Studia Politica, vol. X, no. 2, 2010
Romania, postcommunism, parties, politics, policies
The paper attempts to offer a rather sketchy analysis of Romanian postcommunist politics with the help of Theodore J. Lowi typology of political processes. The collapse of communism can be seen as a sudden disorganization of the patterns of both constituent and regulative processes set up during the communist rule, annihilating by the same token the redistributive capacities of the political system and reordering the logics of its distributive policies. Striving to rearrange the postcommunist constituent arena in order to become the political subjects of the new regime, parties in the making formulated a sequence of operational definitions of democracy while engaging in distributive processes as vectors of their own organizational production. However, these constituent blueprints proved to be constantly caught in the trap of the interplay of the other processes, especially in the collision of the regulative and the distributive ones. So, quite rapidly, Romanian party and democratic politics became less the agent of the transformation and more the byproduct of an erratic and ungoverned political change.
Romania, Junimea, political philosophy, natural State, organicism
Following on from the previous article on the founding principles of the State in Eminescu’s works, this article strives to show that the reference to nature, far from elucidating the question of the State in Junimea, in fact makes it more complicated. The notion of ”nature” can take on different meanings and lead both to a rational, potentially universal, ”natural right” and to a specific normativity, peculiar to a being/to a people and which differentiates it from others. Embedded in the naturalist model, the organism model allows the thinking out of both an authoritarian conservatism and an individualistic liberalism. It is therefore not certain that these two theses achieve a summary of Junimea’s political ideology. However, the Junimists, just like the Forty-Eighters before them, knew very well how to exploit the diverging and complementary orientations of those themes in order to develop their national ideology.
Romanian orthodoxy, Church-State relationships, nation building, public religion, modernity
This article aims to explore the conceptual relationship between political and religious identity in XIXth century Romania, according to the writings of Melchisedec Ştefănescu, bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Although his works have been valued mainly as a contribution to the political union of the Romanian Principalities in 1859, we believe that it is necessary to revisit the mainstream of modern Romanian historiography. This endeavor might allow us to understand both its continuities and fractures that undermine the official image of an ”organic” evolution between ”Romanianess” and Orthodoxy, with important consequences on the definition of Romanian Modernity. Furthermore, we investigate the hypothesis according to which the inconsistencies of Melchisedec Ştefănescu’s public discourse (liberal and progressive in the 1850’s and reactionary conservative in the 1880’s) have a more subtle meaning, suggesting a metamorphosis of the bishop’s theological perspective, which seems to evolve from a rationalist approach to a mystical and ”national” orthodoxy, preparing thus the way for the emergence of a ”Theology of Nation” in interwar Romania.
Society of Nations, politics, diplomacy
The author analyses fourteen letters, part of Helene Vacaresco’s private correspondence – she was Romania’s permanent delegate to the Society of Nations. The letters date from April 1926 to January 1927 and thirteen of them are addressed to her friend Michel Boereso who was then head of the Politic Department of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Helene Vacaresco expresses her opinions – free from all official constraints – with regard to internal and international politics and to diplomatic world.
Interwar Romania, National Peasant Party, conservatism
The aim of the article is to reframe the political ideas Dimitrie Gusti has been expressed alongside two decades of the interwar period, through the conservative political doctrine. Dimitrie Gusti did not relate his political perspective to the conservative label. Still, his political commitments and ideas, as these have been summed up in 1932-1933, when he was Ministry of Public Education in a Government led by National Peasant Party, allow seeing him amongst the leading personalities who have resumed the prewar conservatism in Romania. My arguments revolve around this latter thesis.
