Studia Politica, vol. XIII, no. 2, 2013
ALEXANDRA IONAȘCU, Searching for Representation. Romanian Parliamentary. Elites and their Political Roles (pp. 225-256)
In the recent years, the Romanian Parliament became one of the main political battlegrounds. The continuous procedural reconfigurations, the MPs’ interpartymobility and the lack of a robust legislative activity raised numerous questions regarding the quality of representation. In a general context described by a defective Parliamentary functioning, what is the meaning that can be ascribed to „political representation” in nowadays Romania? Starting both from institutional arrangements and MPs’ opinions the present article seeks to investigate the different (contradictory) facets of the parliamentary mandates. The exploratory scrutiny of the parliamentary representation consists in four main section: after an overall investigation of the main meanings of political representation in the Romanian context, the following sections will pinpoint to the main contradictions in the comprehension of this process on three dimensions: the reconfigurations in the relationship between MPs and their (imagined) constituencies, the sinuous collaboration of these elites with their own parties, and the ”clandestine” dimension of parliamentary activity. The conclusions of the study will pinpoint to fact that the Romanian MPs are not in the service of the people, nor they are party or constituency servants , but they are rather subjects of government.
political representation, constituency, political roles, parliamentary oversight, party switching.
DRAGOŞ DRAGOMAN, SABINA-ADINA LUCA, BOGDAN GHEORGHIŢĂ, ANNAMÁRIA KÁDÁR, Popular Music and Social Marginality during Severe Economic Change. Evidence from Post-communist Romania (pp. 259-271)
Romania, as other post-communist countries, experienced during the last couple of decades one of the most profound social changes that have been historically recorded. Despite the massive change, the general focus of transition studies was set on democratization and marketization. Away from the general discourse on Romania’s neo-liberal modernization and Europeanization, the critical analysis of popular music offers refreshing insights into processes of stratification, downward mobility, increasing uncertainty and poverty that accompany political and economic change. Although largely criticized from cultural elitist standpoints, the popular music products that are under scrutiny here tell the story of more profound changes in value orientations in a social context marked by deep economic crisis, harsh social competition, severe failure, deprivation and acute marginalization.
popular music, marginality, economic change, young people, Romania.
ECATERINA CEPOI, MARIUS LAZĂR, The Iranian Influence in Iraq. Between Strategic Interests and Religious Rivarly (pp. 273-285)
The study provides a brief overview on Iranian republic’s policy in post-Saddam Iraq and the Persian Gulf region: it is marked, programmatically, by Tehran’s desire to make Iraq a state closer from security and economic points of view to the interests of Iran, benefiting primarily of the emergence of new political elite Iraqi Shiite majority. Iran has supported financially, logistically, militarily, anti-American Iraqi resistance, as well as it supported its political customers to build a special relationship of dependency and affinity with the interests of Tehran. At the same time, there is a great rivalry between Iran and the Iraqi clergy, religious (and geopolitical) competition for supremacy between Najaf and Qom theological centers, each being the adept of individual attitudes in the interpretation of Shi’ism (Pietist vs militant). The study aims, in addition, an analysis on the topic ”Shiite crescent”, the effective validity of an image of Iranian strategy to coordinate and instrument, in the direction of own interests, the Shiite communities in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. In reality, they, like the Shiite community in Iraq, are characterized by structural heterogeneity and divergent ideological, political, cultural, strategic trajectories, making the implementation of a unitary public in the wake of Tehran very difficult.
Iraq, Iran, Shi’a Crescent, Persian Gulf, Islam.
ŞERBAN FILIP CIOCULESCU, SILVIU PETRE, China and India. Learning from History, Building the Present and Avoiding Narratives on their ”Unescapable Clash” (pp. 287-311)
This paper examines the difficult relations between the biggest Asian states and the most populous countries in the world: China and India. Starting from the historical experiences of crisis and war, the study is focusing on the strategic culture and on the decision-makers’ visions on their own state and the other one. In spite of the fact that both countries have peaceful official doctrines and try to normalize their relations, People Republic of China’s spectacular rise in power, its assertiveness concerning the borders, the support for Pakistan and some more or less accidental events like border violations, could precipitate an armed clash between the two Asian neighbors. The balance of power at the world level, with the USA and China oscilating between rivalry and cooperation, balance of power versus engagement, could determine India and China to reshape their strategies and policies on the long term.
