Current Issue

Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review

vol. XXI, no. 1, 2021


BIBIANA BAJZOVÁ (Comenius University in Bratislava), LUCIA MOKRÁ (Comenius University in Bratislava),

Who Really Cares about Outer Space? Principal–agent Theory and the Sustainability of Outer Space Regulation

States are primary actors in international law. The development of international relations after the Second World War and the founding of the United Nations increased the power of international organizations (IOs) in the international sphere. The distribution of competences between states and IOs is tackled in the framework of principal–agent theory, which holds that sovereign states are principals, and IOs are agents acting on the state’s behalf. In terms of international law and international relations, the key international legislation regulating outer space is the Outer Space Treaty (OST). The OST contains the most important principles and guidance relating to activities in outer space. According to the OST, states coordinate their interests, whereas IOs operate in the common good and outer space is in the common ownership of all mankind. The IOs’ mandate is defined in a wide-ranging and vague manner in the OST and even in practice there is no clear distinction between the competences of these two original actors and private actors – a new actor operating in outer space. The presence of another actor in

outer space raises the question of whether the current regulation of outer space in international law, primarily the Outer Space Treaty, is sufficient in terms of sustainability and the capabilities of the various actors

involved – states, IOs and private actors. This paper focuses on the application of principal–agent theory to outer space governance in the present day in light of this new actor and the division of competences and responsibility.

Keywords: Outer space, principal–agent, actors, private interest, collective, ownership.

BIBIANA BAJZOVÁ (Comenius University in Bratislava),

LUCIA MOKRÁ (Comenius University in Bratislava),

LUKÁŠ NOVOTNÝ (Jan Evangelista Purkyně University), DANIEL ŠÁROVEC (Charles University), Contemporary Pirate Parties in the Post-Material Era: Comparing Success Cases

Pirate parties are a phenomenon that has existed formally for almost fifteen years. This group of parties corresponds very well programmatically to the much broader concept of post-material values, which was formulated several decades earlier. Issues of intellectual property, privacy and data security, Internet freedom or a transparent political system are significant for Pirate parties as well as for life in the twenty-first century. Although the Pirate movement has its roots in Sweden, it has succeeded in establishing itself in other European countries as well. This study aims to map the foundations of the Pirate movement, successful examples of Pirate parties, but also sociological aspects of the activities of this type of parties. The success of the Pirate movement is conditional not only on the salience of certain issues in the public debate but also on what can be identified as a crisis of politics.

Keywords: Direct democracy, liquid democracy, Piracy, Pirate parties, political parties.

LUKÁŠ NOVOTNÝ (Jan Evangelista Purkyně University),

DANIEL ŠÁROVEC (Charles University),

PASQUALE CERBONE (Universidad UTE), MARIA PEREIRA LOPEZ (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela),

PALOMA CASTRO MARTINEZ (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela), Post-populism: A Comparative Analysis of Ecuadorian and Venezuelan Presidencies of Lenín Moreno and Nicolás Maduro

This article analyzes the most recognized literature about populism, and it proposes a comparative analysis of two Latin-American regimes based on the concept of “post-populism.” Post-populism refers to the cases in which a populist leader is forced (by different conditions) to leave the political scene, and in order to ensure the continuity of his government, he/she indicates to the electorate a successor who wins the following elections. Even though it is supposed that a populist leader nominates a populist successor, the latter must change his political style to face the negative consequences produced by the previous government, thus generating the post-populist phenomenon. By using a qualitative approach based on a comparison between the Venezuelan and Ecuadorian post-populist cases, namely the regimes of Lenín Moreno and Nicolás Maduro, this paper confirms the existence of the analyzed phenomenon and shows the conditions that provoke a post-populist outcome.

Keywords: Populism, post-populism, Venezuela, Ecuador.


