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Romania's Missed Opportunity

John Feffer | Posted 03.29.2015 | World
John Feffer

Could Romania have caught up with the rest of the region if it hadn't delayed implementing economic reforms? "It definitely would have lost fewer years than otherwise," Negrescu responded.

Poland's Luckiest Generation

John Feffer | Posted 03.28.2015 | World
John Feffer

We are also trying to diminish the influence of the Church in Poland. Poland is a very conservative country. We are definitely for secularism. And we are not for the unlimited free market deciding everything. Some things cannot be managed in a business way.

Today's Trade Agreements Are Backwards, But We Can Do Better

Peter Schurman | Posted 03.27.2015 | World
Peter Schurman

The legitimate force that drives trade agreements is companies' need for predictability and stability in order to invest beyond the borders of their home country. Everyone can support that. But where trade agreements go wrong is in secret negotiations, with virtually zero democratic input or accountability

The Leap Into Business in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 03.27.2015 | World
John Feffer

Bogdan Lapinski and I talked about what it was like to get the first IKEA stores up and running in Poland, the tension between resistance and rapprochement in Polish culture, and why the changes of 1989 came along at just the right time in his life.

Using Urban Observation to "Ghost-Bust" Cities

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 03.26.2015 | Arts
Charles R. Wolfe

I saw a ghost, of a missing building from a boyhood memory -- something that Amazon might have retrofitted, today, if it were still there for the taking.

The Retreatniks

John Feffer | Posted 03.26.2015 | Politics
John Feffer

The new talking point for the Republican Party -- actually, it's an old talking point in expensive new clothing -- is "America is in retreat."

How to Launch People in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 03.23.2015 | World
John Feffer

Stocznia, which is Polish for "shipyard," is a different kind of NGO. It functions like a university. It focuses on transforming people. And in that sense it's an educational institution -- but not like any educational institution you might have encountered in the past.

Hungary's Green Wave Crashes

John Feffer | Posted 03.22.2015 | World
John Feffer

When I met the biologist Gyongyi Mangel in 1990, her enthusiasm was contagious. So much was going on in Hungarian civil society that it was hard to keep track of all the new initiatives. She was passionate about connecting issues and it was hard not to get caught up in her can-do spirit.

The World Is Becoming Safer, Wealthier and Healthier

Ali Wyne | Posted 03.16.2015 | Impact
Ali Wyne

It's no accident the world is becoming safer, wealthier and healthier: there are extraordinary people around the world who're trying to make it better. Too often, though, their names remain unknown; their contributions, unacknowledged.

Poland's Politics of Dissatisfaction

John Feffer | Posted 03.15.2015 | World
John Feffer

A smaller number of Poles continue to take to the streets or try to organize actions similar to the Solidarity mobilizations of the past. And perhaps the smallest group of all tries to channel that dissatisfaction into advocacy within the system to change the nature of Polish politics.

Guilt As Destiny

John Feffer | Posted 03.14.2015 | World
John Feffer

Less attention has been paid to the émigrés who worked on behalf of peace and reconciliation in former Yugoslavia. These activists supported peace organizations in the region, helped to spread the word of human rights violations, and worked in large numbers for international organizations, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague.

The Fetishism of Economic Growth

John Feffer | Posted 03.11.2015 | World
John Feffer

Ryszard Zoltaniecki is a sociologist who has also worked in the Polish foreign ministry, where he served as the ambassador to Greece. It was not long into our August 2013 interview in an outdoor café in Warsaw that we began to address larger questions like the European financial crisis. The economic setback, he pointed out, marked the end of an era.

The Failure of Nationalist Politics in Romania

John Feffer | Posted 03.08.2015 | World
John Feffer

The European financial crisis certainly prepared the ground for the growth of nationalist parties throughout the continent. Cluj, a large city in the Transylvanian region of Romania that has an ethnic Romanian majority, is a good illustration of the limits of nationalist politics.

