Studia Politica, vol. IX, no. 1, 2009
CRISTIAN PREDA, The Romanian Political System after the Parliamentary Elections of November 30, 2008, pp. 9-35
Romanian parties, elections 1990-2008
The article examines the evolution of Romanian politics in the period 1990-2008, discussing the level of participation, the effective number of parties, the electoral performances of the main political forces, the types of government and their parliamentary support.
DAN STOENESCU, Islamic and Arab Perspectives on Machiavelli’s Virtù, pp. 39-45
Virtue, Machiavelli, Islam, Ibn Zafar, Ibn Khaldun
This paper argues that although the concept of virtue is an ambiguous concept rooted in ancient Greek philosophy and remarkably developed by Machiavelli, the Islamic view of this term deserves more attention since it might provide a useful insight to a deeper understanding of how this concept is used in Eastern philosophies. This paper also argues that the concept of virtue in Islamic philosophy has many commonalities with Machiavelli’s concept of virtue although the last has certain revolutionary attributes for the European Middle Ages. The first part of the essay will discuss the various interpretations of the concept of virtue from the perspectives of Islamic scholars and that of Machiavelli. The second part will analyze the commonalities and the major differences between Machiavelli and two important Islamic scholars such as Ibn Zafar and Ibn Khaldun, both precursors of Machiavelli. This essay concludes that Machiavelli's concept of virtue (virtù) is not entirely an original concept although introducing the so-called vices as part of it is a revolutionary idea.
MIRELA CHIOVEANU, European Women at War (1914-1918), pp. 47-62
war, interventionism, women, emancipation, feminism, pacifism, trauma, memory
Working in agriculture and industry, as nurses with the Red Cross, or helping as auxiliaries in the Army, women are to many the unknown and unpraised heroes of the First World War. Their contribution to the war effort, sufferings and trauma have been ignored by governments at the time, and covered by the Great Deeds of politicians and generals, and the deafening noise of the great, heroic battles. From this perspective, the Romanian case is a paradigmatic one. Using the models developed by Gill Thomas and Maria Bucur, the present study investigates the participation of Western and Romanian women at war as reflected in documents, media, diaries. Following this, asymmetric comparison will help underline the similarities and differences between the ”home front” in England, France and Germany on one hand, and Romania on the other hand. Women emancipation, pacifism, socialism, feminism, war, trauma, and memory; are but a few issues introduced with this study. My intention was not to write a ”herstory”, defending women, and providing heroines, but to open a new, unexplored area of research that is too often considered unimportant or un-accessible. The main purpose was to analyse the impact of interventionist state policies on women life, and to reveal some European, and national outcomes of it. In this sense, the Great War represented an excellent case.
SORIN RADU, Wellington House and British Propaganda in an Original Document of 1916, pp. 63-80
Wellington House, British propaganda, neutral countries, World War I, secret propaganda
Our study is about the way Wellington House structured its activity, means and methods used in building propaganda in the world. Wellington House was the secret department of British propaganda during World War I, with the mission to create a positive image of the British Empire in the world, and also to counteract the propagandistic actions of the Central Powers, especially of Germany. There is no Romanian study about the activity of Wellington House. Our study is based on an original document found in National Historical Central Archives in Bucharest. The document shows the unofficial methods of propaganda used by the British government during World War I and it is dated September 1916. It is a very consistent report (112 pp.), written by Wellington House and it is addressed to the Foreign Office. The complete title of the document is Third Report on the Work Conducted for the Government at Wellington House. In order to understand the propagandistic methods that Wellington House used, we took into account to examples: USA, Greece, Italy and Romania. Those four countries, in the moment of writing the report, represented important strategically objectives for Great Britain and Entente. Our study demonstrates the fact that Great Britain used very sharp official and unofficial propagandistic methods with a double aim: to annihilate the German influence and to create a favourable stream for the four countries to join Entente into the war.
MIHAI CHIOVEANU, A Fragmented World. Cooperation, Conflict, and Conquest in Interwar Central East Europe, pp. 81-104
regionalism, federalism, nationalism, nation-building, geopolitics
In the aftermath of the Great War, national revolutions turned Central East Europe into a puzzle of independent nation-states. Two decades later, all those ”heirs” of the former multinational empires of the region hopelessly witnessed the collapse of the Versailles peace settlements, the misery of war, and thereafter successively experienced two different types of totalitarianism. From 1918 up to 1938 the region represented the most unstable part of the continent, a fragmented world dominated by deep insecurity, permanent suspicion, and exaggerated claims from all parts. The present paper focuses on the twisted road of the independent nation-states of Central East Europe from a promising future to a common tragedy. Its first aim is to find an answer to two basic questions: 1) why regional co-âoperation as a proper solution to all unresolved problems and tension was not accepted?, 2) are the historical actors of the region innocent victims of Nazi aggression, or the tragedy of the war is the final consequence of their political and economic needs as well? The first part of this paper, which is a short overview of the first decisive decade of 1918-1929, will present in general lines the impact of the Versailles peace settlements on the evolution of the region, the way in which it shaped not only borders but also the political decisions of the moment. 1918 represented a national revolution that resolved, in a formal sense, the national question but with quite different consequences. The issue of regional co-operation and Danubian confederate projects will be discussed on the second part. Different perspectives and visions on the region, including German Mitteleuropa, French L’Europe Centrale, as well as Czechoslovak, Hungarian, and Polish plans will come under scrutiny. My intention is to underline the fact that the traumatic history of the region between the two world wars was shaped not only by geopolitics and vested interests, that the ”artisans” of the failure of regional coooperation, not to mention federal or confederal projects as a way to regulate diplomatic relations and offer a base for reconciliation efforts, are, first of all, the ”little powers” of Central East Europe. At the end, the paper will reconsider the expansion of Nazi Germany towards East, a region where, due to remnant tensions among the small nation-states and within staled societies, Hitler exploited the absence of any kind of resistance and collective security system. What facilitated the task of Nazi Germany when it comes to include some of the states into Lebensraum, transform others into satellites and/or unconditional allies, and thus impose its vision on the region makes my attention.
