145 research outputs found

    Trump and the Balkan Princes: what Trump’s presidency means for South East Europe

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    Donald Trump’s presidency has already raised a number of major questions about the United States’ relationship with its key allies and neighbours. But what impact will his administration have on the Balkans? Florian Bieber outlines four reasons why Trump’s presidency will matter for the region, building on his previous article ‘Ten rules by a 21st-century Machiavelli for the Balkan Prince’

    The refugee crisis underlines the absurdity of Western Balkans states being outside of the EU

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    Representatives of governments from the Western Balkans held their second annual Western Balkans summit in Vienna on 27 August. Florian Bieber provides an overview of the summit, noting that the talks were dominated by the ongoing refugee crisis and could not address creeping authoritarianism in the region

    Croat Self-Government in Bosnia - A Challenge for Dayton?

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    The scaling of CMOS technologies has increased the performance of general purpose processors and DSPs. However, analog circuits designed in the same process have not been able to utilize the scaling to the same extent, suffering from reduced voltage headroom and reduced analog gain. Integration of the system components on the same die means that the analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) needs to be implemented in the newest technologies in order to utilize the digital capabilities at these process nodes. To design efficient ADCs in nanoscale CMOS technologies, there is a need to both understand the physical limitations as well as to develop new architectures and circuits that take full advantage of the potential that process has to offer. As the technology scales to smaller feature sizes, the possible sample-rate of ADCs can be increased. This thesis explores the design of high-speed ADCs and investigates architectural and circuit concepts that address the problems associated with lower supply voltage and analog gain. The power dissipation of Nyquist rate ADCs is investigated and lower bounds, as set by both thermal noise and minimum feature sizes are formulated. Utilizing the increasing digital performance, low-accuracy analog components can be used, assisted by digital correction or calibration, which leads to a reduction in power dissipation. Through the aid of new techniques and concepts, the power dissipation of low-to-medium resolution ADCs benefit from going to more modern CMOS processes, which is supported by both theory and published results. New architectures and circuits of high-speed ADCs are explored in test-chips based on the flash and pipeline ADC architectures. Two flash ADCs were developed, both based on a new comparator that suppresses common-mode kick-back by a factor of 6x compared to conventional topologies. The first flash ADC is based on redundancy in the comparator array, allowing the use of low-accuracy, small-sized and low-power comparators to achieve an overall low-power solution. The flash ADC achieves 4.0 effective bits at 2.5 GS/s while dissipating 30 mW of power. The second Flash ADC further explores the use of low-accuracy components, relying on the process variations to generate the reference levels based on the mismatch induced comparator offsets. The reference-free ADC achieves a resolution of 3.7 bits at 1.5 GS/s and dissipates 23 mW of power, showing that process variations does not necessarily has to be seen as detrimental to circuit performance, but rather can be seen as a source of diversity. In two implemented pipeline ADCs, the potential of very high sample-rates and energy efficiency is explored. The first pipeline ADC utilizes a new high-speed currentmode amplifier in open-loop configuration in order to reach a sample-rate of 2.4 GS/s in a single-channel pipeline ADC, a speed which is significantly faster than previous stateof-the-art The ADC achieved above 4.7 bits throughout the Nyquist range while dissipating 318 mW. The second pipeline ADC relies on an inverter-based amplifier, used in switched-capacitor feedback in order to keep the amplifier biased at a poweroptimal point. The amplifier uses asymmetrically biased transistors in order to better match the p- and n-type transistors, which increases linearity and allows for fully symmetrical layout. Operating at 1.0 GS/s, the effective resolution of the ADC was 7.5 bits and the power dissipation was 73 mW. This shows that it is possible to achieve low power dissipation while maintaining both high sample-rates and medium resolution

    Institutionalizing Ethnicity in the Western Balkans : Managing Change in Deeply Divided Societies

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    Serbia’s latest election is entirely unnecessary

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    On 17 January, Serbia’s Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, called for early elections to be held in April, despite the country’s next election not being due until 2018. Florian Bieber assesses why new elections have been called. He argues that while the elections may allow Vučić to secure a larger parliamentary majority, there were also some broader strategic calculations and systemic reasons behind the decision

    Ten rules by a 21st-century Machiavelli for the Balkan Prince

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    What would Machiavelli say about the Balkans today?, wonders Florian Bieber. In this letter for a modern Balkan Prince, he outlines ten rules that would allow the Prince to keep the power whatever the conditions. ‘Ruling is like dancing on the edge of a volcano’, he warns, suggesting, however, there are still ways to stay safe

    Aid dependancy in Bosnian politics and civil society: failures and successes of post-war peacebuilding in Bosnia-Herzegovina

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    More than seven years of international presence in post-war Bosnia have still not brought lasting stability to the country. Surveys suggest that a substantial share of the population continue to oppose Bosnia in its current form, further evidenced by the continuing electoral success of nationalist parties. These difficulties solicit an evaluation of some of the inherent difficulties of international intervention in a post-conflict setting such as Bosnia. This article will thus examine the symptoms of dependency resulting from international intervention on the political scene and civil society. The key argument forwarded herein is that the overly interventionist approach might have lead to a host of decisions and laws which might be commendable for the country, but that this intervention simultaneously disempowered Bosnian actors

    The election of losers

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    On 21 June, Serbia held parliamentary elections. The elections, which were boycotted by many opposition parties, saw the Serbian Progressive Party, led by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić, win a clear majority. Florian Bieber writes that while Vučić’s victory appears absolute, he must also rank as one of the key losers from the contest: a parliament without an opposition cannot serve as a fig leaf to legitimise the supposedly democratic rule of the President

    Institutionalizing ethnicity in the Western Balkans: managing change in deeply divided societies

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    'Ethnic politics continue to dominate political discourse and institutions in the post-conflict regions of former Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia). This has rendered these regions dependent on external intervention and blocked or delayed political and economic development, including the process of integration into European and Euroatlantic structures. Some of the post-conflict arrangements have rightfully come under criticism-both from within and outside the region-as obstacles in the normalization of ethnic relations. While the status quo needs revision and a different approach to institutional design is required, this paper argues against abandoning groupbased institutions altogether. Instead, it argues for a more dynamic and processoriented approach to accommodate ever-changing interethnic relations.' (author's abstract