China, India, borders, war, cooperation, trade, military, development.
ELIZABETH BISHOP, Democracy and Monarchy as Antithetical Terms? Iraq’s Elections of September 1954 (pp. 313-326)
Was Iraq’s heritage British, or Turkish? Between 1922 and 1958, the country was a constitutional monarchy under Hashemite rulers; external observers considered its organic law one of the most advanced among all the Arab states, and its diplomats to have exercised an independent foreign policy unmatched in the region. On such a basis, Bernard Lewis observed that democracy fared well under the region’s constitutional monarchies established under British guidance. The elections of September 1954 to Iraq’s Chamber of Deputies provide the means to assess Lewis’s observation. Three factors are considered (the electoral law, the status of the opposition political parties, and status of Kurdish populations) in a general discussion of Britain’s influence on political modernity in the Middle East. The data consulted include government documents, memoirs, and transcripts of contemporary radio broadcasts; as an alternative to Lewis, Rashid Khalidi’s description of 1912 elections to the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies is presented as an explanatory model.
Democracy, Iraq, Middle East, monarchy, republic.
MARIALUISA LUCIA SERGIO, Bucarest, la porta orientale della diplomazia italiana? I colloqui italo-romeni nei documenti inediti dei fondi Fanfani e Moro (Bucharest, the Eastern Gate of Italian Diplomacy? The Talks between Italy and Romania in the Unpublished Documents of the Archives of Amintore Fanfani and Aldo Moro) (pp. 327-363)
After the beginning of the experience of the center-left government in the early sixties, Italy proposes an independent and original foreign policy, consistent with its position in the Mediterranean, across the border between East and West. The preferred partner within the Warsaw Pact is Romania, considered the vanguard of a political process of internal liberalization and of political emancipation of Eastern Europe from Soviet-communism. So far, the limited historiography on the Italo-Romanian relationships has taken into account almost exclusively the economic and trade agreements. This paper, on the basis of largely unpublished documentation at the Senato della Repubblica and at the Central State’s Archive in Italy, analyzes instead the main international issues of the meetings between Bucharest and Rome, namely the Détente, the Sino-Soviet conflict, the peacebuilding in the South-East Asia, the Middle-East, the CSCE. The unpublished diary of statesman Amintore Fanfani, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1965 to 1968, reveals how the Italian ruling class has a substantial confidence in Ion Gheorghe Maurer and Corneliu Manescu and high expectations around an alleged non-alignment of Romania. On the other hand, the correspondence from the Italian Embassy in Bucharest for Aldo Moro (Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1969 to 1972 and from 1973 to 1974), describes the violent and authoritarian temper of the regime established by Ceauşescu in his country. In any case, the Italian strategy seems then to reappraise the special partnership with Romania, in favor of a multilateral approach to the problem of Détente within the continental conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Italian-Romanian talks, foreign policy, Détente, Fanfani, Moro, Ceausescu.
ANDREEA ZAMFIRA, Une sociologie électorale des communautés pluriethniques, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2012 (DRAGOŞ DRAGOMAN), pp. 367-370
OLIVERA SIMIĆ, ZALA VOLČIČ (eds.), Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans, New York, Springer, 2013 (RALUCA GROSESCU), pp. 370-374
VICTOR NEUMANN, Essays on Romanian Intellectual History, transl. by Simona Neumann, Editura Universității de Vest, Timișoara, 2008 (ROXANA MARIN), pp. 374-388
NIKLAS OLSEN, History in the Plural. An Introduction to the Work of Reinhart Koselleck, Berghahn Books, New York, Oxford, 2012 (CRISTIAN ROIBAN), pp. 388-392