Studia Politica, vol. XIII, no. 1, 2013
Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review, vol. XIII, no. 1, 2013
Along with the rise of the modern normative constitutions at the close of the eighteenth century, constitutionalism started to crystallize into a body of conceptual justifications for the limited government. Whereas constitutional phenomena always have parochial dimensions and connotations, related to the implications of popular sovereignty and the historical origins of various arrangements, the foundational concepts of constitutionalism are in their nature abstract and universalistic. Nonetheless, as long as constitutions reigned a world of nation-states, constitutionalism could serve, within the limited and concrete setting provided by the adherence of debates to state-bound constitutional phenomena, as a an intelligible meta-juridical language for assessing practices. With the contemporary erosion of the nation state came an increasing dilution of the constitutions’ jurisdictional capacity to normatively predetermine legal and political evolutions. Conversely, as the locus of crucial decisions shifted, attempts were made to bring institutions and structures located beyond or alongside the classical nation-state in tune with inherited patterns of legal and political legitimacy. This contemporary phenomenon, interchangeably described as ”supranational”, ”transnational”, ”global” or ”international” constitutionalization, determined a detachment of the language of constitutionalism from the concrete context provi ded by nation state practices and also produced new, quasi-constitutional vocabularies. This article tests, on the basis of a Romanian case study, the capacity of constitutional language, when it is heaved to and abstracted at the cosmopolitan level, to function as a rational framework of reference.
Constitutionalism, normative Constitution, transnational constitutionalism, constitutional vocabularies, systemic constitutional interactions.
CRISTIAN PREDA, Partide, voturi şi mandate la alegerile din România (1990-2012) (Parties, Votes and Mandates in Romanian Elections [1990-2012]) (pp. 27-110)
Since 1992, in the wake of the first elections held in May 1990 and the adoption of a Constitution in 1991, parliamentary and local elections have been held every four years. Romanian electorate voted six times in presidential elections and seven times in referenda (referenda were more numerous than the ones organized during the whole modern history of the country). Reinvented in 1989, Romanian political parties had to pass all these tests. The main purpose of the article is to give a comprehensive, systematic and detailed view on Romanian parties’ performance, both in terms of votes and mandates. Therefore, data is organized following four main criteria: legal status, the mobilization in electoral competitions, parliamentary status, and participation to government.
Elections, Romania, Parliament, government, votes, seats.
ALEXANDRA IONESCU, Consolidarea partidelor politice şi reforma instituţională a autorităţii publice în Europa Centrală şi Orientală. Pluripartism şi pluralism politic în postcomunismul românesc (Political Parties and Institutional reform in Central and Eastern Europe. Pluriparism and Pluralism in the Romanian Postcommunism) (pp. 111-124)
The article explores the way political participation, representation and governance are conceptualized and rationalized by the Romanian legislation on parties. The plurality of parties was initially set up as a way to discipline and organize the political pluralism manifest in society in order to contain it within the boundaries imposed by the Constitution. This disciplinary vocation of parties was confirmed and reinforced by the laws enacted in 1996 and 2003 that embedded parties into a functional vision of democracy where they were explicitly endowed with the public mission of ensuring the political integration of Romanian citizens. The detailed rationalization of parties’ mission to organize citizens’ political participation and to contain the expression of their political will contrasted sharply with both the ambiguity of their governmental role within the ”eclectic” institutional design of the Constitution, and with their organizational friability.
Democratization, parties, pluralism, postcommunism, Romania.
RADU CARP, Limitarea neconstituţională a dreptului de asociere în partidele politice şi a dreptului de a fi ales prin legislaţia în domeniu şi influenţa acesteia asupra participării politice (The Unconstitutional Limitation by Law on the Right of Association in Political Parties and on the Right of Being Elected and its Influence upon Political Participation) (pp. 125-141)
This article is based on three hypotheses. First, the legal requirements for establishing political parties in Romania are among the most restrictive in Europe. Second, electoral participation decreased globaly during the last two decades; however, when a party succeeded in registering and endorsed a non-ideological position, the electoral participation slightly increased; so, if the legal requirements will be relaxed, new parties might emerge and a greater participation to the elections might be taken into consideration. Third, the current legal procedure for registering political parties contradicts the constitutional provisions on the freedom of association and the right to be elected. In the light of this findings, the article suggest a revision of the current legislation.
Elections, political parties, party regulation, participation, Constitution.
IULIANA CONOVICI, Ambivalence and Change in the Public Status of Religion in Romania during the 2008-2012 Legislative Term (pp. 143-157)
The article examines the legislation drafted during the last legislative term (2008-2012) in the area of Church-State relations and religions’ public status. First, special attention is given to the State Secretariat for Religious Denominations, to the consolidation of “social partnership” between the lay and religious authorities, and to the topic of Church financing. Second, the legal treatment of various issues related to bioethics and social ethics is put under scrutiny. Attempts to modify legislation in these areas reveal the ambivalent attitudes of Romanian decision-makers towards the public status of religious institutions and of religious values in particular.
Legislation, Orthodox Church, Parliament, Romania, religion
CATERINA PREDA, Sub supraveghere (artistică). Relaţia artiştilor cu Securitatea (Under (Artistic) Surveillance. The Relation of Artists with the Secret Police) (pp. 159-172)
This article presents the relation of East European artists with the Secret Police institutions. While focused on the Romanian case, several examples from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria help place the topic in a regional context. The analysis includes both the viewpoint of the Secret Police on the artistic world as such, as well as the gazes of artists on the reality of their time. The conceptualization of artistic surveillance includes three types of examples: the deconstruction of the officially fabricated reality, the focus on the details of the everyday life forbidden by official propaganda, and the reflection of artists on the secret police apparatus. The conclusions of this study show that the investigation of artistic artifacts together with the secret police archives can help bring a new perspective on the limits of domination exerted by the communist regime.
Artists, collaboration, secret police, surveillance, Romania.
RUXANDRA IVAN, Is Sovereignty Dead? The Transformation of International Politics (pp 173-192)
The article examines the fate of sovereignty in the post-Cold War international system. It points to some processes that undermine the traditional understanding of modern sovereignty as the exclusivity of jurisdiction over a given territory and the absence of a higher authority than the state. These processes are, first, the development of international jurisdictions that supersede the state, such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court; second, the emergence of a doctrine that links sovereignty to certain obligations of the state towards its citizens, under the name of ”responsibility to protect”; third, the dissolution of the distinction inside/outside, as well as of the cohesion of the political community upon which the sovereign state is founded. Parallel to these processes, there is a visible tendency of the state to reassert its sovereignty through a tighter control over the society and its territory, and through the manipulation of the discourse on security and danger.
Biopolitics, international criminal justice, responsibility to protect, state, sovereignty.
CRISTIAN PREDA, Rumânii fericiţi. Vot şi putere de la 1831 până în prezent, Polirom, Iaşi, 2011 (OANA LUIZA BARBU) (pp. 195-199)
FRANCESCO CAVATORTA (ed.), Civil Society Activism under Authoritarian Rule – A Comparative Perspective, Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York, 2012 (ALEXANDRA CRISTIANA GAGIU, IOANA ADRIANA VALSAN) (pp. 200-208)