The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs

Articles from Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring

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...
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,...
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...
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...
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....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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;...
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...
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...