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State and Citizenship: New Perspectives on Old Issues

Vol. II

No. 4

October - December
2014

Editura Lumina Publishing 2014


LUMINA
PUBLISHING

ISSN: 2392 - 814X


ISSNL: 2286 - 4547

International Advisory Board


Philippe CLARET (Bordeaux), William CONNELL (New Jersey)
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Philippe SCHMITTER (Florence), Filip STANCIU (Bucharest)
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Mario Jovan TEOKAREVIC (Belgrade) TEL (Bruxelles),
Mmtazer TRKNE (Istanbul)
Editor-in-Chief
Aurelian GIUGL
( LUMINA - The University of South-East Europe)
Editorial Board
Ioana-Bianca BERNA, Diana CHIRA, Marin DRMNESCU,
Aurelian GIUGL, Eugen LUNGU, Florin-Ciprian MITREA,
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Peer Review Board
Vasile BOARI (Babe - Bolyai University)
Ion BOBOC ( LUMINA - The University of South-East Europe)
Sorin BOCANCEA (Petre Andrei University of Iai
Anton CARPINSCHI (Al. I. Cuza University of Iai
Salvatore CINGARI ( Universit per Stranieri di Perugia)
Julien DANERO IGLESIAS (Universit Libre de Bruxelles)
Drago DRAGOMAN (Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu)
Nicola GENGA (La Sapienza University of Rome)
Francesco MARCHIAN (La Sapienza University of Rome)
Sergiu MICOIU (Babe -Bolyai University)
Sorin MITULESCU ( LUMINA - The University of South-East Europe)
Ciprian NIU (West University of Timioara)
Rzvan PANTELIMON (Universidad Catlica de Valparaso)
George POEDE (Al. I. Cuza University of Iai)
Daniel ANDRU (Petre Andrei University of Iai)
Gabriela TNSESCU (Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations)
Enache TUA (Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations)
Drago VASILE (University of Economic Studies, Bucharest)

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

CONTENTS
ARTICLES

Marinela ISTRATE, The pro-natalist policy in Romania reflected in the media of the time......................1
Drago DRAGOMAN, Sabina-Adina LUCA, Bogdan GHEORGHI, Social grievances, popular
music and electoral mobilization in Romania.....15
Ctlin-Valentin RAIU, Raison dtat to Plebiscite: a conceptual analysis of Romanian postcommunist
referenda...........................................................................................................................................................33
Rzvan Victor PANTELIMON, Some Considerations on the Development and Underdevelopment Theories
in Latin American States.53
Helen MARGARITOU-ANDRIANESSI, Reforming Citizenship....67
Marko SIMENDI, Katarina LONAREVI, Yet another Republican Moralist? Machiavelli on Prince,
Glory and Good Constitution81
Lucian DUMITRESCU, The European Citizenship: Republican, Multicultural or Hybrid? .......................97
Lorena-Valeria STUPARU, The Utopia and the Public Space of European Citizenship............................111
Octavian SOFRONEA, Social integration of people with severe visual impairment Case Study: Queen
Elizabeth School Centre - Prospects for the future..........................................................................................123
Gabriela TNSESCU, Habermas Normative Model of Public Sphere in the Current Debate of the
European Public Sphere..137

ESSAYS
Gelu SABU, Why should we read Adam Michnik? (Reading notes)...157
Teodora-Maria DAGHIE, Eastern Europe and the West: The Origins of Backwardness. Case study on
Russia.167

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

BOOK REVIEWS
Maia RAMNATH, Decolonising Anarchism: An Antiauthoritarian History of Indias Liberation Struggle
(Silviu PETRE)......175
Feliks GROSS, Citizenship and Ethnicity: The Growth and Development of a Democratic Multiethnic
Institution (Ioana-Bianca BERNA).......181
Gh. CIASCAI, G. TNSESCU, Spaiul public european. Idei, instituii, politici [Public European Sphere.
Ideas, Institutions, and Politics](Sorin MITULESCU)................................................................................189
Rashid KHALIDI, Sowing Crisis - The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East
(Petra-Iuliana PINTELEI)..............................................................................................................193

SIGNALS.195

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS...203

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

ARTICLES
The pro-natalist policy in Romania reflected in the media of the time
Marinela ISTRATE
Raluca Ioana HOREA ERBAN
University Alexandru Ioan Cuza of Iai, Romania
Abstract: Our article is intended to be an excursion on the pro-natalist policy performed by the
communist regime (in its last years of existence) emphasizing, by means of a quantitative methodology
and a trans-disciplinary support, both the role played by mass-media in disseminating the proliferation of
the number of families with more children and the means and ways in which the Romanian society
reacted in those years of economic, social, moral and political difficulty. In Romania the (in)coherence of
the communist regime required the intrusion of the government authorities in the most intimate aspects
of the life of both the individual and the couple. The natalist behaviour of the population was handled in
a forced and aggressive way in the direction of having more and more children, the strategy of bringing into
force this desideratum acting including at the psychological level by decreeing reproduction as a patriotic
responsibility, women being granted a noble mission from this point of view. The mobilizing discourse
of mass-media during the last years of the communist regime on the triple role of woman in society
(worker, life companion and mother) certainly played an important part in the drastic decrease of fertility
in Romania after 1989, when it stabilized around the rate of 1.3 children per woman, without real
chances of recovering in the near future.
Keywords: pro-natalist policy, communism, Romania, female magazine.

1. INTRODUCTION
After the establishment of communism in East European countries, one of the
main processes that took place was the homogenization and equalization of the
population, a process which was meant to remove all social (including genre) differences
in order to build the new, socialist man1. This ideology, together with the need for an
increased volume of labour force intended to serve the interests of industrialization, led
to the massive (sometimes coercive) integration of women within the employed
population, but also to a limited freedom of choosing the number of wanted children
within the family.
For Romania too, the communist period involved the activation of an intense
policy of industrialization and urbanization women were compelled to participate at. Far
from being the key element of the emancipation and genre equality the theoreticians of
communism had dreamt of, womens complete involvement in the labour field (women
1

Susan GAL, Gail KLIGMAN, Politicile de gen n perioada postsocialist, Polirom, Iai, 2003, p. 69.

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

being called equal socialist workers a conception based on an androcentristic


notion2) became an instrument of consolidation of the political power of the time and of
creating a consistent basin of labour force recruitment. At the same time, women
preserved almost exclusively the responsibility for housework and child raising.
Consequently, domestic labour division was never essentially transformed by the socialist
state. On the whole, communism burdened women with extra duties and newly
structured images: of mother, worker, life comrade, housekeeper3. Although they
obstinately pointed out womens promotion in leading positions, their presence was
symbolical, the measure being applied in the same duplicitous manner as in the case of
the equality between spouses within a family4.
We considered necessary extending the analysis outside the period of study in
order to set out the premises for the present evolution of the demographic indicators. In
this way, the period after World War II can fall into three stages, according to the type of
policy that characterized the system at a certain point5.
1.
1948 -1957 a period during which we cannot talk about a demographic policy
of the state but during which, joining the Soviet model, certain measures were taken in
order to increase the fertility rate; getting divorced was a difficult and heavy process and
abortions were allowed only in exceptional cases. This lapse of time was characterized by
a high birth rate and a falling death rate, in relation to certain signs of social and
economic incipient modernisation.
2.
1957-1966 a period of relative liberalisation (also inspired by the Soviet
model), during which performing an abortion upon request was permitted.
3.
1966 -1989 the period of Nicolae Ceauescus leadership, during which the
demographic pro-natalist policy (often evoked in specialty paper) was aimed at increasing
Romanias population. In its turn, this period can be divided in two sub-periods6:
a) 1966 -1985 on October 1st, 1966, without any previous warning, they banned
abortions almost completely, except for certain exceptional situations: in case of women
aged more than 45, mothers of at least 4 children, serious medical recommendations. For
the next 23 years, Romania would experience one of its most difficult periods because of
numerous severe restrictions and an extremely rigid pro-natalist policy.
b) 1986 -1989 in December, 1985, Ceauescu strengthened the limitations on
performing legal abortions: it was no longer enough to already have 4 children but 5, all
of them aged under 18; they also generalized compulsory gynaecological controls for all
women aged 16-45 in order to trace early potential pregnancies; furthermore, they set up
the so called celibacy tax (10% of the monthly salary for people aged more than 25
Jill MASSINO, Anonimatul femeii n estetica Romniei Ceauiste, in A. CIUPAL (eds.), Despre femei i istoria lor
n Romnia, Editura Universitii din Bucureti, Bucureti, 2004, p. 1.
3 Susan GAL, Gail KLIGMAN, Politicile de gen...cit., p. 77.
4 Gail KLIGMAN, Politica duplicitatii. Controlul reproducerii in Romania lui Ceausescu, Humanitas, Bucuresti, 2000,
p. 118.
5 Diana COVACI, Propaganda pronatalist n paginile Almanahului Femeia (1979 1990), in Sorina Paula
BOLOVAN, Ioan BOLOVAN, Corneliu PDUREAN (eds.), Om i Societate. Studii de istoria populaiei
Romniei, Presa Universitar Clujean, Cluj Napoca, 2007, pp. 525 548.
6 P.H. DAVID, Adriana BABAN, Women`s health and reproductive rights: Romanian experience, Patient Education
and Counseling, nr. 28, 1996, pp. 235 245.
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

who had not got married or who had been married for two years but did not have any
children).
2. MATERNITY AND COMMUNISM IN ROMANIA
In what regards the Romanian state policy vision on maternity, two stages can be
identified7.
1.
The pattern of the fighting- woman or motherhood as second-rate
issue (1948-1965). Starting with 1948, there began a process of emancipation of women,
which were warranted the labour right. This triggered significant changes in many
aspects of life, including in respect of the number of children, which was continuously
decreasing. All of a sudden, woman became mans comrade, his partner in the struggle
meant to build socialism. Femininity and maternity hanged into second-rate issues, the
emphasis being laid on physical endurance.
2.
The pattern of the mother- woman or maternity as state issue
(1966-1989). Animated by the desire to lead larger and larger masses of people towards
the glorious achievements of communism, Nicolae Ceauescu banned abortions and
all contraceptive means, on the background of a strongly decreasing birth rate. The
fighting woman was replaced by the mother and working woman. We face a change in
the propagandistic speech, which was now centred upon motherhood and securing the
gold future of the nation.
This pro-natal policy represents a Romanian characteristic often mentioned in the
specialty papers8. The well-known decree 770/1966 completely forbade abortion and
laid down measures with a view to punishing women who would have tried to put an
end to the evolution of pregnancy. The contraceptive methods were completely lacking
or they were only accessible on the black market, thus becoming a luxury good.
Improvements were subsequently brought to the existent legislation (1973, 1974,
1984), also the doctors who did not show enough interest in applying the pro-natal
policy being under scrutiny. The 1966 Decree practically doubled the number of live
births: 520,000 in 1967, as opposed to 270,000 in 1966. All of a sudden, the birth rate
increased from 14.3 in 1966 to 27.4 in 1967, but, in the following years, it would
gradually go down to 14.3 in 1983 (approaching the 1966 statistics).
In the same time, this decree was to bring the beginning of a black period in the
history of Romania: 10,000 women who died as a consequence of the medical
complications which appeared after the illegal and primitive pregnancy interruptions,
tens or hundreds of women remained with physical or psychical sequelae as a result of
using some medieval methods and instruments for abortion. The pro-natalist
demographic policy in the communist period practically represented the legitimization of
the interference of the state in the personal life of citizens, while giving birth to children
was imposed to all women as a state obligation.
Ramona PUNESCU, Evoluii politice ale maternitii. Perspective feministe, Polirom, Iai, 2012, p. 128.
Corina DOBO (eds.), Politica pronatalist a regimului Ceauescu, Polirom, Iai, 2010, pp.112 117; Cornelia
MUREAN, Schimbarile comportamentului familial n Romania, Presa Universitar Clujean, Cluj Napoca, 2012,
p.191; Ramona PUNESCU, Evoluii politice...cit., pp. 140 142.
7
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3. COMMUNIST SPEECH ON GENRE EQUALITY AND THE PRONATALIST POLICY


Our article is intended to represent an incursion in the communist discourse,
more exactly in the written media, by means of which the social identity is explained and
made public. Starting from womans inferior social status in comparison to man (similar,
from this point of view, to the status of the working class in relation to the bourgeoisie9),
communists assume the responsibility of emancipating women both through work,
through their active participation in building the multi-developed communist society, by
strengthening their role of mothers and by obsessively pointing out the necessity of
giving birth to as many children as possible.
On the whole, the communist discourse stands out through an extremely
uniform discursive practice (that is a certain manner of writing, distributing,
receiving/consuming the text). The roles designed in the text for the speaker and the
receivers are very stable and reflect the imbalanced communicational situation of the
communist speech. The one who speaks is always in control of the one who listens (the
receiver). The discourse practiced by most written media of those times must be
regarded as a strategic component of the totalitarian policy, performing specific
functions10: coercion, dissimulation, legitimization/de-legitimization, passivation etc.
The communist pro-natalist policy was spread by all means, including the
written press and the audio-visual. All programs abounded in information on the
importance of children in a family and the feeling of unfulfillment that should have been
experienced by childless or by one-child families.
Womens magazines, set under the control of the central authorities, brought
their contribution to the shaping of these images. They revealed inaccessible images of
women who managed, apparently without efforts, to be engineers, wives, mothers,
fashionably dressed women, political activists. They were the superwomen who could
meet the expectations of a socialist type of femininity and who represented the womans
new, excessively powerful and yet inadequate image. At the same time, we must
emphasize the fact that the masculine image did not undergo a spectacular change as it
happened in the case of women, men preserving their monopole both on the labour
market and within the family, where they continued to be loyally served, domestic labour
sex division changing but little during the communist period. Policies were generally
aimed at changing womens and not mens behaviour. We cannot deny an obvious
improvement of womens situation within the society in comparison to the period before
World War II, but we must also point out the fact that the notion of gender equality never
really became operational in communist Romania, the power disequilibrium between
men and women not being substantially changed11.
One of the means of aggressive propaganda was also Femeia magazine (which
first came out in the year 1948) an engine of intense propagation of the pro-natalist
C. MORAR-VULCU, ntre noi i ei: identitatea politic a femeii n discursul comunist, in Ghizela
COSMA, Virgiuliu PRU (eds.), Condiia femeii n Romnia n secolul XX, Presa Universitar Clujean, Cluj
Napoca, 2002, p. 199.
10 Ibidem, p. 201.
11 Ramona PUNESCU, Evoluii politice...cit., p. 128.
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

policy, a magazine with obvious political implications in the shaping of the new man,
which would have secured the success of the socialist state. It was a monthly publication,
enjoying a good distribution both in the urban and rural environment and which was
accessible to all social classes. All the numbers of the magazine aligned the same
predefined pattern: the first pages were dedicated to the presidential couple; there
followed rubrics dedicated to the accomplishments recorded in the labour field (where
women stood out in jobs such as welders, crane drivers or in working places on the
hydropower construction sites, in the huge heavy industrial plants etc), invariably
accessorized with references to the satisfaction status triggered by the chance of
living and working in such good conditions. Of course, they were all fulfilled at the
family level too, having a husband (often working in the same place) and at least two or
three children, who most of the time dreamt of embracing their parents professions.
The deeper and deeper appeal to propaganda was necessary in order to mask the
negative effects of the communist policy, felt especially in the economic and
reproductive field.
4. MAJOR THEMES IN FEMEIA MAGAZINE
The present paper is intended to analyze the articles published in this magazine
during the last 5 years of communist regime (1985-1989) and to assess the degree in
which official representations reflected the reality lived by the women of those times. By
studying the contents of these issues, we identified seven major themes, ardently
developed in all the numbers of the magazine in order to enforce the natalist
propaganda, according to which women could not have other desires and aims in life
than becoming mothers and raising children.

4.1. Editorials in which specialists in various fields speak about procreation,


children, abortion, divorce etc. Under the shelter of their official position, declarations
are many times categorical, more or less subtly threatening, laying a huge psychical
pressure on the female.
The young family an interview with Dr. V. C., State Secretary in the Ministry of
Health, who unequivocally states that:
It has been undoubtedly proved that a family can fully fulfil itself only by having
childrenFamilys complete achievement and womans biological and psychical fulfilment get
stronger with each new born, brought up and educated child. (...) That woman who has not
faced motherhood yet, has experienced neither physical nor affective self-fulfilment and, as time
passes, she gets a stronger and stronger feeling of unfulfillment (3/1985, page 9).

Children, the supreme duty towards the future (1/1986, pages 12-13) an editorial
dedicated to the enforcement of a decree stipulating: the increase of the benefit paid to
mothers who gave birth at least to a second child; the increase of the benefit paid to
mothers of three - four children (400 lei/month) and of five or more than five children
(500 lei/month); the increase of childrens allowance with 26.8% (without clearly
specifying what this means). The article ends in an eloquent way:
Profoundly grateful to our loving leader for the new measures meant to directly support
families and mothers with more children, the women in our country feel obliged to obey the

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

wonderful and noble urge of giving birth, just like our parents and ancestors, to as many
children as possible, to the joy of their own family and securing the countrys youthfulness.

Rendering homage to mothers: a duty of conscience, a social duty (3/1986, pages 6-7) an
interview with dr. M. M., manager of Cantacuzino Hospital in Bucharest, who begins
unequivocally: We militate for the continuation of the old Romanian tradition according to which any
family should desire and bring into the world as many children as possible, insisting on the very
good conditions that the state provides to the pregnant woman and mother of infants.
The conclusions of the article (written by V. T., journalist) are:
In our country, the mother-woman is and has also been venerated; furthermore we want this
veneration to come up to the standards of the present educative and social demands so that
women, surrounded by the esteem and appreciation of both the collective bodies they work in
and of the whole society, should achieve their supreme mission of bringing into the world and
raise in life, to the happiness of their own families and country, as many children as possible.

4.2. Debates, meetings, gatherings. Pro-natalist propaganda

Throughout the whole country permanent debates and meetings were organized,
even during the work program, in factories, women being forced to attend them, lacking
any chance of missing such events. They were initiated by the local branches of the
Romanian Communist Party and especially by the local branches of the Communist
Youth Union (CYU) together with the Womens organizations (for whom such missions
were a party duty), the results of these manifestations being afterwards largely developed
in the pages of Femeia magazine. In order to deliver lectures, they invited
gynaecologists, legal experts and even employees of the Ministry of Home Affairs, all of
them expressing their opinions on the efficiency of fighting against illegal abortions and
on the measures to be taken in order to trace out and punish those who practiced such
deeds which were prohibited by law.
A prodigious symposium dedicated to the part a family plays in preserving the youthfulness and
vigour of the nation (4/1986, page 5) Slatina; it brought together personalities of the political
life, famous medical, legal or educational experts; Exchange of experience on birth rate increase as a
fundamental element of saving the youthfulness of our nation (11/1986, page 15) Tulcea, event
organized by CYU and other institutions; Family the fundamental nucleus of our society
(10/1989, page 15) round-table debate organized by Femina Club and the CYU
organization of Tricoul Rou Factory in Arad; The supreme responsibility of securing the
youthfulness and development of our socialist nation (6/1988) Baia Mare, meeting of more
womens organizations of 15 counties; its main topic was the implementation of the medical
and demographic policy promoted by our party and state.

4.3. Reportages in the maternity hospitals of the country

In the pages of Femeia magazine, readers could also find reportages made in
the Romanian maternity hospitals, which used to depict the excellent conditions enjoyed
by the working class, the abnegation of the medical staff, as well as the happiness of the
young patients. The pro-natalist education and responsibility was popularized by means
of such articles as:
The waiting a reportage made in Titan Maternity Hospital in Bucharest
(11/1985, page 13); it comprises interviews with doctors, nurses and mothers. What
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

strikes the reader is the early age of becoming a mother (G. C., age 19 first child, C. A.,
age 22 second child).
Here, where life and health triumph (10/1986, page 6) a reportage carried out in the
maternity of the Municipal Hospital in Bucharest, revealing the good conditions in which
3,000 children are given birth every year. Everything excels here, except for mothers,
who are often criticized by the medical staff - Most of them are exaggeratedly emotional and
fastidious, others are incredibly ignorant
Life, Its Majesty (6/1986, page 8) a reportage made in the new maternity in
Botoani (endowed with 400 beds)
They give birth to LIFE! (9/1985, page 12) an article on Buftea Maternity
Hospital, 5 years after inaugurating the institution, now modernly equipped and
(undoubtedly!) providing excellent conditions. The article is accompanied by a picture of
more new-born children, lying one near the one on the same bed and more interviews
with the mothers in the hospital wards (aged 27 third child; aged 33 a worker, tenth
child (7 boys and 3 girls); a nurse seventh child). Perhaps the most touching case
(precisely in terms of present-day life) is that of a young woman aged 17, herself coming
from a numerous family (being the eldest of 8 children), who declares:
We were 8 children in mothers home and we have all grown up and have become good people. If I am healthy, my
house will be full of children, too. For they bring joy and give a sense to family.

4.4. Brothers. Single child vs. more children

A significant component of the pro-natalist policy was the change of the fertility
rate by rank: an increase in the percentage of third and third+ ranks. The measures of
strengthening the enforcement of the anti-abortion law taken in 1984 had as main effect,
in 1985, the prolongation of the fertile age (three quarters of the +4th children were born
by mothers aged +40). By contrast, nowadays, more than four births record smaller
percentages in all age groups. The liberalization of abortions at the end of 1989
materialized in the decrease in the number of births and not in giving up having children.
Another approach of the pro-natalist policy assumed the accentuation of the
importance of the large number of children within a family. It was not seldom that they
pointed out this idea (the larger the number of children, the happier the families), underlining
the fact that one child is not enough to provide parents equilibrium and fulfilment.
These became obsessively repeated topics: more children, not only one!, laying the emphasis
on the tradition of the Romanian people of having more children, although post-studies
revealed the fact that, for most families, the ideal number of children is two12.
Brothers (4/1985, page 13) an article that insists on the fact that the quality of
family life, its harmony and stability depend on the number of children in a family. It promotes the
idea that a single child brings about permanent anxiety (?!!), being spoiled and unadapted.
Only children who have at least one brother acquire such fundamental features as
altruism, solidarity, responsibility etc. All these are accompanied by case studies in which
parents speak about their children, about the eagerness of existing brothers of having a
newborn in the family etc
T. ROTARIU, V. VOINEAGU (eds.), Inerie i Schimbare. Dimensiuni sociale ale tranziiei n Romnia, Polirom,
Iai, 2012, pp. 133 141.
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Meaningful youth (9/1985, page 16) an article that presents the story of M.Z., a
sub-engineer working in the oil and gas field, mother of four children, all of them glad to
have just received aflat in Tg. Crbuneti (Gorj county) - I was a single child and all my
childhood I longed for either a brother or a sister. I had my first child at age 18...
With each new child, you live one more life (10/1985, page 13) a reportage that
depicts the life of a Romanian teacher, aged 43, mother of seven children aged between 5
and 22 and wife of a Maths teacher, aged 45. She underlines the fact that she chose to be
a young mother - on university graduation, she already had two children. She also
provides information on her familys daily necessary food: 7 kg of potatoes/meal, 5
loaves of bread, 4 litres of milk, 9 yoghurts etc.
They often published articles on competitions between families of workers to
have as many children as possible, an illusion bombastically supported by the similar
pattern fecundity wealth13 [15].
Two mothers chatting (11/1989, page 10) the first mother - aged 36, a woman
welder, mother of three children, herself coming from a numerous family with eleven
children; the second mother - aged 36, a crane driver, mother of four children. They
both suggest that they are young and that they are not going to stop here....
Children windows open towards the sun (6/1987, page 21) an article in which is
stated that:

Many mothers think that by having a single child they can more carefully look after him/her. In fact, the second
and the ones to come after are better physically and psychically developed, since they benefit from the experience their
parents gained with the first child.

We are so happy with them, with our children (8/1989, page 13) a reportage on a
five-child family living in a 4-room flat (father an electrician, mother a spinner); they
defend the idea that A family with many children gives you a feeling of perennially, that your life
runs in a beautiful way, that you step forward proudly, like a stag in an oak forest...
Family Sunday (4/1989, page 12) the story of a family with nine children who
live with their parents (father a foreman, mother a housewife) and grandmother. It
points out the idea that children tend to take up their fathers job as a worker, a highly
appreciated and valued profession in the communist epoch (the eldest ones are a milling
machine operator, a locksmith, a mechanic and a manufacturer, respectively; the smallest
ones are pupils at industrial high schools; all of them are good, hardworking children...).
The home with 4 fairies (8/1986, page 10) mother - aged 36, a nurse (coming
from a numerous rural family with nine children), father aged 39, a public prosecutor.
They live in Dorohoi (Botosani County) with their four girls; their fifth child is to be
born soon.
Besides these detailed editorials, usually covering one whole page, they also
included short mentions of similar cases mailed by readers (the Talking to female
readers rubric): The home with 11 flowers (1/1985, page 17): father a tractor driver;
mother a housewife; they have eleven children like 11 flowers, all beautiful and healthy.
Father misses from the picture attached, being at work; The home with 9 girls (5/1985,

Lavinia BETEA, Interzicerea avorturilor (1966 1989) ca fapt de memorie social, in A. NECULAU
(ed.), Viaa cotidian n comunism, Polirom, Iai, 2004, p. 247.
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

page 17): father a tractor driver; he has got nine girls who set up a folk singing and
dancing group, enjoying much success in the village.

