The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs

Articles

Vol. 12, No. 4, Autumn

Editor's Notes
Over the past year, I have followed the politics of my home country (the United States) from across the pond. I have watched as the conservative right has thrown ugly words and slogans at the Obama administration in their attempt to sway the American...
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North Korea: The Domain of the Juche Doctrine
Within our slightly confused planetary community, it would be impossible to find a more bizarre regime than the one in North Korea without the aid of candlelight. The regime, which is formally known as the Democratic People's Republic, is to most observers...
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Czech and Global Events from the Fourth Quarter
* 1. 9. European Union European leaders commemorate the victims of the Second World War on the 70 anniversary of the conflict's beginning. The date also marks the inception of an EU-wide ban on importing or manufacturing 100-watt incandescent light...
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Hello, President Zuma Speaking
Two of the first calls to President Jacob Zuma's newly launched hotline were answered by the president himself. The Presidential Hotline, toll-free number 17737, was open for calls from 9am yesterday, and within the first hour 2,500 calls were registered--something...
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Africa's New Path: Paul Kagame Charts a Way Forward
President Obama was right to give his recent address in Ghana, highlighting an African success story rather than casting his speech against the backdrop of poverty and pity. One of the great underreported stories of the last decade has been the rise...
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Socialism. Socialism? Socialism?!?
At the end of the 1960s, the famous Czech phenomenologist Jan Patocka began a newspaper opinion piece in the following manner: "It is good to know what something is all about. But is this even possible with a word such as socialism? Unlikely. Even...
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At the Crossroads: The German Left
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] After the elections in September 2009, Gregor Gysi--the co-chairman of the German post-communist party the Left (Die Linke)--said that the time has come for cooperation between the two major leftist parties, the Social Democrats...
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Talking Ghosts and Ideas
On 29 September 2009, The New York Times ran a story headlined "Europe's Socialists Suffering Even in Downturn." The first line of the story read, "A specter is haunting Europe--the specter of Socialism's slow collapse." The purported reason for running...
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Red Sky in Latin America-A Threat or a Necessity?
THE LEFT-RIGHT PARADIGM Has Latin America turned red in the past years? The most simplistic answer is "yes" if one looks no further than election results. This answer is, however, misleading since it divides the political spectrum in Latin America...
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Democracy Devolved: Shrinking the Public Sphere: (The Back Story of Blackwater)
A secret government program assigned to a privately run company to assassinate people around the world sounds like science fiction. It might even be funny if it weren't so tragically real. As reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post in...
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The Last Dinosaur: Are Czech Farmers on Their Way to Extinction?
"Honestly? The real situation of Czech agriculture is critical." He paused for a moment and then grimly added, "And it is a tragedy." Ing. LuboS Babieka, CSc. is the head of the Department of Quality of Agricultural Products at the Czech University...
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Financing Czech Science: Will the Czech Academy of Sciences Receive Less Money?
People in the Czech Republic have become accustomed to the fact that even white-collar workers (for instance teachers) sometimes participate in demonstrations in their country; but this year they watched as researchers, in particular those from the...
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Christian Democracy in the Czech Lands
During the past twenty years in which political parties have enjoyed freedom in the Czech Republic, the Christian Democratic Party (KDU-ESL) has struggled to gain significant influence while Christian parties have flourished in neighbouring countries....
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Where National Sovereignty Lies
The Treaty of Lisbon requires a new definition of national sovereignty. It is no longer enough for a state to just promote policies at home or speak to its individual national interests. They must also actively participate in the international community...
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Prescribing Reform
The United States and the Czech Republic need to fix health care, and both countries must find a political middle ground. Among established democracies, it is hard to find a country in which there is not a continual and often heated debate on health...
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Interview with Economist Edmund Phelps
You have stated that the theoretical models economists employ are partially responsible for the current crisis. How so? What I meant is that people who applied models to finance did not take into account speculation and therefore unstoppable and...