MARIA PEREIRA LOPEZ (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela),

PALOMA CASTRO MARTINEZ (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela),

RENA MARUTIAN (National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine), OLEKSII POLTORAKOV (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv), JOHN CALLAHAN (New England College), “The Tanks of Post-truth:” Post-truth Hybrid Warfare Operations

Within the wider context of “post-truth” epistemological realities of hybrid warfare, this paper specifically examines the case of Ukraine, which has been directly involved in an active phase of a long-term

undeclared war with Russia since 2014. It is a front line that exists geographically (Eastern Ukraine, the Donbasss, and Crimea), but also bears epistemological dimensions (media and linguistics, history and

culture, social networks, and strategic communications among others) which extend beyond Ukraine to those countries of Central and Eastern Europe, such as Poland and the Baltic states, which are behind the front. This article is devoted to investigating the epistemological context of hybrid warfare, with a specific focus on the use of “post-truth,” and the various false narratives with which Russia has attempted to dominate discourse and to establish its own credibility in the regional and international stages, while simultaneously attempting to discredit Ukraine in particular and the U.S. policy in general.

Keywords: Post-truth, national memory, political myth, neovirtuality, narrative, hybrid war.

RENA MARUTIAN (National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine),

OLEKSII POLTORAKOV (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv),

JOHN CALLAHAN (New England College),

PATRYK TOMASZEWSKI (Nicolaus Copernicus University), A Comparative Discursive Analysis of the Polish Foreign Ministers’ Speeches Regarding Poland’s Security Policy and Its Cooperation with Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus, and the Russian Federation in the Period 2011-2019

The purpose of the paper is to illustrate the differences and similarities in the concepts of Poland’s foreign policy referring to the security-related issues as well as to the cooperation with the non-European neighboring countries – that is Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus, and the Russian Federation – observed on the basis of the content of annual presentations given by Polish ministers of foreign affairs in the period of 2011-2019. Since they both summarize the previous year’s foreign policy and outline

the main objectives for the forthcoming year, the speeches delivered by Poland’s ministers of foreign affairs provide an excellent basis for comparative studies and reflect the changes in foreign policy depending on which political party is in power. This article uses a comparative content analysis approach which focuses on configurations of similarities and differences observed within a limited number of cases. So far, there have been no attempts made to analyze the conception of Polish foreign policy by juxtaposing it with the neorealist and neoliberal theory of international relations. The research allows for a better understanding of the differences in Poland’s foreign policy conducted during the period 2011-2015, when a liberal center-right government was in office in Poland, and 2015-2019, when a conservative right government was in power.

Keywords: Security policy, international cooperation, Poland’s foreign policy, cooperation with Ukraine, energy security.

PATRYK TOMASZEWSKI (Nicolaus Copernicus University),

MARINA V. FALVO (University of Córdoba), The Structuring of State Political Opportunities Towards-and-from Capital and Labor. An Analytical Proposal

This article introduces a multi-level sector analytical tool designed to understand how political subjects not directly related to the state interact with the state and, dialectically, how the political structuring of the state affects them and their conditions, focusing on the effects of their combined and confronting actions in the labor sphere. The analysis defines the (re)structuring of State policies towards-and-from capital and

labor and re- elaborates on the former notion of “political opportunity structure,” but it repositions it dialectically into capitalist social relations. The model draws on institutional crystallizations, factual force

correlations that affect society (downward structuring, or State structuring towards civil society), and the combined political effects of labor conflict at state level (upward structuring or structuring from the civil society to the State). This dialectic relation is discussed by bringing back overarching assumptions about the State, “the public,” and “the political,” which try to delegitimize political subjects whether in the public arena or in environments traditionally considered “private” and “apolitical.” The automotive industry in Argentina between 2000 and 2015 is the empirical reference to illustrate categories and reach to the main conclusions.

Keywords: State, political opportunities, structure, labor, capital.

MARINA V. FALVO (University of Córdoba),

BRUNILDA ZENELAGA (University of Tirana), KLODIANA BESHKU (University of Tirana), Volunteering and Political Systems: The Role of State and Civil Society Organizations in People’s Willingness to Volunteer in Post-communist Albania

There is a widespread concern in Albania about the general waning of civic participation, which has produced weak solidarity networks and formal participation in organizations, together with a loss of a genuine sense of volunteering in the last three decades. This paper aims to give a thorough explanation of this recent change in Albanian society since the 1990s by exploring the two-fold dimensions of the state-society relationship: on one hand, the role of the Albanian communist state and its formal civil society organizations in shaping a forced approach to volunteering before the 1990s, and on the other hand the effects of this phenomenon on Albanian attitudes to volunteering after the 1990s with the collapse of the regime. This two-sided analysis is enriched with discourse analysis of focus groups from two generations: the first born between 1950 and 1970, and the second born in the early 1990s.