4.5. Illegal abortion and refuse of forced motherhood

Under Ceauescus regime, women fell into two categories: already motherwomen and future mother-women (the sooner, the better). Decree 770/1966 completely
banned abortions, stipulating severe punishments for women and people who helped
them. However, the year 1984 brought a new hardening of the legislation and the pages
of the magazine fully reflected this process. The fight against abortions changed into a
frenzied battle, under the circumstances in which the living standard in late 80s Romania
had become dramatic because of a generalized lack of minimum products and services
meant to provide a civilized living light, heat, bread, meat etc.
The pages of the magazine included study-cases of women who had lost their
lives following an illegal abortion, offering terrifying details: Beyond tears (10/1986, page
11) mother aged 31, seven children dies after an illegal abortion; Too late (10/1988,
page 11) R.T. mother aged 27, three children dies after an illegal abortion; her
husband says he has not known anything; his attitude is also blamed, for he should have
prevented her from passing through an abortion; C.Z. mother of two children, dies
after an illegal abortion operated in her fifth month of pregnancy. The article also offers
the names of the people who induced these abortions, as well as the prison punishments
they received; Where are you, mummy? (7/1988, page 10) mother aged 24, one child dies
after an illegal abortion; the woman who caused was sentenced to spend 11 years in
prison.
Official data certify the dramas we can infer from the pages of the magazine.
While during the period 1960 1965, before Ceauescu banned abortions and
contraceptive means, there were about 72 maternal deaths per year (mainly triggered by
septic abortion complications), between 1966 1989 the average was of 302 maternal
deaths per year, particularly as a consequence of illegal abortions14. The highest values
were scored in 1982 (1.48/1,000 live-births) and 1989 respectively (1.49/1,000 livebirths).
The condemnation of abortion was quasi-generalized, the articles written by
doctors insisting on the negative impact of an abortion, which was compared to a
suicide, a thoughtless act, women who appealed to it being not only legally punished but
also morally condemned for life. Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that such opinions
were partly medically reasoned, but the insistence with which the negative effects of
abortions were emphasized reflects duplicity under the circumstances in which an
abortion was the only way of getting rid of a pregnancy. Almost each number of the
magazine included a gynaecologists article explaining over and over again what giving
birth meant to a womans organism and what the consequences of an abortion were,
reaching exaggerated statements such as women must preserve and bring to an end at least the
first 4-5 pregnancies.
Henry P. DAVID, Daniel PIEROTTI, Demographic and social effects of population policies in Europe, 1992,
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/1993/ICP_MCH_599g01.pdf.
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Consequences of abortion (3/1989, page 21) prof. dr. docent I. N. on delictual


abortion:
Each woman must understand that becoming a mother is everything a young married girl can desire.A woman
who induced herself an abortion, if still alive, will be forever haunted by the idea of the crime she committed.

Pregnancy this fulfilment (2/1986, page 21) an article providing advice to young
women, but also speaking about pregnancy symptoms and prenatal controls. Of course,
it supports the necessity of having as many children as possible:
Fruit of love, the first new-born in the family will strengthen the affective relationship between husband and wife,
bringing a plus of maturity. Afterwards, with each new child, the young family will feel more and more fulfilled
through the years, living again a new and beautiful youth beside the children they gave birth to.

Abortion and its consequences (10/1985, page 21) Dr. F. R., 23 August Maternity
Hospital in Bucharest declares: Youth is the optimum procreation age for both spouses and this
potential must be neither held back nor diminished. The article speaks about the quasigeneralized consequences of abortion (temporary or permanent sterility, temperature,
septicaemia, uterine infections, gangrenes, death) but readers can also infer the psychical
repercussions that almost compulsory accompany abortions: eternal regrets, nightmares,
permanently destroyed relationships with life partners; the husband and wife will grow
old as a sterile and isolated couple.
Abortion and its consequences (2/1986, page 21) an interview with dr. V. D.,
Filantropia Maternity Hospital in Bucharest:
For a woman, pregnancy means complete physical and psychical health, a perfect hormone equilibrium. Its brutal
delictual interruption causes physical and psychical trauma to that woman. It also represents the starting point of
various local and general, earlier or later complications, sometimes even endangering her life.

Moreover, the doctor finds it appropriate to also refer to a tragic example: R. B. aged
24, mother of a one year old child died in hospital after an illegal abortion. The despair
of this young woman who can hardly take care of her infant, her fright of again
becoming mother so quickly can be read between the lines, being obvious to all the
women of those times.

4.6. Rural environment family

Although Femeia magazine largely addressed women in the workers urban


environment, meaning precisely those generations that left villages to work in urban
factories (a category very much encouraged and supported by the communist regime,
which best complied with the pro-natalist policy of the regime). However, at the same
time, it also included articles on the rural environment traditionally high birth rate areas
enjoying a much better welfare standard in comparison to that of the numerous families
living in the great working districts.
Village life continued to be idyllically presented, laying the emphasis on the
Romanian peoples tradition of having large families, which had always been regarded as
something to be proud of. It tried to accredit the (false) idea that in the Romanian
traditional mentality the number of children and grandchildren represented the material
wealth and prestige of the family15.
The 1,000-children village (12/1985, page 12) an article about Crmpoaia village
in Oltenia, where each family has at least five, quite often even seven or eight children.
15

Lavinia BETEA, Interzicerea avorturilor...cit., p. 248.

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Even the mayor, aged 47, is father of seven offsprings and grandfather of six
grandchildren. There are many relatively young heroine-mothers (aged 29, 33, 36), that is
women that have at least 10 children, being rewarded with prizes and special allowances.
The reportage also speaks about the welfare of these families, whose households are
endowed with furniture, TV sets, fridges, etc. A distinct atmosphere of kindness and well
understanding; there, where so many children live, there is no room for selfishness or disagreement.
The flowers in Albac (5/1989, page 12) a commune inhabited by 3,000 people,
out of which 1,000 are children. The article is accompanied by proper photos meant to
depict their prosperity and welfare: wealthy houses, flocks of sheep in the streets,
children coming from school with pioneer ties over their winter coats.
More offsprings, more good luck (6/1986, page 6) an article on Rozavlea,
Maramure, a high birth area (17 % in 1986) where five-six (and even ten) child families
are something common; it includes a case-study on a young five-children family
suggesting they are not going to stop here...as they are still young (mother, aged 33;
father, aged 41)
Humuleti, symbol of the everlasting childhood (4/1987, page 13) a reportage on a
well-known high birth rate including a case study of a very happy family made up of:
mother a worker, father a mechanic and their six children.

4.7. Quiz...contests

Other types of propagandistic materials were the so-called contests, which urged
readers to answer a set of questions meant to test their knowledge of the exceptional
accomplishments of the communist regime. Of course, questions on family, children,
benefits received by mothers of more children etc could not miss.
No. 7/1985, page 13 on the occasion of celebrating 2 decades of magnificent
achievements they initiated a contest made up of 20 questions from various fields
(number of newly built flats, number of women working in the factories of the country
etc.). One of them particularly stood out through its pragmatism:
Our party and country are very much concerned with mother and child protection, with the permanent improvement
of families living conditions, with securing the vigour and youthfulness of our people. Can you say which birth rate
is our country supposed to score during the following period?

The possible answers were: A. 15 17%; B. 17 19%; C. 18 20%. The first 3 winners
of the contest were: a worker, an accountant and a student.
No. 8/1986, pages 12-13 the contest Children. Lets bring them up healthily, with
love and skill comprised 12 grid questions on child upbringing. The winners were a
worker, an engineer and an excavator.
No. 9/1987, pages 12-13 Budget funds for mothers of more children have risen. How
many mothers yearly benefit from these allowances?: A. 555,000 mothers; B. 666,000 mothers; C.
777,000 mothers. The winners were a weaver, a cooperative farmer and a high school pupil.
It is difficult to assess the impact of this propaganda on women. We rather stake
on the opposite effect, of over-saturation in front of the idyllically image of the big
happy family, so much different from the real life (confronted with starvation, coldness,
desperation of not having food to feed a new family member). We can state that this
campaign of educating the population in the spirit of the communist pro-natalist
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ideology left deep marks and even scars in womens mentality, which, unfortunately,
sometimes have not been fully cured.
5. CONCLUSIONS
The specificity of communist Romania resides precisely in the strong pressure laid
on women in respect of playing both the productive and the reproductive function. Yet,
we cannot deny the contribution of the socialist state to the emancipation of women in
the post-war period, especially in what regards the equal access to education and work16
The mobilizing discourse promoted during the communist regime (which emphasized
womans triple role of worker, wife and mother) played an important part in shaping a
significant category of women endowed with a certain professional qualification, which
undoubtedly represents an advantage of present Romania17. In spite of the many
questionable aspects of the measures taken by the communist regime and of certain
exaggerations in the implementation of the directives of the party, the womans
emancipation became reality in Romania starting with the 60s of the 20th century. This
fact complies with the general European trend of that period, that of increasing the
number of jobs for women and of the decline of the traditional pattern according to
which the man was the only income provider in the household18.
As regards the communist propaganda during the period analysed, we noticed a
gradual transition from a discourse in which the accent was however laid on man and his
personal development to one in which the communist party came first, working peoples
(and especially womens) purpose not being other than that of serving the party and the
country. The tone of the communist speech was more and more vehement, at the end of
the communist period more than half of the magazines being dedicated to the years of
glory and magnificent accomplishments, the other rubrics hardly finding a place.
In the communist period, the family, in the classical meaning of the word,
changes into an entity deprived of privacy, a public entity, desacralized by the wellmarked political-atheistic attitude of the authorities, weakened of any profound meaning,
miming a happiness and welfare devoid of any real ground. Maybe precisely of this
reason after 1989 Romania experienced a drastic decrease of fertility (situated around 1.3
children/woman in the last years), without real chances of relaunching in the near future,
despite the recent political efforts of implementing a proper coherent policy able to reestablish the demographic balance of the state and to find solutions to the problems that
may be triggered by fertility variations. After more than two decades from changing the
political system in Romania, the total fertility rate continues to be below the value which
would ensure the simple replacement of generations in time.

V. RU, Problema femeii i instaurarea comunismului n Europa Central i de Est, in Ghizela COSMA,
Virgiuliu PRU (eds.), Condiia femeii n secolul XX, Presa Universitar Clujean, Cluj Napoca, 2002, pp.
135 159.
17 Oana BLU, Alina DRAGOLEA, Alice IANCU, Gen i interese politice. Teorii i practici, Polirom, Iai,
2007, p. 84.
18 Ph. BARTHELEMY, R. GRANIER, M. ROBERT, Demografie i societate, Institutul European, Iai, 2009.
16

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KLIGMAN, Gail, Politica duplicitatii. Controlul reproducerii in Romania lui Ceausescu,
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MUREAN, Cornelia, Schimbarile comportamentului familial n Romania, Presa Universitar
Clujean, Cluj Napoca, 2012.
PUNESCU, Ramona, Evoluii politice ale maternitii. Perspective feministe, Polirom, Iai,
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ROTARIU, T., VOINEAGU, V. (eds.), Inerie i Schimbare. Dimensiuni sociale ale tranziiei n
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*** Revista Femeia, 1985 1989, Bucureti.
*** Tempo Online database, Institutul Naional de Statistic, www.insse.ro.

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Social grievances, popular music and electoral mobilization in Romania1


Drago DRAGOMAN, Sabina-Adina LUCA, Bogdan GHEORGHI
Department of Political Science, International Relations and Security Studies
Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu
Abstract: The general social environment in Romania, as unraveled by the study of a widespread
popular music genre called manele, is dominated by distrust, apathy and disengagement. In part, this is
a response to the low political performance of political elites, largely seen as irresponsible and corrupt. By
exploiting social and political grievances through the use of such a type of popular music, populist parties
in Romania managed to electorally mobilize young people which have not been mobilized before.
Although this can be seen as a democratic gain, hate speech and political violence can seriously undermine
social and political trust and may prepare the ground for more radical action.
Keywords: popular culture, populism, electoral participation, political violence, post-communism,
Romania.

Populism has recently become one of the most common features in Central and
Eastern Europe.2 In many countries in the region, populist parties are electorally
successful and even manage to form the government.3 Now, when the European Union
conditionality is no longer in place, a general backsliding is to be noticed in the region,4
marking the end of the post-communist transition paradigm, defined by a general
consensus regarding the constitutional order that safeguards political and civil rights and
the effort for economic liberalism.5 The aim of this article is to shed light on the
favorable preconditions and on the strategies that Romanian populists, namely the
populist Democrat Liberal party (PDL) and the Romanian president Traian Bsescu
This article was written as part of a broader research, financed by the grant CNCSIS PN-II-RU-TE_82
(2294/04.08.2010) by the Romanian Council for Higher Education Research. The authors are solely
responsible for the opinions and analyses expressed here.
2 Bojan BUGARIC, Populism, liberal democracy, and the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe,
Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2008, pp. 191-203.
3 Steven M. EKE, Taras KUZIO, Sultanism in Eastern Europe: The Socio-Political Roots of Authoritarian
Populism in Belarus, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2000, pp. 523-547; Ilya PRIZEL, Populism as a
Political Force in Postcommunist Russia and Ukraine, East European Politics and Societies, Vol. 15, No. 1,
2000, pp. 54-63; Andrs BOZKI, Consolidation or Second Revolution? The Emergence of the New
Right in Hungary, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2008, pp. 191-231;
Krzysztof JASIEWICZ, The new populism in Poland: The usual suspects?, Problems of Post-Communism,
Vol. 55, No. 3, 2008, pp. 7-25.
4 Jan ZIELONKA, The Quality of Democracy after Joining the European Union, East European Politics and
Societies, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2007, pp. 162-180; Philip LEVITZ, Grigore POP-ELECHES, Why No
Backsliding? The European Unions Impact on Democracy and Governance Before and After Accession,
Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2010, pp. 457-485.
5 Jan RUPNIK, From democracy fatigue to populist backlash, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 18, no. 4, 2007, pp.
17-25.
1

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(2004-2014), used during the 2008 and 2009 electoral campaigns. They are labeled as
populists because, due to their shared values, motivations, discourses and actions,6 but
also because they are perceived as such by number of journalists and academics.7 By
exploiting political and social grievances, they managed to stir and channel a pre-existing
discontent and to turn it into electoral advantage. Their capacity to use social grievances
was doubled by the ability to reach specific electoral targets, especially those targets
inaccessible to political competitors. One of these particular targets, the undereducated
young people that can hardly be mobilized by regular parties, was reached through a
strategy that brought in the use of popular music during populists electoral campaigns.
The genre used by populists is the most widespread and most highly valued among
undereducated young people, a music genre called manele that one can notice
everywhere in Romania, in restaurants, railway stations, buses or taxis.
As an accurate expression of this groups social and political knowledge and
orientations, manele generally emphasize social distrust, disengagement, powerless
feelings against the public space and its political expressions.8 In maneles gloomy view
of the social reality, the public/political space is elusive, remote, hostile, subject to
manipulation by distant forces and impossible to change by ordinary citizens. Populists
strategy actually largely emphasized the new hero, the populist leader himself, who fights
against those manipulating distant forces and re-empowers the ordinary citizens. This
communication strategy proved to be successful and helped mobilize many disengaged
and apathetic undereducated young people, offering the electoral advantage needed to
set the populist party as the most important party in parliament. Yet by emphasizing the
generalized distrustful environment in Romanian society, by using political and social
hatred, populists may undermine citizens future willingness to cooperate and engage in
the public democratic sphere and prepare the ground for more radical political action.
1. YOUNG PEOPLE AND POLITICAL APATHY
The widespread popular disengagement from political life has become a
common feature of post-communist societies. Despite the overwhelming popular
enthusiasm back in 1989, citizens in the region seem to have renounced their democratic
role. Once democracy established, they turned back to their private lives and abandoned
the public space at the mercy of political elites. On the other hand, citizens in the region

Drago DRAGOMAN, Post-Accession Backsliding: Non-ideological Populism and Democratic Setbacks


in Romania, South-East European Journal of Political Science, Vol. I, No. 3, 2013, pp. 27-46.
7 Sergiu GHERGHINA, Sergiu MICOIU (eds.), Partide i personaliti populiste n Romnia postcomunist,
Institutul European, Iai, 2010; Sergiu GHERGHINA, George JIGLU, Who Votes for Populists in
Central and Eastern Europe? A Comparative Perspective from Five EU Member States, paper presented at
the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2011; Mihaela
MIROIU, What is Left from Democracy? Electoralism and Populism in Romania, paper presented at the
European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2011.
8 Drago DRAGOMAN, Tinerii, manelele i spaiul public. Valori sociale dominante i mobilizare politic,
in Sabina-Adina LUCA (ed.), Tnr n Romnia. Noi valori, noi identiti, Institutul European, Iai, 2013, pp. 5582.
6

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dont trust politicians and political parties.9 They are not eager to vote and there is no
difference when it comes to taking into account different levels of electoral competition.
The turnout rates are seemingly low in local, parliamentary or presidential elections.
Moreover, voting is used as a sanction for the incumbents poor performance, especially
for unemployment,10 rather than a permanent control tool of elected officials. Political
participation, other than voting, is generally low in the region, and especially lower when
compared to West European features. East-Europeans are less active when it comes to
signing a petition, gathering for a political manifestation or overtly protesting against an
unfair decision. Civic activism is seemingly low.11 The low level of political and civic
participation, combined with the vote sanction, may have an undermining impact on the
democratic practices and institutions, on the electoral volatility, the stability of party
systems and on the accountability of elected representatives.12
The explanation for the weakness of post-communist civil society may be found
in the very nature of the previous communist regime,13 but also and in the nature of the
post-communist transition itself, especially regarding democratic protest. Early
negotiated settlements between elites that led to the creation of democratic systems, the
cooptation of some of the leaders of opposition movements into government and the
economic transition, all have caused the demobilization of the civil society.14 They only
added to the previous communist regime social atomization and distrust, weak ties and
political apathy.15 In democratic settings, people participate in politics because they can,
because they want or because they were asked to.16 That means that participation has to
be seen as depending upon resources (time, money and skills needed for political
participation), motivations (interest for politics, clear preferences for peculiar policies,
expected gratifications that arise from political activity) and recruitment.
When one notices that political participation is lower among youngsters, he has
thus to take into account those resources, motivations and recruitment patterns,
combined into contextual and cultural factors. During the transition period, young
people seem to have been most affected by social shock in terms of resources.17 They

Hubert TWORZECKI, A disaffected new democracy? Identities, institutions and civic engagement in
post-communist Poland, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2008, pp. 47-62.
10 Andrew ROBERTS, Hyperaccountability: Economic voting in Central and Eastern Europe, Electoral
Studies, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2008, pp. 533-546.
11 Marc Morj HOWARD, The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-communist Europe, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, 2003; Gabriel BDESCU, Paul SUM, Eric M. USLANER, Civil society development and
democratic values in Romania and Moldova, East European Politics and Societies, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2004, pp. 316341.
12 Hubert TWORZECKI, A disaffected new democracy?...cit.; Nikolay VALKOV, Membership in
voluntary organizations and democratic performance: East post-Communist countries in comparative
perspective, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2009, pp. 1-21.
13 Marc Morj HOWARD, Weakness of Civil Societycit.
14 Konstantin ASH, A game-theoretic model for protest in the context of post-communism, Communist and
Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2011, pp. 1-15.
15 Beate VLKER, Henk FLAP, Weak ties as a liability: the case of East Germany, Rationality and Society,
Vol. 13, No. 4, 2001, pp. 397-428.
16 Sidney VERBA, Key L. SHLOZMAN, Henry E. BRADY, Rational action and political activity, Journal
of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2000, pp. 243-268.
17 Ivan T. BEREND, Social shock in transforming Central and Eastern Europe, Communist and PostCommunist Studies, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2007, pp. 269-280; Bogdan GHEORGHI, Sabina-Adina LUCA,
9

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now face new challenges in the context of marketization, democratization and increased
labor migration.18 In Romania, statistical and survey data indicate that age, household
income and education are important factors for political participation, combining
conventional forms of participation like voting, and new, unconventional forms, such as
protest.19 Moreover, young people avoid political participation because of lack of
motivation. The general low trust in the political system turns political participation into
a useless action for those who have no hope to influence political institutions and
politicians. These institutions are generally seen as rigged against ordinary men and
women and run by corrupt and irresponsible officials. Thus young people feel politically
powerless and disregard public issues. Additionally, they reject any kind of mobilization
that reminds them about the previous communist forced political mobilization.20 On the
other hand, young people who desire to get involved in more significant political action
dont always have the right connections for successful political activity. Often seen in
Eastern Europe as vehicles for personal welfare,21 parties in power are not accessible to
everyone. Post-communist parties benefit, as other inchoate institutions, of a wide range
of former social (in fact, personal) networks that are specific to atomized societies which
make more formal civil society organizations unattractive for many people.22 The
persistence of personal networks is a response to the organizational failure and to the
corruption of formal organizations. Networks that individuals can invoke in response are
anti-modern: forms of informal, diffuse social cooperation; begging or cajoling public
officials; using connections to bend rules or paying bribes that break rules.23 The uneasy
access to public offices only adds to the general powerless feeling and the distrustful
social environment.
Yet young peoples political apathy is not at all an East European feature.
Following the profound and unprecedented social and economic transformations in the
60s and 70s, the repertories of political action in Western Europe changed dramatically,

Societatea romneasc ntre polarizare i stratificare. O perspectiv dup 19 ani de postcomunism, Sociologie
Romneasc, Vol. VIII, No. 1, 2010, pp. 85-99.
18 Jeffrey W. HAHN, Igor LOGVINENKO, Generational Differences in Russian Attitudes towards
Democracy and the Economy, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 60, No. 8, 2008, pp. 1345-1369; Anne WHITE,
Young people and migration from contemporary Poland, Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 13, No. 5, 2010, pp.
565-580.
19 Violeta ALEXANDRU, Adrian MORARU, Loredana ERCU, Declinul participrii la vot n Romnia,
Institutul pentru Politici Publice, Bucharest, 2009; Drago DRAGOMAN, Trust, reciprocity and
volunteerism: Explaining low political activism in post-communist Romania, Sociologie Romneasc, Vol. VII,
No. 4, 2009, pp. 107-123.
20 Ase B. GRDELAND, Red Mobs, Yuppies, Lamb Heads and Others: Contacts, Informal Networks
and Politics in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 59, No. 2,
2007, pp. 217-252.
21 Andew Roberts, Hyperaccountabilitycit.
22 James L. GIBSON, Social Networks, Civil Society, and the Prospects for Consolidating Russias
Democratic Transition, in Gabriel BDESCU, Eric M. USLANER (eds.), Social Capital and the Transition to
Democracy, Routledge, New York, 2003, pp. 61-80.
23 Richard ROSE, Getting Things Done in an Anti-Modern Society: Social Capital Networks in Russia,
World Bank Social Capital Initiative Working Paper No. 6, 1998.
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTSOCIALCAPITAL/Resources/Social-Capital-Initiative-WorkingPaper-Series/SCI-WPS-06.pdf