Women, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Islam, identity, subjectivity
In the context of post-war Bosnia, this article analyzes the processes by which Bosnian muslim women restructure their identities, combining different elements such as gender, religion and citizenship. Distancing themselves from prescribed social roles inherited from the Yugoslav era, they strive to forge individual subjectivities. This requires the recognition of a Bosnian national identity, which grounds their legitimity as citizens in public space. Our study then shows the different arrangements Muslim women (who chose to wear a hijab) make in an effort to articulate two powerful identity poles, namely gender and religion. Some directly link the two through their professional endeavours, creating NGOs or choosing to enter the political arena. Others struggle, reconsider their choice of a visible religious identity, as the perception of the hijab in the public sphere threatens their subjectivity as independent women, which they deem unacceptable. In all cases, their goal is to achieve professional excellence – as work is the most important symbol of autonomy and of recognition – and to contribute actively to the remodelling of Bosnian society after the war. Creating or restoring one's subjectivity is inextricably linked to a commitment to social reform at large, particularly on a gender level.
Autonomy, canon law, jurisdictional bodies, Constitution, religion
The principle of the autonomy of religious cults from the state is found in many of the Constitutions of European states and it has also been asserted by ECHR. In the case of Romania, this principle was noted for the first time by the 1869 Organic Statute of the Romanian Greek Orthodox Church of Hungary and Transylvania. This was not the case after 1918 when the term autonomy cannot be found in the 1923 Constitution, the 1928 Law on the general regime of religions or in the 1925 Statute of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The period of the communist regime marked the same absence of Church autonomy from the state in constitutional or canonical law. Only with the 1991 Constitution, this principle is constitutionally guaranteed by Article 29, paragraph 5. This article investigates the principle of autonomy from the perspective of Constitution and canon law comments, taking into account also the Law no. 489/2006 on the freedom of religions and the general regime of cults and the 2008 Romanian Orthodox Church Statute. A particular aspect of the autonomy, the right of religious denominations to have their own jurisdictional bodies is discussed by analyzing relevant provisions of the law and the Statute mentioned above and also the interpretations of the courts and the Constitutional Court. The conclusion is that the idea of autonomy is shaped in such a way to mirror a reflection in the canon law of the way in which the separation and balance of powers are conceived in constitutional law.
ADAM B. ULAM, Bolşevicii. Triumful comunismului în Rusia. O istorie intelectuală şi politică, Romanian transl. by Irina Cristea, Editura Corint, Bucureşti, 2009 (DAN-ALEXANDRU CHIŢĂ), pp. 361-369
PETER MOLLOY, The Lost World of Communism. An Oral History of Daily Life Behind the Iron Curtain, BBC Books, London, 2009 (ION ENACHE), pp. 369-373
RADU PREDA, Comunismul. O modernitate eşuată, Eikon, Cluj-Napoca, 2009 (CĂTĂLIN-VALENTIN RAIU), pp. 373-377
WENDY LOWER, Nazi Empire Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2005 (ALEXANDRA ILIE), pp. 377-379
RADU IOANID, Holocaustul în România: distrugerea evreilor şi romilor sub regimul Antonescu: 1940-1944, Hasefer, 2nd ed., Bucureşti, 2006 (CRISTINA MANOLACHE), pp. 379-382
ZOLTÁN ROSTÁS, Strada Latină nr. 8. Monografişti şi echipieri gustieni la Fundaţia Culturală Regală «Principele Carol», Curtea Veche, seria «Actual», Bucureşti, 2009 (SILVIA MARTON), pp. 382-384
JOERG C. TREMMEL, A Theory on Intergenerational Justice, Earthscan, London, 2009 (ADRIAN DOBRE), pp. 384-386
NANCY T. AMMERMAN (ed.), Everyday Religion. Observing Modern Religious Lives, Oxford University Press, 2007 (ROXANA MARIA ARAS), pp. 386-389
FAYE Z. BELGRAVE, KEVIN W. ALLISON, African American Psychology: From Africa to America, Sage Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks, 2006 (DANA BERDILĂ), pp. 389-392
ANTHONY DOWNS, O teorie economică a democraţiei, Romanian transl. by Şerban Cerkez, Institutul European, Iaşi, 2009 (DRAGOŞ DRAGOMAN), pp. 392-395