Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 16 items for

  • Author: Jacek Lubecki x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Jacek Lubecki

The chapter examines the communist period of Eastern European states’ political history, with a special focus on late communism. Institutional factors of divergence and convergence are scrutinized with an emphasis on paradoxes of communism as an ideology leading to both unity and conflict. The countries in the region are divided into members of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO), subjugated by the Soviet Union, and “independent” communist countries, Yugoslavia and Albania. Among WTO members distinction is made between northern tier countries of East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, and the Balkan countries of Bulgaria and Romania. While the Soviet position in the north was basically stable, even though nationalist uprisings had to be put down in all member states in WTO, the Soviets were weak in the Balkans, where only one country, Bulgaria, was a faithful Soviet ally. Finally, different factors and histories of extrication from communism are examined, emphasizing factors leading to different outcomes in different countries. The erosion of the Soviet position in the northern tier countries was decisive in the destruction of the Soviet empire and WTO.

in Defending Eastern Europe
Jacek Lubecki

The chapter briefly examines various forms of extrication from communism leading to different forms of post-communist governments. While nationalism underlined all revolutions that overthrew communism in Eastern Europe, in some cases the revolutions were peaceful and led to liberal political and social order, while in others the revolutions were violent or led to further violence mostly motivated by nationalism. The prevalence of elite-led nationalistic goals led to “wars of Yugoslavian succession” which wrecked the former Yugoslavia for a decade between 1991 and 2001. In the rest of the region non-violent revolution mostly prevailed, and the emerging liberal states, after a brief period of hesitation, sought integration into Western security institutions, chiefly NATO and EU. Different domestic policy formation factors in countries of the region explain the different pace and strength of integration drives in the countries of the region. These factors are conceptualized as a dialectic between forces of conservatism rooted in nationalism or communism, and forces of liberalism, seeking integration with the West.

in Defending Eastern Europe
Creating stability in a time of uncertainty

East-Central European countries, the Visegrád Four to include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, have developed a divergence of approaches to key issues of national defense. Measures of defense capability include size of defense budgets, numbers of persons in the armed forces, and willingness to engage in foreign deployments led by NATO and the EU that act as integrating forces within the region. The communist experiences of earlier decades have acted as legacies that have shaped countries’ post-1989 approaches to national and regional defense. However, the evolution of liberal-democratic patterns and systems have played a meaningful role as well. In spite of those convergence experiences and patterns, divergence among them has characterized their interactions as well. Poland has been more willing to take on regional defense obligations, while the other three have been more reluctant. Since the 2014 Ukrainian Crisis, a strident and divisive nationalism has shaken each of them and modified their approaches to defense issues.

The defense policies of new NATO and EU member states

This book blends analysis of Eastern European security needs, foreign threats, domestic political events, and public opinion, in theoretical ways to understand how they lead to future defense postures and commitments for each country in the region. How has NATO and EU membership improved their overall regional defense protection, and what ingredients are still missing for them on an individual state basis? Separate chapters treat clusters of states that make up the various regions of Eastern Europe. For example, the three threatened Baltic states in the north will receive careful analysis. Second, the complex array of states in the Balkan area of Southeastern Europe merit examination, for their security conditions have been quite varied and diverse. For some, NATO and EU membership has become a reality, and for others that possibility does not yet exist. Third, three of the four geographically central states were the ones that first gained full membership in NATO at the earliest possible moment in 1999. At present, Poland in the north has perceived clear threats from Russia since 2014, while the three other East-Central European states possess greater sense of security.

Liberalism, realism, and constructivism
James W. Peterson and Jacek Lubecki

Chapter 1 sets up conceptual and theoretical frameworks for understanding divergence and convergence in Czech, Slovak, Polish, and Hungarian (“Visegrád Four” countries) defense policies in the post-communist era. The chapter’s central argument is that post-communist convergence between Visegrád Four defense policies is best understood as a result of the universal adoption of liberal democratic political systems and ideologies by the countries in question. However, the chapter argues, post-communist divergence in the respective countries’ defense policies, made especially visible by their post-2014 differential reactions to the Russo-Ukrainian Crisis and its fallout cannot be understood within the framework of liberalism as both a political system and a theory of international relations. Different schools and concepts of realism and constructivism are therefore evoked as necessary for illuminating the noted divergence between Poland, which responded robustly and in militaristic fashion to the perception of Russian threat, and the rest of the Visegrád countries, with their lukewarm responses. Within realism, the chapter draws attention to Poland’s distinctive geopolitical position. Within constructivism, the chapter evokes the notions of “role theory” and “strategic cultures” as key for understanding the countries’ diverging polices.

in Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989
Security and defense realities of East-Central Europe
James W. Peterson and Jacek Lubecki

Chapter 2 examines pre-communist histories of Visegrád countries in search of historical sources of their strategic cultures. Central to the chapter’s inquiry is the fact that all four countries in the modern/early modern age were conquered and peripheralized by larger imperial entities. Hungary and Czech lands (Bohemia) were subjected to Habsburg rule; Poland was partitioned by Russia, Prussia and the Habsburg empire; and Slovak lands were doubly peripheralized within the framework of the Hungarian Kingdom and as a part of the Habsburg empire. However, each of the entities in question had a different past prior to imperial subjugations, each experienced the subjugation differently, and each emerged in 1918 as sovereign entities with distinctive memories of the past and under different structural conditions. Still, all of the countries in question succumbed to Nazi and Soviet imperialism during the Second World War, albeit the subjugation came in different forms and under different circumstances.

in Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989
From forced convergence to divergence
James W. Peterson and Jacek Lubecki

Convergence with Stalinist expections characterized the political experiences of all four states in the immediate period after the post-Second World War transition to communist political patterns. However, divergence from Moscow-led communist directives took place in Poland in 1956 and 1980, in Hungary in 1956, and in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Post-Stalinism in the four East-Central European countries took the form of both unrest under the directives from Moscow and the efforts of top political leaders to conform with the policy positions emanating from the East. Warsaw Pact invasions stifled innovation in all three communist era states but raised expectations in the underground for change in a future and better day. Their communist era resistances to control by Moscow were futile in the short term but important in the long-run in laying a foundation for the return to self-autonomy after 1989.

in Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989
Abstract only
A reluctant ally
James W. Peterson and Jacek Lubecki

In the period after the fall of communism, the Czech Republic after 1993 fastened on membership in NATO as a tool for enhancing security in the new more pluralistic period. They enacted military reforms that eventually led to a fully voluntary military force in the early twenty-first century. Defense budgets centered on achievement of the NATO goals of 2% of GDP spent on defense, and they achieved that by the time of alliance membership in 1999 but tailed off into lower amounts in the following years. NATO-related deployments of their military forces were central in terms of the dispatch of Czech troops to Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Eventually European Union obligations determined their strategies in Bosnia after the transiton from NATO to EU control in December 2004.

in Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989
Abstract only
Imperial legacies and post-imperial realities
James W. Peterson and Jacek Lubecki

Forces of liberal convergence drove Hungary to dismantle the communist-era military establishment, subject it to democratic-civilian control, and to join NATO. After 1999 NATO membership, and 2004 EU membership, in turn, led the country’s defense policies adjustment to requirements of liberal alliance politics, including multilateral deployments abroad in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Hungarian defense doctrines, the size of the country’s military structure and role followed the liberal alliances paradigm. However, the persistent theme throughout all these adjustments was Hungary’s neglect of military spending and lack of emphasis on military dimensions of security. The chapter argues that this persistent theme is a result of peculiar anti-militaristic strategic culture resulting from collective traumas of the twentieth century. The Hungarian recent turn towards nationalistic populism changed little in both façade orientation of Hungarian defense policies around liberal alliance policies and a neglect of defense policies as the reality behind the façade.

in Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989
Abstract only
Return to the West?
James W. Peterson and Jacek Lubecki

Poland’s strategic choice to adopt liberal democratic institutions both externally and internally defined the country’s defense policies in the post-communist period. This chapter describes the country’s efforts to dismantle the communist-era defense establishment and adjust its defense policies to the task of joining NATO, which was successfully accomplished by 1999. Between 1999 and 2014, following the imperatives of liberal alliance politics and of its unique strategic culture Poland played the role of “loyal” member of NATO and EU and of “security provider,” especially on multilateral overseas missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Poland’s adjustment of its defense policies, military size, structure, and doctrine to post-9/11 imperatives of the “war on terror” led to the relative neglect of its conventional and territorial defense capacities. After 2013–14 Ukrainian Crisis, Poland accelerated its conventional military build-up, backed by a robust pattern of military spending which has marked the country as an outlier among Visegrád countries.

in Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989