Studia Politica, vol. XII, no. 2, 2012
ALEXANDRA IONASCU, Territorial Dimensions of the Romanian Parties. Elections, Party Rules and Organisation (pp. 185-210)
The homogenisation of voting patterns within the territorial units constitutes one of the major features of the post-communist electoral contests. In the Romanian case, despite forecasts, the empirical analysis of voting behaviour both in national and local elections unveils an exceptional trajectory. First, this study will scrutinise the evolution of citizens’ political choices across the territorial units after the breakdown of communism, emphasizing the difficult process of party system nationalisation. Secondly, concentrating on state regulations and party organisational development, the paper aims at exploring possible justifications for the low levels of nationalisation. The conclusions will highlight the significance of more inclusive definitions of the institutional arrangements (introducing the impact of party regulations) as well as the importance of party development strategies, mainly from the perspective of political recruitment, in order to explain the post-communist electoral reconfigurations.
parliamentary elections, local elections, party system nationalisation, party organisations, political recruitment
MONICA ANDRIESCU, Political Violence in the late 1940s’ Romania. Regime Power and Peasant Protest (pp. 213-234)
This article explores the relationship between the type of power exercised by the political elites in the early stages of development of the communist regime in Romania and the reactions to peasant riots during the collectivization process. I focus on a single case study (riots in Arad county, in the summer off 1949) and elaborate on the use of political violence as a resource aimed at securing social control in the absence of strong institutional capacity. I review the first stages of collectivization (1949-1956), I identify and analyze short and long-terms measures taken against the peasants who participated in the riots and their families; and I examine some of the measures taken to consolidate and expand the functions of the Secret Police as a direct consequence of the riots. The findings reflect on the weaknesses of a despotic regime that had not yet fully developed its infrastructural powers and relied on a high level of physical violence against actions it perceived as threats to its authority.
political violence, repression, power, regime, collectivization
ROXANA MARIN, Structural and Psychological Perspectives on the Perpetrator of Genocide (pp. 235-258)
The present article is an attempt to briefly examine the general motivational matrix of the perpetrator of genocide and genocide-like historical episodes, with a special emphasis on two of the main explanatory directions, i.e. the psychological (both biological and social approaches) and structural-institutional ones. The study is preponderantly an individual-based inquiry, though such references as that to G. Le Bon’s La Psychologie des Foules sketch the framework for social psychological perspectives on the genocidal killer. Though extensively concerned with psychological interpretations on the perpetrator of ”mass political murder” (Chirot and McCauley, 2006) – which indeed abound in the literature consecrated to the topic and represent a perennial, although often repetitive, direction (Waller, 2001; Kelman and Hamilton, 1989; Blass, 1999; Milgram, 1974; Newman and Erber, 2002, etc) –, the paper favors the structural explanations, dominated by the sociological observations on the specific case of the Holocaust by Zygmund Bauman in the last decades of a ”century of genocide” (Weitz, 2005), centered on the failure of modernity to sustain reason in a continuously developing context and on the subsequent alienation of the modern life. Subsidiarily, the impact of ideology is considered for the construction of the motivational mosaic turning ordinary men into perpetrators of genocide. The present analysis traditionally distinguishes between three layers of perpetrators (the leadership – the bureaucratic officialdom – the ordinary perpetrator), but insists on the ordinary perpetrator, the lower echelons of the infamous hierarchical mechanism of mass political killing. In its insistence, it discusses the ”authorization” – ”rationalization” – ”dehumanization” explanatory scheme, the ”peer pressure” hypothesis and the ”neutralization theory”, which constitute the basis for the debate on the perpetrator’s motives and rationality. On the other hand, for the perpetrator leadership, the classical discrimination between ”intentionalist” and ”functionalist” (Mason, 1981) is employed. Ultimately, in spite of the richness of psychological explanations, the paper concludes, structural explanations regarding the translation from ordinary people into killers can offer a more compelling, comprehensive account on the topic.
genocide, perpetrator, neutralization, modernity, alienation
CATALIN-VALENTIN RAIU, Social Christianity and the Constitution of a New Political Subject (pp. 259-273)
The issue of ”the political subject” analyzed among others by Michel Foucault and William Connolly is offering to the political scientists a very important tool for their research. In this paper we have tried to find out if the social and political movement called ”Social Christianity” from the late nineteenth century had proposed a new political subject for the modernity dominated by the liberalism and socialism. Thus, Social Christianity was not just a middle way between liberalism and socialism but also along with the emergence of durkheimian sociology as a ”new social theology” it represented a daring attempt to overcome the limits of political modernity and thereby has invented a new political subject under the form of modernized Christian guilds.