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China's Obsession with Growth
Since Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms in 1978, China has moved cautiously away from a centrally planned economy. The shift toward a market-oriented economy coupled with conditions conducive to growth prior to its reforms entailed immense economic...
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The Economics of Global Warming
Prominent scientists around the world have made non-partisan approaches to global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization, describes...
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Covert Defiance: An Interview with Former Dissident Jan Urban
Prior to November 1989, individuals could be detained by the Czech Communist Party simply for holding a meeting. how did you, Vaclav Havel, and other members of the dissident movement manage to hold meetings and eventually organize a mass movement?...
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The Empire Strikes Back! Russia and the East-West Dynamic
When Russian tanks rolled into South Ossetia's capital of Tskhinvali in August of last year, a bitter reality dawned on Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as he realized there would be no Western military intervention and there would be no stopping...
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Labeling Socialism
For those of us who started going to school in Czechoslovakia during the 1950s, socialism meant something appropriate and desirable. As well as something Soviet--the USSR even included the term "Socialist" in its name. At a very young age we were told...
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Time for a New President
The Czech Constitutional Court recently annulled a law passed by parliament which proposed that the date of the parliamentary election be moved up to this October from the scheduled date in the spring of 2010. The aim of the initiative was that the...
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Vol. 12, No. 3, Summer

Editor's Notes
The overriding and perhaps overwhelming theme of this issue marks the twentieth anniversary since the fall of the Soviet empire. You'll find, however, that our emphasis lies not on the fall itself, but on the period thereafter. As of this year, the...
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Geopolitics of Central and Eastern Europe since 1989
Over the past twenty years, the Czech Republic has held little geopolitical significance. The same is not true, however, for Central and Eastern Europe (C&EE) in general, which has maintained its geopolitically significant role. Any study of modern...
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Czech and Global Events from the Third Quarter of 2009
* 4. 6. The US and Cairo US President Barack Obama addresses the Muslim world in a highly anticipated speech in Cairo, Egypt. The speech marks the new administration's attempt to patch up relations between the US and Islam. * 11. 6. World Health...
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Czech Life Support Misery to End: An Assessment of the Czechs' EU Presidency
Some European Union presidencies fade quickly from the memory. It is safe to say that the Czech Republic's presidency, ending on June 30, will not be forgotten for quite some time. One thinks of the art display erected in January at the EU's headquarters...
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The Wall Isn't Falling: Historical Parallels Don't Work in Iran
Whenever we see the kinds of images that have been coming out of Iran over the past two weeks, we tend to think back to 1989 and Eastern Europe. That time, when people took to the streets and challenged their governments, those seemingly stable regimes...
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What's in a Name? Identity Politics in "Czechia": The Challenge of Identity Politics: How Can a Nation Define Itself If Its State Lacks a Concrete Geographical Name or Geopolitical Identity?
The Czech Republic's name contributes to creating distorted and confused perceptions of Czech people and their culture from abroad. Media Distortion of Identity Before we begin, the following discussion necessitates that we first differentiate between...
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Dual Dimensions of Democratic Development: The Speed with Which Institutional Modernization Set Former Soviet States on a Path towards Democracy as Well as "To Europe" Was Historically Unprecedented
Evaluating the state of liberal democracy in the Czech Republic twenty years after the fall of communism is relative to whether one focuses on institutional or cultural development. Furthermore, the term liberal democracy itself is rather complex....
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The Political Psychology of the Czech Nation: While the Czech Republic Has the Necessary Democratic "Hardware" Installed (Democratic Institutions), We Are Still Struggling to Install the Right "Software" (Social Capital, Democratic Mentality, and Civic Society)
A little less than a century ago, the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, expressed that two generations or sixty years would pass before the newly-constitued democratic state of Czechoslovakia saw real democracy. Does the same...
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Unearthing Czech Religiousity: ... Where the Spirit of the Lord Is There Is Freedom
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Extensive research is necessary in order to guage the degree that religion and religiousness is present in any given society. Religious studies is, however, a poor discipline; it currently lacks the means to tackle extensive...
