Studia Politica, vol. VIII, no. 3, 2008
The Shadow of the Empire. Russian-Romanian relations, 1991-2006
The aim of this article is to analyze the bilateral relations between Romania and the Russian Federation from the dismantlement of the USSR until the accession of Romania to the European Union. The main thesis that we shall try to demonstrate is that, for several reasons, these relations remained very ambiguous during this whole period. One the one hand, there are historical causes of a strong russophobia among the Romanian population, which prevented a rapprochement between the two countries after the fall of communism. On the other hand, Russia's prestige as a great power and its proximity to Romania makes it impossible to ignore when it comes to foreign policy. The position of the different Romanian governments oscillated between these two negative attitudes. We shall try to explain the policy conducted by the Romanian decision-makers by using three types of variables: history, domestic politics and international environment.
Policies of Repression of ”Begging as An Occupation” during the First Half of the 19th Century
At the beginning of the 19th century, the political authorities of Wallachia were using two apparently different approaches, but in complementary, regarding the beggars, namely social care and repression. Their common denominator is that they intended to unconditionally forbid begging. By examining public archive documents, we intend to present the theoretical organization of a new public social care institution (the beggars’ institute) and the way it practically functioned. The beggars’ institute was an establishment with a double mission: care and repression. Different records and documents about the institute’s functioning (administrative correspondence, demands of confinement or releasing, etc.) allowed us to examine the beneficiaries of this type of social care and the confinement procedures; the institute’s internal organization (its security or its curative capacities); the abuses authorities sometimes committed when hasting to keep beggars away from the public space; releasing conditions from the institute; perceptions (of ordinary people or of authorities) on the institute and the beggars.
The Post 1848 Heritage in the Late 19th Century Romanian Political Thought
The post 1848 period represents for the Romanian political thinkers a turning point not only in restructuring the constitutional order, but also in reconsidering and rebuilding the new meanings of Democracy as a concept. The hesitancies of those who think of Romanian Nation as a milestone of the new democratical institutions are often due to the fact that several authors of this period have a strong tendency of reinterpreting the western liberal ideas and concepts in the Romanian Nation-building context. The results of such theories are placing in the same position two aspects that in the 19th century liberalism are generally considered to be if not completely antagonistic, at least clearly separated: the vocation or the instinct of being democratic, on the one hand, and the genealogically-built Nation type. The contradiction between these two directions should be perhaps read as a source of misunderstandings in the Romanian 19th century national-liberalism, especially in the matter of rethinking concepts as citizenship, liberty, political legitimacy in a close relationship with the ethnic-based national identity.
The Romanian Political Parties. The Story of an Unexpected Development
The Post-communist party systems are often presented as extremely fragmentised and the political parties which emerged after the breakdown of communism are characterised by their blurred link with the civil society, by weak membership structures and a strong tendency towards the colonization of the state. The mainstream literature considers, in the case of the new democracies, the existence of a strong tendency towards the emergence of a centralisation of power at the level of party leadership which describes both the party creation and party development phases. Nevertheless, at the level of the empirical studies little attention has been paid to the analysis of party organizations and their internal articulation of power. In this context, the study aims at providing a general image of the party organisational features during the party institutionalisation process in a particular case: the post-communist Romania. The paper explores the main characteristics of the party on the ground, party in central office and party in public office components of the main Romanian political parties and the relationship established between them. The conclusions of the study emphasize the sui generis features of the Romanian political party development process which favours an unexpected reinforcement of the local party organisations and the emergence of linkage mechanisms between different party layers.
Nationalism and Multiculturalism in an Urban Community: the Case of Sibiu, European Capital of Culture 2007
A common argument for the nomination of the Romanian city of Sibiu as European Capital of Culture 2007 by the European Commission is the actual local multiculturalism, that makes the city to seem somehow different when regarding the more general ethnic background in Romania. The aim of this article is therefore to map the local multiculturalism and identify his limits. The conclusion is that the local context is multicultural in fact, yet some ethnic tensions are to be taken into account. These tensions are rather symbolic and still weak, and are related to the way one might conceive local public space. The findings not only confirm the initial supposition, but they could become a starting point for a future comparative analysis of ethnic contexts in Romania.
This article retraces the contours of the artistic policies applied by the Romanian and Chilean dictatorial regimes in the period 1970-1990. It does so by looking specifically at institutions and policies from a historical perspective (the before and the after). Moreover, the two regimes are placed in a comparative perspective with democratic regimes and totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. The purpose of this double comparison is to advance a framework of analysis of artistic policies in dictatorial regimes that is comprehensive and that could be extended to other cases.
The paper examines the contemporary developments of the the Ummah, a concept that began to receive more attention due to the globalization of political Islam. Since the Ummah is one of Islam’s ultimate goals, the Muslim Brotherhood started to strive for this concept through its political activity over the past decades and through its involvement on the international stage. The essay is divided into three parts. The first part analyzes the concept of Ummah and its implications with regard to Arab and Islamic unity. The second part searches for the reasons of the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and around the Muslim and Arab World. Furthermore, this part scrutinizes the ideological and political factors that determined the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the strife for the Ummah. The third part looks into the role that the Muslim Brotherhood plays on the international stage concentrating on its foreign policy stances with regard to the all-inclusive Ummah. This essay concludes that the Egyptian Brethren became a model for political achievements through their moderate standpoint thus giving a real hope to those Muslims looking towards unifying the Ummah.
Customary Law and Consent in Bartolus of Sassoferrato
In the present article, my aim is to study some of the political treaties of Bartolus of Sassoferrato, from the perspective of the idea of consent in the Middle Ages. Although the concept is not explicitly mentioned in the three political treaties which I have examined so far (Tractatus de Guelphis et Gebellinis, Tractatus de regimine civitatis and Tractatus de tyranno), Bartolus mentions within his juridical writings the notion of tacit consent, expressed as tacita voluntas populi. Starting with the Tractatus de Guelphis et Gebellinis, Bartolus seems to be interested in the classification of political regimes, with the goal of identifying the best regime. The opposite of the best regime would be the regime of tyranny, which never pursues the common good of the citizens. The discrete intervention of the principle of consent in the political treaties of Bartolus takes place with the question regarding the necessity of a general consent for the elimination of the tyrant. Legitimating thus any attempt of installing a better political regime, Bartolus proves to be as prudent as Thomas Aquinas when the Italian jurist avoids, in the Tractatus de Guelphis et Gebellinis, to give a definite answer to the question of reversing a tyrannical regime. The hesitative answer of Bartolus concerning tyranny in this treaty does not diminish the role of will, when it comes to change the meaning of the notion of affectio for a citizen. My research has put forward the fact that the most significant situation, both from the juridical and the political point of view, is that of the tyrant ex defectu tituli. In times of tyranny, all contracts are null because no one has the capacity to decide what is just. The tyrant ex defectu tituli can no longer legitimate his power, although he may subsequently govern, by respecting the will of the citizens. Far from assigning a marginal role to the idea of consent, Bartolus transforms it into the fundamental principle of his favorite regime, which is the incarnation of the popular sovereign will itself: regimen ad populum.
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