Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review

vol. XXIII, no. 2, 2023


ANTONY TODOROV (New Bulgarian University), Liberal Democracies are also Social Democracies

Contemporary democracies have evolved over the course of two centuries, stemming from the democratization of representative government following significant revolutions in America (1776) and France (1789). However, it was the aftermath of World War II (1945) that marked a pivotal shift, as democracies embraced liberalism by adopting principles of human rights and the rule of law as foundational requisites. Concurrently, within the most successful Western democracies, the concept of the welfare state emerged as an essential prerequisite for effective democratic governance. This text argues that contemporary democracy constitutes a political regime in which liberal democracy and social democracy are inherently interconnected and indivisible.


Keywords: representative government, democratization, democracy, liberalism, socialism.

Antony Todorov (New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria),


GIANCARLO MINALDI (Kore University of Enna), The Left Turn of the Italian Democratic Party (PD): Primary Elections and Policy Preferences

On February 26, 2023, for the first time in the history of the Democratic Party, the leading Italian progressive party, a woman, Elly Schlein, was elected leader through open primaries that contradicted the outcome of consultations among the membership. Observing the outcome of an exit poll conducted by the Standing Group Candidate and Leader Selection of the Italian Political Science Society focusing on the policy priorities of the electorate, it clearly emerges that the inclusive rules of intra-party democracy, under certain conditions, can impact the identity of the party, leading in this case to a sharp turn to the left.

More specifically, the positions of the electorates of the two candidates, Elly Schlein and Stefano Bonaccini, diverge significantly on issues that appear to be crucial for the political positioning of the party.


Keywords: Democratic Party, intra-party democracy, political impact, policy issues, left turn.

GIANCARLO MINALDI (Kore University of Enna),


PETIA GUEORGUIEVA (New Bulgarian University), The Bulgarian Socialist Party on the Path to De-Europeanization

The article’s main purpose is to shed light on the Euroscepticism of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and its shifting identity towards European issues, liberal democracy, and in terms of party organization during the last decade. More than twenty years ago, the successor of the former Bulgarian Communist Party managed to achieve a difficult (and, it turns out, superficial) Europeanisation and Social-democratization. BSP supported the country’s accession to the EU and the integration in NATO. Now, the party is identifiable as a pro-Russian actor, opposed to the Istanbul convention, spreading conservatism, and hysteria against the so called “gender ideology,” fighting against economic neo-liberalism but also liberal ideas. The Russian war against Ukraine significantly impacted domestic politics and the structure of party competition, revitalizing the historic divide between pro-Russian and pro-Western camps. Isolated, the BSP lost its position as a major party of government and embraced anti-establishment and protest-party profile. The main research questions address the essence of the BSP’s ethnonationalist and conservative turn, and its hybrid interpretations of “national interest” and “patriotism” in its discourses and documents. Special attention is paid to the BSP’s positions towards the war in Ukraine. Our main approach is grounded on the path dependency theory and on the supply and demand sides of the fragmented party system.


Keywords: Bulgarian Socialist Party, path dependency, party change, Euroscepticism, Nationalism.

PETIA GUEORGUIEVA (New Bulgarian University), 


JUAN CAMILO MESA BEDOYA (CEIPA), CARLOS HERNÁN GONZÁLEZ PARIAS (Tecnológico de Antioquia), CRISTINA CHICA GUARÍN (Esumer), Official Development Assistance in Colombia: changes and continuities of the Peace Agreement. Case study of the United States and the European Union (2012-2021)

The objective of this research article is to conduct the identification of the possible changes and continuities presented in the dynamics and the Official Development Assistance (ODA) received by Colombia from the United States of America and the European Union, after the signing of the Peace Agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). A qualitative case study methodology is used by consulting databases and information from official sources on ODA projects granted to Colombia. The period 2012-2021 was set at four years prior to the signing of the agreement and five years after it. The results show significant changes in the amounts and number of projects financed by the United States and the European Union since the signing of the Agreement.


Keywords: International Cooperation for Development, Peace Agreement, Official Development Assistance, Negotiation Process, Colombia.


CARLOS HERNÁN GONZÁLEZ PARIAS (Tecnológico de Antioquia),



KATERINA FUKSOVA (Charles University), Victory Day or Europe Day? The Politics of Memory in Moldova in the Shadow of Russia's War in Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 had a profound impact on the Republic of Moldova. The aftermath witnessed an unprecedented influx of Ukrainian refugees, a significant rise in inflation, a decline in political stability, and a deepening energy crisis. The root causes of political instability in Moldova are diverse, with issues of identity and memory playing a central role in the nation-building process since the Soviet Union’s collapse. Moldova, situated between its Romanian roots and Russian-Soviet heritage, confronts numerous challenges in reconciling its past and navigating its future. The Russian occupation of its neighboring country has accentuated these challenges, serving as a crucial test for Moldova’s European-oriented government. The response to this new geopolitical reality, however, has led to some measures that intensified ideological divisions within the population, particularly regarding matters of memory and identity. The contested memorial heritage in Moldova was notably evident during the May 9 celebrations, coinciding with Europe Day and Victory Day. While many European Union countries consider Europe Day a peripheral holiday promoting European values, Moldovan politicians and the public are increasingly giving it attention, with a growing belief that it should replace the Soviet-style Victory Day. Using the “struggle” over the significance of May 9 as a case study, this article explores contemporary Moldovan memory politics influenced by the realities of war.


Keywords: Moldova, memory politics, identity, Victory Day, Europe Day.

KATERINA FUKSOVA (Charles University), 


ILIR KALEMAJ (University of New York Tirane), ENRIKETA PANDELEJMONI (University of Tirana), Caught in the Election Trap: Voter Fraudulence and Dysfunctional Democracy in 2021 Albanian General Elections

There is a growing consensus that data driven elections are a winner, irrespective of variables that may affect the elections. The question of how these data are obtained in the first place is highly disputed. This paper analyzes Albania and looks at one of its prime indicators like voter fraudulence that leads to distorted election results. Our findings show that the factors that have led to such an outcome are the patron-client relationship, shadow financing, and the use of public administration as an arm extension of the ruling party. There are many mechanisms used by ruling political parties in non-consolidated democracies to obtain an outright advantage in elections, ranging from political assassination or imprisonment of political opponents to staffing the ballot boxes. But as the Albanian case testifies, more refined measures are more legitimate both domestically and in seeking international legitimacy. This article advances the present debate on the impact of patronage schemes on electoral competition and results in semi-consolidated democracies.


Keywords: Dysfunctional democracy, voter fraudulence, distorted elections, Albania.

ILIR KALEMAJ (University of New York Tirane), 

ENRIKETA PANDELEJMONI (University of Tirana), 



***, Chronology of the Romanian Political Life, April 1 - September 30, 2023



MARIA BUCUR, The Nation’s Gratitude: World War 1 and Citizenship Rights in Interwar Romania, Routledge, 2023 (SERGIU DELCEA, University of Bucharest) 


SABRINA P. RAMET, East Central Europe and Communism. Politics. Culture and Society, 1943-1991, Routledge, 2023 (IULIA ARMENCEA, University of Bucharest)


Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review, Vol. 23 No. 2 (2023): Full issue

DOI: 10.62229/sprps23-2