Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review, vol. XVIII, no. 2, 2018

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ARTICULI

SIMONA KUKOVIČUnique Type of Slovenian Local Leaders Where Executive Mayors have Mediterranean Strength (pp.173-192)

Abstract
Reforms spreading throughout Europe have brought different streams that have reorganised the structures of local authorities. The impact of reform has been especially strong on local political leadership, which is the key element in the functioning of local authorities. According to POLLEADER typology, Slovenia belongs in the Central East European group of countries with executive mayors, but our analysis shows that during reforms several elements deriving from Southern European local government traditions were introduced into the Slovenian local self-government system. In Slovenia, the Continental European Napoleonic administrative tradition persists, in which mayors have significant influence and control over the municipal administration and are also deeply involved in its everyday functioning. Hence Slovenia, with a directly elected strong mayor, occupies a unique place at the intersection of Southern European local government systems and the Central East European type of local–central relations.

Keywords
local political leadership, mayoral strength, Southern European local government systems, Central East European type, Slovenia.

SIMONA KUKOVIČ, Assistant Professor, University of Ljubljana, simona.kukovic@fdv.uni-lj.si.


VLADIMIR ADRIAN COSTEA, Instituţionalizarea, dezinstituţionalizarea şi reinstituţionalizarea Graţierii individuale în România în perioada 2000-2009 (The institutionalisation, deinstitutionalisation and reinstitutionalisation of individual pardon in Romania during 2000-2009) (pp. 193-212)

Abstract
This article investigates the legal and political evolution of the institution of pardon in Romania between 2000 and 2009 with a special focus on the abrupt changes it has been subjected to during the mentioned period. Two important episodes need to be recalled for the redefinition of this concept: the Law no. 546/2002 permitting the regulatory and institutional framework of this institution (previously functioning under a decree issued in 1952); and the pardon and its revocation in the case of Miron Cozma. The article emphasizes a strong articulation between the progressive legal framework of the institution of individual pardon, the dynamics of the political context, and the personal strategies of legitimation used by President.

Keywords
individual pardon, decree, institutionalisation, deinstitutionalisation, reinstitutionalisation

VLADIMIR ADRIAN COSTEA, Ph.D. Student, University of Bucharest, costea.vladimir-adrian@fspub.unibuc.ro.


TETIANA SYDORUK, DMYTRO TYSHCHENKO, A Review of the Eastern Partnership after Ten Years: the Need to Reconsider its Efficacy (pp. 213-239)

Abstract
This article analyses the effectiveness and prospects of the Eastern Partnership in the context of its ten-year implementation and the results of the Brussels Summit of 2017. The paper focuses on the current stage of the progress of the EaP partner states and the internal challenges of their development. A significant part of the article is devoted to Russia’s influence on the Europeanisation process of the Eastern European countries and the weak incentives from the EU towards these countries. The Normative Power concept was used to analyse the EU-Eastern European countries bi- and multilateral relations within the Eastern Partnership co-operation, taking into consideration that the EU norms and regulations’ implementation in Eastern Europe do not guarantee political normalisation in these countries. We conclude that after ten years of functioning, the Eastern Partnership has little capacity to influence political elite, domestic and regional processes in Eastern Europe, because depoliticised functional approach and the EU long-term incentives are not enough for the partners.

Keywords
Eastern Partnership, European Union, reforms, eastern neighbours, association agreements.

TETIANA SYDORUK, Professor, National University of Ostroh Academy, tetiana.sydoruk@oa.edu.ua.
DMYTRO TYSHCHENKO, Ph.D., University of Lisbon, dmytro.s.tyshchenko@gmail.com.


VICENTE CHUA REYES, JR., Corruption, Automation Reforms, Patron-Client Networks and New Media:
Electoral Engineering and the May 2010 Philippine Elections
 (pp. 241-266)

Abstract
This exploratory inquiry interrogates the impact of electoral engineering reforms through synchronized automated elections in a Philippine context suffering from systemic corruption. The May 2010 elections heralded a watershed in electoral processes and practices. Results of local (congressional) and national (senatorial, vice-president and presidential) elections were obtained nearly overnight. The elections dramatically altered the mode of Philippine elections: typified by arduous and onerous delays in announcing results stretching all the way to several months after elections. Although violence still marred the elections, it was relatively one of the more peaceful elections ever experienced. This inquiry attempts to explore the impact of this unprecedented electoral reform to political competition, allegations of corruption, the prevalence of patron-client networks, the influence of media and the political fortunes of candidates who supported electoral automation. Using data obtained from the elections, this inquiry proposes analytical models in understanding changes and continuities in election reforms and corruption in determining outcomes – individual votes garnered during the elections.