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while political activity generally turned into more unconventional forms.24 In the
previous industrial period, with social structure and with growing alternatives in
ideologies, political parties and movements, people have developed loyalties (to these
ideologies, parties and movements) in order to acquire guidance in how to think and act
politically. According to Barnes,25 a new type of mobilization emerged and replaced the
previous political mobilization in accordance with the ongoing changes in the range of
dominant values.26 The emerging age is one of cognitive mobilization. Although many
people remain tied to the political system in the older social and political patterns of
adherence, in the age of generalized education and mass communication there is less
need to turn to parties for guidance on public policy. Now people are free to choose
among a vast range of causes, civil society associations and solicitations and they do so in
terms of personal interests and passions.27
Thus it is not clear whether young people can be seen as either disengaged,
disenfranchised, heralds of an incipient crisis of democracy, or active and engaged in
sophisticated new forms of politics.28 In post-communist societies, they can be seen as
either distrustful and disengaged citizens, disconnected from the flow of political
communication and generally feeling powerless and pessimistic about their influence
over the political system, or fully capable of mobilizing in regime change processes, as
they did during the Orange revolutions.29 No matter if they are seen as valuable assets
for democracy or potentially harmful contesters that could undermine authoritarian
political regimes and that have to be severely contained,30 young people are social forces
that count. And they seem to count more and more, since their social and political values
and orientations are critical for the future. In fact, due to acute changes in childhood
conditions in post-modern societies, even young children are to be taken into account.31
Samuel H. BARNES, Max KAASE et al., Political Action: Mass Participation in Five Western Democracies, Sage,
London, 1979.
25 Samuel H. BARNES, Perspectives on Political Action: A Review Twenty-five Years Later, paper
presented at the European Consortium for Political Research Joint Sessions of Workshops, Uppsala,
Sweden, 2004.
26 Ronald INGLEHART, The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles Among Western Publics,
Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1977.
27 Pippa NORRIS, Young People and Political Activism: From the Politics of Loyalties to the Politics of
Choice?, Report for the Council of Europe Symposium Young people and democratic institutions: from
disillusionment to participation, Strasbourg, France, 2003; Pippa NORRIS, Stefan WALGRAVE, Peter
VAN AELST, Who Demonstrates: Anti-State Rebels, or Conventional Participants? or Everyone?,
Comparative Politics, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2005, pp. 251-275.
28 Rys FARTHING, The politics of youthful antipolitics: representing the issue of youth participation in
politics, Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2010, pp. 181-195.
29 Taras KUZIO, Civil socity, youth and societal mobilization in democratic revolutions, Communist and
Post-Communist Studies,, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2006, pp. 365-386; Donnacha BEACHIN, Abel POLESE,
Rocking the vote: new forms of youth organisations in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union,
Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 13, No. 5, 2010, pp. 615-630.
30 Maya ATWAL, Evaluating Nashis Sustainability: Autonomy, Agency and Activism, Europe-Asia Studies,
Vol. 61, No. 5, 2009, pp. 743-758; Julie HEMMENT, Soviet-Style Neoliberalism? Nashi, Youth
Voluntarism, and the Restructuring of Social Welfare in Russia, Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 56, No. 6,
2009, pp. 36-50.
31 Therese OTOOLE, Engaging with Young Peoples Conceptions of the Political, Childrens Geographies,
Vol. 1, No. 1, 2003, pp. 71-90; Jan W. VAN DETH, Simone ABENDSCHN, Meike VOLLMAR,
Children and Politics: An Empirical Reassessment of Early Political Socialization, Political Psychology, Vol.
32, no. 1, 2011, pp. 147-173.
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In Romania, they have been seriously taken into account by populists when evaluating
the electoral context. With the professionalization of electoral campaigning, populists
made an important attempt to mobilize young people by the use of popular music,
ingeniously exploiting the recurrent social themes that are carried out by this type of
music.
2. BACKGROUND
The use of manele as electoral vehicles indicates a deep change in Romanian
politics. On the one hand, it accompanies the political raise of populism and emphasizes
on the political function of the populist leader as expressing the very voice of the
people. In this terms, people equals the broad category of ordinary citizens that tend to
exclude other categories from this definition, namely different social, sexual, ethnic and
racial groups, as well as social and political elites. On the other hand, it clearly indicates a
professionalization of political campaigning in selecting and insulating peculiar electoral
targets that parties tend to electorally mobilize. The 2008 parliamentary elections and the
2009 presidential elections that helped Romanian populists to consolidate in power
cannot be fully understood without taking into account the 2007 split between classical
moderate liberals from the National Liberal Party and the populist Democrat Liberal
Party. Though back in 2004 they have succeeded together to defeat the ruling SocialDemocrat Party (PSD) in parliament and to the presidency by largely using an overtly
populist rhetoric against pervasive corruption, essential differences between the PNL
prime-minister Triceanu and the Romanian president (formerly PDL leader) Traian
Bsescu led to an unsolved conflict that culminated with the impeachment of the
president Bsescu in 2007 by the new PNL-PSD majority in parliament.32 Though the
president was put back in office by the will of the majority of citizens expressed by
referendum, his relationship with the parliament will never be the same. In fact, 2007 and
the failed referendum for impeaching the president is the defining moment of victorious
populism. The subsequent electoral campaigns won by the populists originate in the
2007 populist attack against power elites in parliament, the judiciary system and the
hostile mass-media, when populists succeeded in mobilizing enough supporters to
overrule Parliaments decision to impeach the president. As shown below, the popular
music proved to be a solution in order to exploit political grievances and mobilize
otherwise disengaged citizens.
3. MANELE AND DOMINANT SOCIAL VALUES
As an essential social product, popular culture offers compelling insights into the
social world we live in. Unlike the so-called high culture, popular culture based on
experiences and views of the common folk may more accurately unravel the very fabric
of the social world. In the same time, popular music is an essential vehicle for various
cultural images and symbols and therefore can be used in the political communication. In
fact, it can act as any other vehicle carrying images and symbols in order to generate a
Sergiu GHERGHINA, Sergiu MISCOIU, The Failure of Cohabitation: Explaining the 2007 and 2012
Institutional Crises in Romania, East European Politics and Societies, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2013, pp. 668-684.
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particular narrative.33 Popular music may also serve as vehicle for frustration, anger and
protest against established values and norms.34 As social sign, music may appeal to the
emotions of a generation, particularly a young generation. That is why music is probably
the most suitable way for young people to express not only their identity, but their
political knowledge and orientations.35
The songs we take into account in this research are called manele (singular:
manea). Though there are also classical manele, in fact Turkish derived genre of dance
music performed as early as the 18th century by Romani musicians in pre-modern
Romania, the modern manele we take into account are a mixture of Romani music with
Turkish, Greek and even Indian elements, combined using modern (especially electronic)
instruments and beats. In fact, the mixture of music genres and the eclectic beats makes
manele to be related to other music styles in the Balkans, like Bulgarian chalga, Greek
modern laiko, Turkish arabesque and to a lesser extent to Serbian turbo-folk. This
mixture makes manele relatively hard to clearly define, yet there can be seen as a
mixture of complex local Romani and oriental Balkan, Turkish and Arabic influences
over a pop tune.
Manele are widespread cultural items in Romania, especially among young
people since the beginning of the post-communist transition in 1990. They seem to enjoy
manele the most, according to several surveys. In fact, a survey requested in 2005 by the
National Audio-Visual Council, the regulating body for audio-visual media in Romania,
unraveled that almost a third of youngsters between 11 and 14 years of age and more
than a fifth of those between 15 and 18 years old mostly enjoyed manele.36 Back in
2004, a Gallup / British Council survey indicated that 20 % of those between 15 and 35
years old were enjoying manele.37 Young people in Romania use to listen to them in
various daily contexts, on a Sunday barbecue or while driving their cars. They are so
popular among them that media entrepreneurs in Romania, acknowledging their market
potential, now offer not only numerous special internet web sites, but radio stations
(Taraf FM) and even TV channels (Taraf TV, Mynele TV).
Though manele are often labeled by intellectuals as pseudo-music, bad taste or
pure kitsch, they could be seen as potential vehicle for the expression of a specific
counterculture. This is also the case of rap music, who managed to largely increase the
popularity of African-American youth styles among young people from various parts of
the world as to become one of the most esteemed youth culture on the globe.38 As
vehicle for symbols and images, rap music has helped in defining black identity in the
Jon STRATTON, Beyond Art: Postmodernism and the Case of Popular Music, Theory, Culture and
Society, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1989, pp. 31-57.
34 Theodor ADORNO, The Philosophy of Modern Music, Seabury, New York, 1980.
35 Jonathan MATUSITZ, Semiotics of Music: Analysis of Cui Jians Nothing to My Name, the Anthem for
the Chinese Youths in the Post-Cultural Revolution Era, The Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2010,
pp. 156-175; Catherine BAKER, Popular Music and Political Change in Post-Tudman Croatia: Its All the
Same, Only Hes not Here?, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 62, No. 10, 2010, pp. 1741-1759.
36 Cercetare privind analiza comportamentului de consum de programe audio-vizuale ale elevilor (11-14 i
15-18 ani), http://cna.ro/IMG/pdf/CNA_med11_14_iul2005.pdf (accessed 23.10.2011).
37 British Council, Tnr n Romnia, http://www.britishcouncil.org/ro/tanar_in_romania.pdf (accessed
23.10.2011).
38 Timothy HAVENS, Subtitling Rap: Appropriating The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for Youthful Identity
Formation in Kuwait, International Communication Gazette, Vol. 63, No. 1, 2001, pp. 57-72.
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context of modernity.39 In Romania, manele helped young people sharing new ways of
expressing their individuality trough this special kind of music, forged into a vivid
counterculture by the interaction between many cultures, urban subcultures and new
technology opportunities.40 From this perspective, manele may express underground
identity concerns, as well as social or more personal themes as justice, equality,
corruption, power and domination, fate and predestination, in opposition to the official
discourse on Romanias modernization and Europeanization. In this vein, they were
acknowledged for their communication potential and seriously taken into account as
valuable electoral vehicle in order to mobilize young people.
Though manele are not exclusively related to a social category, being enjoyed
by large shares of the young public, they were especially used by populists in order to
reach electoral segments difficult to mobilize by other parties. Whereas young people
tend generally to be difficult to politically mobilize, its undereducated segment is even
more difficult to mobilize through classical means. Though manele are criticized by
intellectuals for their banality, consumerism and sexualized aesthetics, these critics come
from academic and cultural standpoints and relate to the public perception of mane
public taken as an undereducated. This is also the case of Serbian and Croatian
turbofolk, criticized as an aesthetic said to reproduce dominant social values as quick
enrichment, conspicuous consumption, masculinity realized through violence, and
femininity realized through sexual availability.41 In the same time, manele seem to be
related to certain marginality in terms of social status, though the correlation is not very
powerful. Using the data of a survey on cultural consumption,42 Brumaru finds out that
manele are a different kind of music when compared to other music styles in terms of
public.43 In fact, those who listen to manele are different from those who listen to other
music styles and most related to those who enjoy hip-hop and house music. When he
takes into account all music styles in factor analysis, Brumaru unravels a four factor
model that includes manele in a factor alongside religious and classical symphonic
music. Manele have the largest loading in that factor and correlates negatively to the
other music styles, meaning a great opposition between manele and the other music
genres. Yet the most important findings relate to the correlations between manele
consumption and significant social factors. Thus manele are clearly related to young
people, and especially to undereducated young people both in terms of formal education
attendance and knowledge score (computed by the author). The same is true regarding
the correlation between manele consumption and the subjective occupational status,
Paul GILROY, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness, Harvard University Press, Cambridge
MA, 1993.
40 Sorin A. MATEI, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Virtual Community Discourse and the Dilemma
of Modernity, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2005.
41 Catherine BAKER, The concept of turbofolk in Croatia: inclusion/exclusion in the construction of
national music identity, in C. BAKER, C.J. GERRY, B. MADAJ, L. MELISH, J. NAHODILOVA (eds.),
Nation in formation: inclusion and exclusion in Central and Eastern Europe, SSEES Publications, London, 2007. See
also Catherine BAKER, Popular Music and Political Changecit.
42 The Cultural Consumption Barometer 2006,
http://www.culturadata.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107%3Abarometrul-deconsum-cultural-2006&catid=44%3Abarometrul-de-consum-cultural&Itemid=142 (accessed 16.06.2012).
43 Virgil BRUMARU, Stratificare social i preferine muzicale, unpublished manuscript, B.A. thesis, University of
Bucharest, 2008. The authors wish to thank Virgil Brumaru for valuable insights concerning the relationship
between social structure and music style preferences.
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income and rural/urban residence, those who listen to manele having a lower social
status and being located in peri-urban and rural areas. This might explain the concern of
populists to use the most suitable communication strategy for mobilizing undereducated
young people and turn social and political grievances into electoral advantage.
4. DATA
As underlined earlier, manele are highly popular music items in Romania. One
can listen to them in taxis and railway stations, restaurants and buses, but they can be
very easily found on special radio and TV music channels or downloaded from special
internet websites. The manele corpus we used for our content analysis, in fact more
than two thousand, was selected from several music top charts on the internet.44 A
number of 31 manele have been selected using several tag words that pertain to social
issues (as friends, enemies, cruel world etc.) and candidates. Through content
analysis,45 we first analyzed the dominant social concepts and norms, in order to
subsequently unravel their relationship with specific political issues and candidates.
Regarding candidates however, the only candidates that have benefited of manele in the
2008 and 2009 electoral campaigns taken here into account were populists. The
incumbent president Bsescu and the populist PDL are the political actors that figure in
manele texts, the former being depicted as a popular hero very close to the manele
ordinary hero that strives to survive in the harsh social environment.
5. DISTRUST,
WORLD

SOCIAL

UNCERTAINTY

AND

THE

MEAN

The dominant values expressed by manele largely helped populists to mould


their campaign rhetoric when addressing to young people. The social environment
depicted by manele singers is a gloomy one. Thus they sing about the drama of the hero
(most often the manele singer himself) confronting the mean world. The mean world
is seen as a collective, harmful, remote and powerful enemy that overwhelms single
individuals. It is actually generated by the dichotomy friends/foes. By its mean, the
individual is conceived as permanently fighting in order to survive the harsh social
environment. Its enemies are generally powered by pure hatred against him and that
feeling is mainly triggered by envy. They are imagined as covetous with regard to ones
success, possessions and advantages, and odiously plotting against him. By contrast,
maneles hero, the one that makes the assertions in the manele texts, generally portrays
himself as cooler, cleverer, richer, more hard working and better fit to overpass lifes
difficulties. He is shown in the video clips expensing large sums of money and driving
new and expensive cars, often accompanied by good looking young ladies dressed in
imitating luxury clothing brands.
The charts were selected from the following websites: www.topmanele.net, www.topmanelenoi.com,
www.best-manele.com, www.versurimulte.ro/versuri-manele/ (all web-sites have been accessed between
February and June 2011).
45 Klaus KRIPPENDORFF, Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology, Sage, Beverly Hills, 1980;
Laurence BARDIN, Lanalyse du contenu, in Serge MOSCOVICI, Fabrice BUSCHINI (eds.), Les mthodes
des sciences humaines, PUF, Paris, 2003, pp. 243-270.
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Yet the social environment is uncertain. On the one hand, its foundations are
purely material. The most emphasized issue in manele is money and every single
stereotype about money can be found here: they strengthen you in your social conflicts,
they can buy you a privileged social status, and they offer you power and pleasure. In the
ever shifting social environment, the worse social decay the manele singer wishes to its
enemies is to see them fall into a condition when they cannot enjoy anymore their
money, their cars, when they are abandoned by everybody, sold out and literally starving.
On the other hand, the distinction between friends and foes is not always easy to make.
This uncertainty adds new significance to the mean world. Close friends, often called
brothers, prove sometimes to be ungrateful, despite the efforts one makes in order to
support and comfort them. This discontent often turns into frustration and bitterness in
the manele, when the hero confesses his grief of finding out his close friends and allies
to be its worse enemies. One should therefore be aware and feel a strong suspicion about
close friends that attempt to coax, because they only might want to seduce and dupe.
Those misleading friends are generally depicted in manele as flattering in order to take
advantage of ones material goods or social status and finally maneuvering to despoil and
discard him.
The social values emphasized by manele are critical for a certain conception of
the social environment. Their pessimistic view matches with the general conceptions
regarding the public space as being elusive, remote, hostile, subject to manipulation by
distant forces and impossible to change by ordinary citizens. It is not clear if manele
actually work like the much criticized television propensity for crime, war, disease and
other plagues that makes viewers reasonably think that the real world is a terribly cruel
and mean world. And it is a mean world because people dont trust each other and are
looking out primarily for themselves.46 By the social values they carry on, manele could
be a suitable indicator of low trust and disengaged social environment, as well as a
relevant social factor by their influence among youngsters. This was exactly the
opportunity seized by Romanian populists in order to mobilize generally undereducated
and disengaged young people.
6. MANELE, POLITICAL GRIEVANCES AND THE POPULIST
HERO
The political environment depicted by manele does not differ so much from
the social environment. In fact, political issues in manele reproduce by and large the
social context unraveled by our previous content analysis. While keeping the general
framework of an uncertain, hostile and elusive social environment, the political manele
used by populists remove the social hero (most often the manele singer himself) and
replace him with the populist political hero. In the manea written for the 2008-2009
campaigns, the incumbent president Bsescu is portrayed as the true peoples hero. 47
Robert D. PUTNAM, Tuning In, Tuning Out: The Strange Disappearance of Social Capital in America,
PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 28, No. 4, 1995, pp. 664-683; Eric M. USLANER, Social Capital,
Television, and the Mean World: Trust, Optimism, and Civic Participation, Political Psychology, Vol. 19, No.
3, 1998, pp. 441-467.
47 Florin Baboi, Maneaua lui Bsescu (Bsescus manea). The subtitle of this manea reproduces exactly
the slogan used in the 2004 campaign by then the challenger candidate Bsescu, which was Long live well.
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This assertion of certain popularity is based in the manea on the first name of the
president, which is Traian, emphasized in the text as a Latin name, echoing that of the
Roman Emperor Trajan.48
By supporting peoples interests, the populist hero is forced to experience once
again the drama generally depicted by the manele. He is betrayed by his closest ally,
namely by the prime-minister Triceanu, a rogue and ungrateful (former) brother that
has been seduced with large sums of money by presidents worse enemies. Those
enemies are, in fact, peculiar to Romanian populist discourse, and they are number of
interest groups. Since interest groups that allegedly attempt to control Romania are
common place in the populists discourse, it is not surprising to find them pointed out in
the manele texts as president Bsescus bitter enemies. They have thus plotted against
him and unfairly attacked him from behind (while impeaching him in 2007).
In fact, manele managed to accurately depict the political environment in the
very terms that were familiar to those listening that kind of music, while emphasizing on
the general grievances expressed by ordinary Romanian citizens. Knowing that the
Parliament benefits of very little support from ordinary citizens,49 populists managed to
pinpoint it as the expression of a dishonest power elite rigged against ordinary people.
Yet manele strongly underlined a dimension that is inherent to populists discourse,
namely the ultimate conflict with a terrible enemy. In their reductionist view, the
institutional conflict from 2007 between democratic institutions, the parliament and the
government, on the one hand, and the president, on the other hand, turned out to be a
bitter conflict for political survival.50 The impeachment of the president by the
parliament with the support of 322 elected MPs was therefore presented (even by
populist leaders themselves) as a war against 322 MPs and against the unlawful and
irresponsible Parliament. Consequently, the president used his prerogatives and initiated
a consultative referendum regarding both the reduction of the number of MPs to less
than 300 and the transition from the current bicameralism to mono-cameralism in
Romania. Because Romanians backed this initiative, the president now asks for a
constitutional revision in Parliament that puts in place those changes. Any refusal or
partial opposition from the MPs is to be once again labeled by populists as the very
expression of the obsolete privileges that the parliament strives to keep against the will
or ordinary people.
Labeling the Parliament as an illegitimate interest group rigged against ordinary
people that has to be fought to death is, of course, a very effective political strategy put
in place through manele. It is also true that this electoral strategy is an appropriate
electoral response given by populist to existing political grievances. During transition
from the communist rule, Parliament was the most unfamiliar democratic institution that
Romanian citizens had to acknowledge as democratically essential. For two decades, the
The Romanian national anthem, dating from the 1848 Revolution, also refers to the historical origin of the
Romanian people, starting with the Roman conquest in the second century AD.
49 The trust in Parliament is the lowest type of institutional trust, with no more than 10 % of Romanian
citizens, according to the 2005 World Values Survey for Romania. See Drago DRAGOMAN, Atitudini ale
cetenilor fa de democraie i instituiile politice, in Sergiu GHERGHINA, Sergiu MICOIU (eds.),
Democratizare i consolidare democratic n Europa Central i de Est, Institutul European, Iai, 2014, pp. 278-303.
50 During the 2008 general elections campaign, populists used a slogan built on the same logic of the bitter
conflict between us and them that spreads across the whole society: us (populists) with you (ordinary
citizens), they (political opposition parties) with them (interest groups, power elites, peoples enemies).
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parliament was largely seen as inefficient while highly costly, inertial and ready to defend
individual MPs against anti-corruption prosecutors and judges.51 This is not surprising
that the representation, the role and the functioning of political parties and the
parliamentarian procedures are insignificant for those who prefer a strong leader who
spends no time with parties and elections. They are generally young and under-educated
people, who additionally display extremist, racist and xenophobic feelings and
conservative values.52 In fact, young and undereducated people are the most apathetic
citizens, yet they can be mobilized by populists through appropriate channels and by
appealing claims. Manele actually worked as a very suitable way of mobilizing other
people that the ordinary educated, middle-class voters from medium-size towns and big
cities.53 They thus reached an important electoral target that has not been addressed by
other parties, an electoral segment very sensitive to the issues of disempowerment,
distrust and harsh social conflict. Through hate speech, revenge attitudes and violent
menaces,54 the populist leader has become the hero of those socially disempowered and
politically disenfranchised people in his bitter fight against peoples enemies. Mobilizing
those people proved to be decisive for both overruling parliaments impeachment in
2007 and for winning the second round of the presidential elections in 2009.
As underlined by Schmitter,55 populists seriously challenge democracy as they
tend to pinpoint aliens and foreign powers as scapegoats for their own political failures.
The latter issues may combine to set up the stage, critics claim,56 for more radical action.
Thus undermining the legitimacy of democratic institution and practices may prepare the
ground for extreme-right activists and their decisive attacks against different ethnic,
racial, religious, linguistic or sexual groups that they exclude from the narrow definition
of people or of nation. Facing new political grievances based on racial prejudices, the
populist hero may play the same game as populists do when it comes to refuse to
publically acknowledge their own political failures. In this vein, populism in Romania
recently proved that different ethnic groups can be the perfect scapegoats for political
lack of success.57 This is the case of the failure of Romanias accession to the Schengen
free movement agreement in Europe, when Roma people were blamed for pouching and
begging in the Netherlands, France and Finland, the countries that actually opposed in
Even the former PDL Minister of Youth and Sports, who was also a MP, benefited from the parliaments
judicial protection against anti-corruption prosecutors in 2010, although the ruling coalition run by PDL was
largely dominant in the Romanian parliament at that time.
52 Drago DRAGOMAN, Populism, autoritarism i valori democratice n opinia public din Romnia, in
Sergiu GHERGHINA, Sergiu MICOIU (eds.), Partide i personaliti populiste n Romnia postcomunist,
Institutul European, Iai, 2010, pp. 267-307.
53 The 2004 alliance between PDL and PNL offered to then the challenger candidate Traian Bsescu the
support of the mostly urban and educated electorate, who kept on supporting him years later. See Andrei
GHEORGHI, Lideri politici i electorat, in Public Opinion Barometer, Open Society Foundation Romania,
October 2006.
54 Minutes after winning the second round of the presidential elections on a very narrow margin in
November 2009, the incumbent president Bsescu addressed his opponents: Piece of cake! (I took a gun
and) I shot them all!
55 Philippe SCHMITTER, A Balance Sheet of the Vices and Virtues of Populisms, Romanian Journal of
Political Science, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2007, pp. 5-11.
56 Marc F. PLATTNER, Populism, Pluralism, and Liberal Democracy, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 21, No. 1,
2010, pp. 81-92; see also Krastev, The Death of the Liberal Consensuscit.
57 Drago DRAGOMAN, Trust and cooperation in the public sphere: Why Roma people should not be
excluded?, POLIS, Vol. II, No. 2, 2014, pp. 30-46.
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September 2011 to Romanias accession. Roma people have been largely accused by
populists of having made a lot of trouble in those countries and undermined official
diplomatic efforts.58 Populism has thus triggered a chain reaction of extremist violence
that swept the media for weeks. In fact, in this trouble context, populist hate speech
strongly emphasized by manele against populists political enemies could easily change
of target in stigmatizing whole categories of different social groups and even prepare the
ground for more radical action.59
7. CONCLUSION
The raise of populism in Romania cannot be fully understood without a clear
analysis of social and political predispositions that have been turned into political
resources by populists. Populism in Western and Eastern Europe is a mere response to
social and political conditions. Whereas populist parties in Western Europe mainly
emphasize on social and economic insecurity and immigration issues, populists in
Eastern Europe seem to turn mainly against power elites allegedly rigged against ordinary
people. Following the accession to the European Union and the end of the European
democratic conditionality, populists in Central and Eastern Europe focused their attacks
against liberal democracy institutions and practices.60 Looking for unshared and
unbalanced power, populists undermine parliaments legitimacy, fight against
unfavorable court decisions and attack the freedom of critical mass-media and of other
autonomous bodies like central banks or universities. In their struggle for power, they
allegedly fight against pervasive corruption, state inefficiency and promote popular
values. Thus they tend to mobilize previously apathetic and disenfranchised people,
which is rather a symptom of democracy.61
In the same time, the political style they promote could be harmful for
democracy. In Romania, the mobilization of those apathetic citizens, most of them
young and undereducated people, was realized by transferring the electoral issues into
the mould of very popular songs called manele. In a way, manele were the most
suitable communication vehicles for populists in their attempt to reach specific
demobilized electoral segments. Though it proved to be a winning strategy for populists
in Romania, the use of manele on an unprecedented scale also raises the question of
political responsibility. This is mainly due to the dominant values carried out by this kind
of very popular music. The social environment depicted by manele is a very distrustful
one, a mean world where isolated individuals are meant to fight for survival. This is a
world where no one can be trusted and where even ones closest friends and allies may
often prove to be rogue. This is a social space dominated by the will of power, measured
by possessions, money and social position. As vehicles for symbols and images, manele
Romanian president in office, Traian Bsescu, has even been judged by the the Romanian
Antidiscrimination Council and found guilty of racial discrimination for having insulted a journalist by calling
her a filthy Gipsy.
59 At the climax of the anti-Roma mass-media and political populist campaign in September 2011, the
extreme right movement Noua Dreapt (New Right) began a virulent campaign against Gypsy style music,
habits and way of life.
60 See Jacques RUPNIK, From democracy fatiguecit.
61 Jean Michel DE WAELE, Anna PACZENIAK (eds.), Populism in Europe defect or symptom of democracy,
Oficyna Naukowa, Warsaw, 2010.
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were the best way for expressing populist heros struggle for power, in fact his fight
against his worse enemies, would they be individuals (counter-candidates, former allies or
journalists) or institutions (the Parliament, the Government or the courts of justice).
Yet people mobilized into politics by hate speech, though now allegedly
empowered by the populist leaders victory, cannot learn and practice the lesson of
democracy. Once the consensus regarding the very basis of liberal democracy is broken,
i.e. the separation of powers, the existence of politically neutral institutions and the legal
guarantees for various minority rights, the political force stirred up by mobilizing new
social groups can turn against them. Or it can harm every single social group that
populists tend to exclude from the narrow definition of people. Once the ground was
prepared by populists struggle for power, using outcrying hate speech, different racial,
ethnic, religious or sexual groups can be pinpointed as enemies and fought to death by
extremists. Though it is not necessarily intended by populists, emotional politics can very
easily interfere with prejudices and mobilize towards more radical action. Whereas they
are the perfect scapegoats for covering up populists political failures, minority groups
can become social and political targets for radical extremists.
Even without overtly radical action, such a social and political environment is no
longer fit for democratic theory and practice. Hate, revenge and instrumental power are
not the ingredients for trust, commitment, reciprocity and social cooperation. Though
allegedly empowered by the populist leader, ordinary people cannot really use the power
resource in order to engage into collective action and solve cooperation issues. This is
another expectation raised by populists that cannot be fulfilled in democratic terms. Yet
it could add in frustration, disillusion and despair and could lead to both profound
mistrust and disengagement, and to overtly radical, authoritarian, massive and violent
reshaping of the political system.62 This is much more evident today, when PDL and
Traian Bsescu are no longer the dominant political force.63 Though many opponents of
the populist overtly protested in January and February 2012 in the streets of numerous
Romanian towns against the democratic setbacks promoted by PDL populists, the local
elections campaign of June 2012 unraveled the consequence of populist rhetoric and
political action. Despite the electoral losses for PDL, the most noticeable feature is the
rise of a more radical populist party (Peoples Party), run by a controversial leader and
TV owner, Dan Diaconescu. Acknowledging the potential of visual media and learning
the lesson of populist mobilization taught by PDL, he surprisingly managed to turn a
minor party with virtually no ground base in terms of financing and territorial
organization into a successful party and to almost topple PDL as the most important
opposition party in Romania. Peoples Party success is thus a warning for the misuse of
populist mobilization, especially in a context marked by harsh economic difficulties and
widespread social grievances.

