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Post-communist Europe is Klein lecture topic

April 14, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Post-communist Europe and two decades of political and economic change will be examined Tuesday, April 20, during Western Michigan University's 2010 George Klein lecture.

Dr. Milada Anna Vachudova, associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, will give a free, public lecture at 7 p.m. on campus in the Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium. Her talk is titled "Democracy and European Integration: 20 Years after the Collapse of Communism."

While on campus Vachudova also will present a colloquium for WMU faculty members and graduate students titled "Corruption and Compliance in the EU's Post-Communist Members." That event will be earlier in the day at 3:30 p.m. in Room 3301 Friedmann.

Since the revolutions of 1989, post-communist Europe has experienced more than two decades of political and economic change. In Eastern Europe, the benefits combined with the requirements of EU membership set the stage for unprecedented leverage on the domestic politics of future members. But EU's leverage has worked less well in the Western Balkans, and EU citizens no longer support further enlargement. Vachudova will focus her Klein lecture on whether the EU's foreign policy of enlargement may have reached its limits.

She specializes in the democratization of post-communist Europe, the enlargement of the European Union and the impact of international actors on domestic politics. Her book, "Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage and Integration After Communism" (Oxford University Press, 2005), won the International Social Science Council's Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research and the Marshall Shulman Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. She is working on another book comparing the experience of democratization and international engagement in the Western Balkans since 1995.

Vachudova has held fellowships and research grants from the European University Institute in Italy, the Center for European Studies at Harvard, the European Union Center at Columbia, the Center for International Studies at Princeton, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. She earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1991 and a doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997.

The 2010 Klein Lecture is being organized by the Institute of Government and Politics in WMU's Department of Political Science. It is part of an annual lecture series named after the late Dr. George Klein.

Klein was a longtime member of the University's Department of Political Science and an internationally known expert on Balkan politics and eastern European political systems. His widow, Dr. Patricia V. Klein, WMU associate professor emerita of science studies, created an endowment in his honor that funds the Klein Lecture series as well as political science symposia, conferences and scholarships.

For more information regarding this event, please contact Dr. Susan Hoffmann, director of the Institute of Government and Politics, Department of Political Science, at (269) 387-5692 or susan.hoffmann@wmich.edu.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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