role of a journalist in the age of disinformation
Adam Lelonek

Freedom and censorship in the post-truth era
A debate during the 34th Days of Contemporary Art in Białystok


Mostly annihilated…
Krisztián Ungváry and Márton Ványai


You can run, but can you hide?
Luke Harding

Devoted to the truth
Paulina Siegień

Forbidden love in a patriarchal society
Eva Modebadze

New dark times. A warning against the spread of Putinism
Ostap Kushnir

Ukraine 101
Margarita Novikova

Discovering Paraska Horytsvit
Mariia Kashchenko


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