Studia Politica, vol. XI, no. 1, 2011
DANIEL BARBU, Spiritul împotriva politicii. Despre intelectuali, Biserică şi integrare europeană (The Spiritual Against the Political. On Intellectuals, the Church, and European Integration) (pp. 9-24)
The paper provides the ideal-typical narrative of European integration manufactured by Romanian intellectuals and the official national Church (Greek-orthodox), that could be summarized as follows: in the realm of the spirit, Europe would have survived mainly in the East, shepherded by such intellectuals as the Romanian ones and by the spiritual legacy of the Orthodox Church; in political and economic terms, European Union is monitored according to secularist and relativist guidelines by the bureaucracy in Brussels. Whatever the latter, together with their Romanian counterparts, may have realized in the course of European enlargement is of little concern for the former. Both the Church and the mainstream intellectuals are engaged now in an operation that should have defined them long before the fall of state socialism: to boost intellectual non-conformity with respect to the political dominant discourse as a way of refusing the debate by taking it seriously. And they do it by means of the same narrative device that kept them silent under communism: they tell the story of the prevalence of culture and the spiritual over everything political.
European spirit, European integration, intellectuals, Church, post-secularism
ALEXANDRA IONAŞCU, Les élites politiques en Roumanie postcommuniste 1990-2008. Les voies d’accès au pouvoir exécutif (Political Elites in Post-communist Romania 1990-2008: Pathways to the Executive Power) (pp. 27-50)
The political regime change that occurred in Romania, along with the dismissal of communism, elicited a process of emergence of new political elites and of new patterns in the functioning of the country’s political institutions. But new political elites do not emerge ex nihilo and institutional changes are slower in practice than the ambition of change. Given the extensive absence of decision-making or technical expertise among the political actors, the new parties in government conducted a policy of cooption of personnel instituting new patterns of selection. The paper will emphasize the fact that, in the Romanian case, the process of professionalization of governmental personnel took the form of a long process, and that the protocols of the reconfiguration implied divergent strategies in what concerns the governments’ ministers and the secretaries of state. It will be shown that although the ministerial careers suggest the institutionalization of recruitment procedures similar to other European parliamentary democracies, the junior ministers’ level remained dominated by forms of cooption from outside the political realm.
Governmental elites, political recruitment, professionalisation, nomenklatura, postcommunism
Aiming at filling a gap in the existing literature, this paper advances the analysis of available alternatives to party representation, namely independent candidatures. For that reason, we consider the context of Eastern Europe, and particularly the last decade when a considerable number of independent candidatures have been advanced. Particularly, the Romanian political system provides one viable example for the examination of independent candidacies, with numerous independents running in the national and local elections which were held after 1989. Therefore, the focal objectives of this text are to identify the peculiarities of this particular breed of politicians, what stimulates them to run independently in elections, and also why certain parts of the electorate choose to vote for independent candidates.
Independent politicians, post-communist elections, local-level politics, party systems, Romanian politics
Although Romanian-Hungarian ethnic relations have been improved during the last two decades, they are still marked by recurrent crises that are rather symbolic. They range from the public use of Hungarian to the requirements for the Romanian citizenship and the special ties between the Hungarian diaspora and the kin state, but they encompass other issues, as the naming of localities in Transylvania, statues evoking national heroes and street names. Although generally overlooked, ethnic symbolism is a major obstacle in generating a neutral public space and a threat for a complete ethnic reconciliation in Transylvania for the decades to come.
Ethnic conflict, symbolic power, public space, post-communism, Transylvania, Romania
SONIA CATRINA, L’imaginaire paysan comme «mémoire historique». Patrimoine et construction de l’identité nationale par le biais des musées centraux (Peasant Imaginary as ”Historical Memory”. Patrimony and National Identity Construction through the Central Museums) (pp. 123-136)
In this paper, we analyze the relation between the museum and the notion of identity through a study of patrimonial logics which aim at forging an official collective memory. We rely on a study of the mediation function of central museums in building a national identity through an endeavor to shape a ”nation-memory” (”mémoire-nation”, Pierre Nora) which draws on peasant sources. The stake of this study lies in its ability to bring to light institutional forms of patrimony in the era of nationalist ideologies, of the formation and consolidation of the nation state. In which ways is the relationship between patrimony and national identity embodied in the scientific patrimonial projects of the museums? In trying to answer this question, we set out to explore how the patrimony is exploited in order to foster political projects. Addressing the issue of central museums as a kind of ”surface” where the collective identity is ”scratched” will help us shed lights on the metamorphoses of a ”localizing memory” (”mémoire localisante”, M.M. Carruthers) mobilized to build a shared identity.
Peasant, patrimony, identity, ”historical memory”, Nation-State
The Holocaust and the Great Famine in Ukraine are two man made catastrophes set in the XXth century. While the first is the most documented genocide in history, the latter tends to be dismissed by the international community as an ”ineffective policy” of the Soviet Union. Having managed to exclude political killings from the UN’s definition of genocide, Russia continues to deny the Ukrainian people access to information about the famine that left 6 million people dead of starvation. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian community insists that Holodomor was genocide and should be treated as such. By comparing these two grave tragedies, similarities inevitably surface. These similarities, along with other facts, like the ”cleansing” of the elites in the years preceding and during the famine, Stalin’s letter to Kaganovich (in which Stalin mentions his fear of losing Ukraine), the differential treatment Ukraine received as opposed to the other Soviet republics, the measures taken to worsen the famine and confine it to specific areas, paint a much clearer picture of what really happened in Ukraine during the Holodomor.
Genocide, famine, communism, fascism, mass killings, crimes against humanity
IOAN STANOMIR, Apărarea libertăţii. 1938-1947, Curtea Veche, Bucureşti, 2010 (RADU CARP), pp. 157-159
DAVID A. BLUMENTHAL, TIMOTHY L.H. McCORMACK (eds), The Legacy of Nuremberg: Civilizing Influence or Institutionalized Vengeance?, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston, 2008 (CRISTINA MANOLACHE), pp. 159-162
NORMAN M. NAIMARK, Stalin’s Genocides, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2010 (ALEXANDRA ILIE), pp. 162-166
BOGDAN MURGESCU, România si Europa. Acumularea decalajelor economice, Editura Polirom, Iaşi, 2010 (DAN-ALEXANDRU CHIŢĂ), pp. 167-171
SERGIU GHERGHINA, SERGIU MIŞCOIU (eds.), Partide şi personalităţi populiste în România postcomunistă, Institutul European, Iaşi, 2010 (CODRIN TĂUT), pp. 172-174
NICOLETA IONESCU-GURĂ, Dimensiunea represiunii din România în regimul comunist. Dislocări de persoane și fixări de domiciliu obligatoriu, Corint, București, 2010 (MONICA ANDRIESCU), pp. 174-176
GIOVANNI SARTORI, Ingineria constituţională comparată. Structuri, stimulente şi rezultate, Romanian transl. by Gabriela Tănăsescu and Irina Mihaela Stoica, Institutul European, Iaşi, 2008 (DRAGOŞ DRAGOMAN), pp. 177-180
DANIELA PIANA, Construirea democrației la frontiera spațiului public european, traducere de Raluca Popescu, Institutul European, Iași, 2009 (CORINA TURȘIE), pp. 180-183