Keywords: Volunteering, civil society, political system, Albanian society.

BRUNILDA ZENELAGA (University of Tirana),

KLODIANA BESHKU (University of Tirana),


ANDRIJA HENJAK (University of Zagreb), RALUCA TOMA (MRC - Median Research Centre), The 2020 Croatian Parliamentary Elections

After a comparatively mild first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Croatia held parliamentary elections in July 2020. The incumbent Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) obtained a sufficiently good result to allow them to form a governing coalition with some small parties and members of parliament representing national minorities. However, increasing voter dissatisfaction with the status quo and the traditional electoral offering from the HDZ on the right and the SDP-led bloc on the left can be discerned in the record low turnout and the highest share of the vote for parties challenging the status quo so far. All this, as well as the results of the presidential and European Parliament elections, indicate that the party system is far from stable. This article offers context and explanations about the elections that are important for understanding what they mean and what the future might have in store for the Croatian party system.

Keywords: Legislative elections, Croatia, party system, COVID-19, voter dissatisfaction.

ANDRIJA HENJAK (University of Zagreb),

RALUCA TOMA (MRC - Median Research Centre),

MATTIA COLLINI (University of Florence), Hungarian local elections 2019: unity makes strength

This article analyses one of the main aspects of the 2019 local elections in Hungary. Indeed, these elections, assumed a prominent national significance, as for the first time since 2010, Viktor Orbán’s party, Fidesz, did not win by a landslide. On the contrary, a united opposition managed to win in the city of Budapest and in several of the other main urban centers. In the article we provide a brief analysis of the context and the electoral campaign, followed by a description of the main results. Finally, we analyze the main outcomes of the elections in comparison with the other elections since the previous local ones in 2014. In this regard, we can point out on the one hand the widening of the urban-rural divide, and on the other the effectiveness of the new cooperation strategy implemented by the fragmented opposition, which seems the only way to challenge the predominance of Fidesz.

Keywords: Hungary, elections, local, opposition, campaign strategies.

MATTIA COLLINI (University of Florence),

GÁBOR TÓKA (Central European University, Budapest), The 2020 Belarusian Presidential Election

This note reports on a regular presidential contest in a stable authoritarian regime that turned unexpectedly dramatic and consequential. The official results followed the pattern established in the previous 20 years of unfree elections in which President Lukashenko prevailed with a massive majority of the (presumably rigged) popular vote. But, for the first time ever, major doubts prevailed about whether he really was the main votegetter at the polls. In fact, many citizens believe that he would have been badly defeated had the elections been fairly conducted. The elections were followed by several months of vigorous mass protest that undermined the international legitimacy of the regime and forced the dictator to promise major political reforms. The protests were ultimately crashed with brutal force, and the political concessions promised by the

regime are not in the popularly demanded direction. Yet, the electoral process triggered significant political change in Belarus at multiple levels and advanced nation building.

Keywords: Presidential elections, authoritarian regime, Belarus, protests, political change.

GÁBOR TÓKA (Central European University, Budapest),

LARRY DIAMOND, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, New York, Penguin Press, 2019 (BOGDAN MUREȘAN, University of Bucharest)

ROBERT ADAM, Două veacuri de populism românesc [Two Centuries of Romanian Populism], Bucharest, Humanitas, 2018 (ANDREI GHEORGHE, University of Bucharest)

BOGDAN-IULIAN RANTEȘ, Relațiile României cu state din Africa Ecuatorială și de Vest (1960-1974) [The Relations between Romania and States from Equatorial and Western Africa (1960-1974)], Târgoviște, Cetatea de Scaun, 2017 (DOMNICA GOROVEI, University of Bucharest)

H. R. MCMASTER, Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World, New York, Harper Collins Publishers, 2020 (ROBERT MANEA, University of Bucharest)