This seems to be the case of interwar Europe or Latin America. See David COLLIER, The New
Authoritarianism in Latin America, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1979.
63 The Alliance between PSD and PNL called the Social-Liberal Union (USL) managed to severely defeat
PDL in both local elections (June 2012) and in the parliamentary elections (November 2012).
62

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Raison dtat to Plebiscite: a conceptual analysis


of Romanian postcommunist referenda1
Ctlin-Valentin RAIU
Romanian Academy, Institute of National Economy
Abstract: The issues discussed in this study point out that Romanian postcommunist referenda are, in
political terms, plebiscites. By creating a genealogy of the main political patterns and terms used in the
constitutional framework, as well as in the political public discourse, the study makes use of the concept of
'raison dtat' in order to reveal that representative democracy in postcommnunist Romania tends to be
its own enemy. Public consultations are not the instruments of social and political consensus aimed at
politicizing society. They serve as tools of electoral barganing, as in the case of pre-democractic regimes.
From this particular perspective, the Romanian political system lacks some of the patterns of mature
democracies, as for instance the separation and distinction between sovereignity and government or between
office and status. The conclusion of the paper is that the president of Romania, as coined by the
Constitution and embodied by its successive incumbents, is nothing else than 'a secularized king' drained
out of governmental powers, but accountable to and subject to raison dtat. Thus, his dismissal cannot
be a matter of popular will expressed through a plebiscite, but a matter of the State itself, as an entity
separated from society through raison dtat.
Keywords: raison dtat, referendum, plebiscite, political representation, rule of law.
1. INTRODUCTION
No less than five national popular consultations called in the local constitutional
language referenda were held during the period 2003-2012 in Romania. Prescriptive
notions of constitutional law rarely coincide with political science concepts designed to
explain the empirical reality generated by the legal forms. This study analyzes how
political power in contemporary Romania increasingly relies on national popular
consultations by carrying out an examination that deconstructs the terms used and
sometimes even misused in the public space. Thus, Pierre Rosanvallons remark is also
confirmed in the Romanian case. From his point of view, in recent decades democracy
has taken a negative form, characterized rather by an abundance of negative messages
against opponents, than by the construction of its own identity. Democracy of rejection
becomes the alternative to democracy of the project and logic of change transforms the
body politic into a court that exercises its negative sovereignty by rejecting, denouncing
and revoking2. The same mutation appears to be experienced more clearly also by
1 ACKNOWLEDGMENT This paper has been financially supported within the project entitled
SOCERT.
Knowledge
society,
dynamism
through
research,
contract
number
POSDRU/159/1.5/S/132406. This project is co-financed by European Social Fund through Sectoral
Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007-2013. Investing in people!
2 Pierre ROSANVALLON, Contrademocraia. Politica n epoca nencrederii [Counter-Democracy. Politics in an Age of
Distrust], translated by Alexandra Ionescu, Nemira, Bucureti, 2012, pp 185-197.

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

democratic political regimes in which the executive dominates the legislative3, in the
sense that the Parliament has accepted its major role of government censorship: from a
space of deliberation, it became a challenging space exercising powers of control,
censorship and limitation, meaning that democracy of imputation replaced the
democracy of representation and confrontation.
Our approach has a genealogical nature in the sense that we will try to
deconstruct the political concepts used in order to reconstruct them under the
Constitution of Romanias requirement text in force4. What are the models and political
principles those who have assumed the constitutional text as founding fathers had in mind?
In this regard, we will not look directly into the constitutional practice, although very
important to define a political regime, but rather to the evolution of constitutional norms
in the Western liberal democratic tradition, located at the junction of popular
consultation, political representation and raison dtat5.
The methodological challenge of the study is to separate two types of scientific
approaches for understanding a set of texts having constitutional power, namely the
political science and legal science. In this regard, we ground our approach on jurist Hans
Kelsens remark, for whom a legal rule is nothing but codifying human behavior6. More
specifically, a legal rule is preceded by a political reflection reduced in the law to the
status of a code. Political will imperfectly and incompletely summarized in the law must
be revisited in order to understand the complexities contained in the constitutional texts
and to extract the conceptual tools we need to perform a policy analysis. Moreover, a
constitutional text is followed by a political practice often unpredictable, inexhaustible in
its forms and even different from the requirements announced by the text. For political
scientists, the Constitution is therefore a set of three layers: the initial reflection and
political will - the actual text the text-generated political practice. On its research site,
the polical scientist can not ignore any of the three elements, interdependent for that
matter, and must be aware of the fact that political reality is not confined to what is
written in the law.
For example, we can not understand the Maastrict Treaty without analyizing the
political intentions, principles and debates that led to its writing, and especially its effects.
The mere substantive law analysis of the text, usually operated by Romanian legal
practitioners under the narrative does not contribute to a knowledge worthy to make
political reality intelligible. In other words, we can not understand the U.S. Constitution
without considering The Federalist Papers. For this study, the constitutional texts are
only the pretext and ground to look at the root of political concepts necessary for
knowing the requirements and political dynamics of post-communist Romania. The
Arend LIPHART, Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries, second
edition, Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 119-140.
4 In this study I appealed to Constituia Romniei [Constitution of Romania], published in Monitorul Oficial [The
Official Gazette of Romania], part I, no. 76, 31th of Octobere 2003, Regia Autonom Monitorul Oficial,
Bucucureti, 2007.
5 I use a narrow operational definition of reason of state (reason of state, as a historical phenomenon is the
maximum of political action which tells the statesman what he must do in order to maintain the health and
power of the state apud George L. MOSSE, The Holy Pretence. A Study in Christianity and Reason of State from
William Perkins to John Winthorp, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1957, p. 9)
6 Hans KELSEN, General Theory of Law and State, translated by Anders Wedberg, Harvard University Press,
Cambridge (Massachusetts), 1949, pp. 3-4 and the following.
3

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

constitutional text is used as the dependent variable and not the independent one. Our
main hypothesis relates to the fact that the President of Romania, although elected by
the citizens, cannot be dismissed by them. To test the announced hypothesis, we have to
open several secondary hypotheses, as follows: the President of Romania does not
represent Romanian citizens; raison dtat is the President of Romanias exclusive duty;
all referendums in post-communist Romania were de facto plebiscites.
A first aspect of the analysis is the meaning given to political representation in
the context of the year 2012, when the Romanian Parliament decided to suspend the
President in office and organize a popular consultation on his dismissal. The very
content and meaning of political representation of Romanian citizens was subject to
debate: who represents the body politic? The President elected by over five million
people? Or the Parliament, consisting of venal politicians, many of whom did not even
win the constituencies they ran for? Although the above questions find a firm answer in
the very wording of the Constitution, the public debate got complicated when adjacent
arguments were raised: Who represents Romania at the European Council? To what
extent can the President of Romania ignore the will of the political parties on the issue
relating to the appointment of the candidate for prime minister? and so on.
2. THE PRESIDENT OF ROMANIA AND THE RAISON DTAT
Beyond the legal and constitutional debate which is not the primary topic of this
paper, an analysis of political theory is meant to expose the anti-democratic character of
the political events of July 2012, but also the other national popular consultations from
the past six years. The president of Romania, as described by the existing Constitution,
plays roles similar to those of the King of Spain and the President of Austria since he
does not have any executive or legislative, or judicial powers, but just the role of neutral
moderator between, on the one hand, the state powers and, on the other hand, between
the state and society. In his office, the President summarizes republicanism, the balance
of powers, and (s)he represents the Romanian state, not the Romanian citizens, but (s)he
is not able to negotiate on behalf of the State. For these reasons, the President is
required to promulgate laws, to occasionally chair government cabinet meetings and
appoint the heads of institutions dealing with justice and of secret services. These
extremely important powers which apparently endow him with political power are
designed for him as a politically neutral magistrate, in other words, in order not to leave
the non-political institutions decision and activity at the hands of the governing political
parties, tempted to abuse their power. Powers of the President of Romania are more of a
notary public who does not request the parties to justify their choices as long as they are
constitutional.
In this respect, Romania's constitutional architecture leaves no window of
opportunity in terms of cohabitation between the President and Prime Minister.
However, taking a glance at the resums of most of the influential Romanian journalists,
senior-editors and opinion makers in Romania, we see that they have not been socialized
during democracy, therefore the dominant patterns in the Romanian media area are not
far from those used by politicians most of them being communist-based figures. In
addition to the massively abusive use of the term cohabitation - a nonexistent Romanian
reality in the constitutional architecture, another expression improperly and wrongly used
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

is that the President of Romania represents Romanian citizens, as a direct consequence


of the large number of votes received at the presidential elections.
The president of Romania, despite the fact that (s)he is elected by half plus one
of the people present at the ballot boxes, and thus being the most voted person in the
country, does not represent the citizens of Romania. The Romanian Constitution gives
him only prerogatives to represent the Romanian state (art. 80, para. 1) and certainly not
the people. At the same time, the said article and the subsequent ones provide the
President with prerogatives in what it is called raison dtat: guarantor of national
independence, unity and territorial integrity of the country (art. 80, para. 1), he shall
guard the observance of the Constitution and the proper functioning of public
authorities. For this purpose, he shall act as a mediator between the state powers and
between the state and society (art. 80, para. 2), he can take part in meetings of the
Government debating upon matters of national interest on foreign policy, country
defense, ensuring public order (art. 87, para. 1), concludes international treaties on
behalf of Romania, negotiated by the Government, and submits them to Parliament for
ratification (Article 91, paragraph 2), accredits and recalls Romania's diplomatic
representatives (art. 91, para. 2), is the commander of the Armed Forces and chairman
of the Supreme Council of National Defense (art. 92, para. 1), etc. Law no. 415 of 27
June 2002 - Law on Organization and Functioning of the Supreme Council of National Defence
(CSAT)7 gives Romanian President initiative for establishing the state of siege. The
CSAT, whose meetings chaired by the President are secret (art. 7), appoints the secret
services directors8. Therefore, the President of Romania is not part of the executive
branch, like the Prince and later on the King Charles I9, but intervenes in relation to all
three powers only in those areas and at those times raison dtat imposes (foreign policy,
public order, alert state, national security, etc.) in such a way that it is not always
transparent to society. In this respect, Harold Laski makes the following remark on the
secret nature of raison dtat in the American political system, intended to distinguish
between raison dtat and the exercise of political power: a proposal for marriage must
be made in private, even if the engagement is later discussed in public10.
Machiavellian invention, but explicitly stated by Giovanni Botero in 158911, the
raison dtat (Ragione di Stato) refers to public affairs reserved for the Prince, and are
distinct from the common affairs by providing preservation and survival of the state
itself as an entity separate and distinct from the body politic. The sixteenth century
brought to the forefront of political life a new distinction compared to the medieval
times firmly anchored in Christian governance models, namely the distinction between
sovereignty and government, formulated by Jean Bodin and J.J. Rousseau12. The Prince

http://e-crime.ro/ecrime/site/files/80291237113038LegeaCSAT.pdf , accessed on December 19, 2012.


Legea organizrii i funcionrii Serviciului Romn de Informaii art. 5(1), available at
http://www.sie.ro/Legi/1.html, accessed on December 22, 2012.
9 art. 32, 82-103 of Constitution of Romania of June 30, 1866.
10 Harold J. LASKI, The American Presidency. An Interpretation, Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York and
London, 1940, p. 172.
11 Giovanni BOTERO, Raison dtat, translated by P. J. and D. P. Waley, Yale University Press, New Haven,
1956, passim.
12 Reinhart KOSELLECK, Critique and Crisis. Enlightenment and Pathogenesis of Modern Society, The MIT Press,
Cambridge, 1988, pp. 15-22; Luc FOISNEAU, Governing a Republic: Rousseaus General Will and the
7
8

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

is required more than the mere exercise of domestic sovereignty, namely the use of art to
govern as a continuing creative act of the respublicae. The subjects obedience to the law as
norm of sovereignty is backed by government tactics to produce riches through the
emergence of statistics and police. In other words, for the sovereign to ensure
sustainability of the state, he needs to know the things that make the state possible
through the science of the state (statistics) and by making use of an administrative body
capable of penetrating population (police) in areas not monopolized hitherto, as knowing
the number of people, their territorial density, the ratio between population and
resources, agriculture, health, etc. Thus, since the sixteenth century in France and the
eighteenth century in the German states, police is born as a set of means by which power
of the state increases, corresponding to a vision on the human individual as a political
subject, and also as the sovereign exercise of the royal power over individuals who are its
subjects13.
The art of government is thus the task and eventually the exigence of
sovereignty. But what makes this whole paradigm shift possible is precisely the
emergence and conceptualization of raison dtat, as the essence of the State,
ontologically concerned with the state preservation. In the context of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, Michel Foucault notes that the coup d'tat has no pejorative
sense, but it is embedded in the rationale of the state being one of raison dtat
manifestations which suspend the laws and legality, yet the state survives itself:
Raison dtat, which by its nature does not have to abide by the laws, and which in its
basic functioning is always exceptional in relation to public, particular, and fundamental
laws, usually does respect the laws. It does not respect them in the sense of yielding to positive,
moral, natural, and divine laws because they are stronger, but it yields to them and respects
them insofar as, if you like, it posits them as an element of its own game. In any case, raison
dtat is fundamental with regard to these laws, but it makes use of them in its usual
functioning precisely because it deems them necessary or useful. However, there will be times
when raison dtat can no longer make use of these laws and due to a pressing and urgent
event must of necessity free itself from them. In the name of what? In the name of the states
salvation. It is this necessity of the state with regard to itself that, at a certain moment, will
push raison dtat to brush aside the civil, moral, and natural laws that it had previously
wanted to recognize and had incorporated into its game. Necessity, urgency, the need to save
the state itself will exclude the game of these natural laws and produce something that in a
way will only be the establishment of a direct relationship of the state with itself when the
keynote is necessity and safety. The coup dtat is the state acting of itself on itself, swiftly,
immediately, without rule, with urgency and necessity, and dramatically. The coup dtat is
not therefore a takeover of the state by some at the expense of others. It is the selfmanifestation of the state itself. It is the assertion of raison dtat, of [raison dtat] that
asserts that the state must be saved, whatever forms may be employed to enable one to save
it14.

Raison dtat is an area of urgency (necessitas); it uses secrets and double language
to preserve the state even to the detriment of citizens. Raison dtat is thereby that part
Problem of Government, In: Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 2, no. 1
(December 15, 2010): http://rofl.stanford.edu/node/70, accesat la 24 decembrie 2012.
13 Michel FOUCAULT, Securitate, teritoriu, populaie. Cursuri la Collge de France (1977-1978) [Security, Territory,
Population. Lectures at the Collge de France (1977-1978)], translated by Nicolae Ionel, Idea Design & Print, Cluj,
2009, pp. 285-286.
14 Ibidem, pp. 220-221.

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of politics that no longer takes into account moral values, seeks neither ideal purposes
nor the public good, but only the survival of the state itself when in danger15.
Accordingly, the office at the top of the republican hierarchy has these exclusive care
duties to the state itself; when the latter finds out it is at risk, can endanger its own wellbeing, as well as the physical integrity of citizens, so that it finds itself in the state of
exception, it can decide and may have an irresponsible behavior towards the nation when
raison dtat demands it. Although in modern semi-presidential republicanism, as is the
case of Romania, the President was stripped of executive power, he retains the
machiavelian Princes duties being responsible for raison dtat as sole command center
in case of Schmittian exceptionality. However, exceptionality in modern democratic
regimes established on the rule of law is no longer defined as in the case of medieval
political regimes, but it tends to be expressed in rules, regulations and laws precisely to
allow the sovereign namely the body politic to keep the ability to govern and not let
him be expropriated by those who temporarily exercise the power. Thus, etates d'droit are
those which manage to cover, by means of legislation, as many areas of social and
political life to the detriment of the arbitrariness of good-will of the rulers.
For monarchies, the fundamental distinction between sovereignty and
government, between the political space of raison dtat and the exercise of political
power through policies are not necessarily operated. The King is the sovereign which
makes the government of the realm, as well as ensuring durability of the state, solely
monarchical duties. However, over time, republicanism as a form of government has
secularized the monarchical establishment, stripping the King of power, of functions and
initially quasi-religious symbols, such as the ability to appoint successors, the nations
embodiment and representation, discretionary powers, etc. In the republican logic
emerged from the confrontation with the absolute monarchy, the president is a monarch
elected for a short period of time, is equal with others in terms of citizenship, unable to
represent and embody the nation, deprived of any kind of privileges. In this regard, the
President of the Republic is the antonym of the King of the Monarchy, but the positions
of the two contain that common item essential for the state to survive as an entity
distinct from the society.
A brief insight into the American political system is intended to provide us with
guidance in this regard. The American case is extremely striking for two reasons. On the
one hand, we are dealing with the first establishment of the presidential office in history,
and on the other hand, the U.S. President is the Chief Executive, allowing us to describe
the contemporary U.S. as a Presidential Republic. Thus, the American choice for
president at the expense of the monarchy was the result of substantial debate, although
the main concern was to place, at the head of the political system, a person who should
not have a lifelong office. With eyes towards Britain, where King Charles III was
considered a sacred and inviolable person, the Founding Fathers drew a political regime
based on mixed government, where the democratic element, i.e. the people are
represented by the House of Representatives, the aristocratic element is represented by
the Senate and the monarchal element is represented by the presidential office16.
Therefore, the difference between the U.S. President and the King of Great Britain is
Olivier NAY, Istoria ideilor politice, translated by Vasile Savin, Polirom, Iai, 2008, pp. 215-223.
Gordon S. WOOD, The Creation of the American Republic. 1776-1787, second edition, The University of
North Carolina Press, 1998, pp. 521-522, 561.
15
16

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important by the duration of their rule (four years versus lifelong), while their powers are
relatively similar. The U.S. President is a secularized monarch who must return before
the citizens at regular intervals to ask for their confidence and who, moreover, before the
law is equal to every other citizen:
President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction
of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would
afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. The person
of the king of Great Britain is sacred and inviolable: there is no constitutional tribunal to
which he is amendable17.

Alexander Hamilton continues the parallel between the U.S. President and the
British King citing the seconds ability to decide arbitrarily:
President is to nominate, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint
ambassadors and other public ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, and in general all
officers of the United States established by law, and whose appointments are not otherwise
provided for by the Constitution. The king of Great Britain is emphatically and truly styled
the fountain of honor. He not only appoints to all offices, but can create offices. He can confer
titles of nobility at pleasure, and has the disposal of an immense number of church
preferments. There is evidently a great inferiority in the power of the President, in this
particular, to that of the British king18.

The U.S. President, as Chief Magistrate of the Union, is the one acting in cases
where the deliberations involving a large number of stakeholders or collective decisionmaking bodies could jeopardize the efficiency of the act to be urgently settled. Therefore,
the endangered state itself must be protected by means of an immediate decision
concentrated in the hands of one man:
Accurate and comprehensive knowledge of foreign politics; a steady and systematic adherence
to the same views; a nice and uniform sensibility to national character; decision, secrecy, and
dispatch, are incompatible with the genius of a body so variable and so numerous. The very
complication of the business, by introducing a necessity of the concurrence of so many different
bodies, would of itself afford a solid objection. The greater frequency of the calls upon the
House of Representatives, and the greater length of time which it would often be necessary to
keep them together when convened to obtain their sanction in the progressive stages of a treaty
would be a source of so great inconvenience and expense as alone ought to condemn the
project19.

Thus, just as the president of Romania, that of the United States is the
commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the
Several States, when called into the actual service of the United States20, which means
Alexander HAMILTON, Federalist 69. The same view continued, with a comparison between the
President and the King of Great Britain on the one hand, and the governor of New York on the other, in
Alexandre HAMILTON, James MADISON and John JAY, The Federalist Papers, edited with an Introduction
and Notes by Lawrence Goldman, Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York, 2008, p. 338.
18 Ibidem, pp. 341-342.
19 Alexander HAMILTON, Federalist 75. The same view continued in relation to the power of making
treaties, in Alexander HAMILTON, James MADISON and John JAY, The Federalist...cit., p. 369.
20 Idem, Federalist 74. The same view continued in relation to the command of the national forces and the
power of pardoning, In: Alexander HAMILTON, James MADISON and John JAY, The Federalist...cit., p.
364; in the same time, the Constitution of the United States of America underline the principle exposed by
Alexander Hamilton: Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the
United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;
he may require the Opinion in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon
any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves
17

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he has the same capacity to intervene through raison dtat in areas where the
perenniality of the state is in danger.
Moreover, in democratic regimes, the president tends to be isolated from
exercising power, which can not be monopolized by one person as in the case of
monarchies. More than this, modern constitutionalism, fearful in respect to the
accumulation of power, isolates the president in an area designed exclusively for the
reason of the state. At the end of the eighteenth century, the Congress dominated the
actions of the U.S. President, the balance of power changing only after the New Deal21.
Through the administration available to him, the president of Romania ensures
that the state itself operates not necessarily for the general good, but in the sense that
prevents it from bogging due to temporary political dissension. For example, in the case
of appointing candidates for the office of Prime Minister, the role of the Romanian
president is not to reflect on what society (that is the will of the people) wants, on the
national interest defined in the light of his presidential reflection capacity, but after
consultation he designates the person who meets the support of the majority of MPs.
Among his tasks, the President has no powers to negotiate with political parties, but
merely to act as a neutral arbiter in proceedings the raison dtat deems essential for the
survival of the state and, consequently, can not be left to rely on the negotiations
between political parties, a process that could be endless. Thus, the president intervenes
like an invisible hand of the political system to preventively unlock ab initio a political
market which does not accept him in the stance of a competitor, but only as an observer.
In the the same logic, if two successive candidates running for prime minister do not
receive the Parliaments vote of confidence, the president may, without being obliged to,
dissolve the two chambers unable to generate a majority. The meaning is once again the
same, namely that the president must ensure that the political system is not self-locking
due to the competition of political actors, especially that the state itself can not be
endangered.
Thus, without explicitly naming it, the Romanian Constitution sets apart a single
area of competence for the President of the Republic, namely the reason of the state.
However, the major confusion operated by numerous scholars of the Romanian political
space is that the executive is bicephalic, situation which would result in a possible
cohabitation. In reality, the executive is fairly monocefal (art. 102, para.1 of Constituion
of Romania), having the sole command center within the Prime Minister. Prime Minister
and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment. He shall have Power,
by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators
present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the
United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by
Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in
the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments. The President shall have Power
to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which
shall expire at the End of their next Session, in THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA (1787 and 1791), appendix la Alexander HAMILTON, James MADISON and John JAY, op. cit.,
p. 439.
21 Sergio FABBRINI, Is the EU exceptional? The EU and the US in comparative perspective, in Sergio
FABBRINI (ed.), Democracy and federalism in the European Union and the United States: exploring post-national
governance, Routledge, New York, 2005, pp. 4-11; IDEM, Compound Democracies. Why the United States and
Europe are becoming similar, Oxford University Press, New York, 2007, 21-67.

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is the sole holder of the executive power, and therefore the only responsible before the
representatives of the body politic; however, the president, serving as a secularized
monarch22, has prerogatives to mediate between transient turbulences and protect the
political corporation23, which shows that President's ability to mediate between state and
society, explicitly present in the Romanian Constitution, derives from raison dtat. In
this regard, the president and prime minister often meet in their activities, but they never
intersect.
Consequently, unlike France24, in Romania one can not speak about cohabitation
as the president of the Romanian state is not a member of a political party who virtually
ended up cohabiting with a parliamentary majority and with an executive from a
different political group. Romanian Constitutions requirements send the president in an
area of obvious political neutrality and its political will is extremely limited by law. While
the Parliament can impose its will by changing the law, the president has no leverage in
this regard.
The president, however, is the one symbolically occupying the sovereigns
position as secularized monarch stripped of ordinary executive powers, yet the first
responsible for what raison dtat shows to be the states care of itself. Thus, the areas
reserved for the presidents interference but not direct decision, are those where the
safety and preservation of the state are most vulnerable: foreign policy, public peace and
homeland security, namely those areas where, on the one hand, the state itself may be
endangered (by internal revolts, armed aggression, etc.) and, on the other hand, the
decision is one that can and sometimes should not be transparent towards society:
Raison dtat must ensure that the state really conforms to what it is, that is to say remains
at rest, close to its essence, its reality exactly true to what it should be at the level of its ideal
necessity. Raison dtat will thus align the states reality with its eternal, or at any rate
immutable essence. In a word: Raison dtat is what allows the state to be maintained in
good order (en tat)25.

