Current Issue

Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review

vol. XXIV, no. 1, 2024 (forthcoming)


Michael Drašar (Charles University), Who Holds the Presidential Offices? Comparison of Two European Regions

This article maps the biographical characteristics of European presidents elected in direct elections after 1989. The author focuses on the structure of age, education, previous political experience, and gender. The article aims to describe the original dataset and to examine it in the context of the theoretical framework of descriptive representation and concepts of presidential power. Although only a partial relationship has been found between age structure and presidential power, and between gender structure and the Woman Political Participation Index, the general applicability of these findings to Europe is problematic. The effect of other factors was not shown at all, which indicates the specificity of the presidential election. The shape of the electoral system, the particularity of each case, and the current political situation determine who is elected president, and these findings cannot be generalized to the entire analyzed area.


Keywords: presidents, heads of state, biographical characteristics, Europe, descriptive representation, presidential power


Michael Drašar (Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University),

Hamza Preljević (International University of Sarajevo), İbrahim Fevzi Güven (Karabük University), The Continued Challenges of the Bosniak Returnees in Republika Srpska and the Threat of Secessionism


The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) had two notable consequences. The first is the complex institutional structure, and the second is the war-induced displacement. The article’s exclusive emphasis is on the latter consequence. The violent ethnic homogenization and territorialization between 1992 and 1995 permanently altered and severely damaged the ethnic composition of the country. Even though the non-Serbs were forcibly displaced and then returned voluntarily to their home of origin, the returnees are confronted with the secessionist threat and the continuous challenge of life in Republika Srpska (RS). The article aims to address the continuing challenges faced by Bosniak returnees in the RS, with particular emphasis on the connections between returnee experiences and the unresolved threat of secession. To explore the social, political, and economic challenges faced by returnees and the impact of increasing separatist agitation and tendencies in the RS on Bosniak returnees, a field study was carried out in six municipalities located in East Bosnia: Zvornik, Bratunac, Vlasenica, Milići, Srebrenica, and Višegrad.


Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, secessionism, refugees, IDPs, returnees, Republika Srpska


Hamza Preljević (International University of Sarajevo), 

İbrahim Fevzi Güven (Karabük University, Türkiye),

Andreea Broască (University of Bucharest), At the Border: Illegal Removal of Heritage Assets from the Socialist Republic of Romania (1969-1989)

The article analyzes the practices and methods of some of the thousands of people who tried to flee Romania with art objects, especially after the introduction of the Heritage Law (Law no. 63/1974) which considerably reduced the rights of citizens to possess goods of heritage value, but also precious metals. The Nicolae Ceaușescu regime was interested in acquiring gold, in order to pay the loan guarantees for the external debts that the Romanian state had at that time. Therefore, numerous individuals or groups attempted to leave Romania through the West border with heritage assets hidden in luggage or other methods that often were discovered by the Securitate, which prompted extremely harsh measures. It is no coincidence that the border of communist Romania has been declared by many historians “the bloodiest border in post-war Europe.” However, many heritage objects have disappeared without a trace, and confiscations were generally made without an inventory of the property taken. Using provenance research, the study also demonstrates the active role of Securitate, documenting scattered elements of the collections and – ideally – bringing them together. Finally, the article presents several cases relevant to the phenomenon of illegal crossing of the border with objects of patrimonial value, and how the baggage control was performed by the Securitate, while also examining why the citizens risked losing their freedom in order to be able to pass these goods outside the Communist state.


Keywords: national communism, art collecting, confiscations, closed borders, Diamond Action


Andreea Broască (University of Bucharest),

Oktay Hekimler, Hakan Cavlak (Tekirdag Namık Kemal University), Russia's Aggression in Ukraine as a Turning Point: The Transformation of the European Union into a Security Actor in the Reconstruction of the European Security Order

The process that started with the annexation of Crimea in 2014 has caused a deep stress in the European security order. Russia not only threatened the European security architecture but also for the first time Russia openly challenged it by its actions. As such, the war in Ukraine has been a turning point in both international relations and European security policy. Accordingly, the European Union (EU) has altered its foreign and security policy. Until then, the EU has acted within the framework of its responsibility to protect the security of its members through a normative structure and peaceful methods as a representative of a multilateral world order as a peace project.  However, after the Russian aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, it has now adopted a power-oriented policy. Increased cooperation with NATO, the will to break all kinds of existing dependency relations, strict sanctions ranging from economy to energy policy and the increase in the use of military force have been indicators that Europe has entered a transformation. After 2022, its attempt to influence international relations and the international system with more solid means has demonstrated that the EU is an actor that does not completely abandon its liberal and constructivist identity but reacts realistically. 

This article analyses how Russia's attack on Ukraine entailed a change for Europe within the debate of the realism and constructivism framework. In this context, it is tried to reveal the transformation of the EU after 2022, which is now accepted as a turning point, and how the process of building a common foreign and security policy has shaped the future of Europe.

Keywords: European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Security Policy, Strategic Autonomy

Oktay Hekimler (Tekirdag Namık Kemal University),

Hakan Cavlak( Tekirdag Namık Kemal University),


Michal Malý (Charles University), Who Holds the Power in Digital Parties? The Case of the Czech Pirate Party

Digital platforms play a dominant role in shaping (part of) the public sphere and are increasingly being adopted by political parties. These platforms connect people to various services, such as taxis and food delivery, by utilizing social media and Big Data to personalize their offerings. Political parties have embraced a similar approach, leading to the digitalization of political movements in two distinct forms: the gradual adaptation of existing parties and the emergence of new (digital) parties. Most existing research on digital parties has primarily focused on movements in Western Europe, such as the Spanish Podemos, the Italian Five Star Movement, and the German Pirate Party. Shifting the focus to Eastern Europe and examining the case of the Czech Pirate Party provides a unique opportunity. This paper specifically delves into the Czech Pirate Party, offering a comprehensive analysis of its intra-party democracy and power relations within the digital landscape. The analysis draws upon 7 interviews conducted with party members and an examination of party documents and websites. By addressing the question of who wields power in Czech Pirate Party, this study aims to make a contribution to the ongoing discourse surrounding digital parties.


Keywords: Czech pirate party, digital party, intra-party democracy, power, pirate parties

Michal Malý (Charles University),


***, Chronology of the Romanian Political Life, October 1, 2023 - March 31, 2024


EUGENE M. AVRUTIN, Racism in Modern Russia. From the Romanovs to Putin, Bloomsbury Academic, 2022 (Mădălina Miron, Babeș-Bolyai University)


DORU LIXANDRU, Carol al II-lea, carlismul și carliștii în România anilor 1930, Corint, 2023 (Răzvan Ciobanu, Babeş-Bolyai University)


CĂTĂLIN RAIU, Public Governance and Religion. Key Historical Turns in Modern Romania, Editura CH Beck, 2023 (Ionuţ - Ciprian Negoiţă, Bucharest University of Economic Studies)