Studia Politica, vol. VI, no. 4, 2006
How to Domesticate Democracy? Political-institutional Problems in Liberal Italy
The article analyses the fundamental traits of Italian liberalism in the second half of the 19th century. Based on the unique understanding and welding together of different theoretical models (English, French, German), Italian liberalism has been building a ”politics of mediation”, directly connected to the new parameters of the political-social sciences. The main goal is that of neutralising political conflict, in its more extreme manifestations, with respect to a liberal order that seeks to preserve and defend itself from any risk that might creep into the fabric of democracy.
Public law and political science have a lot in common, since for both disciplines politics is a defining phenomenon and an epistemic category of the highest relevance. What separates starkly the two fields of knowledge is the diametrically opposed position which they adopt towards this common point of reference. Whereas political scientists have more of an inclination to recognize and perhaps celebrate – rather than conceal – politics, public lawyers (save perhaps for the various ”legal realist” schools), contrariwise, seek to the utmost to drive a wedge between politics and public law proper. Classical constitutionalist theory and practice coagulated around a number of coherent bright-line foundational distinctions. These distinctions rendered the separation between law and politics easier to both conceptualize and maintain in public law adjudication. The twentieth-century departure of modern state practices from the classical paradigm has created a number of tensions, which pose nowadays various problems and raise a number of important dilemmas regarding the limits and legitimacy of public law adjudication.
Pluralism and Representation. The Ambiguous Make Up of Romanian Post-communist Political Actors
If post-communism is to be seen as a political system change toward democracy, it should be analyzed as an effort to integrate several fundamentals of democracy that communism completely rejected or ignored. One of these fundamentals was pluralism. This paper tries to explore the way pluralism received a contradictory political meaning at the beginnings of Romanian post-communism, the way it informed electoral institutions and political actors and eventually failed in becoming a core value of the political system of post-communist Romania.
The Hesitancy of the Romanian Democracy. The 1848 Moment
Representing democracy in the XIXth century Romanian political thought means, first of all, to focus the analysis on the implications the concept of democracy could provide. In the after 1848 revolution period, the concept of Romanian democracy and its place within political discourse are conditioned by philosophical and historiographical discontinuities between the periods, the intellectual sources, the political and institutional framework of that time. In those senses, democracy should be regarded as a fundamental concept to political and institutional development in the last three decades of XIXth century. In the critical approach of democracy as it appears in the Romanian political discourse, the vocation or the instinct of being democratic is constantly denied by a more plausible approach – the ”national” democracy. This aspect might serve as an explanation to the multiple hesitations of the democratical background of the founding Romanian institution.
”Cultural Revolution” and ”Social Engineering” in the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic – 1924-1940
The creation of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (MASSR) can be integrated within the social and political context that prevailed in the USSR during the 1920s. This political entity was itself engaged in elaborating an appropriate form for the organization of its ”statehood” (gosudarstvennost’). Similar to the other union or autonomous republics, the MASSR was far from being effectively autonomous, either in the economic or the political sphere. The fundamental fact that legitimized its emergence was the purported existence, on this territory, of a distinct ethno-national community: the Moldavians. Formed in 1924 according to an ad hoc decision of the central authorities for reasons of international politics (or, rather, international strategy), the MASSR became the object of a discontinuous national and cultural policy throughout its entire existence up to 1940. Several interest groups competed, first, for the administration of this territorial entity. Later, the focus of this competition shifted to the definition and creation of the fundamental components of the ”titular nationality’s” identity, expressed through national language, national culture, and national history. These interest conflicts resulted in a piecemeal and inefficient application of the projected measures aimed at social democratization and modernization and subsumed under the label of ”cultural revolution”. The process in question included simultaneous policies of ”indigenization” (korenizatsiia), literacy and educational campaigns. The repeated failures of this self-styled revolutionary project proved a major obstacle for the unitary national identification of the presumably autochthonous population, contrary to the designs of the MASSR’s authorities.
The study is organized in seven subchapters that are presenting the causes and the history of the Transnistrian conflict, the war and also the structure and character of the mechanisms which were involved in the mediation process and the analysis of their solutions. There was identified a quadripartite mechanism which was created at the CSCE Helsinki Conference (23rd of March 1992) and which had as mediators the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Romania. This mechanism tried to mediate a cease-fire agreement. The study describes also the bilateral negotiations held between the Russian Federation and Moldova, which had actually annulled the previous mechanism, and which had succeeded in establishing a cease-fire agreement that set the path for the peaceful negotiations. This mechanism which entailed the bilateral negotiations was subsequently expanded with the inclusion of the OSCE mediators in 1993 that soon had proposed a solution which envisaged the creation of a federation. I had noted the main criticisms which were addressed to this solution. Another mechanism known as five-sided format was set in 1997 and it had included the two parties to the conflict (Transnistrian and Moldovan representatives), Russian and Ukrainian mediators which had acquired also the role of guarantors, and the OSCE mediators. This mechanism had envisaged negotiations upon several solutions as the OSCE Plan, the Kozak Memorandum, and the Youshtchenko Plan, all of which had stipulated the creation of a Moldovan federation. However, the negotiations concerning these solutions didn’t lead to a major breakthrough. The conflict resolution process, as stressed by the peacemaking concept, also could entail initiatives from the non-governmental organizations or individual initiatives. In order to prove this point I had characterized Three D Strategy Plan, which was propped up by the Moldavian civil society, and Belkovski Project, which came as an individual initiative, but however claimed to represent the official Russian stance. Another individual initiative came from Vladimir Voronin, the Moldovan president, and it envisaged a law on Transnistria’s special legal status. Finally, the analysis focuses on the recent developments of the conflict which had again expanded the resolution mechanism with the inclusion of the United States and European Union as observers. In the description of the 5+2 negotiation format, there were traced the future prospects of this new mechanism. Throughout the presentation of the Transnistrian conflict, there were examined the implication of the 14th Army in this conflict and especially its influence on the mediation process, as well as the influence of the Russian mediators.
