Is East-Central Europe Backsliding? Nightmares From the Past, Dreams of the Future

Issue Date October 2007
Volume 18
Issue 4
Page Numbers 47-55
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The Central and East European dream seeks to erase the region’s singularity, especially insofar as that singularity has consisted of the region’s frequent victimization by larger, neighboring states, and also of its status as a wellspring and battleground of murderous conflicts and world conflagrations. Having suffered under both of the twentieth century’s most brutal brands of dictatorship—fascism and communism—the CEE peoples have been dreaming of a new and better future, the future of the European Union and the Euro-Atlantic community. Do recent populist trends pose a threat to this dream and the ongoing development of democracy in the region?

About the Author

Martin Bútora is honorary president of the Institute for Public Affairs, an independent think tank in Bratislava, Slovakia, that he founded in 1997. In 1989, he was cofounder of Public Against Violence, the leading Slovak force in the Velvet Revolution. He advised Czechoslovak president Václav Havel on human rights issues from 1990 to 1992, and was Slovakia’s ambassador to the United States from 1999 to 2003.

View all work by Martin Bútora