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The Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe: The Contemporary Extreme Right Opportunistically Appeals-Just like the Fascists and Nazis of the Past-To Various Groups with Diverging Interests and Values
Extreme right-wing parties have reemerged on the European political landscape. Since the nineties, their rhetoric has rang through parliamentary debates, presidential elections, and even during executive meetings of some European governments. Extremist...
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Waking the Public Sphere: Czech Politics and Media Are Caught in a Sensationalist Cycle That Undermines Democracy
Irresponsibility is common in children and teenagers. In fact, the very concept of maturity is tied directly to the ideas of age, growth and change. A story about a high school student throwing a party when their parents are away on vacation is funny,...
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How Free Is Free Speech? Free Speech Appears to Be a Unifying Principle, but Often the Devil Is in the Details-The Actual Cases and Controversies Which Challenge Us
Free speech has become a platitude. Like human rights and democracy, we're all in favor of it, but would rather not address the tough calls where core values collide. However, it's those tough cases, like media competition regulation, campaign finance...
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Communist (Successor) Parties in Central Europe: The Varying Roles That Modern Communist Parties Play in the Czech Republic and Central and Eastern Europe
The TV Broadcast of "The H-Trial" On 27 June, the Czech public commemorated the 59th anniversary of the death of Dr. Milada Horakova, a pro-democratic Czech politician who was executed by the nascent Communist government on trumped up charges of...
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In Search of Ukraine's Identity: The Geopolitical Condundrum of a Country Lodged between East and West
As most of the former Soviet countries which broke free from the Kremlin's rule in the early nineties, Ukraine is still trying to identify and establish its new geopolitical role as well as bolster relations with its Eastern and Western neighbors....
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Economic Transformation in the Czech Republic: A Relatively Painless Experience: Is the Czech Republic, Twenty Years after Having Discarded Central Planning, a Normal Developed Country with a Fully Working Market Economy, Just as for Instance Neighbouring Austria? in Some Aspects Yes, in Others No, Say the Country's Three Leading Economists
"Traditional things such as inflation, currency or the stock exchange are indeed now okay, and the same goes for the labour market or public finance because a state budget deficit of hundred and seventy billion crowns isn't anything tragic," says Pavel...
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From Socialism to Socialism: The Emergence of Liberal Socialism in Continental Europe
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A defining feature of the twentieth century was the struggle between capitalism and socialism. The fight against capitalism was waged by three major types of socialist doctrine: fascism, national-socialism, and communism....
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Lessons from Japan: An Interview with Economist Charles Horioka: Charles Horioka Is a Behavioral Economist at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Osaka University, a Leading Institute on Behavioral Economics, or the Study of Economics as It Relates to Various Aspects of Human Behavior
What are your general thoughts on the current crisis? I agree with the standard interpretation that high-risk mortgages and new financial derivatives within the US created the initial impetus for the crisis. And while it is difficult to blame one...
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Dancing out of Communism: While Czech Modern Dance Has Grown (with the Help of Western Influence) into a Dynamic Field Twenty Years after the Fall of Communism, Its Contemporary Goal Should Be to Find Its Own Unique Voice, and for That Matter, Uniquely Czech Voice
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Since the Velvet Revolution, Czech dance has become unusually dynamic as an artistic discipline. While the communist regime supported ballet and folk dance, the official authorities did not encourage the development of modern...
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Family Happiness: Artists Respond to an Anti-Family Public Policy: Art as Social Commentary: A Review of the Multi-Media Exhibition Family Happiness Which Sought to Create Greater Public Awareness on the Czech and Slovak Policy of Forcibly Removing Roma Children from Their Families and Homes
Discussions regarding the integration of Roma into mainstream society in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and then in a larger sense, their integration into the European Union, has been a political powder keg. Head of the EU Delegation to Slovakia,...
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Centering the Cultural Dialogue: An Interview
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SIXTEEN YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF COMMUNISM, THE CZECH REPUBLIC JOINED THE EUROPEAN UNION; NOW, FIVE YEARS AFTER EU EXPANSION, THE FORMER SOVIET STATE HAS JUST COMPLETED ITS FIRST RUN AT THE HELM OF THE 27-MEMBER ORGANIZATION....
