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Studia Politica, vol. XVII, no. 2, 2017


MANFRED NOWAK, Speech on the Occasion of Being Awarded the Title of Dr. Honoris Causa by the University of Bucharest (12.05.2017) (pp. 241-250) 

MANFRED NOWAK, Secretary General / Professor, European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratisation / University of Vienna,


ROXANA MARIN, Decentralization in East-Central Europe. Operationalization, Taxonomy and its Impact on Local Political Elites’ Outlook (pp. 253-277) 
The present study is a comparative examination of the impact diverse levels of administrative and fiscal decentralization has on the outlook of local political elites in East-Central Europe, namely: (1) the local elites’ degree of isolation; (2) their attitudes towards increased decentralization, and (3) their level of satisfaction as inhabitants of the towns they govern. After establishing a conceptual framework, which includes taxonomies of decentralization and of the local administrative organization, the present study concentrates upon three case-studies, meant to illustrate a range of
hypotheses about the manner in which the dynamics of decentralization produce significant changes in the outlook (i.e. from contacts and interactions to attitudes regarding decentralization proper) of the local political elites.
decentralization, local political elites, East-Central Europe, power relations.

ROXANA MARIN, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest,

VLADIMÍR NAXERA, PETR KRČÁL, Perceptions of Slovak Politicians and their Discursive Reification at the Celebrations of the Slovak National Uprising in 2016 (pp. 279-294) 
The goal of the following article is to provide an interpretation of the 72nd anniversary celebration of the Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia). Our paper stands as a dramaturgical and discursive analysis of this occasion. More specifically, our effort is focused on two main lines of interpretation. The first line of interpretation is called the “organizational line”. In this branch of argumentation, we attempt to present the results of a complex dramaturgical analysis of this occasion and also try to provide an example and characteristics of strategies and practices that can be utilized by state apparatuses to create their perception as the guarantor of security of the event’s observers. In the second strain (called the “production of discourse”), we attempt at analyzing the processes of (re)production of political discourse related to this public occasion and the Slovak National Uprising. In this strain, we also try to identify the main discourse that was produced or reinforced during the celebration. The main finding of our paper is based on the fact that public ceremonies can fulfill the role of medium, which in turn serves to spread the current political discourse, adoration of actual societal normative order, and the positive portrayal of state apparatuses. Our article can thus be viewed as a contribution to the debate concerning the issues of political discourse reproduction from the public’s perspective.
dramaturgical analysis, discourse, Slovak National Uprising, Robert Fico, Marian Kotleba, legitimacy of power.

VLADIMÍR NAXERALecturer, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of West Bohemia, Pilsen, Czech Republic

PETR KRČÁL, Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of West Bohemia, PilsenCzech Republic, 

ANDRA KARLA SIENERTH, Regionalization in the Interwar Political Discourse in Romania (pp. 295-308) 
The research aims at identifying trends in reforming the administrative structure throughout the interwar period, associated to the forces that succeeded in the government and the central and regional elites. This paper will analyze these projects by looking at the debates preceding their implementation. We highlight the antagonistic political and ideological stances in what concerns the shape of administrative organization of the State – unitary state vs. federal state –, despite the unanimously accepted and stated purpose by the representatives of each approach, namely strengthening the newly formed state; a state that had significantly increased its size and population, while incorporating a significant number of minorities and was confronted with the task of harmonizing the various models (traditions) of administrative-territorial division of foreign inspiration. The draft administrative-territorial divisions thus also reflect cleavages such as center-periphery or the disjunction between “political” and “administrative” realms.
centralization, regionalization, administrative reform, doctrine.

