Studia Politica, vol. VI, no. 3, 2006
By mid 19th Century, three forms of how a republic should be shaped up were available for the political theorists and activists of Europe: the republic of Lamartine, the republic of Blanc, and the republic of Bonaparte. In this framework, the paper draws on the contribution of Mazzini and the London Manifestos to the framing of modern democracy.
The Bible in the City. Political Vision and Consent of the People as seen by John of Paris
Focused on the analysis of the Treaty De potestate regia et papali by John of Paris, this study is an attempt to seize the political vision of this French Dominican, who lived from the second half of the 13th century to the beginning of the 14th century, within the theological context shaped by the controversy between Philip IV of France and Boniface VIII. The method adopted in this article supposes, on one hand, the investigation of the political thought of John of Paris, taking as a starting point the relations between the Papacy and the royal power; and, on the other hand, the definition of the role attributed by the former to the popular masses and to the notion of political consent. Whether it is the consent regarding taxation, the popular support accorded to the royal power, or the opinion of the College of Cardinals concerning the deposition of a Pope, we notice that, according to the French Dominican, the actions that trigger the public good must be approved by the community. Since the focal point of our study is the treatise De potestate regia et papali, we have chosen to invoke oftentimes the biblical references used by John of Paris, in order to observe the hermeneutical differences present in the writings of Giles of Rome and Henry of Cremona, authors who, even though they interpret the same texts, would eventually reach the contrary conclusions.
The ”Voice” of the Nation. Politics and Representation in the Romanian Parliament – 1866-1871
The article examines a few episodes during the 1866-1871 legislatures of the Romanian Parliament. The debate on the annual budget for 1867 represents a good opportunity for the members of the Parliament to define politics as a matter of opinion, with negative connotations, in opposition to the face-value and clearness represented by the mathematical percentages and figures. The latter ought to guide, in their opinion, good governance, which does not belong to the realm of politics. According to such a mental scheme, the members of both Chambers of the Parliament appear to be convinced that majoritarian politics and the fragmentation of the political parties must be utterly rejected in order to adequately realize representation. The difficulty of the Romanian members of the Parliament to define politics influences their difficulty to define their own role, namely the nature of political representation.
Evolution of the Cleavage on the Issue of Communist Past and the Process of Democratization
This paper discusses why the issue regarding the relationship with the recent past is still so important in Romanian politics and how the 2004 electoral events can be regarded as a moment of the history illustrating the cleavage between ”anti-communists” and ”ex-communists”, even though at first sight the political discourses were not characterized by the confrontation on the communist past. The second part explains how, in the Romanian case, the political use of the communist past rendered impossible the reach of a minimum consensus on the critical consideration of the recent past. Other issues discussed question in what respects this illustrates a problematic democratization process, and how this leads to difficulties in the institutionalization of democracy because it involves the core identity of the political community.
This study analyzes the support for democracy in two Eastern European countries, Romania and Bulgaria, and emphasizes the importance of cultural factors for favourable attitudes towards democracy. Since other theories can not fully explain the growing differences between countries in the region, the author examines and suggests the utility of the theory of social capital. His findings indicate that social trust and civic activism relate somehow to political interest and political competence, but also to the democratic attitudes exhibited in these two countries. The conclusion is that social capital, although important for the spread of democratic values and for the full consolidation of democracy, adds little to the democratic values in Romania and Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian Minority in Romania. Between the Conservation of One’s Ethnic Identity and the Emergence of the Political Representation after 1989
The present article summarises the results of empirical research conducted in the two Bulgarians’ communities in Romania. The general problems are declined in two axes, historical and political. The historical approach aims at showing the coming of Bulgarians to Romania and briefly maps and follows the various waves of immigration. For its part, the political approach analyzes the current political situation. The article is a valuable empirically-based contribution to the study of the processes of integration of the national minorities in Romania.
Romanians at the Free University of Brussels. The Recipients of a PhD Title in Political and Administrative sciences, 1885-1899
The present article brings to the fore several details, which had been either unknown or only partially familiar to the Romanian historiographers. The author refers to the academic trajectories of the 14 young Romanians (almost half originating from Bucharest or Iaºi), who obtained their PhD in political and administrative sciences at the Free University of Brussels between 1885 and 1899. Over a third of them were also doctors in law. Of the 92 PhDs in political science awarded in Brussels between 1885-1899, the Romanians were on the second position in a formal hierarchy of the students who were not of Belgian descent. The foreigners counted 51 students, and the list was dominated by the Bulgarians, who had obtained 21 diplomas, while the Japanese held a distant third place with merely 4 PhD degrees.
