Nr 87/88 • Detsember 2010

Bloodlands

“MUST-READ” books about the past hundred years in the eastern half of Europe are a hotly contested category. I would put CzesÅ‚aw MiÅ‚osz’s Captive Mind in the top ten, with a Kundera novel, Akhmatova’s poetry, Mandelstam’s memoirs, Solzhenitsyn’s Ivan Denisovich and Djilas’s New Class. Venclova and Brodsky need to be there too. So squeezing in someone from outside the region is hard. Anne Applebaum’s Gulag is a strong contender. So is Norman Davies’s history of Poland, or, going back a bit, Seton-Watson’s history of Central Europe. Yet my clearest candidate would be a book that was published only a couple of months ago: Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands.

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Burma – Protected from the World

Burma rarely makes international headlines. Everybody knows Aung San Suu Kyi and the fact that she has been under house arrest, but how much more do we know about Burma? Alexander Horstmann, a German researcher who monitors the situation of Burmese refugees, visited Tallinn in late October. The Burmese elections, held in November, were widely dismissed as a sham. After the elections, the junta surprised the world by releasing Aung San Suu Kyi. In an interview with Iivi Anna Masso, Alexander Horstmann and anthropologist Karin Dean talk about what is going on in Burma.

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English summary

This issue of Diplomaatia focuses on international institutions and treaties, gives an overview of NATO’s Lisbon Summit and highlights some of the central developments in the year 2010. In addition, it offers a brief insight into two countries – Moldova and Burma – that are still struggling for democracy, even though elections were held there this November. The book reviews section contains more general discussions on the state of democracy and history.

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