The consequences of the fact that only the areas of interest for raison dtat are
reserved for the Romanian president are the irresponsibility towards society and his
immunity, which are not privileges directly proportional to the importance of the office
he holds, but instruments allowing him to manage raison dtat.
On the edge, the president of Romania can tell the untruth in his public and
official statements provided that his position is meant to save the national security and
raison dtat itself; that is why he is endowed with immunity not just the entire duration
of the exercise of the mandate, but also after leaving office. Presidential immunity is
hence the outlet whereby raison dtat preserves the state itself. Following the
examination of these attributes, it appears that it is also inappropriate for the president
For example, the last prerogative the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland took away from the Queen is that of dissolving the Parliament. However, during her reign, Queen
Elizabeth II was only once in a position to dissolve the Parliament (1974) ; at the request of the Prime
Minister, the Parliament voted The Fixed-Term Parliament Act in 2011 setting out the fixed dates for elections
to the House of Commons. The legislative text is available here:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/enacted accessed on 19th December 2012.
23 Daniel ENGSTER, Divine Sovreignity. The Origins of Modern State Power, Northen Illinois University Press,
Dekalb, 2001, p. 84.
24 Andrew KNAPP and Vincent WRIGHT, The Government and Politics in France, fifth edition, Routledge, New
York, 2006, pp. 127-129.
25 Michel FOUCAULT, Securitate, teritoriu...cit., p. 241.
22

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of Romania to call himself Head of State. Although he is in the pole position of the
States bureaucracy architecture being the first diplomatic representative of the
Romanian state, etc., in reality he is not the head of any of the powers of the state, i.e.
executive, legislative or judicial. However, neither the fact that he has duties in all three
areas of power, he does not govern, nor legislates, nor usually distributes justice, but he
only seeks to ensure the smooth operation of these powers, and he is in charge with
neutral duties, which are not to be left at the hands of partisanship or political views and,
above all, he interferes in all three areas by means of his concern for raison dtat he is
compelled to watch over continuously.
Therefore, the president of Romania can be suspended only when grave acts
that violate the Constitution are committed (art. 95, para. 1) or for high treason (art. 96,
para. 1), respectively when he prejudices raison dtat or when his actions are likely to
create prerequisites for endangering the State; in this latter case, the sovereign people
represented in Parliament withdraws his mandate. The same Article 95 stipulates that
suspension of the President by the Parliament shall be made after consulting with the
Constitutional Court, i.e. only after the formal guarantor of the rule of law confirms
that serious offenses have been committed. But in the Romanian case, over time, the
Constitutional Court interpreted the verb (to) consult with in the sense that the President
takes note of the political parties but decides as he pleases, although he, as we noted
above, is not endowed with political power, hence he cannot express will in one
direction or another. The trap in which the Constitutional Court fell by itself due to
misinterpretation of the verb (to) consult with was to decide whether the Court's opinion
on initiating the Romanian Presidents suspension procedure is only advisory and not
binding. Both the spirit and letter of the Basic Law, especially the rule of law, stipulate
however that the consultation processes set by the Constitution describe the action of
taking note of the opinion of the institution asked and taking measures accordingly.
Otherwise, if the President of Romania finds himself in the situation described
in Article 103, i.e., he appoints a candidate for Prime Minister after consulting with the
party having absolute majority in Parliament or, if no such majority, with the parties
represented in the Parliament, he can block the functioning of the political system and
dissolve the Parliament after the plenary session of the two chambers successive
rejection of two proposals for a new cabinet of ministers. In other words, the Romanian
president, in his capacity as mediator, although apparently he is just consulting with the
parties, has no other task than to take note of their political will and certainly not to
force their will and to ensure that, consequently, the political system will not block.
Likewise, when the Parliament consults with the Constitutional Court, the Courts
opinion should be mandatory and not advisory, as it happened in the case of Traian
Bsescus two suspensions.
In short, the President of Romania is a rare type of politician-magistrare who
has raison dtat as raw material to care about. He is a depository of all state secrets, of
States diplomatic relations and he cannot be object of political reflection not even for a
parliamentary majority in the absence of "serious violations of the Constitution" to be
defined not by the accuser (in this case the Parliament), as in Stalinist regimes, but by an
independent resort, authorized to interpret the Basic Law. Within the letter and spirit of
the Constitution of Romania, the President cannot engage the Romanian State in any
kind of economic policy, nor at European nor international level. At most, he may
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interfere by endorsing an address before the Parliament or a Government meeting to


influence the decision of these institutions from the perspective that President is the
guarantor of raison dtat.
The entire capacity as author of all policies is owned by the Government, the
sole empowered to negotiate on behalf of citizens and the Romanian state under the eyes
of Parliament. Under the Constitution, the President represents the Romanian state in
the sense that, in terms of diplomacy, he tops the hierarchy of Romanian officials. To
represent doesnt in any way mean to negotiate on behalf of someone. In this sense, a
theological-political argument is meant to provide more light: in traditional Christian
denominations, the bishop is the one representing the Supreme High Priest, which is
Jesus Christ. As a representative, the bishop cannot negotiate the law in his diocese,
namely, he can not negotiate the doctrine of faith, the dogma, the divine grace, etc.
contained in the Holy Tradition, the Holy Scriptures, and the Church, but he can only
ensure that the Author of the Law, Jesus Christ, is actually present in the life and activity
of believers. Modern politics, according to Carl Schmitt, is nothing but a body of
secularized Christian theological26 forms, and the distinction between representing, on one
hand, and exercising the will, on the other hand, is therefore crucial.
Representation is not a regulatory event within the meaning of a procedure, but
rather something existential. To represent means to turn an invisible entity into a visible
one27, therefore the nation, as invisible person becomes visible and publicly present
through the Parliament. Moreover, Carl Schmitt notes, only public interests can be
represented28, meaning that the President cannot represent the interests of the Romanian
nation already represented in Parliament. In turn, the President represents the interests
of the Romanian state as private entity among other countries, as a delegate, certainly not
as a representative in the Schmittian approach. Narrowing things down, MPs are
representatives of the political nation (public entity) and the President of the Republic is
the State Delegate (private entity in the international context).
On the ground of political theory, lawmakers represent the nation only when
talking politically, in which case they cannot be wrong. The representative mandate does
not limit lawmakers will in any way, since find themselves within the Constitutional
framework. Even lawmakers infringement of some common laws does not entail
criminal prosecution until the parliamentary chamber to which they belong decides that
MPs formulation was a non-political one, by lifting immunity from prosecution.
Therefore, political representation is a process carried out on a field bordered by
procedures and institutions:
As opposed to the civil contracts, more than a simple exchange of wills takes place between
voters and electees, namely an artificial process of forming collective will. Therefore, in a
democracy, between individuals' plural society and its political representation there is a
striking resemblance and a substantial difference at the same time. The Parliament cannot

Carl SCHMITT, Political Theology. Four chapters on the concept of sovereignty, translated and with an Introduction
by George Schwab, The University pf Chicago Press, 2005, p. 36.
27 More on the ontology of political representation in John MILBANK, Beyond Secular Reason. The
Representation of Being and the Representation of the People, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., West Sussex, 2013.
28 Carl SCHMITT, Constitutional Theory, translated and edited by Jeffrey Seitzer, Duke University Press, 2008,
pp. 243 and 248.
26

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really know what does the society they represent want, but it operates as it would be in
possession of such knowledge.29

At the same time, representation of the state as attribute of the President is but a
diplomatic one. The President is a mere servant and messenger of the State, lacking his
own political will, but also the first patron of the State. However, although powerless, the
President of Romania Traian Bsescu engaged the Romanian state and even the
Romanian citizens in introducing, in the Romanias Constitution, the provisions of the
European Union Eurozone Tax Treaty (Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the
Economic and Monetary Union)30, while such a commitment is reserved exclusively to the
Prime Minister following the parliamentary negotiations and possibly by strengthening
parliamentary options through popular consultation.
Although he is the most voted of all politicians, the President of Romania does
not represent the nation, as the MPs do, but he represents the State. In this respect, his
political will is extremely limited because he can not initiate legislation, reforms or
changes in the States political architecture. The President represents the State the
citizens put it into practice through their representatives. The Constitution, however,
strengthens his legitimacy that comes from the large number of votes received due to his
right to establish presidential committees on various topics of public interest and to
convene consultative referenda which do not turn into laws, but are intended to
enlighten the political class in terms of the will and sensitivities of citizens on a particular
policy. Likewise, the President does not appoint the candidate for the Prime Minister as
he pleases, but taking note of the existing parliamentary majority, this being subsequently
checked when the newly formed government passes through the Parliament. Therefore,
the President is the highest state official who doesnt govern in the political sense as does
the executive, but reigns in the monarchical sense, trying to create consensus loopholes
between the nation and the government, thus within the political system via raison
dtat. An attempt to systemize this is made in the table below:

Daniel BARBU, Indistincia. O cronic a sfritului politicii romneti [Indistinct. A chronicle on the end of Romanian
politics], Art, Bucureti, 2010,p. 73.
30 http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/579087/treaty.pdf, accessed on December 3, 2012.
29

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Tabel 1. Comparison between politicians, bureaucrats and the president.


What
Who do
How are
What is Accountabl
What
do they
they
to be
their
e to
kind of
do?
represen dismissed primary whom/wha actors
t?
?
concern
t?
are
?
they?
Politicians Exercise
Easily
The
(MPs,
political The body
through
welfare
Law,
Active
ministers
power
politic
elections
of the
electorate
etc.)
nation
Bureaucrats
Hold
Not very
public
No one
easily
The law
Law
Passive
offices
President
Oversee
The
Law,
Not an
s the
The state
Almost
political
electorate,
actor,
political
impossible
regime
raison d'tat but the
game
itself
referee
From his office the President of Romania is not part of the political game as a
player, but he has the role of a referee who makes sure that the game is fairly played. It
seems he has the role of the highest magistrate dealing with the political regime, that is
laking the possibility of exercising political power. He intervines when the very
functioning of the political regime is in danger to delute the tension between state and
society. For this reason, his office finds itself at the basis of the political establisment,
thus very far from the citizens.
In conclusion, the President of Romania does not run the country, the people or
the nation, does not represent the citizens, does do politics nor policies, does not govern
and does not manage, does not increase or decrease the VAT, does not cut salaries or
pensions etc., but has exclusive tasks in the sole area the Constitution provides him with,
i.e. the reason of the state:
From his constitutional position, the President can do noting but to tell". He represents the
State, mediates the public authorities, mediates the public authorities and the society,
addresses messages before the Parliament and consults with institutional and policy makers.
The President of Romania has no decisions to take and he is not obliged to carry them out.
He repeats in the form of the decree some decisions taken by the Government and its head, as
well as the laws passed by the Parliament 31.

Presidents object of reflection by means of the Presidential Administrations


apparatus is the state and the political system itself, not the society. In this respect,
society is governed by the Government through the Prime Minister, who can rightly be
called the first man in the State because he holds the completeness of executive power,
except for the areas where raison dtat may decide otherwise.
As stipulated by the constitutional text, the President of Romania, namely the
most voted person in the country, but one who doesn't govern, must be a person who
doesn't lack the sense of the State, who has gone through many elections, who held
important positions at the national level and, eventually has the ability to free himself
31

Daniel BARBU, Indistincia. O cronic...cit., p. 81.

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from the political partisanship pathos and to dedicate entirely to the reason of the state.
It seems rather an office reserved for politics veterans: those who no longer have
personal stakes to exercise the power, who throughout their political career have
achieved important things in the public service and do not have the temptation to usurp
the prerogatives of other fundamental institutions. In other words, in the light of the
political analysis of the constitutional text, the President of Romania must be someone
who possess the sense of the state, or has rather the sense of reason of the state. But for
the parties to propose such candidates, the entire society must have some kind of
Republican political culture, which, following the Western example, apparently takes
generations to be built.
A brief insight in the eve of formation of the modern Romanian State helps us
to understand the place raison dtat occupies in a political system, especially the portrait
of the politician entrusted with raison dtat in mid nineteenth century. The very
appointment of a foreign prince in the 1866 Romania was by itself aimed precisely at the
acquisition of state sovereignty. Before being able to rely on a modern bureaucracy, legal
codes, constitution, national education system and so on, the State had to be equipped
with its own reason of the state. How can the Romanian State itself last and become a
nonperishable corporation32? How can the state itself operate given the recent experience
of Alexandru Ioan Cuza as coup d'tat author? Also shared by other nation-states, the
Romanian solution resulting from the weakening and subsequent dislocation of Empires
was to isolate both raison dtat and sovereignty from governance. Thus, the Romanian
political elites chose to locate raison dtat in a foreign prince, hence into a status quo to
last, being as far away and independent of society and its sufferings as possible.
Moreover, how do we take a unit from an administrative-territorial domination
and a population from an empire and form a State that has no political core. Again, the
Romanian solution was to tie the States national political construction on something
external to the body politic, but equally exterior to the Empire. Thus, the German Prince
Charles met simultaneously the two essential attributes of the States positioning in
relation to the society. On the one hand, he was sufficiently exogenous to the society due
to the fact that he was in no way connected to Romania or the Romanian people, and
the institutions formed under his responsibility found their power to be stable, and also
endogenous to the society not only to govern well a society where the state would
interwine, but especially to legitimize himself through accelerated Romanization33. In the
words of Michel Foucault, the appointement of Prince Charles in Romania in 1866 was
exactly the coup d'tat that allowed the state itself to survive.
3. CONCLUSION: RAISON DTAT UNDER PLEBISCITE
Once described the status of the Romanian presidential office, the popular
consultation of 29 July 2012 should be reinterpreted in the field of political science in
addition to the constitutional reasoning. For starters, let us conceptually establish the two
I use corporation in the sense of Ernst KANTOROWICZ, The King's Two Bodies. A Study in Mediaeval
Political Theology, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1957, pp. 273-313.
33 I use States attributes as theoretically presented in a neo-Weberian perspective by Michael MANN, The
Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms and Results, in John A. HALL (ed.), States in
History, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1986, pp. 110-136.
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types of popular consultation having as reading line the democratic-authoritarian


dimension, namely the referendum and plebiscite34. Referendum reappeared in modern
times, no sooner than 1880, through the English language;35 it is a democratic tool par
excellence and it is often practiced in one of the homelands of modern democracy, i.e.
Switzerland. In this sense, popular consultation aims to reinforce a certain reform or
action taken by a usually fragile parliamentary majority. The demos is called to distiguish
between applying a major change or keeping the status quo, especially when
representatives do not firmly assume a certain policy. Consequently, referenda are
preceded by a substantial public debate and are able to sift the decision to be
implemented by clearing the potential cleavages in society.
From a procedural standpoint, referendum implies a choice between two
relatively equal alternatives. Non-participation of citizens to the polls means that they
make use of the freedom derived from and associated with the right to vote and agree
with the decisions made by the other citizens casting their votes. In this respect, no
quorum is required to validate the results of the referendum36. Referendum is thus meant
to fade away debate of ideas of the legislative through direct involvement of citizens,
who endorse a hard decision to make in Parliament by a process of semi-direct
democracy. Referendum becomes a tool for strengthening democracy and calling for this
type of consultation strengthens the links between democracy, political parties and
citizens. However, the political elites in democratic regimes have been very careful not to
abuse the popular consultation and are not at all tempted to resort to consultations that
concern a person, because of the danger of turning the referendum into plebiscite37.
The plebiscite is at the other extreme38. It is par excellence an instrument
specific to authoritarian and totalitarian regimes and involves addressing an induced
response question to the electorate. Without being preceded by a public debate, the
decision is usually already taken in a nontransparently way towards society. Citizens are
invited to comment post factum or, in other words to take for granted the will of a group
of politicians who exercise power, the subject of plebiscite. The first plebiscite held in
Herv DUVAL, Pierre-Yves LEBLANC-DECHOISAY, Patrick MINDU, Referendum et Plbiscite, Libraire
Armand Colin, 1970, passim.
35 Mark Clarence WALKER, The Strategic Use of Referendums. Power, Legitimacy and Democracy, Palgrave
Macmillan, New York, 2003, p. 137.
36 For that matter, the Council of Europe, through the Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice
Commission), recommends the absence of a quorum to validate the referenda:: European Commission for
Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), Code of Good Practice on Referendums adopted by the Council for
Democratic Elections at itd 19th meeting (Venice, 16 December 2006) and the Venice Commission at its 70th plenary session
(Venice, 16-17 March 2007) on the basis of contributions by Pieter van DIJK (member, the Netherlands), Franois
LUCHAIRE (member, Andorra) and Giorgio MALINVERNI (member, Switzerland), available at
http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/CDL-AD%282007%29008rev.aspx, accessed on June 10
2013.
37 Daniel BARBU, Indistincia. O cronic..cit..., p. 139.
38 British political scientist Jack Hayward defines plebiscite as opposed to the referendum as a tool to
provide the leader with passive support and to confirm the legitimacy of its authority [...] and not as a means
by which voters express their specific requests about the political system (Jack HAYWARD, 1969,
Presidential Suicide by Plebiscite: De Gaulles Exit, Parliamentary Affairs 22: 289 apud Mark Clarence
WALKER, The Strategic Use of Referendums. Power, Legitimacy and Democracy, Palgrave Macmillan,
New York, 2003, p. 137n); see also Kai OPPERMANN, Plebiscitary Politics and European Integration: The Politics
of Calling Referendums on the Eu. Paper prepared for presentation at the Bristish International Studies Association (BISA)
Annual Conference, 14-16 December 2009.
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Romania was convened on 2 May 1864 by the Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, who wanted
the dissolution of the Elective Assembly, reproaching it with the party spirit, thus being
exactly what was to become the essence of representative democracy: By its censure,
the Assembly vetoed the Head of States way of thinking in the person of the
Ministers39.
Thus, on 10 -14 May 1864 between 8:00 and 18:00 hours, Romanian citizens
were invited to decide YES or NO on the Al. I. Cuzas proclamation by writing their
names in two different registers, each for one of the two possible answers. The result of
the plebiscite attended by 90.68% of the citizens holding the right to vote, given that the
vote was quite public, was definitely in favor of the one who exercised political power:
of 754,148 taxpayers and citizens entitled to vote regardles of the welfare qualification,
683,928 people took part [in the plebiscite]. Of these, 682,621 chosen YES and 1,307
chosen NO40.
Therefore, the first national popular consultation in Romanian modern history
was intended to strengthen the Head of States personal anti-parliamentary and antidemocratic attitude, to legitimize Alexandru Ioan Cuza before the acclaming nation and
to place him above a political elite lacking firmness. To the same type of instrument have
also resorted King Charles II, Ion Antonescu and Nicolae Ceauescu. In France, Charles
de Gaulle used the popular consultation to legitimize his anti-parliamentary options
reviving Napoleonic plebiscite as a way to reach the French people over their elected
representatives41.
For this reason, questions that are asked to people in democratic regimes that do
not provide a choice between two relatively balanced alternatives, that do not involve a
situation extensively debated within the representative body, are subjected to the
requirement of achieving a quorum of usually 50% + 1 of the total citizens who are
electoral rights holders. The reason is that, before ruling on the answer, the nation, as an
indivisible legal entity decides whether the question itself is legitimate. The Parliament
shall not be disbanded for one case, but it shall be dissolved into the body politic turned
into a mega-Parliament. All citizens become MPs, which requires to extend the rules
governing the representative assemblies to the entire body politic. Thus, should the
attendance quorum fails to be reached, it means that the very question asked was
illegitimate and that the Parliament was not able to explain the importance of citizens'
voting option for democratic order and public policies, and that pre-existing order
should be restored.
For public consultations, the essential concept is power. More specifically, the
way power is distributed among the various political stakeholders and how the one
exercising power understands to extract his legitimacy from society. The fundamental
questions are who? and why public consultations?, and not on what are citizens asked to decide?
when going to the polls. Thus, in case of plebiscite, citizens' option of not going to the
polls is extremely democratic, derived from the freedom of the right to vote. Absentees
Vasile M. KOGLNICEANU (published by), Acte relative la 2 Maiu 1864, cu trei facsimile i trei stampe [Papers
on May the 2nd 1864 with three facsimiles and three stamps], Tipografia i Fonderia de Litere Thoma Basilescu,
Bucureti, 1894, p. 11.
40 Ibidem., p. 63.
41 J. E. S. HAYWARD, Governing France: The One and Indivisible Republic, second edition, Weidenfeld and
Nicolson, London, 1988, p. 4.
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do not legitimize the political will of the parliamentary majority and reaffirm the terms of
the political representation. For the plebiscite of July 29, 2012, failing to reach the
attendance quorum at the popular consultation on impeaching President Traian Basescu,
means a vote of censure against the Parliament and in countries like Slovakia is
sanctioned with the dissolution ex officio of the Parliament, in which case the incumbent
president starts a new five-year mandate.
In Romanian democracy, MPs have no binding mandate from the voters, but
have a representative mandate, so that, between the time of election and the end of term,
the MPs are not to be held responsible before those who elected them, or before the
nation as an indivisible legal person, but only before their own conscience and the law.
Therefore, the relationship between the citizen and the Parliament is a contract having its
term at the time of the next election, while the MP is called to put in legislative form his
personal will. Overturning the situation and reading it from the point of view of citizens,
when the latter do not legitimate by a 50% +1 voter turnout the question the Parliament
has asked, practically the Parliaments option is de-legitimized and the nature of the
political representation contract is recalled.
Typically, plebiscites are convened by political power when the latter needs
popular acclamation, i.e. a necessity that is not part of the democratic order faithful to
the virtual representation philosophy. Since a government exercises power and has the
support of a parliamentary majority, nobody and nothing can hinder him to reform or
promote laws that correspond to his political vision for which winning the general
election. Therefore, in a democracy such as the Romanian regime, plebiscite does not
make sense, except for that of sliding democracy towards authoritarianism or returning it
to pre-democracy. Of the popular consultations held in Romania in the past six42 years
none may act as referendum since all were related to a person. Thus, in 2007 and 2009,
the political will - an extremely anti-democratic one in fact - of the President in office,
Traian Bsescu was subject to plebiscite, namely to reduce the number of MPs to the
random figure of 300 and to suppress the upper house of Parliament to legitimize
himself before the citizens as an effective politician in relation to the neoliberal-inspired
de-bureaucratization virtues. Questions had directed answers and popular consultation
was not preceded by a broad public debate, and not even by a parliamentary one, so that
it did not meet the criterion that popular consultation can provide the necessary help to
make, through the demos, important decisions at the political level.
Plebiscites in 2007 and 2012 have a more personal character, given that political
power urged citizens to rule as jury on whether Traian Bsescu, the President of
Romania, should carry on his term. As stated above, the object of Plebiscite is not a
politician par excellence to guide his work in accordance with the political will assumed
electorally under the law, but a high state official, who cannot have executive political
will, but can only intervene recommending and providing the Parliament and
Government with the necessary solutions he foresees due to his role of mediator
between State and society and that of raison dtat and political regime guardian. Thus,
the methodological difficulty of analyzing the popular consultation of 29 July 2012 is
Chronologically: 1. Referendum for the dismissal of President Traian Basescu (May 19, 2007) 2.
Referendum on the election of deputies and senators in constituencies based on a majority vote in two
rounds (25 November 2007), 3. Referendum on unicameral parliament and reducing the number of MPs (22
November 2009), 4. Referendum for the dismissal of President Traian Basescu (July 29, 2012).
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given by the ambigous procedures of the election and removal from office: given the
nature of his office, the Romanian President is accountable to the State and not to
citizens; therefore, to what extent may he be dismissed by citizens following a plebiscite?
The first analysis impulse goes to identifying the President's fault in relation to
the laws by which he operates, and especially in relation to the text of the Constitution.
From a strictly political point of view, a first record is that the President Traian Bsescu
has violated the Constitution when declining the nomination of Klaus Johannis, mayor
of Sibiu City, as candidate for Prime Minister of the Government of Romania, as
evidenced by the fact that Presidents choice, the economist Lucian Croitoru, did not
obtain the vote of confidence from Parliament. Procedurally however, as the Romanian
constitutional architecture shows, any president can be suspended by the Parliament if he
fails to be in line with the parliamentary majority, which is a constitutional nonsense
since the President's reference point is not the political will, but the law and raison
dtat. Elected by the nation through direct suffrage or by the Parliament, the President
declines his responsibility according to raison dtat, never according to the political
project of a rulling parliamentary majority and with which he is in an antagonist or
similar relationship.
Let's imagine the following scenario: what happens when citizens decide to
consider it is good to give the parliamentary majority to a party or alliance of parties, and
to give the presidential office to the opposition? It's a very democratic option and the
message sent by the nation as an indivisible legal entity would be that it is not desirable
for the power to be concentrated in the hands of a single party/alliance of political
parties. As it happened in the past six years, the forecast can only be so that, even in the
absence of violations of the Constitution, the Parliament shall call and urge people to
rule in a plebiscite its will to dismiss the President until it is successful. Inverting the
situation, a President who refuses two times successively to appoint as candidate for
Prime Minister of the Romanian Government the person meeting the support of
parliamentary majority can dissolve the Parliament, which would mean a new deadlock
situation.
The phenomenon described by analyzing the events related to the popular
consultation of 29 July 2012 is the judicialization of politics. In the present case, we have
an accused (the President), a prosecutor (the Parliament), a judge who controls and
houses the trial, as in anglo-saxon law systems (the Constitutional Court) and a court of
jury (the nation). Therefore, to define Romanian citizens proceedings of July 29, 2012,
we must combine two verbs, namely, to vote and to judge. Citizens have judged the
President by voting, thus transforming the political nation into a court of jury, but not in
the sense of the British impeachment43 or of the American recall, but by subjecting the will
of political power to a plebiscite for dismissal of the President.
In conclusion, the Romanian political system designed according to the
representative democracy requirements, but created by minds educated and socialized in
communism, and implemented by political actors, both institutions and individuals
without democratic vocation, seems to generate new limits that were unannounced by
the constitutional text. Of these, plebiscite-type popular consultations were misused as
tools for electoral bargaining and dismissal of the political opponent, and never used to
On British impeachment see K. R. MACKENZIE, The English Parliament, Penguin Books,
Harmondsworth, 1950, pp. 75-78.
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extract extra consensus from the society, or that dose of consent which is crucial for
policy implementation. Moreover, the Romanian President whose activity is, by the very
nature of his office, located within the scope of raison dtat, in his capacity as a State
diplomat, both outside and as a host, not as an actor, of the inner power game, is subject
to the judgment of the body politic located, by definition, outside raison dtat. In short
terms, the Romanian President holds the office of a secularized monarch who does not
govern, but only deals with the raison dtat and the representation of he state under the
mandate of the state itself.