political subject, power, Social Christianity, corporatism, guilds
MATEI DEMETRESCU, Aperçu d’une relation improbable. Le Parti Communiste Français et le Parti Communiste Roumain (1957-1972) (Overview of an Unlikely Friendship: the French Communist Party and the Romanian Communist Party [1957-1972]) (pp. 275-288)
The article investigates the relation between the French and the Romanian Communist Parties in the 1960s. A thorough research in the Archives of the FCP indicates that the scarcity of the contacts between the two parties is due both to the mutations of the post-War global communist system and to the particular nature of the Romanian communist Party-state.
Communism, France, Romania, Romanian Communist Party, French Communist Party
MARIUCA MORARIU, From Condemnation to Melancholy. Alternative Meanings of Post-Communist Nostalgia in Romania Beyond the Official Anti-Communist Discourse (pp. 289-308)
This paper attempts a conceptual understanding of ”post-communist nostalgia” by looking at various interdisciplinary approaches to the phenomenon. It then brings empirical evidence into discussing how the ”nostalgia” label has been applied in public discourse among various Romanian opinion leaders in the recent years by focusing on two main controversial issues: the official document condemning communism with its associated discussions and the debate around building a Museum of Communism in Romania. Discourse analyses of 50 articles including editorials, opinion articles, interviews and reports outline the main clash between an official anti-communist discourse and alternative positions or anti-anti-communist discourses, be they radical-moralising, leftist or simply critical towards the politicisation of the anti-communist discourse. The official anti-communist discourse seems one-sided and while doing justice to victims of the past regime, it also confiscates a collective memory at the expense of a decisive Western-type of discourse. Finally, the paper provides examples of an alternative discourse to the dominant verdict of ”exorcising the past”. When bringing into discussion examples from cinematic representations, I argue that they have little to do with amnesia or anti-modern tendencies commonly understood as explanations for the results of recent polls on people’s attitudes regarding communism. Since yet another verdict on the matter is far from being useful, I strive to shift the perspective on the debate from a moral, anti-communist view to a more balanced one that takes into account cultural, psychological, social and political explanations, while keeping in mind the dangers of both starting from zero in a purified present and glorifying a utopian ”Golden Age”
anti-communism, post-communism, nostalgia, cinema
RUXANDRA IVAN, Whose Responsibility to Protect Whom? The Notion of ”Responsibility to Protect” in International Politics (pp. 309-323)
The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we will try to show how the idea of the ”responsibility to protect” gained terrain in the circles of international lawyers and theorists during the last ten years, as well as the very debatable issues raised by it. Secondly – and this constitutes the stake of our approach – we will address the broader discussion of the link between R2P and the problem of state sovereignty, by arguing that the emergence of this new international obligation is merely a hypostasis of a general malaise of the traditional state sovereignty. We will then conclude by assessing the impact of the new norm of R2P to the recent political developments in the Middle East, in order to grasp the direction into which the practice is evolving in this field.
responsibility to protect, sovereignty, intervention, genocide, UN
JEAN-MICHEL DE WAELE, DANIEL-LOUIS SEILER (dir.), Les partis de la gauche anticapitaliste en Europe, Economica, Collection «Politiques comparées», Paris, 2012 (FANNY SBARAGLIA), pp. 327-330
JEAN-NOËL JEANNENEY, L’État blessé, Flammarion, Paris, 2012 (CLAUDIA VLAGEA), pp. 330-335
ROBERT SERVICE, Trotsky, A Biography, Pan Macmillan, 2010 (DAN-ALEXANDRU CHIŢĂ), pp. 335-341
DAVID A. STRAUSS, The Living Constitution, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010 (ANDREI SCHWARTZ), pp. 341-344
FREDRIK ENGELSTAD, TRYGVE GULBRANDSEN (eds.), Comparative Studies of Social and Political Elites, Elsevier Science, Oxford (UK) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands), 2007 (”Comparative Social Research”, vol. 23) (ROXANA MARIN), pp. 344-357
EDUARDO MENDIETA, JONATHAN VANANTWERPEN (eds.), The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere, Columbia University Press, New York, 2011 (MĂRIUCA MORARIU), pp. 357-360
DAN MIHALACHE, IULIA HUIU, Trei ani la urne, Nemira, București, 2012 (VERONICA ANGHEL), pp. 360-363