Who Makes Romanian Foreign Policy? Legal Framework and Informal Balances in Decision-making
While the creation of public policies usually requires a process of consultation of the stakeholders, foreign policy is an exception to this rule. The concentration of the decision-making competences at the peak of the institutional architecture of the State is a characteristic that has lead scholars to consider it as pertaining to high politics. Nevertheless, identifying the main actors of decision-making is a relevant issue when it comes to the attribution of responsibility for a State’s external action. This issue is at the heart of this article, which tries to locate this kind of responsibility for the post-communist Romanian foreign policy. Thus, after outlining the main theoretical tools that can be used for such an endeavor, the author proceeds to examine the legal and institutional framework that circumscribes foreign policy decision-making in Romania. The third part of the article is dedicated to a deeper approach to the informal relations established between the persons holding the key positions in the decision-making apparatus, based on a methodology that triangulates official documents, interviews with Romanian officials, and autobiographic texts published by the latter.
LAURENȚIU VLAD, România la Expoziția Internaționalã de la New York (1939-1940). Un moment din istoria diplomației culturale autohtone: documente privind înființarea și funcționarea unui birou de propagandã în SUA, pp. 949-958
Romania at the New York World’s Fair – 1939-1940. A Sequence of the History of Romanian Cultural
The author examines the creation and functioning of the Romanian propaganda office at the General Commission of Romania for the New York World’s Fair (1939-1940). He analyses two previously unpublished documents from the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, relevant to the topic under scrutiny. The activity of the office was coordinated by the diplomat Andrei Popovici. His subordinates were the press attaché from the Romanian Legation in the USA, Horia Babeº, Paul Sterian, economic councilor, and Petre Neagoe, writer. The monthly budget was 750 $ (the rate of those years) for the daily expenses and salaries. The propaganda office started its activity in January 1939. It used to publish a bulletin, to help to issue stamps, to prepare propaganda posters, to publish and translate brochures. It also used to send presentations of Romania to journals, such as Cleveland News, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, New York World Telegram etc., and articles on Romania to newspapers (Annalist, Journal of Commerce etc.), or to occasional publications (Going to the Fair, a Preview, International Guide etc.). The images the propaganda office used to handle were reproducing usual elements of the domestic and foreign official discourse of Charles II: Romania was a totally new country, based on a new social contract (”the royal revolution”), that was looking persistently towards ”tomorrow’s world” (the slogan of the American fair); this future was built with Romanian resources and strengths, mobilized by ”the king of young people and of the peasants”.
The study focuses on the multiple shifts that took place in the relations between Britain and Romania during the Cold War. The imperatives of new internal and international demands faced by Britain and Romania immediately after the Second World War led to tense British-Romanian relations in the 1950s. The diplomatic relations between the two countries changed in the 1970s when Ceauºescu pursued his independent policy, denying any other authority within the communist bloc. How important for Britain was Romanian defiance within the Communist block? Was Britain’s goal to restrict Soviet expansion and possibly make inroads into Moscow’s sphere of influence or was it concerned more with the economic aspects of the relationship with Romania? Eventually, British foreign policy towards Romania materialised in strong political and economic support to Ceauºescu. In the late 1980s Britain adopted a more adversarial stance towards Romania, with even the Prince of Wales condemning Ceauºescu’s domestic policy. The British criticism of the 1980s was followed by a new attitude of British policy-makers after the Revolution of 1989 which produced the good relations with Romania that continue to this day.
MIHAELA GRANCEA (coord.), Reprezentãri ale morții în Transilvania secolelor XVI-XX, Casa Cãrții de Științã, Cluj-Napoca, 2005 (SILVIA MARTON), pp. 975-979
EDIT SZEGEDI, Identitãți premoderne în Transilvania, Editura Fundației pentru Studii Europene, Cluj-Napoca, 2002 (SILVIA MARTON), pp. 975-979
SERGIU MIȘCOIU, Formarea natiunii. O teorie socio-constructivistã, EFES, Cluj-Napoca, 2006 (ZOLTÁN I. BÚZÁS), pp. 979-982
SORIN RADU, Modernizarea sistemului electoral din România (1866-1937), Institutul European, Iași, 2005 (IONELA BÃLUȚÃ), pp. 982-983
IOANA CÎRSTOCEA, Faire et vivre le postcommunisme. Les femmes roumaines face à la «transition», Éditions de l’Université de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, 2006 (ALEXANDRA PETRESCU), pp. 984-990
HERVÉ HASQUIN (sous la direction de), Les libéraux belges. Histoire et actualité du libéralisme, Éditions Labor, coll. «Quartier Libre», Bruxelles, 2006 (ALEXANDRA PETRESCU), pp. 990-997
RONALD INGLEHART, PIPPA NORRIS, Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change around the World, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2003 (DRAGOª DRAGOMAN), pp. 997-1004
HERWING REYNAERT, KRISTOF STEYVERS, PASCAL DELWIT, JEAN-BENOIT PILET (eds.), Revolution or Renovation. Reforming Local Politics in Europe, Part 1. Local Political Reforms in Europe, Vanden Broele Publishers, ”Comparative Local Politics Coll.”, Brugge, 2005 (IRINA BUJDER), pp. 1004-1008