MONICA ANDRIESCU, Identity Politics under National Communist Rule. The Rhetoric Manifestations of Nicolae Ceauşescu’s ”Nationality Policy” in 1970s Romania, pp. 105-117
identity, minority, national communism, rhetoric, Hungarian
This article aims to identify and analyze the variations of Nicolae Ceauþescu’s rhetoric concerning the ”co-inhabiting nationalities” during the 1970s as a legitimacy-seeking gambit. The article argues that two of the key explanatory variables that influenced the escalation of anti-minority discourse and measures were the Romanian-Hungarian interstate relations and the resistance of the ethnic Hungarians in Romania to aggressively assimilationist strategies. This analysis is inscribed into a wider field of research (Critical Discourse Analysis), and is aimed at ascertaining political discourse as a key generator and projector of political-societal developments and determinant of identity formation.
ŞERBAN FILIP CIOCULESCU, The Rebirth of Geopolitics in Post-Communist Romania. Ideas, Role and Collective Imaginary, pp. 119-151
geopolitics, intellectual tradition, ontological anxiety, mass psychology, foreign policy imaginary
The paper examines the historical developments of the controversial scientific discipline of geopolitics in Romania and the aim of our contribution is exactly to clarify the status and role of geopolitics as a possible branch of social sciences, the main schools of thought, authors, and topics. If the interwar tradition of Romanian geopolitics is generally well popularized in universities and research institutions, the contemporary autochthonous geopolitical discourse is largely ignored by our scientific reviews of sociology and social sciences. We put the basic question: why this geopolitics’ reemergence happened in the 90s? One can mention the historical intellectual tradition, the ontological anxiety produced by the new status of Romania as an independent state not covered by any great power’s security guaranty or by an alliance, the foreign policy identity crisis produced by the difficulty to decide if Romania was a Western, an Eastern or a Central European state, plus the sensitive domestic situation at the beginning of the 90s, the mass psychology focusing on external threats and conspiracy against Romania’s interests. A special emphasis is put on the foreign policy imaginary which is still heavily dominated by the materialist and deterministic vision on Romania’s role as an EU and NATO member. After collecting many of the available proofs, be they texts, debates, institutional activities, opinions, we can generally conclude that there has been a revival of geopolitics in Romania, which became obvious in the first half of the previous decade, immediately after the end of the Cold War.
ADRIANA PLACANI, On Liberalism and Neutrality, pp. 153-165
liberalism, neutrality, minorities, Rawls, public reason
This essay assesses the legitimacy of liberal political theory relative to one of the major theoretical features that it advances—neutrality. The paper considers the latter in light of accommodations, restrictions, and protections for minority groups. The main purpose of this project is to illustrate both how and why liberal political theory is compromised by its focus on neutrality. I counter the deeply liberal conception of the individual, which is understood as an autonomous individual characterized by personal freedom. Personal freedom involves moral self-determination, based on an individual’s right to pursue his or her well-being. Neutrality is sometimes offered by liberal political theorists as a means of resolving the deep conflicts in pluralist societies by various groups. An important part of this work will constitute in a review and assessment of John Rawls’s formulation of neutrality in most depth. I will argue that as it is envisaged by liberal political theory, neutrality necessitates reconsideration because of its virtual absence of provisions for minority groups. My research is aimed at revealing that in order for liberal political theory to succeed in its claims of universality and fundamental rights, it must properly address the position of minority groups within society.
LUCIEN JAUME, Tocqueville (MIRUNA TĂTARU-CAZABAN), pp. 169-170
WILL KYMLICKA, Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007 (MONICA ANDRIESCU), pp. 170-174
JAMES WALLER, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007 (VIOREL ANTONIO CIOCAN-FONTANINE), pp. 174-177
JAMES SUROWIECKI, The Wisdom of Crowds, Brown Book Group, Little, UK, 2005 (RADU GANEA), pp. 177-179
AREND LIJPHART, Thinking about Democracy: Power Sharing and Majority Rule in Theory and Practice, Routledge, London & New York, 2008 (DRAGOŞ DRAGOMAN), pp. 179-182
CATHERINE ACHIN et alii, Sexe, genre et politique, Éditions Economica, Paris, 2007 (IONELA BĂLUŢĂ), pp. 182-185
RADU CARP, DACIAN GRAŢIAN GAL, SORIN MUREŞAN, RADU PREDA, În căutarea binelui comun. Pentru o viziune creştină a democraţiei româneşti, Eikon, Cluj-Napoca, 2008 (IULIANA CONOVICI), pp. 185-188