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1991 the Acquired Rights of Kosovo
FOLLOWING THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S BACKING OF A CORRESPONDING REQUEST FROM SERBIA, THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE IN THE HAGUE IS NOW SET TO DEAL WITH THE QUESTION, ON WHICH EXPERT OPINION IS DIVIDED, WHETHER THE UNILATERAL SECESSION OF KOSOVO...
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Work: A Modern Crisis
Human life is full of crisis whether individual or social. In simplistic terms, a crisis is a decisive or significant moment (e.g., an illness). In literature or in a dramatic work, a crisis represents a plot's climax, the peak in conflict which significantly...
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Czechs Don't Want Democracy
In his book Respublica Bojema written in 1643, M. Pavel Stransky (probably no relation) wrote: "The Czech nation is both handicapped by faults and supported by positive traits." As a result of the its history and location in the heart of Europe, the...
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Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring

Editor's Notes
Since our last publication, the Czech Republic has given an abrupt goodbye to one head of state and a warm welcome to another. And while the former was the CR's own Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, the latter was US President Barack Obama. On the 24th...
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Program for the 19th Prague Writers' Festival 2001 Nights: The Art of Silence: 7-11 June 2009
The 19th anniversary of the Prague Writers' Festival will be held on the 7th-11th of June at the famous Laterna Magika Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic. This year's theme is "2001 Nights: The Art of Story-telling." The festival will explore the parallels...
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Czech and Global Events from the Second Quarter of 2009
* 4. 3. Sudan The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The Sudanese president is convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. * 10. 3. The Czech Republic and...
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The Axis of Upheaval
Forget Iran, Iraq, and North Korea--Bush's "Axis of Evil." As economic calamity meets political and social turmoil, the world's worst problems may come from countries like Somalia, Russia, and Mexico. And they're just the beginning. Seven years...
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Euroskepticism's New Face? the Party of Free Citizens: The New Czech Party of Free Citizens (SSO) Has Established Themselves as a Primarily Anti-Lisbon Party Which Aspires to Become a Formidable Political Force. the Reality Presents a Far Bleaker Future
Standing at the helm of the European Union, the Czech Republic has faced its fair share of hurdles, from the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine to a snowballing economic crisis to a sudden collapse of its government. And then there's President...
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A Look beyond Labels for Equal Education: The Presence of Racial Discrimination against Roma in the Czech School System Can Be Properly Addressed through a Careful Race-Blind Reform of Multicultural Education That Teaches Students to Reject Stereotypes
Despite prior attempts at school reform, racial discrimination remains rampant in Czech classrooms. Roma children are forced into substandard separate schools and if kept in regular classrooms, are often treated as inferior to their Czech peers. Persistent...
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Between Atheism and Catholicism: Czech Religious Scepticism Is a Political Problem. the Country, However, Bears Great Potential to Overcome Its Religious Crisis
On the 26th of September 2009, the most atheist country in Europe will greet the leader of the Catholic Church. The religious and political authorities in the Czech Republic are therefore discussing lingering issues between the Vatican and the Czech...
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Immigration Policies in the European Union: European Policy towards Immigration from Third Countries Is Subject to Certain Restrictions Which Must Be Removed to Provide a Fair Working Environment for All Immigrants to Europe
Since the second half of the nineteenth century, nationalist mythology has created the notion that immigrants are marginal or even disruptive components of a homogenous society. Among some individuals, this primitive argument still prevails today....
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Shattered Dreams: The Plight of Migrant Workers in Europe during the Economic Crisis
Tuul Terbish works about fifteen hours a day, six days a week in a bakery in Plzeo. She has a degree in dentistry but has not been able to find work in her field. Her long work hours prevent her from spending time with her daughter, and she says that...
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The Czech Foreign Police and Immigration: An Interview with the Director of Czech Foreigners Police Department Colonel Vladislav Husak
Some time ago, the Czech press published a report which estimated that the number of people staying in the Czech Republic without a permission is approximately the same as those who are here legally. Do you agree? I cannot very well agree or disagree;...