Keywords
Patron-client, elections, automation, Philippines, corruption

VICENTE CHUA REYES, JR., Lecturer, University of Queensland, vicente.reyes@uq.edu.au.


ȘERBAN FILIP CIOCULESCUIdentitatea religioasă vs. deriva sectară ca factori de potenţare a războaielor civile din Orientul Mijlociu şi Africa de Nord: implozia Ummah şi redefinirea “alterităţii ostile” (Religious identity versus sectarian derive as factors of strengthening civil wars in the Middle East: the implosion of the Ummah and the redefinition of “hostile alterity”) (pp. 267-292)

Abstract
This article analyzes the ways in which the Ummah or Islamic community is affected by division and internal conflicts, taking as main example the case of Syria’s conflicts. The research is based on the combination of two theoretical approaches: the Islamic religion’s interpretations from ancient times to the contemporary world, and the analysis of civil wars taking place in the Middle East. The main research question concerns the role of domestic and external factors in shaping the violent civil conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Currently, the Islamic world is affected by civil wars, episodes of state collapse, insurgency and terrorist activity. With the constant involvement of foreign non-islamic powers (USA, Russia, etc.) and regional Islamic powers (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran) and the divisive line between Sunni and Shia Islam, the Ummah does not have any chance, on the short and medium term, to become a unified and coherent community. Civil wars create durable psychological and material barriers among the civilians, based on fear and hatred, while the presence of strong external powers make the likelihood of ending such wars other than by massacres and ethnic or religious cleansing remote and difficult. The conclusions of this investigation are that the Islamic world is more and more splitted according to geopolitical and tribal lines, and that foreign interference by external actors (non-muslim states and muslim ones) contributes to the further radicalization and jihadist trends affecting Middle Eastern societies.

Keywords
Middle East, Islamic schools, Ummah, violence, extremism, identity, proxy wars, civil wars

ȘERBAN FILIP CIOCULESCU, Lecturer, University of Bucharest, serban.cioculescu@fspub.unibuc.ro.


ARMAND GOȘU, Invalidating the rightfully elected mayor of Chișinău threatens the regime of oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc (pp. 293-314)

Abstract
This article examines the most recent political events taking place in the Republic of Moldova, as well as the crisis resulting from the invalidation of the elections for the mayor of Chișinău. The political regime in Moldova can be considered as “electoral authoritarian”, due to the degradation of the quality of democracy after 2014. The response of Western chancelleries to the invalidation of the elections for the mayor of Chișinău came as a cold shower for the political establishment in Moldova. The European Commission, the European Parliament, the State Department of the United States, and noteworthy Western chancelleries sent an unprecedented message and announced that they would freeze granted loans. Western chancelleries decided to enforce this unprecedented measure because a red line was crossed when the results of the elections were annulled. With only several months to go until the Parliamentary elections take place in Moldova, the nullification of the vote for the mayor office of the capital city fuels a political tension, which has reigned for several years in Europe’s poorest country, a nation depopulating at a rate encountered only in conflict zones. Following Erevan and Tblisi, Chișinău could be the capital where the pressure applied by public protests generates major political change.

Keywords
Andrei Năstase, Vladimir Plahotniuc, Igor Dodon, Rodica Berdilo, election for the mayor of Chișinău, Republic of Moldova.

ARMAND GOȘU, Associate Professor, University of Bucharest, armand.gosu@fspub.unibuc.ro.

RECENSIONES

WOLFGANG STREECK, How will Capitalism end?: Essay on a failing system, Verso Books, London, NY, 2016 (PASQUALE EMANUELE DE GIROLAMO) (pp.317-320)

DEIRDRE MCCLOSKEY, Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016 (ALESSANDRA MAGLIE) (pp. 320-325)

ANTOINE LILTI, SABINA LORIGA, JEAN-FREDERIC SCHAUB ET SILVIA SEBASTIANI (dirs.), L’expérience historiographique: autour de Jacques Revel Éditions de l’EHESS, « Enquêtes », Paris, 2016 (DIANA CURCĂ) (pp. 325-329)

PIERO IGNAZI, Party and Democracy. The uneven road to legitimacy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017 (MATTEO BOLDRINI) (pp. 330-333)