Studia Politica, vol. XV, no. 4, 2015


AUREL BRAUN, The Politics of International Relations. Building Bridges and the Quest for Relevance (pp. 557-566)


In International Relations (IR), as in other social science disciplines, the desire to be current and progressive is both powerful and understandable. Indeed IR as a discipline needs to continually evolve and adapt if it is to be relevant. Yet this natural quest should also include building bridges, where context, perspective and a melding of key past scholarship and current promising endeavors produce true analytical insights. A mere rush to the future where past achievements are ignored or walled off, or where methodology is more about ends than means could undermine the vast potential of an across-the-field discipline that should understand and respect the long arc of history and scholarship. It should behoove us then to be inclusive while skeptical, and appreciate both the benefits and limits of the various approaches whether it is classical realism, neo-realism, liberalism, constructivism or the multiple modernist and post-modernist scholarly endeavors. And throughout we would also benefit from a certain modesty in our scholarly claims as we acknowledge the disparity between our aspirations and achievements.


Realism, Neo-realism, Liberalism, Constructivism, Democratic peace theory.

AUREL BRAUN, Professor, Political Science Department, University of Toronto, Canada,


ȘERBAN FILIP CIOCULESCU, Mai multă putere sau mai multă securitate? Scenarii pentru transformarea NATO în contextul conflictului din Ucraina şi a ascensiunii ISIS ((More Power or More Security? Scenarios for NATO’s Transformation in the Context of the Conflict in Ukraine) (pp. 569-594)


Since its origins, in the context of the Cold War’s beginning, NATO has been a robust defensive alliance, acting in accordance with UN Charter, as a collective defense structure based on solidarity and mutual trust. Nowadays it has 28 member states and one can say that it fulfilled its main role: to protect the West against communist/Soviet threats using deterrence and containment tools. Neither USSR nor its main instrument, the Warsaw Pact dare to attack the Euro-Atlantic area. Our main assumption is that because of the specific national interests of each member state, because of the domestic-constitutional issues and bureaucratic obstacles, the Alliance cannot yet forge a common strategic culture for all its members and also lacks a common lens for detecting real risks and threats, be they nation states or non-states actors. Nowadays, Russia and Islamic State are the main adversaries for the Western states, thus NATO should be more effective in dealing with them. And there is a need for reform and transformation. Divergences between adepts of territorial defense and those of pro-active “out of area” missions go in addition to divergences concerning the need for increased defense budgets for all members and especially concerning the attitude towards Russia. Moscow used economic and energy tools trying to divide some allies like Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria and it partially succeeded. Using some theories of alliances and of democratic peace, resorting to recent facts and figures related to NATO’s activities and plans, will help the reader understand the problem of increasing the power vs. increasing the security dilemma and the prospect of future conflicts.


NATO, security, power, hybrid, threats, reform, Russia, army.

ȘERBAN FILIP CIOCULESCU, Researcher, The Institute for Political Studies of Defense and Military History, Romanian Academy of Science,

DIANA-CRISTINA MATEI, Politică şi patrimoniu în Irak şi Siria. Principalele influenţe ale sferei politice, asupra patrimoniului cultural, în secolele XIX-XXI (Politics and Heritage in Iraq and Syria. The Main Influences of the Political Sphere, upon Cultural Heritage, between the XIX and XXI Centuries) (pp. 595-612)


Cultural heritage represents an essential component of human identity, and as a part of the contemporary world, it has both symbolic and economic value. Cultural heritage is finite and non-renewable though, being endangered due to recent conflicts and due to the way it is perceived. This article analyses how different political regimes have influenced the way Iraqi and Syrian cultural heritage has been perceived, preserved, protected and even destroyed, starting with internal laws, institutions responsible of heritage administration and the people who led them, in the attempt of demonstrating that continuous attempt to impose a cultural unity can have unwanted consequences.


Nationalism, baathism, mandate system, de-baathification, islamism, cultural heritage.

DIANA-CRISTINA MATEI, PhD, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest,

BOGDAN C. ENACHE, La méthode fonctionnelle d'intégration de Jean Monnet. Dernier héritage de la culture de guerre? (Jean Monnet`s Functionalist Method of Integration. Last Legacy of the War Culture?) (pp. 613-634)


In this article I explore the historical and intellectual origins of the functional theory of European integration. By drawing on a dual body of scholarship, one dedicated to World War One and the other to the political process of European integration, I identify the socio-economic and cultural context which gave birth to the influential functionalist paradigm first theorized explicitly by David Mitrany. However, the biography and autobiography of Jean Monnet – the principal architect, administrator and promoter of the European Communities in the first decades after World War Two – support the idea that the intellectual rudiments of the functionalist approach go back to the practical experience of joint (Atlantic) Allied economic war planning during World War One. These executive economic committees acted indeed as a training ground for a new type of technocratic European elite, who will afterward populate the interwar executive bodies of the League of Nations and, finally, the new (Western) European institutions.


