Studia Politica, vol. XII, no. 4, 2012
ALEXANDRA IONESCU, Vote et réforme territoriale en Europe Centrale et Orientale. Administration et politique électorale en Roumanie postcommuniste (Ballot and Territorial Reform in Central and Eastern Europe. Electoral Management and Politics in Postcommunist Romania) (pp. 539-554)
The article retraces the evolution of the Romanian electoral management system during the postcommunist decades, by considering it from an institutionalist and strategic perspective. Electoral management is the setting where various institutional actors are in constant interaction with the view of producing the postcommunist democratic legitimacy. Their very interaction is a test of the validity of the postcommunist polity. If the general design of electoral management remained relatively stable, the institutional actors called to participate in the endeavour changed their political status, and their institutional attributes and their policy capacities. The sequence of postcommunist elections unravels the process of institutional disjunction and political re-conjunction between the central government, local administration, and the judicial, which set the patterns for the institutionalisation of Romanian democratic politics.
Postcommunism, democratization, electoral management, local administration, Romania.
MICHAEL SHAFIR, Political Antisemitism in Romania? Hard Data and its Soft Underbelly (pp. 557-603)
Public opinion polling on ethnic minorities has shown from the start that while negative or ambivalent attitudes to Jews in Romania are far from having vanished, they do not affect a spectrum as large as that of anti-Roma attitudes and prejudices. Subsequent surveying carried out in the late 1990s and early 2000s confirmed the earlier findings by studies measuring stereotypical perceptions or social distance. Yet it would be an exaggeration to state that antisemitism is not a factor influencing social attitudes or even the perception of politics by the population; The Romanian surveys available thus far did not measure latent antisemitism and they lack the sophistication inquiring what stands behind ”non-committal don’t knows” and ”no answers”. Holocaust-related surveys seem to indicate that only a small minority is interested in this aspect and even among its members' information is often partial at best. It is therefore difficult to predict whether ”political antisemitism” could emerge in post-communist Romania as it did in neighboring Hungary. The Hungarian and other experiences, however, demonstrate that political antisemitism can become a factor when for reasons other than anti-Jewish attitudes political parties, influential intellectuals and other social entrepreneurs condone and utilize themselves implicit antisemitism of which they are not always aware. The last part of the article illustrates such potentially contributing factors and actors utilizing qualitative rather than quantitative analysis.
Jews, political antisemitism, polls, Romania, postcommunism.
DOMNICA GOROVEI, Mobilitatea interpartizană în Parlamentul României. Studiu de caz: 2008-2012 (Inter-party Mobility in the Romanian Parliament. Case study: the 2008-2012 Legislature) (pp. 605-635)
The article examines the evolution of inter-party mobility in the post-communist Romanian Parliament, confirming that the practice has been a constant phenomenon, growing continuously after 1992. Political mobility is analysed from a double perspective, that of political representation and that of political parties. The case study on the 2008-2012 legislature reveals that beyond the quantitative aspect, the mobility of MPs became a real factor of instability, changing the majority in the Parliament and, as such, triggering the government’s dismissal. Deputies and senators changing party affiliation produced, for the first time after the fall of the communist regime, an alternation of power between elections.
Inter-party mobility, political parties, postcommunist Romania, MPs, political representation.
DRAGOŞ DRAGOMAN, The Origins of Political Support for Democratic Governance in Post-communist Romania. Testing the Social Capital Hypothesis (pp. 637-656)
Democracy has finally become a success story in Central and Eastern Europe, against all incertitude and dangers. Yet the trajectories of the countries in the region are not similar and the region has been divided into groups of countries. The quality of democracy in those countries seemed then to diverge, questioning the stability of the new democratic regimes during transition, when the support for democracy is crucial. This research intends to map the political support for democracy in Romania though our findings indicate the opposite. In order to explain those divergent patterns of democratic transition, many scholars emphasize the importance of a given range of cultural factors, namely the social capital. Although appealing, the social capital hypothesis was put to test and rejected in numerous transition settings. Using comparable survey data from Romania, we test the hypothesis by taking into account competing factors. Our findings indicate that the support for democracy is less explained by social capital that it is by more classical factors, like civic attitudes, economic resources and human capital. These findings question the claimed importance of social capital for the fundamental support for democracy and point towards citizens’ attitudes and resources. This focus on attitudes and resources seems to be increasingly salient in recent years dominated by the economic crisis.
Democratization, social capital, transition, post-communism, Romania.
ANGELA TACEA, L’influence des Parlements européens sur la politique européenne de contrôle des frontières. Le cas du Parlement français (The Influence of National Parliaments on the Border Control Policies of European Union. The Case of the French Parliament) (pp. 657-672)
The capacity of national Parliaments to influence the EU affairs has been a long debated issue in the academic literature and scholars have analyzed it mainly by assessing formal parliamentary capacities to control their executives, while looking into the activity of national Parliaments in all EU policy sectors. This type of analysis may be distorted: national Parliaments may act differently according to specific policy sectors. The aim of this proposal is to challenge the general findings of the academic literature on national Parliaments in EU affairs by looking into a very salient policy sector, the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and more precisely into the Schengen reform, when analyzing the political control over the EU legislation and the ”European” activity of the French Parliament. Even though, the Treaty of Lisbon and the 2008 Constitutional Reform gave additional powers to the French Parliament, I will show by mapping its activity in the field of borders control that, independently of its new prerogatives it has still a very weak influence over the EU legislation.
Influence, role of the French Parliament in EU affairs, European integration, Schengen reform.
SORINA NEACȘU, Les politiques anti-drogue en Colombie sous Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2010). «Plata o pluma» (Anti-drug Policies in Colombia under Álvaro Uribe Vélez. «Plata o pluma») (pp. 673-691)
Álvaro Uribe Vélez served two presidential terms (2002-2010) in Colombia under strict supervision from the United States of America. Drugs were his main concern as Colombia still stands as the number one cocaine producer in the world. Exports coming from this Andean country filled illegal markets all over the world. Figures regarding the production of coca were meant to drop and guerrillas were meant to be demilitarized for the stability of the Colombian territory. Nonetheless, violence, as specificity in Colombia and Uribe’s authority made every single anti-drug policy mostly incapable of coping with the well-routed drug cartels, guerrillas as well as paramilitary groups. The United States foreign policy financed both legally and military this matter, but the constant demand for drugs prevailed. One must reconsider the causes that stand behind the drug productions in this specific area as more than just capitalist motivations.
Violence (”Violencia”), counter-insurgency, drug cartels, paramilitary groups, guerillas, ”Plan Colombia”.
PAOLO R. GRAZIANO, SOPHIE JACQUOT, BRUNO PALIER (eds.), The EU and the Domestic Politics of Welfare State Reforms ‒ Europa, Europae, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 (MANUELA-ELENA TOBOȘARU), pp. 695-699
DAN STONE (ed.), Historiography of Genocide, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 (MIHAI CHIOVEANU), pp. 699-700
FRÉDÉRIC GROS, Le principe sécurité, Gallimard, collection «NRF Essais», Paris, 2012 (MATEI DEMETRESCU), pp. 701-704