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Issue 6/2020: Understanding Values in Uncertain Times

If the experience of the year 2020, and indeed the last several years, has taught us anything, it is that we surely are living in uncertain times. In this issue, we take a look at the values that define us and how these experiences are changing them.

November 17, 2020 - New Eastern Europe - Issue 6 2020Magazine

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Our societies are more polarised than ever before, which makes them more susceptible to disinformation, untruth and conspiracy theories. The global pandemic has exposed these cracks even further and more explicitly. As we already explored in the previous edition of New Eastern Europe, the ongoing health crisis has in many ways affected our region where many countries have proved unable to fully cope with the challenge on how to protect their citizens, provide healthcare services and honest information. Equally importantly, the economic fallout is certainly another factor creating even more insecurity in these countries.

Hence, when deciding on the main theme for this issue, we agreed in our team that there is a critical need to reflect on the things that bind us and those that divide us; and this can be done by taking an inward look at our values. Certainly, defining values is a very personal endeavour. Yet, we know that as a society or community, we also have shared values, which can change in time due to events or new experiences. As Milton Rokeach writes in Understanding Human Values, they are “learned and determined by culture, society, society’s institutions, and personal experiences”. That is why our authors in this issue ask and explore questions like – how does politics reflect our values? Do European values still matter? And, importantly, what axiological changes are we witnessing as a result of the protests in Belarus? It is our hope that these provocative essays and analyses provide you some important closing thoughts as we finally put 2020 behind us. We also hope that the more optimistic conclusions will carry with us into the next year.

Table of Contents

Understanding Values in Uncertain Times

A shining city on a hill. What if anything can American values teach a free Belarus?
George Blecher

Do European values still matter in Ukraine?
Volodymyr Yermolenko

A country of grumblers? Hungarian values and how to misunderstand them
Réka Kinga Papp

A timeline, interrupted
Mateusz Mazzini

We took our victories for granted
An interview with Vladimir Tismaneanu

Our common heritage
Jacek Hajduk

On Russia and resignation
Natasha Bluth

A Belarusian clash of civilizations
Maxim Rust

Revolution in Belarus. Surprisingly female?
Olga Dryndova

In Belarus, national solidarity, not nationalism, leads the day
Christian Gibbons

Opinion and Analysis

What happens to Belarus after Lukashenka falls?
Andreas Umland

Moldova’s oligarch mayors go global
Cristian Cantir

China’s footprint in Ukraine. A breathing space between Russia and the West
Anthony Rinna

The Eastern Partnership enters a new decade
Pavel Havlíček

Clan war instead of fighting coronavirus and corruption
Ludwika Włodek


Prisoner’s Voice – Oleh Sentsov

Prisoner’s voice – Oleksandr Kolchenko

Art, Culture and Society

The power of Ukrainian youth
Natalia Dolgopolova, Kinga Anna Gajda, Alina Mekheda and Hanna Surkova

Stories and ideas

Armenian Syrians. From one war to another
Magdelena Chodownik

History and Memory

The fleeting memory of December 1970
Piotr Leszczyński

Eastern Café

The line between politics and friendship
Simona Merkinaite

Spies not like us
Adam Reichardt

Belarus at sea
Tomasz Kamusella

Ukraine’s “learning” revolutions of 1990, 2004/05 and 2013/14
Ostap Kushnir

Serbia’s and Croatia’s struggles with the past
Grzegorz Skrukwa

This issue of New Eastern Europe is co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the “Public Diplomacy 2020 – New dimension” grant programme


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