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Tag: Central Europe

Adolescence is over. Time for updates to the Central European growth model

The 20th anniversary of the 2004 European Union enlargement should constitute an occasion not only to celebrate the numerous economic successes of the last two decades, but also to reflect on upcoming development challenges. Although growth since the accession has been pretty solid and stable, its foundations are still not robust enough, especially given the current uncertainties concerning geopolitics and geoeconomics.

Twenty years of EU membership for the Central European countries have seen great success from an economic point of view. The dynamics of GDP growth have been relatively high, with the convergence process progressing and foreign trade developing at the same time. The inflow of direct investments has also been fairly intense, while unemployment decreased to the lowest levels in Europe. In addition, the region's countries have generally managed to maintain stability in their public finances.

June 22, 2024 - Konrad Popławski

Through Lendvai’s eyes. A unique perspective on Austrian politics

A review of Austria Behind the Mask. Politics of a Nation since 1945. By: Paul Lendvai. Publisher: Hurst, London, 2023.

February 7, 2024 - JP O'Malley

The Queen and Central and Eastern Europe: A personal relationship

The death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has led to an outpouring of tributes from around the world. In this regard, Central and Eastern Europe has been no exception. Such a response is emblematic of a human relationship that increasingly transcended politics.

September 19, 2022 - Niall Gray

Central European sensitivity towards Ukraine

After Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, people who live in Central and Eastern Europe were able to quickly assess the situation and express their empathy for Ukrainians. They felt a sense of connection with them and started to help them straight away.

We have always had difficulty when trying to explain what it means when we say “Europe”. Indeed, this concept is dynamic and has undergone many changes over time. That is why in his “Letters to the European Deputies” (Lettres aux députés européens), a Swiss writer and promoter of European federalism in the 1950s, Denis de Rougemont, wrote that it was difficult to place Europe in one space and time. Clearly, the Europe which is seen from nearby, from within or on the periphery, is different from the Europe that is seen from afar. For example, from a remote continent.

July 14, 2022 - Kinga Gajda

Israel: The last Ottoman state

The modern Israeli state is deeply rooted in both Central Europe and Ottoman Palestine. It is a place where Central Europe’s dominant ideology of ethnolinguistic nationalism meets the post-Ottoman ideology of ethno-confessional nationalism.

June 2, 2021 - Tomasz Kamusella

Tigray: A very Central European war

The Tigray War is being fought between the proponents of the ethnic federation of Ethiopia (similar to Yugoslavia) and those of the ethnolinguistic nation-state of Tigray (similar to Slovenia or Croatia).

March 31, 2021 - Tomasz Kamusella

What 1989 can (and cannot) teach us

When viewed as the breaking point of conformity, 1989 contains multiple and legitimate meanings. This is the main conclusion that can be made from all the different perspectives gathered throughout our project. Talking about 1989 in a meaningful way, especially about the role of the citizen, it is crucial we resist the temptation to search for a common cause of the revolutions.

February 3, 2021 - Simona Merkinaite

What the incoming Biden administration means for Central and Eastern Europe

Democracies are defined by the holding of regular elections that are free and fair, resulting in an alternation of leaders and the orderly transition of power. A central characteristic of this process is that while electoral outcomes are unpredictable, the manner in which politicians are replaced is highly routinised. Donald Trump, however, is a maverick and rule-breaker the likes of which the United States has never seen before.

February 3, 2021 - George Soroka

The journey of revisiting 1989

A review of The Legacy of Division: East and West after 1989. Edited by: Ferenc Laczó and Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič. Publisher: Central European University Press / Eurozine, Budapest/Vienna, 2020.

February 3, 2021 - Kinga Gajda

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

Are Hungarians ill-fated and determined to be incapable of overcoming their historical baggage? Some seem to think so, including some sociologists. Yet, it is worth remembering that political trajectories do not follow pre-drawn patterns, so we should look at the circumstances which can hold societies back in their democratisation.

Something is rotten in Hungary and the international media coverage seems quite keen on pointing this out. However, it offers very little explanation for why it is happening. International interest in Hungarian politics has increased, especially since the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election in 2016 – which illustrated how serious the far-right shift of mainstream politics has become. Yet, Hungary had already been under the illiberal supermajority for six years, and by then it was well past all the major battles in which its democratic institutions had faced.

November 17, 2020 - Réka Kinga Papp

A timeline, interrupted

The politics of today’s populist leaders is nearly always the eternal return to the past. 1989, however, represents a normative stop they would prefer to skip.

The past does not exist. It is what one makes of it. From a purely axiological point of view, every one of us is constructed of different pasts and we have different memories at our disposal. The non-existence of the past as a tangible point of reference is a subject of individual or collective creation and interpretation; it is the founding assumption of any sociological research devoted to mnemonic subjects.

November 17, 2020 - Mateusz Mazzini

The line between politics and friendship

A review of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism and Twilight of Democracy. The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends. By Anne Applebaum. Publisher: Penguin/ Allen Lane, London, 2020.

November 16, 2020 - Simona Merkinaite

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