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Studia Politica, vol. XIV, no. 2, 2014

Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review, vol. XIV, no. 2, 2014


CLAUDIU D. TUFIȘ, The Geography of Support for Democracy in Europe (pp. 165-184) 
This paper focuses on attitudes towards democracy, comparing European citizens’ reaction to the principles standing at the basis of their political system. Using data from the fourth wave of the European Values Study, the paper attempts to understand the mechanisms of support for democracy. The paper proposes an explanation of support based on resources, ideology, and communist experience. Special attention is given to the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, testing the assumption that the mechanisms of support in these countries differ from those in older democracies. The variables of interest used here are the items used in EVS to measure support for democracy and for non-democratic alternatives. Previous studies used these items to construct an index of support for democracy, assuming the items measure the same underlying dimension. I test this assumption and show that the relationships between the items vary across countries and that a bi-dimensional solution is more adequate to the data. Using this solution, multilevel regression analyses show that the factors related to support for democracy vary systematically across groups of countries. 
political culture, support for democracy, post-communist countries, European Values Study 

FLORIN N. FEŞNIC, OANA I. ARMEANU, Strategic Effects of Electoral Rules. Testing the Impact of the 2008 Electoral Reform in Romania (pp. 185-199) 
In 2008, Romania changed its electoral system from party list PR to single ballot mixed. A major reason behind this reform was to strengthen the ties between the candidates and their constituents, and our goal is to test whether this has happened. More specifically, we want to see whether the ideological vote inherent in a party list PR system has been replaced by a “personal” vote, i.e. by a vote based on the personal qualities of candidates, rather than their ideological affiliation. To this end, we analyze aggregate electoral returns from Romania’s 3,000 localities, and rely on the notion of “uniform partisan swing”, which states that the level of regional support for a given party in an election is an excellent predictor of its level of support in the same locality or region in the next election. Our expectation was that the new electoral system will lead to a decrease in ideological voting and a larger impact of the qualities of individual candidates. We found a lower correlation between regional support for parties in the 2004 and 2008 elections, compared to the correlation between the 2000 and 2004 elections. This appears to indicate a substantial impact of the electoral reform. However, another test, the correlation between the party votes for the two Chambers of Parliament in 2008, compared to the correlation in 2004, did not confirm it. Instead, it appears that the changes in the patterns of regional and local support for various parties, quite noticeable in the last parliamentary election, are caused by dealignment, rather than electoral reform. 
electoral system, party system, institutional reform, dealignment, voting. 
Two explanations, institutionalization and socialization, are generally used to explain the impact of social context on how much one trusts others. This paper uses the case of international immigrants to show that the two assumptions are complementary. Cross-classified multilevel models fitted on EVS 2008-2009 data prove that immigrants’ levels of social trust depend on one hand on the culture of trust in the country of origin, and on the other hand on the culture of trust in the host society. While the host is generally salient, the outcome is shaped by structural conditions. In a host society rich in immigrants, the impact of the local culture increases. A country of origin dependent on remittances tends to be more influential. Coming from a country poorer in social trust to a more trustful one boosts immigrants’ likelihood to trust others.
social trust, socialization, institutionalization, international migration, cultural gap
The present paper analyses Russia’s relations with six former Soviet republics (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), since the fall of the USSR until the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). By using qualitative research methods: discourse analysis, document analysis and press coverage, the author focuses on three main factors that contributed to the alienation of these countries from Russia: “energodiplomacy”, trade wars and support of secessionist conflicts, arguing that the rapprochement of this countries with the West, especially with the EU, came not only from the economic reasons but from the need of preserving the state core values.
“energodiplomacy”, gas wars, trade wars, protracted conflicts, Eastern Partnership 
This article's aim is to present the particular case of Romania’s border situation with Yugoslavia between 1948 and roughly 1955-56 as an extreme example of the “Westphalian culture of border control”, within the larger framework of the totalitarian communist model of managing one's borders. This will be achieved by evaluating the manner in which the Romanian border defence system was influenced by the political tensions that appeared between the Soviet Union and Tito’s Yugoslavia. Drawing on a strong and aggressive political discourse, implemented within the new border defence organization and structure, the philosophy of “internal detention”, so typical of communist totalitarianism, was enhanced by the Romanian authorities, serving to consolidate the regime at the same time.
borders, communism, Romania, Soviet pressure, “Titoism”, reorganization.

LAURENȚIU VLAD, The English Political Model in Barbu Catargiu’s Public Discourse (pp. 261-274)  
This article aims to present three dimensions of the English political model (England’s presence) in the political imaginary of the Romanian conservative leader Barbu Catargiu. The sources for this approach were the political leaflets of the politician (État social des Principautés danubiennes, Imprimerie de Bols-Wittouck, Bruxelles, 1855; De la Propriété en Moldo-Valachie, Imprimerie J. Kopainig, Bucarest, 1857; Encore quelques mots sur la propriété en Moldo-Valachie, Imprimerie A. Ulrich, Bucarest, 1860), the project and memoir of 1857 (De l’organisation du pouvoir; Des différentes classes de la population en Valachie et de leur position légale respective), as well as the parliamentary speeches, published in one volume for the first time in 1886. Many of the ideas expressed in these texts can also be found in the press articles published by Barbu Catargiu at the time (in the newspapers Conservatorul Progresist and Unirea). The analysis of the sources revealed that England represented, in the political imaginary of Barbu Catargiu, a model of organisation of public, economic and social life for the United Principalities, while being also an argumentative landmark in the debates in which the conservative leader was involved. This was not an uncommon option; both its collaborators between 1859-1862 (Apostol Arsache, Constantin N. Brăiloiu) and other prominent conservative leaders from the beginning of the 20th century (Alexandru Lahovary, Titu Maiorescu, Alexandru Marghiloman etc.) shared his beliefs. Essentially, the conservative canon that defined Barbu Catargiu’s ideological identity valued three dimensions of the English political model, to which it was akin. On the one hand, the conservative leader praised the efficient state government, considered to be an expression of political stability, legal experience, respect for the old established order, and moderation in public and social life. On the other hand, he strongly believed that the good government was due to the existence and action of an aristocratic body, which was identified since ancient times with the performance of public duties. This was an independent entity, whose representatives in the senatorial institution of the English bicameral Parliament ensured the continuity at the level of political authority. Finally, beyond the architecture of the state, the bicameral Parliament and the political actors, Barbu Catargiu insisted also on the tradition of freedom in the English public space. According to the conservative leader, all these aspects represented models for the Romanian society and politics. 
Barbu Catargiu, conservatism, aristocratic polity, tradition of freedoms, English model.


ULRICH BAER, AMIR ESCHEL (eds.), Hannah Arendt zwischen den Disziplinen, Wallstein Verlag (Manhattan Manuscripts, Vol. X), München, 2014 (MATEI DEMETRESCU) (pp. 277-281)