WMU News

Croatian economist, Milosevic critic speaks Oct. 20

Oct. 12, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- An Eastern European economist and early Slobadan Milosevic critic who has been involved in Yugoslav politics since the days of Tito will speak at Western Michigan University Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Dr. Branko Horvat will describe "Two Strategies: Restoration and Transition" in a free, public lecture that will focus on political and economic changes in his native Croatia and throughout Eastern Europe. His address, set for 7:30 p.m. in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall, is this year's George Klein Memorial Lecture on Eastern Europe and also is part of a fall lecture series that is focusing on Eastern Europe 10 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

For several decades, Horvat has been considered a leading economic thinker in Eastern Europe, says Dr. M. Scot Tanner, assistant professor of political science who is coordinating Horvat's visit. Horvat is presently a key opposition figure in Croatia to President Franjo Tudjman's Croat nationalist policies. A decade ago, he was one of the earliest critics of Milosevic's anti-Albanian policies in Kosovo that led to war last spring with NATO. He is known for his advocacy of a multi-ethnic society in Yugoslavia and its successor states.

Horvat's involvement in Yugoslav politics began when, as a teenager, he joined Tito's anti- Nazi partisans. He later earned a doctoral degree in economics and became one of the most influential and controversial reform economists in Yugoslavia's socialist system. After Tito's death, he organized Yugoslavia's first nationwide opposition party to address the danger of Yugoslavia's disintegration.

The George Klein Lecture is named for a longtime member of the Department of Political Science who was an internationally known expert on Balkan Politics and Eastern European political systems. Klein, a WMU faculty member for more than 23 years, died in 1981. In 1997, his widow Dr. Patricia V. Klein, WMU associate professor emerita of science studies, created an endowment in his honor. That endowment funds an annual lecture and symposia and conferences on Central and Eastern Europe as well as scholarship support for students from that region.

Horvat's talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Institute of Government and Politics and by the Russian and Eastern European Studies Program, the Haenicke Center for International and Area Studies, and the Lee Honors College.

For more information about Horvat's visit, contact Tanner at (616) 387-5685.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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