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Racism and Reform: The Treatment of Immigrants and Minorities in Law Enforcement
Perhaps it is not surprising that the senseless killing of a 43 year old Vietnamese immigrant in Brno last January failed to capture public interest; Czech society is well-known for xenophobia. What is surprising, however, is that the story of three...
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The Hopelessness of a Middle East Peace Process: The Ability to Find "Security for Israel, Justice for Palestine" Will Remain Elusive until the People of Israel and Palestine Renew Their Trust in Each Other
Since the Second World War, no other conflict has attracted as much constant attention as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But with approximately ten thousand fatalities, the conflict's victim count ranks 50th in post-WWII conflicts. The conflict...
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Islam, Christianity and the Struggle for Rationalism: The Longstanding Dichotomy between Islam and Christianity Shows No Signs of Abating
Instead of bridging the cultural gap, Muslim and Christian religious scholars repeatedly emphasize the differences between the two belief systems to suit their own agenda. Nonetheless, there is evidence that Islamic mysticism has begun to take some...
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Targeting the World: Assessing the Lawfulness of the "Bush Doctrine": Contrary to Former President George W. Bush's Belief That "I Don't Care What the International Lawyers Say, We Are Going to Kick Some Ass," Preventive War-Waging, as Demonstrated in the Bush Doctrine, Does Not Kick Ass. Preventive Self-Defense Is an Illegal, Counter-Productive Policy Which Sets Deadly Precedents for Other States to Follow
Nowadays when one mentions anticipatory, often referred to as preemptive, or as many in the Bush administration [unknowingly, but correctly] preferred to label it "preventive" self-defense, the first example which comes to mind is the US invasion of...
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Missile Defense and Rising Global Tensions: The Web of Relations between Iran, Russia, and the United States
When Barack Obama was sworn in with the solemn oath of the US presidency, he was given a rude awakening to the gravity of his new job courtesy of Russian President Dimitri Medvedev's address to the Russian Parliament. The first day after Obama's historic...
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Fighting for Salvation: Mr. Obama Comes to Prague: In Prague, US President Barack Obama Set Forth a Comprehensive Framework for Nuclear Disarmament. as Nuclear Threats Are Spreading, the Movement to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Is Growing-But Time Is Not on Its Side
Humans--the big brained species; so clever, yet so destructive. We can split an atom. And we can blow ourselves into oblivion. Albert Einstein observed, "The splitting of the atom has changed everything except our way of thinking, and hence we drift...
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Big Things in Small Packages: Steps to Limit Nuclear Arms Are Admirable, but an International Effort to Regulate Small Arms Would Do More to Save Lives
Commendable as it is to seek an international reduction in nuclear arms, and it is commendable, the degree to which US President Barack Obama's campaign will actually save lives is directly proportional to the political risk his proposal entails--which...
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An Interview with Economist Bruce Caldwell: A Reassessment of Positivism in Economics
More than 25 years ago you wrote the successful book "Beyond Positivism," in which you claimed that positivism (a philosophy which holds that authentic knowledge is acquired solely through observation and experience) may see a revival if it's antithesis,...
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Developing Countries in the Global Economic Slowdown: Reform and Participation in International Trade Present the Only Possibilities for Economic Growth in Developing Countries. Aid Is Not the Answer
Problems associated with the slowdown of the world economy are gradually spreading into countries in the developing world and exacerbating their unsolved problems which were ignored in times of growing prosperity. The World Bank estimates that textile...
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The Paradox of Failed States: The Key to Strengthening Failed States Is Not Developmental Aid or Democratization, but Infrastructure
GLOBAL PHENOMENON Mogadishu, "the capital of the capitalist world," is where the dreams of anarcho-capitalists and libertarians became nightmares for local citizens and the international community. From the outside, it seems like the city is pulsating...
