PULLMAN, Wash. – Lessons learned from the economic and political changes in Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Berlin Wall are the topic of new research by Washington State University political science professor Lance LeLoup and his co-authors. Their work, “East-West Co-operation in Public Sector Reform: Cases and Results in Central and Eastern Europe” (IOS Press, 2002), identifies challenges and new directions for what LeLoup calls “the second stage of cooperation.”

East-West challenges and lessons learned also will be the focus of an upcoming half-day conference at WSU. Sponsored by the Thomas S. Foley Institute and supported by International Programs, the conference will include several speakers plus lessons, experiences, and perspectives from special participants.

Two guests, Gyorgy Jenei from the Budapest University of Economics, and Frits van den Berg, a consultant from the Netherlands, have co-chaired the working group on East-West cooperation for the European Public Administration Association for the past six years and along with LeLoup published “East-West Co-operation in Public Sector Reform: Cases and Results in Central and Eastern Europe” (IOS Press, 2002). The conference will be held Monday, Feb. 10, from 1-5 p.m. in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Excellence, Room 518, on the Pullman campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, dramatic political and economic changes began the transformation of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union,” LeLoup says. “Many scholars and consultants participated in a host of collaborative programs. Some were successful while others were not.” Reflecting back on more than a decade of experiences, the book brings together a wealth of experiences and draws important lessons for the next generation of partners.

LeLoup concludes that more emphasis is needed on institutionalizing successful programs and on making East-West partnerships more equal. “Cooperation programs,” he says, “must be tailored to particular needs and contexts and cultural differences must be recognized and dealt with at all stages of program development.”