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Bibliography
ZIELONKA, Jan, The Quality of Democracy after Joining the European Union, East
European Politics and Societies, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2007.
BARBU, Daniel, Indistincia. O cronic a sfritului politicii romneti [Indistinct. A chronicle on
the end of Romanian politics], Art, Bucureti, 2010.
BOTERO, Giovanni, The Reason of State, translated by P. J. and D. P. Waley, Yale
University Press, New Haven, 1956.
FABBRINI (ed.), Sergio, Democracy and federalism in the European Union and the United States:
exploring post-national governance, Routledge, New York, 2005. IDEM, Compound
Democracies. Why the United States and Europe are becoming similar, Oxford University
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FOUCAULT, Michel, Securitate, teritoriu, populaie. Cursuri la Collge de France (1977-1978)
[Security, Territory, Population. Lectures at the Collge de France (1977-1978)], translated by
Nicolae Ionel, Idea Design & Print, Cluj, 2009.
HAMILTON, Alexandre, James MADISON and John JAY, The Federalist Papers, edited
with an Introduction and Notes by Lawrence Goldman, Oxford University Press,
Oxford/ New York, 2008.
HAYWARD, J. E. S., Governing France: The One and Indivisible Republic, second edition,
Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1988.
IONESCU, Alexandra, Du Parti-tat l'tat des parties: changer de rgime politique en
Roumanie, Editura Academiei Romne, Bucureti, 2009.
LASKI, Harold J., The American Presidency. An Interpretation, Harper and Brothers
Publishers, New York and London, 1940.
PULZER, Peter, Political Representation and Elections in Britain, revised edition, Routledge
Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York, 2010.
ROSANVALLON, Pierre, Contrademocraia. Politica n epoca nencrederii [Counter-Democracy.
Politics in an Age of Distrust], translated by Alexandra Ionescu, Nemira, Bucureti,
2012.
SARTORI, Giovanni, The Theory of Democracy Revisited. Part One: The Contemporary Debate,
Chatham House Publishing, Chatham, 1987.
WALKER, Mark Clarence, The Strategic Use of Referendums. Power, Legitimacy and Democracy,
Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2003.
WOOD, Gordon S., The Creation of the American Republic. 1776-1787, second edition, The
University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

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Some Considerations on the

Development and Underdevelopment Theories in Latin American States


Rzvan Victor PANTELIMON
Ovidius University Constana, Universidad Catlica de Valparaso PhD
Abstract: This article analyzes a debate about the existence of a dual society in the Latin American
states and some development theories which arise in the same period with this debate. The discussion,
which was held in the end of the 60 and the beginning of the 70, tried to analyze if the Latin
American countries were ready at that moment for a socialist revolution or they must passed before
through a bourgeois-democratic period. We present here the opinions and positions of some very important
Latin American thinkers like Andr Gunder Frank, Rodolfo Staveghen, James Petras or Theotonio
dos Santos. Although this debate seem more academic and without importance we thought that is
important to analyze it because these problems and discussion about the rhythm and speed of the
modernization were the same in Romania.
Keywords: revolution, dual society, modernization, development theory, structural dualism, capitalism,
socialism.
1. INTRODUCTION
We will analyze in this article a controversy about the problem if the Latin
American states were ready or not (at the moment of the debate) for a socialist
revolution or if it was necessary for them to go first through the stage of bourgeoisdemocratic revolution. In the analysis of this debate we use a series of writings, the
majority of them grouped in a volume entitled The New Latin American Marxism which
is the result of International Congress on Latin America, organized in 1968 in the
Netherlands.
In fact, the whole debate is focused on the criticism of the thesis of structural
dualism, the vision on Latin American states as dual societies that must modernize
gradually, and which was sustained by a number of scholars and was widespread
especially among researchers belonging to ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean a United Nations organism). Thus most researchers
grouped around ECLAC (Raul Prebisch, Celso Furtado, Osvaldo Sunkel, Fernando H.
Cardoso, Enzo Faletto, Anibal Pinto etc) leaves from an approach using historicalstructuralist method for analyzing the realities and evolutions from Latin America.1
The authors around ECLAC, mentioned above, states that within the Latin
American states coexist two different and independent societies: a traditional agrarian
society, backward, pre-capitalist and condemned to stagnation or involution, and a
modern, urban, industrialized capitalist and developing one. As a result, the two major
ideas of this theory are: that the progress and the development of Latin-American states
A very thorough analysis of their ideas, and an anthology of the most significant texts could be find in the
two volume work ****** Cincuenta aos de pensamiento en la CEPAL. Textos seleccionados, Fondo de Cultura
Econmica, Santiago de Chile, 1998.
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will be guaranteed by the spread of industrialized capitalist sector in the backward rural
areas and that the alliance between popular social sectors and the progressive bourgeois
ones will permit, through fight against land oligarchy and imperialism, the development
of a national, independent and progressive capitalism.2
This image of dual societies in which the past and the present, feudalism to
capitalism, tradition and modernity are in cohabitation, however it will not be the
monopoly of the economists around the ECLAC. For example the Mexican Abelardo
Villegas state that
Latin America is a layered reality: the past coexists with the present, the ancient
with the new. The dynamic nature of this dominant antagonism is brought by the
capitalist expansion that gives birth to new situations at every step. The passive
character, or the changes base, is the traditional society that resists and adapts to
new situations without disappearing.3
2. THE CRITICISM OF THE DUAL SOCIETIES THEORY
Although this debate seems one academic and sterile at first glance we believe
that it is extremely important to the issues discussed in this research from two points of
view: The first is that the voices which intervene into the discussion belong to famous
thinkers in the Latin American area and whose writings had a great influence on the
political and social thought in Latin America (to name only Andr Gunder Frank,
Rodolfo Staveghen, James Petras or Theotonio dos Santos); and secondly, the different
answers that it may give to the question that was the subject of debate of this Conference
influences another aspect: if Latin American states were ready for a socialist revolution
this mean that this revolution should be done and must be done very quickly and
regardless of the methods, including taking the power by insurrection; if the conditions
of a socialist revolution were not fulfilled and Latin American states had other steps to
go through before they can make the transition to socialism, then it was needed the
participation to the legal political life until it succeed to create the necessary and
sufficient conditions for socialism.
The criticism of the structural dualism thesis implies the assertion that we dont
need of capitalism, but we need of socialism and the fight against national bourgeoisie, as
a necessary premise for the fight against imperialism.4
James Petras chapter about Classes and Politics in Latin America analyzes the role
of each social class in the political evolutions of the states from the region. Contrary to
widespread belief of the eminently revolutionary role of urban working-class masses, he
discovers that given the agrarian problem, the peasants can also play an important role in
the changes that will occur. Petras rejects the thesis that considers the rural residents as a

Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano,
1970, p. VII.
3 Abelardo VILLEGAS, Identidad y contradiciones de America Latina in Latinoamerica. Anuario del Centro de
estudios latinoamericanos, no. 2, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexic, 1969, p. 149.
4 Giancarlo SANTARAELLI Il nuovo marxismo cit., p. IX.
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conservative force, slightly open to social changes and revolutionary movements, stating
that
lately the peasants played a crucial revolutionary role in Mexico, Bolivia and most
recently in Cuba. Latin American revolutionaries put more and more their hope in
the peasant masses as carriers of social revolution, on the one hand because of their
political consciousness development, and on the other hand thanks to the victory
model of the Cuban revolution.5
Petras also claims that the role of these peasant masses is not restricted to the
revolutionary one, but they can have an influence even in the democratic ways to reach
power, and gives the example of Chile where
recent studies of the results of presidential elections in Chile in 1959 and 1964
revealed that those who voted in large number for socialist-communist alliance, the
Popular Action Front (FRAP), are peasants.6
This demonstrates that the theories regarding the lack of class consciousness of
the peasantry outside the modern capitalist world are largely inaccurate and outdated.
The most acid criticism of the theory of structural dualism comes however from
Andr Gunder Frank, the best known socialist political thinker, whereof Michel Lwy
says that
of all Latin American Marxist researchers, Gunder Frank was the one whose
work has caused the greatest political impact among the revolutionary left and gave
birth to the most passionate debates and polemics.7
According to Gunder Frank:
the obvious inequalities in terms of income and cultural differences have led many
authors to see the existence of dual societies and economies in underdeveloped
countries. They imagine that each of the two parties has its own history, structure
and dynamics totally independent of each other. It is assumed that only a part of the
economy and the society were influenced in a relevant manner by the economic
relations with the external capitalist world; and that part, it is argued, has become a
modern, capitalist and relatively developed, precisely because of this contact. The
other side is seen as isolated, concentrated on subsistence, feudal or pre-capitalist,
and is perceived as underdeveloped.8
Gunder Frank's opinion it is totally different and he considers that the whole
theory of dual society is false and the economic policies recommendations based on this
James PETRAS, Classe e politica in America Latina in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo
marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 43.
6 Ibidem p. 47.
7 Michel LWY, El marxismo en Amrica Latina. Antologa, desde 1909 hasta nuestros das (edicin actualizada), Lom
Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007, p. 497.
8 Andr GUNDER FRANK, Lo sviluppo del sottosviluppo in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator),
Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 142.
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theory, once implemented, serve no other purpose than to intensify and perpetuate the
underdevelopment conditions which they claim they want to end.
Based on recent research and extensive documentation he believes, and he is
sure, that future research will confirm its position, that
in past centuries the expansion of the capitalist system entered, in a complete and
efficient manner, even into apparently most isolated sectors of the underdeveloped
world. Therefore, the institutions and the economic, political, social and cultural
relations that can currently be seen in this area are the product of historical
development of the capitalist system, just as the apparently more modern or more
capitalist features of the national metropolis from these underdeveloped states. Just
like the relationship between development and underdevelopment at the international
level, contemporary underdeveloped institutions from the internal areas of some
underdeveloped states, considered backward or feudal, are the product of a complex
historical process of capitalist development, as well as so-called capitalist institutions
from areas alleged to be more developed.9
We observe that Andr Gunder Frank believes, unlike previous researchers, that
underdeveloped areas are not so because there didnt entered capitalism and they
remained isolated, but they are underdeveloped as a result of capitalism development in
the last decades. Thus it contradicts the theories which support the idea that Latin
American states are characterized by a dual society or by the survival of feudal
institutions and that these are major obstacles against economic development.
Based on these findings Gunder Frank will enounce a series of hypotheses on
the development and underdevelopment, on which he will base his subsequent analyzes.
A first hypothesis is based on the observation that within the worldwide structure metropolitan
satellite type, the metropolis tends to grow, while the dependent area tends to be underdeveloped10, is
that in contrast with the development of worldwide metropolises that do not dependent
on anyone, the development of national and subordinate metropolies is limited by their
dependency status itself.
Another Gunder Frank's hypothesis is that the satellite states greater economic
development, especially the classic industrial-capitalist type one, if and only when their
ties with the metropolis are the weakest. This thesis opposes popular belief that the
development of underdeveloped countries is achieved when increasing the number and
intensity of contacts with developed countries.
The third hypothesis is that the regions which are currently less developed and
apparently with a feudal economic structure are precisely those regions that previously
had the closest connection with the metropolis. These were the areas that were the main
source of raw resources and capital for worldwide metropolises, which were
subsequently abandoned by them when they revenues began to decline.
The last two hypotheses stated by Andr Gunder Frank are related and it refers
to the problems of large latifundia. The first is that landowning whatever form it takes in
the present, has emerged as a commercial enterprise that created the institutions required
9

Ibidem p. 143.
Ibidem p. 147.

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by the global or national increasing demand in base of the increasing of the means of
production. And the second hypothesis states that the landowning that currently appears
isolated, subject to subsistence and semi-feudal economy are those who have seen
declining the demand for their own products or the decrease of their productive capacity
on the world wide capitalist market.11
Andr Gunder Frank's theories show that areas or even states in Latin America,
which at first impression seem retrased, undeveloped, living in a feudal and subsistence
model are actually the result of a capitalist development based on the export of raw
material model, which is abandoned, once proven his inefficiency. Opposing those who
think that Latin American states must go first beyond the feudal stage in order to enter
the capitalist development stage, and then to debate the idea of a socialist revolution,
because current conditions did not allow this revolution, he sugest that in fact the
current situation of Latin American states is actually the result of intense capitalist
development and that exists all the necessary conditions for the revolutionary outbreak.
Gunder Frank opposed, therefore, to the feudalism theory (defended even by
some communist or Marxist), a conception of the Latin American states as a coherent
and integrated systems, of a capitalist nature, and on this analysis of socio-economic
forms of the continent bases its view according to which: is an illusion the idea of a
bourgeois democratic reform (the anti-feudal reform) and therefore proposes the
socialist revolution as the only realistic option for the development of underdevelopment.12
We said before that Gunder Frank was one of those authors whose ideas
strongly influenced the Latin American revolutionaries, who demanded immediate
realization of the socialist revolution, regardless of the method and the form in which
this could be achieved. One of Gunder Frank texts which present clearly his theory on
the necessity of a immediate revolution, seen as insurrectional movement, as an assault
on the power, is entitled Who is the Immediate Enemy, first appeared in 1968 and
subsequently resumed and enriched.13
Before making a brief analysis of this text we should mention that the figure and
the model constantly present in this text, even if not always explicitly, are those of Che
Guevara, easy to understand if we consider the emergence of this text in 1968 when the
effect of Che's death was major, and his myth began to take shape.
Gunder Frank clarify from the beginning the thesis he wishes to analyze in his
text.14 Although, the immediate enemy of national liberation in Latin American states is,
tactically, the national bourgeoisie and the local bourgeoisie in rural areas, strategically,
the main worldwide enemy is imperialism.
The classes social structure in Latin American states is formed based on the
development of colonial structure of worldwide capitalism from mercantilism to
Ibidem 147 153.
Michel LWY, El marxismo en Amrica Latina cit, p. 497.
13 The first version of this text was presented at the Cultural Congress in Havana in 1968 and can be found
in Andr GUNDER FRANK, Quien es el enemigo inmediato? in Michel LWY, El marxismo en Amrica
Latina. Antologa, desde 1909 hasta nuestros das (edicin actualizada), Lom Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007, p.
497 501. A much enlarged and enriched version appears as Andr GUNDER FRANK, Chi il nemico
immediato in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli
Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 310 351.
14 Andr GUNDER FRANK, Chi il nemico immediato in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il
nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 310 311.
11
12

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imperialism, the same colonial structure extending within states where national cities
subordinates provincial centers and they in their turn the local ones.
The fight against imperialism in Latin American states is done and must be done
through class struggle, but the popular mobilization against the class enemy nationally
and locally generates a confrontation with the main enemy, which is imperialism, a more
powerful confrontation if it was resorting to direct anti-imperialist mobilization; national
mobilization through a broad alliance between anti-imperialist forces is not a proper
challenge to imperialism as a class enemy and generally doesnt ends up in a real conflict
with imperialism.
This strategic coincidence of class struggle and anti-imperialist struggle and the
tactical primacy in Latin America of the class struggle with the metropolitan bourgeoisie
over the anti-imperialist one, it is clearly useful to guerrillas who had to be initiate the
fight against the national bourgeoisie, and it is useful also to ideological and political
struggle which should be directed not only against imperialist and colonialist enemy, but
also against local class enemy.
Gunder Frank does not reject the idea that imperialism is the main enemy, but in
his vision this is not the immediate enemy, which is been constituted by Latin American
bourgeoisie, who must be fought first in the revolutionary struggle. The best way to face
the main enemy, imperialism, is to fight against the direct class enemy; many revolution
failures must be assigned to excessive emphasis on the external enemy against the internal
enemy. 15 Here Gunder Frank enters in an apparent contradiction with a series of
revolutionary of his time, who believed that the main battle must be fought with
imperialism and colonialism, especially the United States ones.
Regarding the social reality of his time he use some of the ideas developed
previously in the text of The Development of Underdevelopment that we have already
presented, so that we will not resume them. Using new data, Gunder Frank reconfirms
all his assertions on the class structure and rejects again the idea of a dual society,
composed of a backward part, archaic and feudal, and a dynamic one, capitalist and
modern.
He also rejects the idea of a dogmatic Marxism which will make him entering in
a conflict with a number of Marxists of the time.
The organization and revolutionary political mobilization can have benefits from
Marxist analysis of colonial and class structure from certain regions or areas. This
analysis, however, should not be done outside some generally accepted schemes and
should be carried out by Marxist revolutionaries who actively participate at the
political movements to which such studies intended to serve. But the same principle
can be used for theoretical research on wider political problems: a real Marxist
theory can be produced only through revolutionary political practices.16
It shouldnt be understood that Gunder Frank is a critic of Marxism or socialism
in its entirely, but a critic of that theoretic Marxism which doesnt prioritizes the
revolutionary struggle, practically with this article, as well as through all his work, he is
15
16

Ibidem p. 313.
Ibidem p. 343.

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the critic of that model that considers the social change can be made gradually and
without violent ruptures.
He rejects as inadequate and false all those political and ideological models
according to which all humanity must pass necessarily through a series of same stages,
from primitive communism through the era of slavery, then to feudalism, to capitalism,
till arrive to modern socialism. He also reject all those theories that argue that Latin
American states are divided into two parts, one still in a feudal stage and the other in a
capitalist one, and also those who say that only the feudal oligarchy and imperialism are
obstacles to national development and not the national bourgeoisie.
What have to do then, according to Gunder Frank, those who wish to provide
scientific and political principles to Latin American socialists in order to justify their
struggle? The main tasks are to build a theoretical work in order to complement
revolutionary practice with revolutionary theory, to analyze Latin American societies in
order to help the people's forces in their revolutionary struggle and to develop
revolutionary principles that Latin American revolution needs. The ideological purity on
these issues becomes essential, especially during times when revolutionary movements
are in a temporal retreat, because in this phase it is needed more ideological firmness to
resist the temptation to give in to a reformist policy with the excuse to achieve a possible
and necessary social peace.17
This ideological clarity can be achieved by the Latin American socialist only thru
intellectual activity, but not only intellectual, inspiring himself from the model of Che
Guevara, who was first a revolutionary and then an intellectual. The Latin American
intellectual socialist must decide if it remains in the system, following the reformist path,
or go out with the people to make the revolution.18
Again we see the appeal to Ches image that is a myth for most Latin American
revolutionaries. In a first version of this text, to the question Who should make the revolution
and against whom?, Gunder Frank answers again with an appeal to the example of Che
Guevara (interestingly, this passage is subsequently suppressed):
Che and his example will guide us in the revolutionary struggle against all
obstacles, whatever they are and wherever they may come: from imperialism, from the
very Latin American societies, from the ideology and counter-revolutionary practice,
including the some people from socialist countries or Marxist parties. Ches
permanent message is to start to face the enemy on the battlefield now, immediately,
from our own country and then to expand the revolution worldwide. From this
battlefield came his message to the Tricontinental: Wherever death may
surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this, our battle cry, may
have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be extended to
wield our weapons. Che's weapon is his example, that of a revolutionary who is
at the same time an intellectual and not only an intellectual who aspire to be a
revolutionary. 19

Ibidem p. 349.
Ibidem p. 350.
19 Andr GUNDER FRANK, Quien es el enemigo inmediato?...cit, p. 498.
17
18

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Most of Andr Gunder Frank's ideas are echoed by a Mexican researcher,


Rodolfo Stavenhagen, who also rejects the dual society thesis, proposing replacing it with
the concept of internal colonialism.20 Stavenhagen recognizes that there are differences
within Latin American states, but according to him these differences do not justify the
use of the concept of dual society for two main reasons:
The first is that relations between regions and social groups archaic or feudal
and the modern or capitalist ones are the mechanism for a single and unified
society, for which the two poles are integral parts; The second reason is that the two
poles were formed in the same historical process.21
In his opinion, during the internal historical evolution of these states was
repeated the existing scheme internationally. Thus, the type of relations settled between
the mainland and the colony, it repeats within these states in a system of relations that
have been developed between the few growth poles and the rest of the country. As were
those metropolis states for these underdeveloped states, as well were the centers of
economic, political and social power from within the country for the rest of the territory.
Adopting this explanation, he believes that backward or underdeveloped regions
from Latin American states have always played the role of internal colony of developing
urban centers or agricultural areas with a higher productivity. Although the most
widespread opinion considers that the development direction of the Latin American
states is from the urban, modern, with capitalist economic structures areas, Stavenhagen
shows that, in fact, the progress of developed urban and modern areas was based on
resources from archaic, backward and traditional areas. Capital flows, raw materials, food
and workforce, resulting from poor and backward areas, enabled the rapid development
for some centers of power and modernity, but at the same time condemns poor areas in
a permanent and continuous stagnation and underdevelopment. Trade and economic
relations between urban and under-developed areas have the same operating character as
those worldwide between developed states that functions as metropolis and
underdeveloped states.22
Another important thesis of Stavenhagen is the rejection of the idea that the
socialist revolution can be achieved by the alliance between workers and peasants, and as
such should be awaited the optimum conditions in order to achieve this alliance. To
demonstrate the impossibility of this alliance he used different arguments relating to the
interests of the two classes. Thus the main demand of the rural masses is the agrarian
reform, but once this done they will become owners whose class interests will resemble
those of land oligarchy, at the same time achieving the agrarian reform involves, at least
initially, the decrease in the quantity of food products that riches the urban areas and the
increase in their price, which would lead to discontent among the urban proletariat.
Regarding the urban proletariat, the class struggle aims the increase of the wages
and rights for industrial workers, objectives that are not the same as the peasants and as
such they have no interest to support them. Stavenhagen make here a very bold
Rodolfo STAVENHAGEN, Sette tesi erronee sullAmerica Latina in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI
(coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970p. 156 176.
21 Ibidem p. 158.
22 Ibidem p. 163.
20

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statement and for which he has been criticized by some radical circles: the working class of
our country is also a beneficiary of internal colonialism, this being one of the precise causes for which a
really revolutionary labor movement doesnt exists in Latin America.23
To conclude we can say that the demonstration of the Mexican author leads us
to the fact that the greater will be the internal colonialism in Latin America (meaning the
more will grow the differences between cities and their internal colonies), the more
difficult will be the possibility of a real political alliance between workers and farmers.
What would be then the solution to solve the problems of Latin American
states? The answer is offered by the author himself by saying that the only long-term
solution appears to be political and social mobilization of the "colonized" peasants who must fight their
own battle alone, without rejecting the possible help from the radical sectors of the intelligentsia, students
or working class.24
This is basically a replay of Che Guevaras ideas on the rural guerrilla and it will
influence in an important way the political imaginary of those who wished to achieve a
socialist revolution immediately, without waiting for the creation of the objective
conditions to allow an alliance between classes. The theory of internal colonialism shows
that the model of gradual reforms leading to development is not sustainable in order to
achieve massive social change (the most concrete case being the effects that may have
the land reform) and as such, it is needed to take over the power thru insurrectional way,
whether the actor of this insurrection is the proletariat or the peasantry.
One last author which we will be reminded here briefly is Theotonio dos Santos,
a Brazilian economist particularly known for his studies and analyzes on the Latin
America economics 25 . The analysis that he makes on the economic situation of
contemporary Latin America's leads him to the idea of a deep crisis, and in his view, the
causes of this crisis are pointing in the same direction as in Andr Gunder Franks
opinion, so well not resume the discussion.
Its interesting to note, however, how he sees the solution of this crisis. Thus the
combination between the crisis of dependent industrial capitalism development, the
crisis in international trade, exporting and traditional sectors and the crisis of the
accumulation of the dependent monopoly capital, produces a revolutionary situation. In
case of a revolutionary situation, the ruling classes are not satisfied with the forms of
domination that they exercise, meanwhile dominated and intermediate classes loses their
confidence in the legitimacy of the existing power. In Theotonio dos Santos view the
result of the crisis that was facing Latin American states at that time was the need to seek
new forms of political action and new models of social and political organization
appropriate to the changes that occurred at the base of the society. The contradictions of
the crisis situation produce antagonisms that tend to radicalize progressively in order to
obtain an organic solution.26
The evolution of the crisis will lead to political radicalization between powerful
governments and popular movements, appearing nevertheless a third variant produced
Ibidem p. 174.
Ibidem p. 175.
25 Theotonio dos SANTOS, Socialismo o Fascismo: dilema del lAmerica Latina in Giancarlo
SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970, p. 352
371.
26 Ibidem p. 368.
23
24