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Debunking the Myths of Climate Skepticism: Climate Skeptics Propagate False Arguments Based on Myths to Forestall the Implementation of Policies Which Combat Climate Change
Scepticism, or disbelief, is an inevitable part of scientific development and frequently accompanies any new scientific hypothesis. The global warming hypothesis exemplifies this situation--universal support for it does not exist. The first evidence...
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Global Warming Is Not an Acute Problem: As Far as the Future Weather Is Concerned, We Often Accept Horrific Disaster Stories That Almost Seem More Appropriate in a Hollywood Film
According to some, parts of Antarctica are sinking into the sea, ocean water levels are rising dramatically, devastating hurricanes will bear down on us, the Gulf Stream will stop flowing, and Europe will freeze over. Will such end-of-the-world scenarios...
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Blowing It
In his speech announcing a new US-led initiative in arms reduction, Barack Obama noted how unlikely it would have been at the time of his birth to imagine that in the near future, an Afro-American president would be speaking in the free city of Prague....
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Vol. 12, No. 1, Winter

A Fiery Czech Is Poised to Be the Face of Europe
In the 1980s, a Communist secret police agent infiltrated clandestine economics seminars hosted by Vaclav Klaus, a fiery future leader of the Czech Republic, who had come under suspicion for extolling free market virtues. Rather than reporting on Marxist...
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The Fight to Save Liberal Democracy Begins Here
The battle lines have been drawn again in the Lisbon debate and we can now see them with a clarity denied to us before the June fiasco, when the "No" campaigners befuddled so many voters with their garbage about sovereignty, abortion and the detention...
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Put to the Test: Czech Politics in the Global Arena: Over the Course of the Next Six Months, Whoever Cares for the Czech's National Interests Should Pay Close Attention to Their Successes and Failures as They Stand at the Helm of the EU's Presidency
The first days of the Czech presidency were already unexpectedly busy. Any assumptions that the Czech presidency will limit itself to "moderating" as Sarkozy stated were completely dispelled. Just as France was forced to abandon its original priorities...
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Rejecting Anonymity and Creating Trust: A Goal for the Czech EU Presidency: The Czech's EU Presidency Holds a Promise of Unknowns-Both Good and Bad
For five years we have been a full-fledged member in this twenty-seven member club. We have been to all the meetings with the highest representatives, we have led debates with heads of state who have been friendly and not so friendly, and we just recently...
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The Prevailing Roots of European Integration: The European Union, Which Today Has a Myriad of Faults, Has Gone through Rough Times and Will Go through More. and Yet It Still Stands on Its Founding Principles
European integration is a reaction to the two world wars, and it reflects the attempt to prevent further wars. In this sense, European integration is mainly a question about achieving peace in Europe. It distinguishes itself from the previous attempts...
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The Political Task of a Handicapped Presidency: The Global Economic Crisis Will without a Doubt Transform the Political Context of the Czech Presidency
With the slogan "Europe without barriers," the Czech European Union presidency commenced on the first of January and will continue through the end of June 2009. This slogan and the agenda it carries were, however, born before the world economic crisis....
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Interview with Paul De Grauwe
"I do not believe that all the blame rests on Clinton's administration. But the basis for this crisis was not laid by Bush--rather, it was laid by previous US Democratic administrations, which promoted the deregulation of the banking system," says...
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How Free Are Free Markets? "Don't Spend What You Don't Have. Don't Chase Your Tail. Live and Learn."-A Wise Elder
When the iron curtain fell twenty years ago, hope bubbled to the surface in Central and Eastern Europe. And five years ago, the Czechs and their kin joined the EU with great expectations. Now, given the current woes of global capitalism, the promise...
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Central Europe Is Not over the Hill: The Long and Slow Transition from Post-Communism to Consolidated Democracy
When the American political scientist Samuel Huntington published a book called The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century in 1991, democracy in post-communist Europe was on a victorious campaign. Communist regimeswere quickly crumbling...
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Democracy, Populism, and the Political Crisis in Hungary
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In November 2006, Eurozine published an article by Thomas von Ahn analyzing the causes of the demonstrations in Hungary the previous month. Among other things, von Ahn argued that Hungarian opposition [Fidesz] leader Viktor...
