Studia Politica, vol. XX, no. 1, 2020


MARCO ZAPPA, The Rise of Governance and the Japanese Intermediation in Transitional Vietnam: The Impact of Japanese Knowledge-Based Aid to Vietnam in the Doi Moi Years (pp. 9-32)


In the late 1980s, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam, hereafter) underwent a period of reforms known as doi moi (renovation), opened its economy to global flows of goods and capitals and adopted an “omnidirectional” strategy aimed at building relations with former “enemy” states like Japan and the US. These multiple transitions presented the country’s communist leadership with new challenges: first and foremost, transforming the country’s governance from socialist to a partially neoliberal one in the attempt to accommodate international partners’ and investors’ demands. The present study will address the following research question: by which means did the Vietnamese leadership succeed in surviving the demise of the USSR and conform to the emerging neoliberal global order? Against the backdrop of the global rise of the good governance model for international development, this article will shed light on Japan’s role during Vietnam’s first phase of reforms in the early 1990s through its government-led knowledge-based aid initiatives up until the draft of the country’s first Comprehensive Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy. It will argue that Japan offered a certain development know-how and a model of state-mediated growth which suited Vietnam’s Communist party’s needs to keep the single-party rule.

Keywords: Vietnam, doi moi, reforms, knowledge-based aid, development, economic growth.

MARCO ZAPPA, Ph.D in Asian and African Studies, jointly awarded by Ca’ Foscari University Venice and Humboldt University Berlin,

DRAGOȘ DRAGOMAN, SABINA-ADINA LUCA, BOGDAN GHEORGHIȚĂ, Szeklerland and The Birth of a New Region in Europe: An Inquiry into Symbolic Nationalism (pp. 33-54)


The recent symbolic affirmation of Szeklerland as a new region in Europe marks the deep change in the pattern of relations between ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Romanians in Transylvania. With the expansion of ethnic Hungarian cultural minority rights at their very limits during Romania’s post-communist transition, the autonomy for Szeklerland is a step forward from cultural to territorial collective rights. Facing the strong opposition of ethnic Romanian parties to the reshaping of the territorial design along ethnic lines, ethnic Hungarian elites adopted a growing symbolic mechanism of identity promotion. The mechanism of ethnic symbolism unraveled by the article ranges from road signs and signboards marking the entry into Szeklerland, the presence of Szekler flag and coat of arms, commemorations and other public gatherings to organizing an unofficial referendum for the autonomy of the region. The symbolic affirmation of the region marks its entry in the list of symbolically disputed territories and the birth of a new region in Europe.

Keywords: identity promotion, regionalism, ethnic autonomy, symbolic nationalism, Transylvania, Romania.

DRAGOȘ DRAGOMAN, PhD in Sociology, Associate Professor with the Department of Political Science, “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu,

SABINA-ADINA LUCA, PhD, lecturer at “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of International Relations, Political Science and Security Studies,

BOGDAN GHEORGHIȚĂ, PhD in Sociology. He is a lecturer at “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of International Relations, Political Science and Security Studies,

VLADIMIR-ADRIAN COSTEA, (Re)defining the complementary institution of Conditional release in Romania (2000-2019) (pp. 55-86)


This article aims to investigate the legal and political evolution of the institution of Conditional release in Romania between 2000 and 2019 with a special focus on the abrupt changes during the mentioned period. The aim of this research consists in bringing together the redefining of the regulatory framework of Conditional release in relation to the dynamic political context and personal strategies used by the right-holder of individual liberation. Two important episodes need to be recalled for the redefinition of this concept: the establishment of the National Anticorruption Directorate; and the reform of criminal legislation, after Romania’s accession to the European Union. The general objective is to explain and understand the different stages in which liberation committees and courts of law have made use of the prerogative of dispensing conditional release, given the social role that the complementary institution of Conditional release within the institutional, territorial and functional scheme of the rule of law. I will show that amendments to criminal law, along with changes in court practice, have led to a reduction in the level of consistency between the decisions of the liberation committees and courts of law. Different legitimating strategies used by right holders are the main unexpected result of this research, as restrictive legal provisions apply to both decision levels.

Keywords: Conditional release, redefining, criminal legislation, overcrowding, Romania.

VLADIMIR-ADRIAN COSTEA, PhD student of Political Science at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest,

MURAT IPLIKCI, A Stunt, A Shut-Down, and Heavy Diplomatic Propaganda: The Story of Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s Penetration to the Turkish Market (pp. 87-106)


This article analyzes Curtiss-Wright Aerospace Industry’s inflow process to the Turkish market in the early 1930s. In these years, aviation was a quite significant industry that contributed economic, military, and political prestige of the states. Progressive decision-makers of Turkey were looking for an opportunity to establish a partnership with a multinational company to manufacture its own aircraft because the young state was destitute of such technology. Curtiss-Wright was eager to do business in Turkey; two American pilots’ record-breaking flight from New York to Istanbul in 1931; withdraw of German Junkers Aerospace Industry’s from Turkey in 1929 and American Ambassador Joseph Grew’s public diplomacy between 1927 to 1932, helped this process.

Keywords: Aviation industry, Turkish-American relations, economic relations, public diplomacy, foreign direct investment.

MURAT IPLIKCI, Ph.D. Candidate in the History Program and an Instructor at I.D. Bilkent University, Ankara,

BETÜL AYDOĞAN ÜNAL, Opening the Ballot Box: Strategic Voting in Turkey’s June 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections (pp. 107-122)


How do voters react to electoral incentives for strategic voting when presidential and parliamentary elections are held concurrently and under different systems? Previous research has concluded that different systems can shape the preferences of voters and create different incentives to vote strategically, yet the effect of the concurrent presidential and parliamentary elections is still unclear. This study analyzes the incentives in such a setting in a case study of Turkey. By employing King’s ecological inference solution and using ballot-box level data, this article shows that 9 percent of total voters cast a strategic vote in the 2018 elections. Moreover, if supporters of the two main parties are excluded from the analysis, as they had no reason to vote strategically because their most preferred candidate was perceived to be one of the top two contenders, the percentage of strategic voters increases to 25 percent.

Keywords: strategic voting, split-ticket voting, ecological inference, Turkey, voting behavior.

BETÜL AYDOĞAN ÜNAL, PhD from the Department of Public Administration at Dokuz Eylül University, teaching at the Department of International Relations at Ege University,


ALEKSANDR G. DUGIN, Geosofija. Gorizonty i civilizacii [Geosophy. Horizons and Civilizations], Moscow, Akademicheskij proekt, 2017 (PAKSIUTOV GEORGII, Lomonosov Moscow State University) (pp. 126-130)

JOSEPH Y. FASHAGBA, OLA-ROTIMI M. AJAYI, CHIEDO NWANKWOR (Eds.), The Nigerian National Assembly, Cham, Springer, Cham, 2019 (SEGUN OSHEWOLO, Landmark University) (pp. 130-132)

DANIEL BENDIX, Global Development and Colonial Power: German Development Policy at Home and Abroad, London & New York, Rowman and Littlefield International, 2018 (ANTHONY I. OKPANACHI, Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich, Germany/ Kogi State University, Nigeria) (pp. 133-137)

CĂTĂLIN AUGUSTIN STOICA, România continuă. Schimbare și adaptare în comunism și postcomunism, București, Humanitas, 2018 (AMALIA GABRIELA GRIGORE, Universitatea din București) (pp. 138-140)