ANDRA KARLA SIENERTH, Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Political Science, University of 

ALON HELLED, Engraving Politics. Antagonisms of Social Protest and Peace in 2015 Israeli Legislative Elections (pp. 309-329) 

Israeli politics has undergone radical changes as a result of both geopolitical contingencies and domestic developments. These have influenced Israel’s perception of its national and social security, its political discourse and leadership. Moreover, the political erosion of some topics and the revival of others present alterations in content but also salient trends in the larger arena of Israeli politics. These features dynamically compose what we may consider the Israeli “state of mind” which is shaped by the stratification of the country’s geopolitical history and nation-building process. This paper aims to analyze this Israeli political “state of mind” in light of the last legislative elections. The concept serves as a magnifying glass to outline main trends and complexities crossing both Israeli society and its party politics at the electoral moment. In spite of the vast field of party politics and electoral studies little has been written on the socio-cultural elements in Israeli politics per sé. Three issues seem to be of great importance: security,
discourse leadership. The article reconstructs the political dynamics of the 2015 legislative election in Israel, while providing a new reading of the dialectics between the sociocultural “state of mind” and its inevitable politicization during the electoral competition.
discourse, Israel, leadership, security, state-of-mind.

ALON HELLED, PhD Candidate, Università degli Studi di Torino/Università degli Studi di Firenze/EHESS, Paris,

JAROSLAV BÍLEK, Electoral Competitiveness in Competitive Authoritarianism in Latin America 1990-2014 (pp. 331-354) 
Elections in competitive authoritarian regimes have become a major focus of comparative research. However, existing research mostly focuses on large-N comparative studies with older cases and data. Therefore, the conclusions of these studies typically only have a fairly limited explanatory potential. A number of authors thus suggest turning our attention to studies with small and middle-N, which ‒ thanks to closer interaction with data ‒ can help improve the explanatory ability. The aim of this study is to react to this situation and offer an explanation of the varying degree of electoral competitiveness in competitive authoritarianism in Latin America. For that purpose, this study compares 41 cases of elections that were carried out between 1990 and 2014, using regression analysis and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). This study uses the data from the Varieties of Democracy (V-DEM) project and tries to either provide more accurate conclusions than some of the previous researches or to disprove these conclusions altogether. The results highlight the importance of economic growth, concurrent elections, opposition party ban, cohesion of the opposition and media censorship. These findings are in discrepancy with previous research which rather put structural factors in the back seat and considered actors’ behaviour to be the key factors. What is even more interesting, though, is the fact that the two most influential structural explanations usually mentioned with respect to competitive authoritarianism, i.e. natural resources rent and economic statism, are proved as rather irrelevant in Latin America’s context.
competitive authoritarianism, elections, electoral competitiveness, hybrid regimes, Varieties of Democracy.

JAROSLAV BÍLEKPh.D. Candidate, Philosophical Faculty of University Hradec Králové, Czech Republic,

ALAWADI ZELAO, Autorités traditionnelles et désir d’hégémonie dans le champ politique au Nord-Cameroun (Traditional Rulers and Desire of Hegemony in the Political Landscape of North-Cameroon)(pp.355-376) 

In North Cameroon, the traditional rulers occupy a privileged position in the local political landscape. In spite of their domestication by the postcolonial state, the traditional authorities succeeded in keeping a safe distance for manoeuvre in their functioning and organization. Even though during the process of democratization in the 1990s in which many African countries were involved, traditional heads took an active part in political competition, it remains true that holders of traditional powers still enjoy a certain degree of social legitimacy. At Tokombéré where this study is carried out, the traditional chiefs have a quasi hegemonic position within the local political communities. Only that these leaders have not embraced democratic values in spite of their exposure to the sociopolitical pluralism which has been blowing across Cameroon for the past two decades. The regime of this chieftaincy system (lamidalism) in North Cameroon is rather favourable to the expression of primary authoritarianism in modern politics. The lamidal ideology has permeated the local political communities to the point of codifying social interactions and ushering in a type of conformist political attitude. The revival of the lamidal domination or better still traditional bigmanism can be explained in this light.
traditional authority, democratization, neopatrimonialism, bigmanism, political landscape, lamidat, North Cameroon.

ALAWADI ZELAO, Associate Professor, University of Dschang, Cameroon,


Omagiu lui Giovanni Sartori (n. 1924 ‒ m. 2017) (GHEORGHE LENCAN STOICA) (pp. 379-385)