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Still Secluded: Eastern European Representation in the EU Parliament
In June of this year, the European Parliamentary elections will reveal whether the Eastern European nations have received enough recognition on the European political scene, and whether their "older" partners have accepted them as equal and fair players....
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Only Forward from Here: The Baltic States and Their Path to Freedom: NATO and the EU Are the Only Such Organizations of Their Kind That Will Guarantee the Baltic Republics' Independence from Russia to the Extent That They Will
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 2004, the Baltic States--Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia--entered the modern structures of the Euro-Atlantic civilization: NATO and the EU. There are, perhaps, no other member countries within these organizations that has...
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Milada Maresova and the Absence of Women in Czech Art History: The Least Well-Known Area of Czech Modern Art History Regards the Artwork and Lives of Czech Female Artists
MODERNISM AND THE WRITING OF ART HISTORY Since 1989, the domestic history of art has been concerned with various problems which were previously inconvenient to academic discussions of socialist art history, or which were interpreted mainly through...
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DOX a Grand Narrative with an Unfinished Ending: DOX, as a Center for Contemporary Art, Seeks to Place Contemporary Artifacts into Unexpected Contexts, to Break from the Conventions of Galleries and Museums, to Display Artistic Creations Not as Symbols, but in Surprising Contexts-To Create a Laboratory-Like Setting for Them
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On the 19th of October 2008, one of the biggest events on the Czech art scene happened since 1989. The massive street advertising campaign that preceded this day was, however, met with a lukewarm reaction from the Czech media...
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Perspectives in the Czech Media: An Interview with Ondrej Stindl
I met with Ondrej Stindl at a coffee shop in the district of Holesovice. During the interview, while he may have lit a few cigarettes and drank a beer, he never lost his perspective. Nor, for that matter, his modesty or his self-assured positive outlook...
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Does the Czech Republic Need a Majoritarian Voting System? One of the More Radical Options for Electoral System Reform Is the Transition to a Majoritarian, or Majority, System
The Czech voting system is rightly criticized for its inability to deliver a stable majority government that is capable of making decisions. One of the more radical options for electoral system reform is the transition to a majoritarian system. As...
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Electoral System Reform in the Czech Republic
We can see throughout all of Eastern Europe, and especially in countries with majoritarian electoral systems, a tendency to build systems of personal power and limit the standard rules of democracy and constitutional government. Discussions about...
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The EU's Roadmap for Gender Equality: A Road to Hell: The EU's Gender Plan Is Not Merely an Academic Exercise in Brussels' "Eurospeak," but a Real Programme with Measures That Will Bring Detriment to Us All
The "Communication from the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: A Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men 2006-2010" might bring a smile to one's...
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An Open Letter to Officials of the European Union: From a Czech Citizen
Earlier this year, our country assumed the presidency of the European Union (EU). To many of you, our attitude and approach can politely be described as somewhat disconcerting. As a Czech citizen, allow me to give you an explanation. From our birth...
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Czech and Global Events from the First Quarter of 2009
* 1. 1. The Czech Republic and Slovakia The Czech Republic becomes the second post-communist state (after Slovenia) to become the EU President. The Czech presidency begins dramatically when a government spokesperson, Jiri Frantisek Potuznik, describes...
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The Polar Bear and Public Opinion
Opinion polls are still an integral part of our lives, and we should continue to draw new knowledge from them. With this in mind, I present you with the results of a recent poll, which has some timely information for us. Furthermore, the poll's 3,000...
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The Second Generation
It is unbelievable that as of next year, twenty years will have passed since the fall of the communist regime. It is really unbelievable. Personally, it feels like just yesterday. Nevertheless, I belong to the generation that has lived most of their...
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Editor's Notes
With a presidency as old as this new year, and the worst of the global economic crisis looming ahead, this issue opens with sights set on what is to come. This gloomy forecast will hopefully brighten, however, with Obama leading the United States as...
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