It is increasingly important to understand the complexity of central and southeastern Europe following the enlargement of NATO into Central Europe, the ongoing problems of the Balkans, and the subsequent focus of global attention on the entire region. Gardner brings together exceptional French and Eastern European scholars who present first-hand accounts of their experience and knowledge of the region. Each provides differing political, social, cultural, and economic perspectives on Central and Southeastern Europe.
The volume begins with a general discussion of the place of central and southeastern Europe in the greater scheme of European history. This is followed by an examination of the western European and Russian attitudes toward the Balkans, and the largely ignored affects of the Ottoman empire on the Balkans. The importance of culture and the crucial role it played in undermining both the theory and practice of communism is explored. The impact of the media is then examined in two chapters that look at the process of media liberalization in the context of each country's political situation and the particular problems the media faces in the region. The focus shifts to the role of finance capital and its impact in emerging privatized economies. How the global drug wars affect the Balkan region are also explored. The ecological damage to Central and eastern Europe and Russia caused by the communist system is detailed, and the volume ends with a look at the complexity of factors that led NATO to enlarge into Central Europe and intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo. This wide-ranging collection will be of particular interest to scholars and researchers involved with all facets of contemporary central and eastern European life.
About the Author:
HALL GARDNER is Professor and Chair of the International Affairs Department of the American University of Paris. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Cicero Foundation and the Committee on Atlantic Studies. Among his earlier publications are Surviving the Millennium: American Global Strategy, the Collapse of the Soviet Empire and the Question of Peace (Praeger, 1994) and Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO (Praeger, 1997).