The Evolution of Women’s Participation in Politics. The Romanian and the Belgian Cases between the Two World Wars
The article focuses on the comparison between the Romanian and the Belgian feminisms between the Wars. The author presents the evolution of political parties and of feminism in Romania and in Belgium, continues with the presentation of the actions of feminists to obtain the political rights, and ends with a comparative approach of the feminists’ discourses. Thus, the author points to a number of strong resemblances concerning the two feminisms as doctrines, as well as in what concerns the praxis, with similar types of actions in view of obtaining political rights. In fact, between the Wars, the Romanian feminism was attempting to integrate in the great network of international feminism. However, while Romania used the Belgian model for its own constitutional and political development, there were also important differences between the two countries. The article stresses the national specificity of Romania and Belgium, observing the independence of Romanian feminists ”vis-à-vis” the parties versus the enrolment of women in political parties in Belgium, the political regime of the two countries being another object of this research.
Universalism Particularised. The Parliamentary Commissions for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men
Acknowledging the importance of gender studies for a rethinking of concepts such as democracy and citizenship, this article focuses on the development of the principle of equality of opportunities between men and women in post-communist Romania. More precisely, starting from a case study that analyzes the functioning of the parliamentary commissions for equality of opportunities, this study seeks to analyze how Romanian society internalized gender equality. In this framework, the author asserts that there is a gap between the institutional discourse and the daily realities and that the authorities still lack a coherent strategy for overcoming traditional attitudes concerning women’s status within society. Considering the important role of international and regional organizations in transposing equality of opportunities in national legislation, this article provides a necessary insight into the dynamics of this principle within the United Nations and the European Union. The case study is based on an analysis of legal sources governing the functioning of the parliamentarian commissions, as well as on interviews with some of its members, seeking to reveal their goals and their comprehension of gender equality.
The Role of Historical Film-Making during Ceauºescu’s Dictatorial Regime within the Project of ”Building the Socialist Nation”
Cinematography was deliberately organized, financed and oriented towards the purposes of the system and consequently became the most effective element of political and cultural pedagogy. The synchronic correlation between word and image, the power of visual suggestibility, empathy as an emotional response to the actors’ performance – all these had immediate effects on the collective imaginary, on the perception of reality as a social and identity-forging project determined by the emergence of the ideological discourse. The Romanian socialist cinematography from the time of Ceauºescu synthesized and systemized a coherent and explicit system of values wherein it integrated the message of literary and other artistic works, of variegated forms of cultural expression, so that Romanian cultural axiology could find new possibilities to stand out in strict dependence to the institutional and optional structures of mass culture. The cinema per se thus became a sort of pedagogy for universal use, rendering the past heroic, as it exacerbated the national ego via the instruments of entertainment. Highly permeated ideologically and quasi entirely subordinated to the Communist cultural policies, the cinema production, carried out because of the appeal to emotions and collective memory, thus became part of the official discourse and orientated its issues, especially after the 11th Congress of RCP, according with the political and ideological interests of the national Communist project. The analysis focuses on the Romanian historical films with subjects and episodes relevant for the ancient and medieval history, in relation with the efforts of identity reconstruction, coordinated during the Communist regime in relationship with the project of the socialist nation’s building and, after 1989, in relationship with the attempt of reconsolidating, sometimes from a radical perspective, the nationalist mythologies. Socialist patriotism thus incorporated many stereotypes drawn out from the ante-bellum, as well as from the inter-bellum Romanian spirit: the lyric of self-identification expressed by the film soundtrack and by the majestic character of the heroic gestures, the heroic epic obvious in the popular ballad pattern of pre-modern nature, the activist pedagogy specific to all forms of identitarianism. Despite all this ideological infusion, the mythology of Romanian historical films during the Communist nationalist times remains one of a sadistic-masochistic nature, cultivating the fear towards the Other, fatalism, expectation and obedience, all chronic and historicized.
Resistance or Culture? Post-modernism as a Cultural Option in Romania in the 80s
The article analyzes the issue of the resistance ”through” culture, applied to the phenomenon of the generation of the 80s (especially young poets and writers active between 1977 and 1986 in the university literary circles or in the wider landscape of the Romanian culture of the time). The study focuses on three levels of analysis: even though the intentions of these authors were mainly aesthetic, the complex assembly constituted by their literary productions combined with the context of their social activity was in formal contradiction with the politics of the regime; but, in itself, this contradiction could not have a considerable impact on the broader categories of Romanian readers; anyway, it was not supported by a coherent group choice. Nevertheless, on a third and deeper stratum, this led to a specific type of resistance: a resistance ”inside” the totalitarian culture, situated at the level of the published text, as well as at that of the attitudes it transmitted. A text of this type would not contain a discourse that might be identified as ”alternative” by the regime; instead, it concealed – embedded in its internal architecture - an exercise of the thought which simply precluded the installation of the ”wooden” language and the fixation of the thought.
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