Modernizing the Polish Military

John Feffer | Posted 03.07.2015 | World
John Feffer

In Poland, even when we lost 30 soldiers in Iraq, this war was not so controversial in public opinion. In Afghanistan, since the time when we increased our troops in 2007, public opinion has been largely negative. It became even more skeptical with the Obama policy and the surge. And now we have 41 soldiers who died in Afghanistan.

Challenging the Surveillance Society

John Feffer | Posted 03.04.2015 | World
John Feffer

Whether it's the NSA, European intelligence agencies, private corporations, or the police, Katarzyna Szymielewicz is deeply concerned about the erosion of privacy and civil rights. We talked about how she became involved in this work, how Polish politicians have reacted to surveillance issues, and why Snowden deserves the EU's Sakharov Prize.

Grim, Declining Nizhny Novgorod Also Part of Nemtsov's Legacy

Kevin A. Lees | Posted 03.04.2015 | World
Kevin A. Lees

Putin came to power, not in a vacuum, but into a specific context of economic, political and cultural conditions that Boris Nemtsov helped shape, both for better and for worse.

Shaking Up Politics in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 03.02.2015 | World
John Feffer

In 2011 the Palikot movement, which championed libertarian positions in favor of legalizing marijuana, supporting LGBT rights, and reducing the influence of the church in the secular sphere, surprised everyone by catapulting into parliament with 10 percent of the vote. Long-time feminist activist Wanda Nowicka ran on the Palikot ticket in 2011 and won a seat.

Obama Condemns 'Brutal Murder' Of Boris Nemtsov

Reuters | Posted 02.28.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the "brutal murder" of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, and...

Is Japan's Prime Minister the Next Putin?

John Feffer | Posted 02.27.2015 | World
John Feffer

Abe is the front man for a Japanese political faction that wants to purge the country of its lingering pacifism so as to reorder East Asia with a militarily powerful Japan at its center.

Roman Abramovich Invests $15 Million in New U.S. Fracking Technology

James Stafford | Posted 02.25.2015 | Business
James Stafford

Are the Russians coming to Texas riding the tailwinds of fracking? That depends on who you ask, as some believe Russian forces were behind the anti-fracking vote in Denton, while a $15 million investment in new Texas fracking technology by Roman Abramovich perhaps tells another story.

Hungary's Green Minister

John Feffer | Posted 02.24.2015 | World
John Feffer

When I first met Zoltan Illes in 1990, he was 29 years old and in his first month as the youngest state secretary in modern Hungarian history, working in the ministry of environment. He granted me quite a long interview and was unusually frank not only about the environmental situation in the country but also about the challenges he faced in his own position.

Can Ukraine Gnaw Its Way Out of Trouble?

John Feffer | Posted 02.19.2015 | World
John Feffer

Whether this ceasefire or some future one proves durable, Ukraine must eventually make some very difficult decisions concerning its future. Above all, it must figure out a way of exiting the steel trap that has clamped down on its nether regions. The Crimean peninsula has already been sliced off. Should Ukraine sever another one of its own limbs in order to survive?

Public and Private in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 02.18.2015 | World
John Feffer

Poles are happier than they've been in years. More than 80 percent report that they are "very happy" or "quite happy," and that number has risen steadily since 2000. But happiness in Poland seems to derive largely from private life. There's not a lot of volunteering, and even the rates of Church attendance have been going down.

Recreating Central Europe

John Feffer | Posted 02.17.2015 | World
John Feffer

In an interview in Warsaw in August 2013, Dariusz Kalan, a Central Europe expert with the Polish Institute for International Affairs (PISM), talked about Poland's attempt to represent the region in European bodies, why young people are leaning toward conservative movements, and how Central Europe views Russia.

Libya Is the New Syria: How ISIL Exploited the Post-Gaddafi Vacuum

Michael Hughes | Posted 02.17.2015 | World
Michael Hughes

While glorifying in what they proclaimed was a new "model for Western intervention," Obama and his accomplices were completely oblivious to what they had sown, which Libya is reaping today.