Category: Central/Eastern Europe

Fresh hope for Ukraine on Maidan, Holodomor anniversaries?

     

Do new faces in politics in Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Slovakia mean real change, New Eastern Europe asks. ‘Is this part of a wider trend that indicates deeper social transformation’,… Read more »

Post-1989 structures need ‘remodeling, even democracy,’ says Walesa

     

Did Central Europe’s democratic forces defeat one form of authoritarianism, but fail to anticipate other threats to freedom? The post-Cold War disruption in job markets, economic inequities, and disputes over… Read more »

World has more but weaker democracies: Backsliding ‘a growing malaise,’ report says

     

“Despite the continued quantitative increase in the world’s democracies, the quality of the world’s democracies is eroding,” the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) concludes in its… Read more »

Velvet Revolution dissidents warn of new threats to Czech freedom

     

Protests broke out in Prague Saturday on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution after courts confirmed that Prime Minister Andrej Babis collaborated with the StB, the Communist era secret… Read more »

Can new social compact resolve tension between democratic recession and resilience?

     

The collapse of communism in Europe 30 years ago ended a broader social-democratic compact. Does the failure to refashion that compact explain varying degrees of democratic recession and resilience? NATO… Read more »

‘Underestimating democracy’ invites demagoguery, says Walesa

     

Authoritarians are resurgent because of the failure to create a new global system of democratic values, said former Solidarnosc leader and Polish president Lech Walesa. “Polish democracy in practical terms… Read more »

Ideological ‘grievance state’: Five Faces of Russia’s Soft Power

     

Russia’s human rights situation is getting worse with each passing year, says Tatanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch. The regime routinely “messes up” because it has destroyed almost all feedback… Read more »

Despotic Data: Autocrats winning online fight of open vs. closed societies?

     

A critical differentiator between traditional media and social media is how ‘targetcasting‘ is available only to a specific audience. Such secret targeting tears at the fabric of democracy, says Tom Wheeler, a… Read more »

Baltic Road to Freedom: Rhetoric vs. realpolitik

     

As Soviet communism following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the experience of Baltic “freedom fighters” like Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania and Lennart Meri of Estonia demonstrated the  “almost unbridgeable… Read more »

Communism’s Shadow: How post-1989 liberal dream became illiberal nightmare

     

Central and Eastern Europe’s transition to democracy has not been smooth. But there are grounds for hope, notes Alison Smale. What would Vaclav Havel have made of post-1989 developments? she asked… Read more »