Modern Albania: From Dictatorship to Democracy
Albania’s Turbulent Transition from Dictatorship to DemocracyVoices
Join us for a conversation with Fred Abrahams and Aryeh Neier about Abrahams’s new book, Modern Albania: From Dictatorship to Democracy.
In 1990, Europe’s most closed and repressive state began a process of transition from dictatorship. Tiny Albania, for four decades under the tyrannical rule of Enver Hoxha, could not resist the changes that were sweeping across the Eastern bloc. Twenty-five years later, Albania has undergone radical reform. It enjoys a dynamic pluralist system and a vibrant society that is open to the rest of the world, but it has also been plagued by intensely polarized politics, poverty, and social strife.
Fred Abrahams, a former fellow at Open Society, will talk about the communist regime’s collapse and efforts to rebuild Albania after decades of labor camps, thought police, and one-party rule. He’ll discuss Albania’s turbulent transition, the rise and fall of the massive pyramid schemes, and the war in Kosovo, all with an eye on the role of the United States. Too often, his book concludes, Washington has supported an Albanian leader over the country’s institutions in the name of regional stability.
Based on hundreds of interviews, declassified government documents, and personal observations from 20 years of work in Albania, Modern Albania gives readers a front-row seat to the last battle of Cold-War Europe.
- Fred Abrahams is a special advisor at Human Rights Watch and a writer who has worked for 20 years in areas marred by political crises and armed conflict, including the Balkans and the Middle East. Most recently Abrahams has been covering the crisis in Syria and Northern Iraq, with a focus on children.
- Aryeh Neier (moderator) is president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations, serving as president from 1993 to 2012. He was executive director of Human Rights Watch, of which he was a founder, for 12 years, and worked 15 years at the American Civil Liberties Union, including eight years as national executive director.
EU Green Deal
The EU Must Think Globally on Carbon Import Tax
A proposed EU carbon import tax risks hurting poorer countries by stunting trade and slowing their green transition.
Dignified End-of-Life Care
Governments Should Follow Moldova’s Lead and Ensure Universal Access to Palliative Care
Over decades, Open Society’s funding for palliative care has improved access globally. However, while philanthropy plays a large role in this sector, palliative care must ultimately be publicly funded and universally available.
Elections Alone Are Not Enough: Could Citizens’ Assemblies Save Democracy in Germany?
Elections alone are not enough. If you want to safeguard democracy in Germany, you have to change it.