Eastern Europe: Return to Normality?

IT HAS BEEN THE FATE of Central and Eastern Europe — that wedge of territory between what was once the Soviet Union to the east and the European Community to the west — to wrestle with its own “abnormality.” For nearly five decades, the region experienced varying degrees of Soviet-style Communism, from the relatively liberal version enjoyed in Hungary to the more Stalinist model endured...
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The New Middle Passage

Peter, a Sierra Leone migrant living in Hungary, is one of the lucky ones. He has a job. He has a supportive community of friends. After seven years in the country, the Hungarian government approved his application for asylum. He started a very successful NGO devoted to helping other migrants make a new life in Hungary. I interviewed Peter in Budapest two years ago. It was not exactly the best of...
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Greece, Iran, and the Rules of the Game

Alexis Tsipras had a choice. As the leader of the fledgling Syriza government in Greece, he could have told the European Union to stuff its austerity plan. He could have taken the risk that the EU would offer a better deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Or, failing that, he could have navigated his country into the uncharted waters of economic independence. But he chose to “follow the...
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Multiculturalism Saves Turkey

When I talked with Turkish photographer Attila Durak back in 2007, he was just finishing up a project documenting the country’s many ethnic groups. “Ask any intellectual here, ‘How many ethnic groups are living in Turkey?’ and they can’t list more than 12,” he told me. “Lots of photographers take photos of Anatolian people. But they never say who they are, just that they are...
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Greece and the Unlearned Lesson of 1990

Greek voters have decisively repudiated the economics of austerity by handing an overwhelming victory to the left-wing party Syriza in their recent parliamentary elections. This was not a big surprise. Greece has been suffering from high levels of unemployment, including a rate higher than 50 percent for young people. The standard of living for much of the population has dropped precipitously...
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The Collapse of Europe?

Europe won the Cold War. Not long after the Berlin Wall fell a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States squandered its peace dividend in an attempt to maintain global dominance, and Europe quietly became more prosperous, more integrated, and more of a player in international affairs. Between 1989 and 2014, the European Union (EU) practically doubled its membership...
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