Jean Monnet, World War One, European integration, war culture, functionalism.

BOGDAN C. ENACHE, PhD Candidate, École des Hautes Études Sciences Sociales, Paris,

CRISTINA BADEA, Égalité de genre. Tendances récentes au niveau de la société civile institutionalisée (Gender Equality. Recent Tendencies at the Level of the Institutionalized Civil Society) (pp. 635-648)


Political theories addressing the issue of building and expanding democracy often associate its presence with a strong civic society, as key ingredient for structural democracies. In this article, our focus is on the dynamics and recent tendencies of non-governmental organizations promoting gender equality. Inquiring on their institutional capacity, recent history, main claims and potential for coalition we try to understand the role of Romanian NGOs in fostering gender equality following EU accession. Within this context, we focus on advocacy priorities, as well as main strategies in building private – public partnerships and influencing public policies.


Democracy, NGOs, gender equality, institutional capacity, advocacy.

CRISTINA BADEA, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest,

MATEI DEMETRESCU, Le gouvernement du soi, de l’identité et des coexistences. Une relecture de l’hypothèse biopolitique? (Governing the Self, the Identities and the Coexistence. A Reevaluation of the Biopolitical Theory?) (pp. 649-668)


The main purpose of this article is to investigate the production of individual gender-based identity. Several modes of identification will be taken into account (ranging from the personal decision on the embodied life to the biopolitical techniques of modern and contemporary government). The underlying interrogation of the article concerns the political capacity of gender identity, i.e. the capacity of the acts of self-definition to change the dominant language and to articulate a political frame free of any discrimination, pathologization or criminalization.


Identity, gender, transgender, biopolitics, authority.

MATEI DEMETRESCU, Postdoctoral Fellow, Romanian Academy of Science,

TOMAS VANA, Justifiability of Taxation in Universal Provision of Healthcare (pp. 669-694)


This paper firstly addresses the question if taxation is justifiable. It draws from a critique of Nozick’s entitlement theory and Cohen’s contrasting view that private property is theft. By a consequent advocacy of the priority of society over an individual it claims that taxation is justifiable for the provision of public goods that are to the benefit of all. The second part of this paper applies the defence of taxation to the provision of healthcare to argue that a rights approach doesn’t provide a sound philosophical basis of the universal provision of healthcare. By using the method of reflective equilibrium, it is evocative of egalitarian intuitions regarding disadvantage and shows that they present substantial economic difficulties. It further argues that an adaptation of the difference principle can serve as a useful departing point for defending a universal provision of healthcare because it benefits all members of a polity. The paper concludes by outlining some contradictions in defining the extent of healthcare provision and employing economic policies as well as by arguing that for a healthcare system to preserve the advantages of capitalism,‒ while providing healthcare to all ‒ a salient compromise between free markets and state intervention needs to be maintained.


Nozick, taxation, healthcare, justice, ownership.

TOMAS VANA, Ph.D. candidate, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague,

FLORIN N. FEŞNIC, Nimic nou pe frontul de est. Eterna şi fascinanta stângă românească, 1990-2014 (All Quiet on the Eastern Front: the Eternal and Fascinating Romanian Left, 1990-2014) (pp. 695-706)


I present an analysis of the electorate of the left in Romania in the last 25 years (1990-2014), both longitudinal and comparative. The analysis reveals an electorate that has hardly changed since the early 1990’s – it continues to be predominantly poor, old, and rural, with little education, much like the electorate of parties such as the Russian Communist Party or the Hungarian Fidesz. I argue that this profile, and its lack of evolution, is largely a product of the left’s (FSN, FSDN, PDSR and PSD) lack of genuine commitment to the institutions and principles of liberal democracy.


Left, authoritarianism, liberal democracy, voting, Romania.

FLORIN N. FEŞNIC, Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania,

MAX WEBER, Discours de guerre et d’après-guerre, textes réunis et présentés par Hinnerk BRUHNS, traduits par Ostiane Courau et Pierre de Larminat, Éditions de l’EHESS, Paris, 2015 (SILVIA MARTON) (pp. 709-710)

WENDY BROWN, Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, Zone Books, New York, 2015 (CAMIL-ALEXANDRU PÂRVU) (pp. 710-714)

EMANUEL COPILAȘ, Națiunea socialistă. Politica identității în Epoca de Aur, Iași, Polirom, 2015 (CODRIN TĂUT) (pp. 714-717)