Studia Politica, vol. XV, no. 3, 2015


RALUCA ALEXANDRESCU, Réalité et fiction politique dans le modèle démocratique au début du Nouveau Régime sud-est européen (XIXe siècle). Quelques précis méthodologiques et conceptuels (Reality and Fiction in the Perceptions of Democracy in Southeast Europe in the Beginning of the Nouveau Régime; Conceptual and Methodological Reflections) (pp. 345-366)


The article deals with several questions rooted in the grand debate about the Romanian Modernity and the development of a certain political model shaped in the institutional and political life of the Romanian State. The civil mobility constitutes in the aftermath of the French revolution a sign of the modernity, in the sense that the society becomes more and more fluid and mobile. Political development, institutional construction are in the same time the goals and the means of such an evolution who is willing to take into account an increased need of mobility alongside with a greater capacity of the state in tracking its citizens and “new forms of identification in terms of political developments associated with the creation of the modern nation-state” (Jane, Caplan, John Torpey, (eds), 2011, p. 7). How did the Romanian political elite perceived the relationship between liberty, democracy and state bureaucratic system? The “failure of liberalism” (Paschalis M. Kitromilides, 2013, p. xii), or the difficulty in creating a solid approach in the democratic Romanian contemporary society is to be found, in searching for its roots, in the making of political culture in the nineteenth century. It is a common feature for people in the Balkans, as several authors have been pointing out, and the foundations of this political inability in managing the values of the state of law seem to have grown in the starting point of these young nations. In analysing such a construction, the benefits of intellectual and conceptual history are quite obvious, in discovering and interpreting the sources.


modernity, civil mobility, liberty, democracy, political culture

RALUCA ALEXANDRESCU, Associate Professor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest,

ROXANA NEDELESCU, Voting in National and European Parliamentary Elections. What Determines the Turnout Gap? (pp. 367-403)


The European Parliament is the only source of direct legitimacy of the European Union, as it is the only body directly elected by the citizens. Politics within the European Parliament has increasingly grown in importance, as its powers expanded progressively with each European Union treaty. The opposite happened with voter turnout. This paper builds on the idea that the European elections are perceived as less important by the voters’ parties and the media, and are in general characterized by a lower electoral participation with respect to National elections. We analyze turnout from two perspectives: individual and aggregate level. Individual electoral models are estimated using data from the European Social Survey and Standard Eurobarometer Survey, referring at electoral turnout at National and Supranational level, respectively. From an individual level perspective, we test if unequal participation exists concerning socioeconomic categories across “first-order” National elections and “second-order” European elections in order to understand if a potential representation bias might exist. Empirical evidence highlights that inequality in participation exists only for the European Parliament elections. From the aggregate level side, an original panel data is used in order to understand the turnout gap across elections and test the “second-order” theory concerning the European Parliament elections as an opportunity to contest governing parties. Evidence shows that a vote share gap across the two election types exists, and that large as well as extremist and parties from European Monetary Union Member States lose votes across elections. Being an EMU member as well as being a net-payer at the European Union budget increases the electoral gap.


European Parliament, direct legitimacy, electoral turnout, first-order elections, second-order elections, turnout gap, unequal participation.

ROXANA NEDELESCU, Senior Academic Assistant, Economics Department, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium,

ANDREI STAVILĂ, Taking Temporary Workers’ Rights Seriously. Agency and Consent (pp. 405-424)


Temporary workers are usually foreign citizens officially accepted by the host country on a provisional basis, in order to be employed in economic sectors where the native population cannot or does not want to fill the market demand. This article focuses on the theoretical puzzle regarding the contested range of rights this category of migrants should be offered by the host state. It argues that the doctrine of state sovereignty is a major obstacle to the development of migrants’ rights in international politics. Since the UN Migrant Workers Convention is lacking a serious enforcement mechanism, we should take into account the interests of the two actors directly involved: the host states (usually focused on the “rights versus numbers” dilemma) and the temporary migrants themselves (introducing the “bases of self-respect” normative puzzle). The article accepts the view that democracy’s concerns with formal equality should be balanced against migrant workers’ needs; in consequence a range of locally-negotiated practices regarding migrant workers’ rights may be normatively acceptable as long as the trade-off is temporarily limited, is respecting basic human rights, and is acceptable in migrants’ own view. One surprising consequence of this view transcends migration studies: it may help reviving the consent theory as a serious contender in the normative field of political obligation.


immigration, temporary workers, rights, consent theory, political theory.