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by certain sectors linked to the nationalist and populist conceptions of years 30-60 of
the past century, which will support a reformist and progressive alternative. Nevertheless
as this third alternative it is not possible in dos Santos view, the nationalist sectors will
divide in a nationalist revolutionary stream close to the left and underlying guerrilla
movements, and a nationalist reformist and progressive stream which accepts the
inevitability of dependence and will propose a compromise solution: a dependent
development inside of which to negotiate foreign capital participation thru joint formulas
involving massively the state.27
The Brazilian economist conclusion, is however, the one on the inevitable crash
of the reformist ways, both the one who tried to rely on people (in the form of Latin
American populism), but also the one of the reforms thru a strong government that base
his power on political and social elites or on a negotiated dependence reformist path.
As such, the only alternative that appears obvious to Theotonio dos Santos is a
profound social revolution that allows establishing the foundations of a new society on
the ruins of the old decadent order and which will provide to Latin America states a
greater and important role in creating the world of the future.28
The idea of the possibility of direct transition to the socialist state, even in the
case of a not fully modernized society, without the need for intermediate stage of
capitalism, will occur with other authors, such as Carlos Franco that justified this idea in
a series of Marx texts on the pre-modern oriental societies and applies them to the Latin
American case.29
3. THE DEFENSE OF THE DUAL SOCIETIES THEORY
Weve seen so far a number of authors who support the idea of the possibility of
burning stages and they constituted the justification for most Latin American socialists
advocating for immediate start of the revolution without waiting for favorable conditions
for this. Although in the minority in the socialist movement there was a stream that
promoted the model of the consumption of all stages and they based their ideas on a
range of Latin America social and political realities, especially on the theory of dual
society and underdevelopment of these countries. We try to present some of the
arguments of those theorists of a gradual path, which at that time were not taken into
account, but which will later become important for the new Latin American socialism.
Since the beginning of socialism in Latin America appeared some thinkers who
supported the idea that these countries are not ready for socialism and that it is needed a
gradual transition to it. Thus, Carlos Octavio Bunge, author of a paper on The problem of
the future of the law, wrote that socialism involves not only economic and political choices,
but also a moral impulse, a revolutionary idea and it was seen as a suitable doctrine to
solve the problems of a rapid transformation society. But that society was not prepared
to accept socialism so, according to Bunge, social progress needed to be connected to
biological and moral perfection of the man. The socialism can be reached thru a natural
Ibidem p. 369 370.
Ibidem p. 371.
29 Carlos FRANCO, Del marxismo eurocentrico al marxismo latinoamericano, Centro de Estudios por el Desarrollo
y Participacin, Lima, 1981, p.14.
27
28

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evolution, and the maximum social solidarity, which had its origin in the will of the
individual, was the result of this evolution.30
In the same line of thought wrote also Juan B. Justo who was one of the first
Latin American socialists. So he accepted the Marxist interpretation of class inequality
and the fight between them, but rejected the theory of proletarian dictatorship, which he
considered a myth in decline. According to Justo, the idea of a sudden social
transformation to establish in one shoot a society and a perfect order will lose ground in
the eyes of the people as it will be able to judge with more discernment everyday
problems. No state, no law can move from day to day the relationships between people
establishing more capable of managing collective property ones. The most important
task was to educate the people, to make him discover gradually the class inequalities, so
that he will accept gradually the need for socialist ideas on equality.31
The one who will best illustrate, in the first half of past century, the idea of
gradual change and gradual preparation for the transition to socialism, will be Victor
Raul Haya de la Torre, the founder of APRA (American Popular Revolutionary
Alliance), which, due to his ideas, will have an ideological conflict with Jos Carlos
Mariategui, but also with other socialists who will accuse him of betraying socialist ideals,
of right deviationism etc. Interestingly, some of his ideas will be taken by Latin American
socialism after 1990 that will put more emphasis on the state's role in preparing the
socialist society. Haya de la Torre proposes an anti-imperialist state a model state that
may not be the instrument of imperialism to maintain in an economic slavery the
national masses, but to be their defense body.32
How this anti-imperialist state should be organized, Haya de la Torre also
answers. Thus, in his opinion, because the peasant classes cannot exercise state power
because of lack of preparation and the workers ones due to the low number and a lack of
class consciousness, typical situation in developing states, the participation task to state
management as a unique front of the oppressed classes against imperialism is back to the
middle classes, urban and rural - smallholders, craftsmen, tradesmen, intellectuals, etc..33
This anti-imperialist state,
formed by an alliance of classes oppressed by imperialism, must control the
production and distribution of wealth, to achieve the progressive nationalization of
the means of production and to create the conditions for capital investment and
trade. Must be an open body to the relations between that nation and imperialism,
because we cannot deny his existence, but also a political school for productive classes
and prepare them for the moment when will disappears the system that favors the
existence of imperialism.34

Riccardo CAMPA, Antologia del pensiero latino-americano. Dalla Colonia alla secunda guerra mondiale, Editori
Laterza, Bari, 1970, p. 65 66.
31 Juan B. JUSTO, Teoria y practica de la historia, Buenos Aires, 1937 apud Riccardo CAMPA, Antologia del
pensiero.cit, p. 67.
32 Victor Raul HAYA de la TORRE, Teoria y tactica del Aprismo, Editorial APRA, Lima, 1931, p. 35
33 Ibidem p. 34.
34 Ibidem p. 36 37.
30

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We note that Haya de la Torre is the exponent of some theories that directly
contradict those of the followers of a violent and immediate revolution. Thus, he doesnt
reject the idea of a socialist state and even a revolution in this direction, but support the
necessity to go first through to the capitalist stage where the main role goes to the state
managed by middle class representatives. This capitalist period who maintain ties with
imperialist metropolis and in which investments are made in order to develop the
industry and trade, serves to deepen class antagonisms, to strengthen the working class
and especially its class consciousness, his main purpose being to prepare all the objective
conditions necessary for the transition to socialism.
To those who supported the idea of immediate socialist revolution, he replied
that
socialism cannot be claimed until industrialism will not reach full maturity and
will not have fulfilled its great historical stage. As to the industrialization of our
countries will be needed, as long as there is capitalism, to have capital, the state - in
the view of the future socialist nationalization of the means of production - will have
to provide this capital.35
4. CONCLUSION
We have seen from this brief presentation that there was no general view on the
direction and the form that must have the socialist revolution in Latin American states,
but it is obvious that at the middle of that last century the opinion that advocates for the
necessity of an insurrectional movement which will takeover the power by any means
and only after that will made the necessary changes for the transition to socialism was
majority. Such ideas were based not only on a number of theoretical, philosophical and
ideological considerations, of which on we have discussed previously, but also on some
real historical events, like the Cuban revolution, the failure of the Allende democratic
path to socialism and the Sandinista revolution.
Although this debate seem more academic and without importance we thought
that it was important to analyze it because these problems and discussion about the
rhythm and speed of the modernization were the same in many other countries,
Romania included.

35

Ibidem p. 39.

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Bibliography
CAMPA, Riccardo, Antologia del pensiero latino-americano. Dalla Colonia alla secunda guerra
mondiale, Editori Laterza, Bari, 1970.
FRANCO, Carlos, Del marxismo eurocentrico al marxismo latinoamericano, Centro de Estudios
por el Desarrollo y Participacin, Lima, 1981.
GUNDER FRANK, Andr, Lo sviluppo del sottosviluppo in Giancarlo
SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli
Editore, Milano, 1970.
GUNDER FRANK, Andr, Chi il nemico immediato in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI
(coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano,
1970.
GUNDER FRANK, Andr, Quien es el enemigo inmediato? in Michel LWY, El
marxismo en Amrica Latina. Antologa, desde 1909 hasta nuestros das (edicin
actualizada), Lom Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007.
HAYA de la TORRE, Victor Raul, Teoria y tactica del Aprismo, Editorial APRA, Lima,
1931.
JUSTO, Juan B., Teoria y practica de la historia, Buenos Aires, 1937 in Riccardo CAMPA,
Antologia del pensiero latino-americano. Dalla Colonia alla secunda guerra mondiale,
Editore Laterza, Bari, 1970.
LWY, Michel, El marxismo en Amrica Latina. Antologa, desde 1909 hasta nuestros das
(edicin actualizada), Lom Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 2007.
PETRAS, James, Classe e politica in America Latina in Giancarlo SANTARAELLI
(coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli Editore, Milano,
1970.
SANTARAELLI, Giancarlo, (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli
Editore, Milano, 1970.
dos SANTOS, Theotonio, Socialismo o Fascismo: dilema del lAmerica Latina in
Giancarlo SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano,
Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 1970.
STAVENHAGEN, Rodolfo, Sette tesi erronee sullAmerica Latina in Giancarlo
SANTARAELLI (coordinator), Il nuovo marxismo Latino Americano, Feltrinelli
Editore, Milano, 1970.
VILLEGAS, Abelardo, Identidad y contradiciones de America Latina in Latinoamerica.
Anuario del Centro de estudios latinoamericanos, no. 2, Universidad Nacional
Autonoma de Mexico, Mexic, 1969.
****** Cincuenta aos de pensamiento en la CEPAL. Textos seleccionados, Fondo de Cultura
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Reforming Citizenship
Helen MARGARITOU-ANDRIANESSI
University of Athens
Abstract: The ways of intercommunication regard moral and political virtues as well as the general
principles of equality as criteria of a just society. Only a cooperative society can secure rights and primary
goods, because the benefits are primarily collective benefits. Citizenship models provide guidance on
strategies that prevent civil turmoil and social upheaval. Citizenship systems invest in statistics,
fundamental commonalities, publicly designed interventions, common ethos, communicative actions, and
biotechnology and lifeworld architectonic.
Keywords: Citizenship, primary needs, welfare, good, act-utilitarianism, adaptive preferences, new
integrity, ontological realism, positivist epistemology, human nature, linguistic interventions, and life
world.
1. PRIMARY SOURCES OF CITIZENSHIP
The state of nature is subject to a variety of interpretations. Philosophers seek
to find the origins of social and political substance of individuals: they investigate the
permanent abilities of human race and relative mental characteristics in the sense of
active and passive nature of man. The human active and passive nature regards a) the
way in which human beings behaved before the organization of political authority and b)
the mass hysteria after natural disasters or economic crises. The citizenship in primitive
times is a myth or illusion in transformation, namely an evolutionary encyclopedism of
the history of components units of societies (clans or gentes), and origins of
constitutional law. There is no difference in the ways of intercommunication of primitive
men and civilized men (citizens). The ways of intercommunication regard the general
principles of equality, the spirit of mutual goodwill and trade unions/groups that
provide a basis for state actions1.
Platos educational process involves active learning, self-examination, the desire
for total acquisition of truth and the meaning of struggle between justice and injustice,
through dialogue and interactive communication 2 . Arte (virtue) must be infused in
disciplines, as personal quality, parallel to a specialization (i.e. good citizen and good
worker: Socratic philosophical discipleship as political awakening). The Allegory of the
Ronald DWORKIN, What is Equality? Part 2: Equality of Resources, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 10,
1981, pp. 283 345; Richard NORMAN, Free and Equal, Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 43-49 and
88-119.
2 Richard PATTERSON, Philosophos agonistes: imagery and moral psychology in Platos Republic,
Journal of History of Philosophy, 35, 1997, pp. 327-354; Thomas A. SZLEZK, Psyche-Polis-Kosmos.
Osservazioni sullunit del pensiero platonico, transl. by Elisabetta Cattanei, Polis e Cosmo in Platone (recueil), 1997,
pp. 39-63; Timothy A. MAHONEY, Do Platos philosopher-rulers sacrifice self-interest to justice?
Phronesis, 37, 1992, pp. 265-282.
1

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Cave is interpreted as a model of citizenship: Philosopher must rescue people who live in a
shadowy world, but his life is threatened by a violent attack of prisoners. The struggle
between light (knowledge) and shadow (passions, terror) is mirrored in human
arguments and debates about social-political intrigue, emancipation, respect etc.3
The primacy of existence in Aristotle's philosophy belongs to concrete
things-in-motion and to animated beings. The sense of different things, different
forms of states, different parties, different customs, different consequences, is always
present in order to conceive the primary sense of the natural state of affairs and the
common elements/laws of a mixed government in which every citizen exists among
others, with no dominant class of citizens, since the law and order are restored only by
individual virtues. The Aristotelian concept of state () concerns interdependence of
natural human conditions (soul and body), establishment of moral choices (liberal model
of citizenship) and political participation in a just state, where Aristotles division into
corrective justice, rectificatory justice and distributive justice is given. Constitutions and
forms of government are established in order to regulate distributive justice (distribution
of assets, mutual benefits, public offices and honor) that involve a consideration of the
personal values (talents and accomplishments) and an action of the excellent character
and spirit necessary for achieving eudemonia (goodness) and Eunomia (good laws).
Friendship associations (concord) are a natural fact (a natural impulse to live together
() and to make living well ( )). Citizenship means participating () in
public offices and decisions and not simply protecting someone against unjust acts or
keeping something safe from harm or damage4. According to the Aristotelian concept of
polis, citizenship should only be granded to virtuous and contemplative men: citizens
must balance their needs for power, against other needs those for security, liberty,
conventions () and peace.
Aquinas also employed the terms primitive state (statum primi) and state of
innocence (statu innocentiae)5 Eternal law, natural law divine law and human positive law
formulate the basis of a liberal account of limited government. Thomas Hobbes, in
Leviathan and in his earlier work On the Citizen, argued that all humans are by nature equal.
For Locke, in the state of nature all men are free to order their actions, and dispose of their
possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature (2nd Tr., 4). David
Hume supports in A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) that human beings are naturally
social. Rawls believes that people in the original position want a society where they have
their basic rights protected.
There are needs to assure existence (food, water, health). The lack of water, a
life of hardship, contagious diseases make human beings unhappy. We must have
resources and private means to secure our social life against social upheavals.
Distribution of goods according to needs consolidates democratic institutions.
Welfarism according to individual preferences, unmeasured ambitions and exaggerations,

Martha NUSSBAUM, The Fragility of Goodness. Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy, Cambridge
University Press, 1986.
4 ARISTOTLE, Politics, 3, 1275a 23-24 and 1280b 11-13.
5 Thomas AQUINAS, Summa Theologica, Part I, Question 97, (On the Preservation of the Individual in the
Primitive State).
3

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destructs the distributive justice. Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen6 formulated the
generalisable principle of actualisation of capabilities as a measure of just distributive
arrangements in order to aim those with disabilities and to develop policy formation
giving plans of human flourishing7.
2. CITIZENSHIP AND COMMON LEVELS OF WELFARE8
Hobson9, Hobhouse10, Tawney11 - all social democrats - support states role in
securing common levels of welfare. Others enforce arguments about paternalism that is
modelled on states natural duties towards citizens treated not as free men but as minors.
Berlin presents aspects of liberty theory that led political theorists to accede to the
higher self of the state12.
The distribution of primary goods (Rawls: basic rights and liberties, freedom of
movement and occupation, powers and prerogatives of offices, income and wealth, and
the social bases of self-respect)13 , and human capacities for functionings required to
secure effectiveness of small groups. Individuals in groups act altruistically. Bio-altruism
is a culture of positive dependency and prudence: Citizens believe that their lives go well,
when other peoples lives go well too. Prudence tends to stabilize moral norms
concerning criteria by which we ought to judge actions, choices and institutions. The
normative question is connected with citizenship as regulation of a wide range of
backgrounds that make political views balanced, as reconciliation of different interests
and as equality of conditions or equality of opportunity to enjoy a good life. We
must classify the material and cultural conditions of good life: Material wealth regards
technological developments that introduce new possibilities and facilitate the exchange
of goods. People must be well-fed, well-clothed and well-housed and they must combine
that with forms of freedom/liberty in order to perform tasks, jobs and duties. Only a
cooperative society can secure primary goods, because the benefits are primarily
collective benefits (priority of rights over goods). When groups of people are committed
to working in cooperation and everyones utility is taken into account, citizens participate
equally in a competitive system that promotes membership, better jobs and the moral
Martha NUSSBAUM, Nature, Function, and Capability: Aristotle on Political Distribution, Oxford Studies
in Ancient Philosophy, Suppl. Vol., 1988, pp. 145 184; Martha NUSSBAUM, Amartya SEN (eds.), Quality of
Life, Oxford, Clarendon, 1993, pp. 242 269.
7 Peter VALLENTYNE, Capabilities versus Opportunities for Well-being, Journal of Political Philosophy, 13,
2005, pp. 359 371.
8 Vic GEORGE, Major Thinkers in Welfare: Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective, Policy Press, 2010.
9 John A. HOBSON, Critical Assessments of Leading Economists, ed. by John C. Wood and Robert D. Wood,
Routledge, 2003, (On modern Capitalism and Imperialism, sane or legitimate or insane and aggressive).
______ The Social Problem: Life and Work, London, Nisbet, 1901.
10 John W. SEAMAN, L. T. Hobhouse and the Theory of Social Liberalism, Canadian Journal of Political
Science, v. 11, 4, 1978, pp. 777-801.
11 Brian LUND, Undrestanding State Welfare. Social Justice or Social Excluxion? Sage Publications, 2002. Ross
TERRILL, R. H. Tawney and His Times. Socialism as Fellowship, Harvard College, 1973.
12 Isaiah BERLIN, Two Concepts of Liberty, Four Essays on Liberty, Oxford University Press, 1969.
13 Douglas H. BLAIR, The Primary-Goods Indexation Problem in Rawls's Theory of Justice, Theory and
Decision, 24. 1988, pp. 239 252; John RAWLS, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. Cambridge, Harvard
University Press, 2001.
6

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language of compassion.
We must understand and respect other peoples ideas, opinions and feelings in
order to act with liberal attitude towards equality of opportunity(Rawls), support social
arrangements and political changes, and provide incentives (economic, financial reward,
tax etc.) to develop a large range of interests for the good life of beings.
Comprehensive conceptions of the good life regard criteria for global distributive
justice. The criteria of a good life correspond to universal concepts (prudence, good,
bad, truth, reverence, moderation, self-control, self-evidence, self-government,
self-seeking, common law, civilization etc.).
We can distinguish three kinds of knowledge of universal/general concepts in
order to perform actions, to explain facts, to establish our arguments, to be good people
and citizens:
1) knowledge of necessary contingent universal truths, namely the pleadings (p.e. Contra factum non
datur argumentum, proverbial phrase; Ex facto oritur jus, proverbial phrase);
2) knowledge of necessary non-universal truth (p.e. Plus valet quod in veritate est quam quod in
opinione, Gaius; Qui jure suo utitur, neminem laedit, proverbial phrase);
3) knowledge of contingent non-universal truth (p.e. When we take measures of precaution against
risk)14.
3. POLITICAL THEORIES AND MODELS OF CITIZENSHIP
We prefer the statistical or temporal frequency interpretation of modality
of citizenship: the model of possibility, the model of antecedent necessities and
possibilities with respect to a certain moment of time (diachronic modalities), the model
of possibility as non-contradictoriness, the model of relationships involved in ownership
(legal meaning), the model of normalization (social meaning) and the model of
membership (social-political meaning). Plato and Aristotle said that all generic
possibilities will be actualized. What is necessary is always actual15.
Aristotle classifies the types of things and events on the basis of their
occurrence. The temporal necessity of a present interest does not imply that such an
interest necessarily takes place in circumstances of that type, because we must distinguish
contingency from basic necessities and necessary inventions16.
The model of possibility as potency prima facie regards all kinds of unrealized
singular possibilities by referring to passive or active potencies as dispositional properties
such countable singular possibility17.
The idea of synchronic alternatives de dicto (in sensu composito) and de re (in sensu

Helen MARGARITOU-ANDRIANESSI, The Sense of Justice and the Research of Meaning of Human
Rights, Rivista Rosminiana, I, 2012, pp. 89-91.
14

RISTOTLE, Met. IX.5, Phys. VIII.1. he potency model suggests that the potency can really be
actualized only when i.e. a government made policy changes.
16 Jaakko HINTIKKA, Time and Necessity, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1973.
17 John C. A. GASKIN, Thomas Hobbes, Human Nature and De Corpore Politico, Oxford Worlds Classics, 1999.
15

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diviso) as something necessary per se and per accidens and sets of compossibilities18 provides
the models a) of self-organization, b) of the ensemble of social relations (Gramsci19)
and c) of corporate ethics and logic of assimilation20.
All the thinking about possibilities is conducted in signs (words, symbols,
structures, logical diagrams) and signs can be transformed in models. Thought must
interpret signs with respect to membership and citizenship in a society (i.e. The biblical
model of creativity generates workmanship model and the moral conception of property
that arises from the makers rights).
Active Citizenship Composite Indication (ACCI) and Organizational Citizenship
Behaviours (OCB) are built using statistical data of the growing possibilities of multiple
membership and participations.
Citizenship models provide guidance on strategies that prevent civil convulsions
and social upheavals:
1) Act-utilitarianism. Human beings act in a way that controls the painful choices. They
must desire the happiness and apply basic principles of utility as good faith, respect for
general welfare, impartiality, philanthropism21, obedience to rules22.
Citizen will be considered as act-utilitarian and rule-utilitarian when he produces the best
consequences for all23. The question of dirty hands is connected with the infringement
of human rights and Machiavellian concept of necessary evil when principles employ
means of coercion. When citizens are sick and tired of politics, they are in a state of
considerable agitation for political reform24.
2) Adaptive preferences. We must understand individuals preferences through
conversations, companionship and strategies for change (i.e. cross-cultural feminist
interventions, NGOs, design of new institutions etc.). in order to control individuals
situations in the cases of internal and external minorities and to avoid coercions25 (your
money or your life, blackmail, duress etc.).
Gino RONCAGLIA , Palestra rationis. Discussioni su natura della copula e modalit nella filosofia `scolastica' tedesca
del XVII secolo, Florence, Leo S. Olschki, 1996.
19 Darren J. OBYRNE, Dimension of Global Citizenship: Political Identity Beyond the Nation-State, London, Frank
Cass & Co Ltd, 2003, p. 33.
20 James BRUMMER, Corporate Responsibility and Legitimacy: An Interdisciplinary Analysis, Westport, Greenwood
Press, 1991.
18

21Alexander

V. SOLDATOV, The Anthropic Principle and the Plurality of Worlds, Diotima, 24, 1996, pp.
54-58.
22 John C. HARSANYI, Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of
Utility, Journal of Political Economy, 62, 1955, pp. 309 321; David LYONS, Utility as a Possible Ground of
Rights, Nous, 14, 1980, pp. 14-28; Elijah MILLGRAM, Mills Proof of the Principle of Utility, Ethics,
110, 2000, pp. 282-310.
23 Brad HOOKER, Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-Consequentialist Theory of Morality, Oxford University Press,
2000.
24 Cecil A. J. COADY, Politics and the Problem of Dirty Hands, Peter SINGER (ed.), A Companion to
Ethics, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1991, pp. 373-383; Stephen de WIJZE, Dirty Hands:Doing Wrong to do
Right; Igor PRIMORATZ (ed.), Politics and Morality, N.Y., Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp.3-19.
25 Alan WERTHEIMER, Coercion, Princeton, 1987; John ELSTER, Claus OFFE and Ulrich K. PREUSS,
Institutional Design in Post-communist Societies (Rebuilding the Ship at Sea), Cambridge, 1998; Serene KHADER,
Adaptive Preferences and Womens empowerment, Oxford University Press, 2011.

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3) Against unencumbered self (the core of liberal thought and the free rider problem).
Our biological nature is connected with reasonable choices for social life. Egoism and
self-interest are balanced by responsibilities and self-effacing modesty (Rawls), which is
considered as a basic interpersonal behavioural category (i.e. groups over self needs)26.
4) Ownership. Antonio Rosmini-Serbati supports that we have a right to freedom of association
and a right of social recognition. These two rights give rise to a third, the right to social
ownership that means the right of every just society to acquire and preserve rights of
ownership. Free exercise of this right binds individuals and regulates salutary
antagonism; citizens can establish Conventional Right. In Rosminian concept of
citizenship personal dignity guarantees intellectual and moral junctures between things
and persons, but the right of ownership involves relationship among citizens27.
5) Conformances between private and public interest. Conformance is the educational
process that relies on the psychology of reflex-actions and forms patterns of
administration (modern politics as engendered through administration and
transformation of conducts and opinions to political symbols <without?> raising the
question of the morality of conformance). Citizens will find occasions for pleasure,
while internal balances and tensions of perfections and imperfections provide symbols
of common good as a wide spectrum of divergent ideas, namely as an Encyclopedia of
Utilitarianism28.
4. ELEMENTS OF A NEW INTEGRITY
Idiosyncracies generate interactive forms of life considered as communicative
actions of all persons and social mechanisms of application of natural laws and moral
rules in life. We can rediscover the public sphere and citizenship with functional
adaptions of the ontological and epistemological scheme: platonic idea of good (implications)
moral actions / interactions effects / influences. Self-critical determination and limitation,
reflective continuation of semantic events and institutionalized ideal opportunities or
common sense of good are in favour of a legally constituted political community:
particular interests are in progress in social, economic and techno political structures and
they correspond to common interests (transmission belt that interacts with both private
and public)29. Thesame way to improve intelligence, education and interests, namely the
citizenship, is a cooperation in which Ego relates to equal participation in public practices.
The same procedural principles secure a reciprocal arrangement and similar
Alasdair MACINTYRE, Dependent Rational Animals; Why Human Beings Need the Virtues, Chicago, Open
Court, 1999. Herbert GINTIS, Behavioral Ethics Meets Natural Justice, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics,
2006, 5, 1, pp. 5 32.
26

27Antonio

ROSMINI-SERBATI, The Philosophy of Right, v. 2, Rights of the Individual, transl. by D. Cleary


and T. Watson, Rosmini House, Durham, 1993, 290, 302, 508-520 and 895-1003.
28 Barry COOPER, Eric Voegelin and the Foundations of Modern Political Science, University of Missouri Press,
1999.
29 Helen
MARGARITOU-ANDRIANESSI, The Phenomenological Interpretation of Ambiguity of
-MATRIX, Athens, Armos, 2013 (Selection of Primary Sources of I-MATRIX Principle:
www.margaritou.com/on line publications)

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

kinds of help or special rights (i.e. animal rights).


