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As a reporter for the prestigious New York Times the author interviewed many of the leading political figures of the Balkans (Illyria). He also sought out the area's intellectuals, many of them critical of their leaders, and everyday people who provide a sense of daily life. He devotes a chapter to each ethnic group from Vlachs to Serbs, talks about their differences and similarities, and does so without giving offense. He also provides a short historical account of the various places he visits, which deepens our understanding of the local cultures. The reader meets people from all walks of life: politicians, poets, literary and art critics, journalists, handymen, car mechanics, fishermen and farmers. From Milovan Djilas and Nicolae Ceausescu to Markos Vafiadis and Sali Berisha to the Serbian “majstor” Misha and an un-named Bosnian bar singer, Binder's book features a remarkable gallery of people whose presence contributes authenticity and human warmth to the narrative.
The proliferation of festivals across the world has given birth to a new academic field: festival studies. Before his premature death Dragan Klaic was the greatest early authority of this discipline. Festivals in Focus contains the last essays which Klaic composed as introductory chapters for a collected volume on festivals. The four essays display the author’s sharp critical ability and raise stimulating questions about cultural festivals not just in Europe but worldwide. Klaic succinctly addresses the historical evolution of festivals, as well as their types, contents and settings.
Modern Business Decision Making in Central and Eastern Europe
This book provides a broadly managerial perspective on key trends that affect business decision-making in Central and Eastern Europe twenty years after the beginning of the region’s transition to market economy. Reflecting different viewpoints, including economic, social, and political approaches, the essays helps managers of the region to understand better both regional and the global forces influencing their businesses – as well as to bring to their attention relevant cutting-edge approaches to business thinking and decision-making.
Studies in Mediaeval and Early Modern History
Today, friendship, love and sexuality are mostly viewed as private, personal and informal relations. In the mediaeval and early modern period, just like in ancient times, this was different. The classical philosophy of friendship (Aristotle) included both friendship and love in the concept of philia. It was also linked to an argument about the virtues needed to become an excellent member of the city state. Thus, close relations were not only thought to be a matter of pleasant gatherings in privacy, but just as much a matter of ethics and politics. What, then, happened to the classical ideas of close relations when they were transmitted to philosophers, clerical and monastic thinkers, state officials or other people in the medieval and early modern period? To what extent did friendship transcend the distinctions between private and public that then existed? How were close relations shaped in practice? Did dialogues with close friends help to contribute to the process of subject-formation in the Renaissance and Enlightenment? To what degree did institutions of power or individual thinkers find it necessary to caution against friendship or love and sexuality?
The politics of education reforms in former Yugoslavia
Jana Bacevic provides an innovative analysis of education policy-making in the processes of social transformation and post-conflict development in the Western Balkans. Based on case studies of educational reform in the former Yugoslavia - from the decade before its violent breakup to contemporary efforts in post-conflict reconstruction - From Class to Identity tells the story of the political processes and motivations underlying each reform. The book moves away from technical-rational or prescriptive approaches that dominate the literature on education policy-making during social transformation, and offers an example on how to include the social, political and cultural context in the understanding of policy reforms. It connects education policy at a particular time in a particular place with broader questions such as: What is the role of education in society? What kind of education is needed for a ‘good’ society? Who are the ‘targets’ of education policies (individuals/citizens, ethnic/religious/linguistic groups, societies)? Bacevic shows how different answers to these questions influence the contents and outcomes of policies.
A Dictionary of Czech Popular Culture
Roberts' book follows in the tradition of recent scholarship that seeks to emphasize the importance of popular culture and the wealth of knowledge that can be gained through an analysis of the daily lives and practices of individuals. Focusing on popular songs, movie stars, famous athletes, traditional dishes, and children's games that are second nature to every Czech, Roberts' work serves as an introduction to Czech popular culture. This dictionary is a sizeable achievement as it offers an English readership an invaluable source of information to a rich body of material that has thus far remained ephemeral. The six hundred entries are cross-referenced and allow readers to pursue particular topics in greater depth. Written in a readable style this work is easily accessible to a wide readership.
Essays in Honor of Janos Kis
The book contains twelve essays by Stephen Holmes, Frances M. Kamm, Mária Ludassy, Steven Lukes, Gyorgy Markus, András Sajó, Gáspár Miklós Tamás, Andrew Arato, Timothy Garton Ash, Béla Greskovits, Will Kymlicka, and Aleksander Smolar. The studies explore a wide scope of subjects that belong to disciplines ranging from moral philosophy, through theory of human rights, democratic transition, constitutionalism, to political economy. The common denominator of the studies collected is their reference to the scholarly output of János Kis, in honor of his sixtieth birthday. János Kis is a distinguished political philosopher who, after many years spent as a dissident under the Communist regime, emerged as an important political figure in Hungary's transition to democracy. Currently he is University Professor of Philosophy at Central European University, Budapest.
Eight essays connected by various common strands. The most important one is the community of the main subject-matter: socialism, capitalism, democracy, change of system. These four expressions cover four phenomena of great and comprehensive importance. Each piece in the book deals with these and the connections between them.
The Polish Crisis of 1980–1981
95 documents on the events that represent a pivotal moment in modern Polish and world history: 16 months between August 1980 when the Solidarity trade union was founded and December 1981 when Polish authorities declared martial law and crushed the nationwide opposition movement that had grown up around the union. Transcripts of Soviet and Polish Politburo meetings give a detailed picture of the goals, motivations and deliberations of the leaders of these countries. Records of Warsaw Pact gatherings, notes of bilateral sessions of the communist camp provide additional pieces to the puzzle of what Moscow and its allies had in mind. Materials are included from Solidarity, too.
The Path of Roma Integration
The disappointing results of over two decades of activism in the supposedly more liberal climate of post- Communist democracies prompted three renowned experts to exchange views, sometimes conflicting, about the situation of Roma in Eastern Europe. Their forthright statements stimulated other stakeholders at a workshop, and the distilled text of this discussion constitutes the fourth chapter of the book. While the book offers no easy solutions, the pre-eminence of its contributors and the lively arguments they provoked guarantee that it will be a touchstone for future debate as pro-Roma policies come under threat in Europe's time of crisis.