ANDREI STAVILĂ, Assistant Professor, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Turkey,

ELISABETA-CRISTINA DINU, The Society of the Muslim Brothers ‒ An Islamist Political Party? Participation in a Confined Political System (pp. 425-465)


The article analyzes the Society of the Muslim Brothers and its activity in Egypt, since its emergence in 1928, until the end of Muhammad Mursi’s presidency, in June 2012. The study proves, by using empirical analysis of primary and secondary sources as well as quantitative analysis, that the Society comprises the dimensions of a political party present in the existent literature. Based on the premise that the Brotherhood emerged as a religious fundamentalist mass party, gradually evolved into an electoralist catch-all party and, by taking advantage of the opportunity posed by the 2011 revolution, initiated a cartelization process, the article coins the factors that influenced the metamorphosis of the group from one party-type to another and the causes that impeded the completion of the process.


Muslim Brotherhood, political party, Egypt.

ELISABETA-CRISTINA DINU, MA, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest,

ALINA ISAC ALAK, Interpretări liberale și progresiste în islamul contemporan (Liberal and Progressive Interpretations in Contemporary Islam) (pp. 467-475)


The positive, unifying ideological resources of liberal and progressive Islamic interpretations deserve more than ever to be exploited in the contemporary socio-political context. Their conceptual tools, principles and theses could solve the conflictual cleavage, politically manipulated, between Islam and Western modernity, without repudiating the references to an Islamic paradigm. Therefore, liberal and progressive Islamic understandings could avoid the recent superficial oscillation between two ideological ‒ artificially constructed ‒ extremes, namely either confining the discussions to the secular, colonialist or post-colonialist perspectives, or promoting the defensive opportunist neotraditionalist Islamic approaches, specific to the nationalist movements of the last century so-called Islamic revival. Liberal Islam does not fully adopt all liberal theses and does not obediently imitate Western philosophy. Liberal Islamic understandings are defined by the opposition against teocracy and by supporting the democracy. Women, minorities and non-Muslims’ rights in Muslim-majority countries, freedom of thought and trust in human progress, are other essential tenets that are fundamented on contemporary understandings of the major Islamic sources. Trying to correct some excesses that the liberal Muslims were accused of, but maintaining the reformist tendencies, progressive Muslims’ approach is centered on a “multiple critiqueˮ ‒ a simultaneous critique of the diverse discourses and communities in which Muslims are situated. Not only the authoritarian constructions of literalist, puritanist Muslims, the violation of human rights, freedom of expression and of religion, the oppression of women in some Muslim countries are condemned and deconstructed, but also some political, economic, intellectual hegemonic Western aspects of modernity. In Romania these contemporary tendencies of interpreting Islam are not yet represented at a community level.


liberal, progressive Islam, reform, radicalization, tradition.

ALINA ISAC ALAK, Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Journalism and Communication, University of Bucharest,

MIHAI BURCEA, Scrisori către cei de-acasă. Corespondența voluntarilor români din Brigăzile Internaționale (Writing Home: Some Letters of the Romanian Volunteers from the International Brigades) (pp. 477-514)


By examining some of the letters Romanian volunteers in the International Brigades sent home during the Spanish Civil War, this article explores their authors’ experience of the front-line hardships and of the challenges associated with the military life-style. The paper first provides a concise historical account of the Spanish Civil War, with a focus on the emergence of the international military groups, consisting of foreign combatants. It subsequently investigates the reasons that determined the Romanian volunteers to leave their country to fight in Spain, by examining their motivation in the intricate political and social context of interwar Romania. Finally, the article deals with the negative outcomes these letters had for their recipients, translated into the permanent harassment their families and close ones suffered because of this correspondence.


International Brigades, Spanish Civil War, illegalists, Communist Party of Romania, left wing-volunteers.

MIHAI BURCEA, PhD Candidate, History Department, University of Bucharest,

MARIUS STAN, Zevedei Barbu. An Exercise in Intellectual Biography (pp. 515-528)


Focused on one of the main voices in the totalitarian debates during the first decades of the Cold War, the article retrieves the political and intellectual biography of the Romanian-British sociologist Zevedei Barbu (1914-1993). The main goal is to apprehend and deconstruct the canvas of apostasy related to the humanist Leftist intellectual turned into an important antitotalitarian thinker. Furthermore, the article discusses Barbu's main contributions to the field of historical psychology and conceptual framework.


Zevedei Barbu; apostasy; totalitarianism; democracy; intellectuals.

MARIUS STAN, Postdoctoral fellow, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest,


CONSTANTIN BĂRBULESCU, România medicilor. Medici, țărani și igienă rurală în România de la 1860 la 1910, Humanitas, București, 2015 (LIGIA LIVADĂ-CADESCHI) (pp. 531-535)

SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK, Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism, Allen Lane, London, 2014 (ALEXANDRA IRIMIA) (pp. 535-538)