The same for all is an actual form of education or actual involvement of
citizens in holistic approaches to pragmatic reasons of membership and intervention
strategies.
The meaning of the existence regards the implication of sameness and of
analogies in the process of the actual truth of beings; this implication is based
necessarily on this natural consequence: the prior in nature (necessary motion, energy)
becomes posterior in time (proper changes, kinesis, goals, swerves) and at the same
time the posterior in nature (capacities, possibilities) becomes prior in time (the present
now of a being, the present possibility of transition from imperfection to model
(paradigmatic) forms of life30.
The Phenomenological Interpretation of Ambiguity of I31 might be read as an
offer to explain how particular sense of words, peculiar features (features of paintings),
special and significant parts of languages and cultures have symbolic power in society for
structural changes: contributing to the establishment of a new party, publishing books,
participating in political decision making on the European and international level.
IION-MATRIX means abilities to understand and realize the way we process language
and valid principles (idiosyncratically and commonly). Citizens can choose a spatial
layout of time stream (i.e. series of events, people and things, downloaded files from
Internet, streaming media, stream of consciousness)32. This process involves models of
understanding ourselves and the others: the model of human virtues associated with
social movements of various kinds; the model of human activity-mixing with methods
of culture data collections that performs appropriation of goods33; the neoaristotelian
views of cultural adaptability (: prudence) in order to reach a consensus or to have
the desired effects; struggles for new interventions approaches and transformations
(like publicly designed interventions that are more or less strategic transformations of
space); laws central role through self-interested strategic stances towards other persons;
particular interests and value-orientations; internal (ideology, natural language) and
external sources f (political participation, artificial language); exploring
multidimensional identities (modern sociopolitical construction of identity through the
interplay of individual and environment).
Habermass lifeworld theory is a clear explanation of process of achieving
self-understanding in relation to total commitments of community.
Analysis of lifeworld models, or structures, with a critical eye regards the
objectivizing the moralizing and the aestheticizing interventions of expert systems (i. e.
computer system containing informations about particular problems of citizens, so that
it helps someone to find solutions to conflicts, to rightful claims and to labour
Helen MARGARITOU - ANDRIANESSI, The Significance of the Present Time in Aristotles
Philosophy, (Academy of Athens), 40, 2010, . 307-315.
31 Helen MARGARITOU - ANDRIANESSI, The Phenomenological
Interpretation of Ambiguity of
-MATRIX.
32 Kevin E. MOORE, The Spatial Language of Time: Metaphor, Metonymym and Frames of Reference, Amsterdam,
Benjamins, 2014.
33 Ril VERMUNT, The Good, the Bad and the Just: How Modern Men Shape Their Word, Ashgate, 2014.
30

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relations). Expert system is integrated through action group (i. e. a team is in charge of
legal or illegal activity). The legitimacy of an expert system depends on a) communicative
power of people (i. e. the ability to communicate in a foreign language, the ability to pay,
the manageability, the adaptability, the companionship, the feasible plans, the defensible
and reasonable ideas); b) intersubjective relations (i. e. personal, family and social
relationships regard connections with actual needs in order to satisfy them) and c)
solidarity (i e. we must intercommunicate in order to be jointly and severally responsible).
Expert systems may connect various interests of different individuals as
participants in political and legal systems: popular culture or mass culture, customs and
public arts share a cultural background of political and legal system in a particular society
in the sense of multicultural life.
Habermass theory on Communication and citizenship is connected with
discourse ethics as process of representation and transmission that seeks to control or to
avoid the rhetorical modes of language. From a historical point of view communication
regards rational beings, logical explanations, logical reactions, reasonable demands, ways
of sending or receiving information etc. The abilities of communication depend on 1)
good reasons to do something, such as right ideas and actions; 2) sincere and common
belief; 3) experiences in living and working with other people; 4) the conception of
what people really feel and want, and capacity to think through what social changes will
mean for citizens; 5) alternative epistemic practices as modes of working with,
withdrawal; 6) the cogency of arguments; 7) the control of self-interested motives; 8)
the semantics of inner nature of beings and objects that comes out as influences,
qualities of interactions, choices, pugnacity, vindications or mutual concessions; 9)
equitable valuations of body and mind (somatic as well as cognitive contributions) and
10) interests in life-projects34.
Communicative action claims and imposes mechanisms of civic and social
integration in the sense of 1) disciplinary and legal procedures; 2) political and religious
orientations towards conciliatory approaches to various contradictions; 3) groups in
order to form or reform systems of rules; 4) explanations of increasing racial diversity
and development of a constitutive model of relations; 5) fulfilment of duties; 6)
continuous transformation of interactions into forms of participation and
communication; 7) dimensions of communicative experiences (good will against
violence and adversity) in a coordinated approach to economic and social problems; 8)
the establishment of supranational regimes; 9) accumulation and elaboration of facts,
data and linguistic objects in order to reconstruct a more familiar reality of beings and
10) views widely shared, creative shaping of space and time, and applications of new

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/bestprojects :The system for evaluating completed projects


funded through the LIFE programme was first introduced by the Commission for the LIFE-Environment
component, following an initiative taken by Sweden and the Netherlands. A set of best practice criteria was
agreed upon by the national authorities at a meeting in the city of Malm in Sweden (on 27-28 April 2005).
These criteria addressed the key issues of projects contribution to immediate and long-term environmental,
economic and social improvements; their degree of innovation and transferability; their relevance to policy
and their cost-effectiveness. Since 2009, this exercise has also been extended to LIFE Nature projects.
34

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technologies35.
The communicative competence regards citizenship as rights embodied in
desirable democratic behaviour and institutionalized lifeworld holistic functions 36 .
Habermass formal pragmatics concerns the double structure of speech, namely an ideal
conception of truth, goodness and beauty regarding personalized or localized forms of
life and the claims to rightness and sincerity in all speech acts. The culture is not
associated only with national choices or localized forms of life (speech, food, dress,
sports, arts) but can also give the meaningfulness of actions considered as sources of
implicit assumptions about relationship, citizenship etc. Human actions can be
goal-oriented. We can distinguish: actions towards success, social actions,
actions-coordination, actions-intervention and interactions oriented towards reaching
mutual understanding and respect. The types of interactions among citizens are
considered as forms of speech acts (sentences meaning and expressive forms of
language), forms of education and conditions of personal and social identities.
Communicative actions provide opportunities to the disadvantaged groups and
marginalized populations, because human beings have reasons (willingness):
- to elaborate political practices (the institutionalized form of the political
philosophy)
- to think about redefinition of life37
- to search contemporary crossroads of intercultural transmission (i.e.
Mediterranean Crossings38)
- to save epistemic normativity
- to help people to understand the nature of otherness
- to participate actively in social life
- to be acting against growing insecurity in urban areas39
- to offer and sacrifice based40 on love
- to condemn neo-fascism
- to communicate in a second language
- to change the conditions of oppression from ordinary to extraordinary41
- to enhance cooperation on all levels (association agreement and strategic
modernization partnership)
- to govern the behaviour of the people they exclude
- to deny the states monopoly of the legitimate use of physical forces(narrow outlook
35 Lenore

LANGSDORF, Reconstructing the Fourth Dimension (A Deweyan critique of Habermass


conception of communicative action), Mitchell ABOULAFIA, Myra BOOKMAN and Catherine KEMP
(eds), Habermas and Pragmatism, London, Routledge, 2002, pp. 141- 164.
36 Michael BYRAM and Genevieve ZARATE, Defining and assessing intercultural competence: some
principles and proposals for the European context, Language Teaching 29, 1997, pp. 14-18.
(www.interculturaldialogue2008.eu).
37 Melinda COOPER, Life as Surplus, University of Washington Press, 2008.
38 Iain CHAMBERS, Mediterranean Crossings, Duke University Press, 2008.
Michel FOUCAULT, Security, Territory, Population, Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2007.
Barbara FULTNER, Communicative Action and Formal Pragmatics, Barbara FULTNER, Jrgen
Habermas, Key Concepts, UK, Acumen, 2011, pp. 54-73.
41 Gail WEISS, Refiguring the Ordinary, Indiana University Press, 2008.
39
40

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of rationalization of means-end relationships42)


Beyond moral skepticism we want to find the meaning of real-life of ordinary
people through personal fulfillment and self-determination. We can recognize the basic
elements of real-life: a) activities to connect sciences (i.e. medicine, information
technology, economics, arts etc.) with real-life projects in order to apply paradigmatic
functions to facts or particular situations; b) legal practices (real-life situations involve
law as legal advice) and individual legal claims; c) actual procedures for people (i.e. health
services and citizenship); d) reference solutions in order to ensure safety and labor rights.
Qualitative and quantitative approaches to citizenship are addressed by
ontological realism, positivist epistemology, deterministic view of human nature,
linguistic interventions and lifeworld architectonic, and they provide meaningful data
about nature of human being (i.e. causes of behaviour)43.
a) Ontological realism44. The relations between idea and real world regard goals and
achievements by way of examining human behaviour, fruitful conflicts and social
practices that are mind-depended and they pose challenge to political reality.
b) Positivist epistemology45 regards relations among academics and citizens.
c) Deterministic view of human nature 46 . Human behaviour is determined by
unconscious motivations, feelings, cognition and choices (combination of genetics,
experiences and current conceptions of global acquaintanceship).
d) Linguistic Interventions. Historical analysis of key-words (i.e. group ethos against
free rider 47 ) shows that they promote roles of citizens and influence intervention
effectiveness with respect to reality, instruments and sciences. The compound of words
(full of metaphors) generates beliefs and theories of reasoning and argumentation that
must be explained beyond definitions and assertions, but they should not be vindicated
as useful or logically justified. The key contribution of the linguistic intervention consists
Jacques DERRIDA, Force of Law: The Mystical Foundation of Authority, Drucia Cornell, Michael
Rosenfeld and David G. Carlson (eds), Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice, Routledge, London,
1992.
43 Daniel KAHNEMAN and Amos TVERSKY, Choices, Values, and Frames, Cambridge University Press,
2000; Nicholas C. BARBERIS and Richard H. THALER, A Survey of Behavioral Finance, George M.
CONSTANTINIDES, Milton HARRIS and Rene M. STULZ, (eds), Handbook of the Economics of
Finance, v. 1B, Financial Mark, 2003; Chris STARMER, Developments in Non-Expected Utility Theory:
The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk, Journal of Economic Literature, 38, 2, 2000, pp. 332382.
44 Ian HACKING, The Social Construction of
What? , Harvard University Press, 1999; Helen
ARGARITOU-ANDRIANESSI, Metaphysical, Structural and Pragmatic Realism,(Genetic Interpretation),
Athens, Armos, 2011.
42

45 George

Lewis LEVINE, Science and Citizenship: Karl Pearson and the Ethics of Epistemology,
Modernism/modernity, v.3, 3, 1996, pp. 137-143.
46 Lynn DAVIES, Global Citizenship: Abstraction or Framework for Action? Educational Review, 58, 1,
2006, pp. 5-25; Darla DEARDORFF, The Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence,
Journal of Studies in International Education, v. 10, no 3, 2006, pp. 241-266., ______Understanding
the
Challenges of Assessing Global Citizenship. Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad, ed. by Ross
Lewin, Routledge, 2009.
47 David GAUTHIER, Morals by Agreement, New York, Clarendon Press, 1986; Garrett CULLITY, Moral
Free Riding, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 24, 1995, pp. 3-34.

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in finding the meaning of practices, choices and interests in order to protect both
linguistic content of fundamental rights and communicative functions. By making it
possible to find the meaning of necessary connection between public and private realm
in given circumstances, linguistic intervention would involve similarities of behaviours,
instrumental values of theories (i.e. media), mental states and dispositions to act in
certain ways, norms and conventions.
e) Universal-global citizenship (lifeworld architectonic) means international experience
about demographic questions, categorization of data, specific interests of global
citizen(i.e. green policy jobs and internship, green consuming and ethical investing) 48,
graphic forms, statistics and typology of fundamental commonalities (connections with
one or more countries and participations in the practices of other countries ) that realize
the process of worldwide data transmission: knowledge, informations, interactions,
reformations 49 etc. (i.e official discussions between the representatives of different
groups or parties in order to recognize reality and to reach an agreement).
Typology of active global citizens: openness to multiple citizenship (citizenship
as nationality, multiculturalism, citizenship identity and morality, E.U., world law and
citizenship) interest in pragmatic solutions 50 through the relationship of norms and
shared values, namely means and ends (Habermass lifeworld architectonic) emotional
and intellectual engagement (i.e. in politics, in writing an article etc.)
The civil servant class (or the black-coated working class: David Lockwood) will
acquire a consciousness that can direct the fates of countries. Consciousness is the
condition of being awake and able to understand and defend only communicative
practices among plural citizens (i.e. changes in material conditions, federal constitutions,
voting rights and criminal procedures in the ongoing process of giving and asking for
reasons) as well as to avoid romantism or phantom revolution 51.

Arne NAESS, Ecology, Community and Lifestyle, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Dimitri A. SOTIROPOULOS, The State and Reform in Southern Europe: Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain,
Athens, Potamos, 2007 (in Greek).
48
49

Jurgen HABERMAS, Erkenntnis und Interests, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1968.


HAYSOM, Civil Society and Social Movements, Barbara FULTNER (ed.), J. Habermas, UK,
Acumen, 2011, pp. 177-195.
50

51Keith

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

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HABERMAS, Jurgen, Erkenntnis und Interests, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1968.


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Yet another Republican Moralist? Machiavelli on Prince, Glory


and Good Constitution1
Marko SIMENDI
Katarina LONAREVI
University of Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia
Abstract: The paper offers a comparative account of Niccolo Machiavellis The Prince, his
Discourses and the famous writings of his classical predecessors, particularly Ciceros De Officiis and
Polybiuss Histories. Through textual analysis and interpretation, both historical and philosophical, it
is argued that, even in his book that became notorious for its abandonment of classical ethics and rebuttal
of Christian morality, Machiavelli emulates the basic structure of classical (republican) argument. Like
Cicero and the vast majority of ancient Greek and Roman political thinkers, Machiavelli offers an
account of a good type of government. His argument, again like his classical predecessors, builds upon the
distinction between public and private good and, for Machiavelli, they are not in opposition, as they are
both correlated to achieving glory. To this end the state and its preservation is instrumental - a political
order is legitimised by its stability and longevity and those who contribute to it are awarded with glory.
Keywords: Machiavelli, Cicero, Polybius, glory, best constitution

1. INTRODUCTION
One could hardly overstate the fact that Niccolo Machiavellis (1469-1527)
political thought has been a point of theoretical contestation and that it has inspired a
great number of diverse interpretations. At the locus of different commentaries is his
notorious textbook, The Prince (1513), famous for its abandonment of both Christian
morals and the classical world-view that saw ethics and politics as interconnected. The
infamy that Machiavellis work has achieved is perhaps best illustrated by the coining of
the term Machiavellianism and the fact that this term, denoting devious and
unscrupulous behaviour, is still in use, 500 years after The Prince was written. And if we
consider that the very same author writes passionately about the Roman republic in
Discourses on the Ten Books of Titus Livy (1518/1519) and praises republican institutions,
virtue and liberty, we can understand why Machiavellis thought has raised significant
academic interest. Scholars bewilderment at Machiavelli as the teacher of evil,
This paper was realised as part of the projects no. 179076 and no. 47012 financed by the Ministry of
Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and was presented at The
Exercise of Power 500 Years after The Prince Was Written organized by Lumina: the University of SouthEast Europe and University of Bucharest in Bucharest and Sinaia (Romania), April 10th to 12th 2014.
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contrasted to Machiavelli as a republican patriot, gave rise to numerous accounts of his


theory and his intentions. Some, like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, argued that Machiavelli had
always been a good republican and a lover of liberty and that The Prince was a satirical
piece in which he exposed the villainy of princes to the people.2 Mary Dietz claims that
Machiavellis aim was to give advice to Lorenzo de Medici that would cause him to lose
his power over Florence.3 Others, like Quentin Skinner and J. G. A. Pocock, argue that
the genuine purpose of The Prince was to gain favour of the Medici family.4 Finally, there
are those who, like Leo Strauss, do not try to vindicate Machiavelli and simply argue that
he actually was a teacher of evil.5 The purpose of this article is much more modest. We
will not try to resolve the major controversies surrounding Machiavellis political thought.
Instead, this paper focuses on drawing parallels between Machiavellis two main political
treatises (The Prince and Discourses) and the arguments offered by classical political
thinkers. In this, our argument is perhaps most closely related to Isaiah Berlins famous
essay, The Originality of Machiavelli. Berlin argues that Machiavelli, contra Christian thinkers,
reintroduces the ancient, republican, morality: anyone whose thought revolves round
central concepts such as the good and the bad, the corrupt and the pure, has an ethical
scale in mind in terms of which he gives moral praise and blame. Machiavellis values are
not Christian, but they are moral values.6
The first part of the paper very roughly sums up what we call the classical
argument in emphasising at least three points: [1] a good polity or a good constitution is
instrumental to some (common) good and it is never its own purpose; [2] in order to
fulfil its purpose, a constitution has to bring political stability; [3] to this end it is vital
that ones vision of his own (private) good should never be allowed to defeat the
common good. The second part of the paper pairs Machiavellis with Polybiuss thought
and compares the two authors historical and consequentialist pursuit of the most stable
constitution. Here we emphasise their shared praise of mixed constitution and civil
dissent as means of achieving political stability and greatness. In the third part of the
paper we turn mainly to comparing Machiavellis ideas to those of Cicero. Here it is our
aim to show that, in Ciceros and Machiavellis views, attainment of glory is the goal that
is shared by every country and every man, citizens and princes alike. For both authors
the private good is identified with the public good and it is argued that the very meaning
of the term stato underlines such an identity. Finally, in comparison to Machiavelli, we
point at passages from Ciceros De Officiis where the famous moralist discusses the
actions that would be considered immoral, if they were not committed in the interest of
preserving the republic.

Jean-Jacques ROUSSEAU, The Social Contract, in Susan DUNN (ed.), The Social Contract and The First
and Second Discourses, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2002, p. 205.
3 Mary DIETZ, Trapping The Prince: Machiavelli and the Politics of Deception, The American Political
Science Review, Vol. 80, No. 3, 1986, pp. 777-799.
4 Quentin SKINNER, Machiavelli: a Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000.
5 Leo STRAUSS, Thoughts on Machiavelli, The Free Press, Glencoe, 1958, pp. 10-11.
6 Isaiah BERLIN, Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas, The Viking Press, New York, 1980, p. 55.
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2. SEARCHING FOR THE BEST CONSTITUTION: A SKETCH


FROM THE ANCIENT POLITICAL THOUGHT
One of the focal points of classical political philosophy is the search for the
optimal political constitution. A good constitution is not sought for its own sake. Instead,
a polity is thought to be instrumental to a good of its citizens. Plato and Aristotle, for
example, argue that the purpose of a polity is happiness or good life. 7 In order to
achieve its goal, a good constitution needs to counteract the principal causes that lead to
a states demise: internal disunity and strife, corruption of its institutions and its inability
to defend itself from foreign invasion. And the search for the most stable political order
is precisely what the classical philosophical pursuits for the best constitution have in
common. Whichever other characteristics it may or may not posses and whatever aim it
serves to achieve (virtue, happiness, freedom, equality, glory, self-sufficiency), a state
needs to have political stability. In very basic terms, the solution to this problem depends
on the governments commitment to public good and it is most often supported by a
mixed constitution. We will now very briefly sketch the basic contours of this argument.8
The principal distinction pertinent to this issue is between public and private
interest or, put in a broader and a less anachronistic way, the difference between a man
acting with somebody elses good in mind and somebody who acts only with regards to
his own good. This distinction is one of the principal building blocks of ancient ethical
and political thought. The importance of this distinction for the history of political
thought cannot be overstated, as it reinforces the very distinction between good
(desirable, justified, legitimate) and corrupted constitutions. In Republic Plato argues that:
[n]o one in any position of authority, to the extent that he is in authority, thinks about or
prescribes what is good for himself, but only what is good for the person or thing under his
authority for whose benefit he himself exercises his art or skill. Everything he says, and
everything he does, is said or done with this person or thing in mind, with a view to what is
good an appropriate for the person or thing under his authority. 9

Similarly, building upon Platos Statesman, Aristotle in Politics offers a distinction between
three correct and three corrupted forms of government, based on the same criterion: It
is evident, then, that those constitutions that look to the common benefit turn out,
according to what is unqualifiedly just, to be correct, whereas those which look only to
the benefit of the rulers are mistaken and are deviations from the correct
constitutions.10
Polybius used the same typology in his Histories, arguing that the every simple
type of constitution is destined to fail and transform itself into another, again simple,
constitution. This historical process is circular and it encompasses all six forms of
governments. The way to stop this unfortunate and never-ending train of revolutions is
ARISTOTLE, Politics, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis and Cambridge, 1998, 1252b.
For a good overview of the notion of mixed constitution in Ancient Greece, see: David E. HAHM, The
Mixed Constitution in Greek Thought in Ryan K. BALOT (ed.), A Companion to Greek and Roman Political
Thought, Blackwell Publishing, 2009, pp. 178-198.
9 PLATO, The Republic, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003, 342e.
10 ARISTOTLE, Politics, 1279a15.
7
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to institute a mixed constitution a combination of all the three desirable forms of


government (monarchy, aristocracy and democracy) that Polybius attributed to Rome.
While Polybius did adopt the idea of a mixed constitution along with the typology of
different forms of government from his predecessors, his insight into ancient Roman
and Greek history led him to argue that:
Lycurgus used calculation to predict how the nature of each of these systems of government
would dictate its beginning and its outcome. [] But in the Romans case, even though the
result was the same, [] this was not at all the outcome of reason, but of many struggles and
trials. On every occasion, they drew on the knowledge they had gained from their setbacks to
make the best choices, and this enabled them to achieve the same result as Lycurgus, and to
make theirs the best system of government in the world today.. 11

This comparison is very important, as it removes the stress from the Platonist insistence
on harmony and emphasises internal conflict as a means of reaching the best
constitution. Polybius talks about the three aspects of simple constitutions as forming
a system based on mutually imposed limitations that lead to the longevity of the mixed
form of government. Monarchic, aristocratic and democratic aspects of the Roman
constitution, embodied in the institutions of the Roman republic, each strive to
domination and whenever a single principle threatens to overcome the others, the other
two unite in order to diminish its overinflated influence:
For suppose one of the estates, thanks to an inflated impression of its own importance,
pushes itself forward and tries to gain the upper hand over the others well, clearly none of
them does get inflated or presumptuous, because none of them is self-sufficient, as I have just
been explaining, and the designs of each of them can be effectively counteracted and hampered
by the others. Everything remains in its assigned place, then, either because its impetus is
checked, or because right from the start it is afraid of being curbed by the others.12

Cicero is perhaps the author whose work is most important for understanding
the classical framework of Machiavellis political thought. Polybiuss influence on Cicero
is indisputable, but one important difference between the two authors is that Cicero,
contra Polybius, argues against strife between estates and emphasises the role of
aristocracy in maintaining the republican (mixed) constitution by countering democratic
and monarchic political ambitions. As Neil Wood argues, [t]he preservation of the state,
[Cicero] maintains, should be the chief goal of statecraft.13 Harmony is the prerequisite
for the preservation of the state and a properly mixed constitution consists of a concordia
of social orders, devised, however, to guarantee the political domination of the
aristocratic landholding minority.14 Furthermore, in drafting his account of a good man
and a good statesman, Cicero draws from Plato in arguing at least two things. First, there
is no distinction between private and public good. It is false to think that any personal
good can come out of an action that is aimed against public good, so what is good for
POLYBIUS, The Histories, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010, p. 379.
Ibidem, p. 385.
13 Neal WOOD, Ciceros Social and Political Thought, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1988, p. 194.
14 Ibidem.
11
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the citizen is also good for the state. Cicero argues that what is beneficial can never
compete with what is honourable15 and, more directly, that all men should have this
one object, that the benefit of each individual and the benefit of all together should be
the same. If anyone arrogates it to himself, all human intercourse will be dissolved. 16
Secondly, caring for others wellbeing and protecting public good distinguishes a
legitimate ruler from a tyrant. Ciceros view of tyranny and tyrants is Platonist in its
nature, as he sees them as devoid of the very idea of state and man, respectively. Cicero
argues that a tyrants nature is more akin to beasts than to mans:
there can be no fellowship between us and tyrants - on the contrary there is a complete
estrangement - and it is not contrary to nature to rob a man, if you are able, to whom it is
honourable to kill. Indeed, the whole pestilential and irreverent class ought to be expelled from
the community of mankind.17

A tyrant, thus, needs to be killed like a savage beast: [I]f the wildness and
monstrousness of a beast appears in human form, it must be removed from the common
humanity, so to speak, of the body. Of this sort are all those questions in which the issue
is duty in particular circumstances.18
Let us now sum up this rough sketch of some very basic aspects of Machiavellis
predecessors thought. One of the central topics of ancient political theory is the pursuit
of political stability and the most often sought solution is designing the optimal form of
government. Its crucial component is the typology of constitutions, important part of
which is the difference between desirable and corrupted constitutions. This distinction is,
again, reinforced by the differentiation between acting to ones own sole benefit and
acting with the benefit of other(s) in mind. According to Plato and Cicero, this is a false
dilemma, as no good consequences can come to an individual who ignores or violates
the public good. Cicero believes that harmonious relationships between social orders and
their partnership19 in maintaining res publica are the best way to protect the stability of the
state. Polybius offers somewhat diverging insight into the causes of the stability of the
state. Like Aristotle and Cicero, Polybius believes that the mixed constitution is the
optimal form of government, but, unlike them, he argues that the tensions between the
social orders contribute to the stability of the (Roman) republican order, rather than
diminish it.
Machiavellis humanist education and the Florentine Renaissance milieu
provided him with the insight into these reoccurring themes, particularly in connection
to Ciceros thought. 20 There are a number of well-documented parallels between The
Prince and Ciceros De Officiis. For one, Machiavelli notoriously argues that, depending on
circumstances, a prince should display his bestially nature: either cunningness of a fox, or
Marcus Tullius CICERO, On Duties, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003, p. 104.
Ibidem, p. 109.
17 Ibidem, p. 111.
18 Ibidem.
19 Elizabeth ASMIS, The State as a Partnership: Ciceros Definition of Res Publica in His Work On the State,
History of Political Thought, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 569-598.
20 Marcia L. COLISH, Cicero's De Officiis and Machiavelli's Prince, The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4,
1978, pp. 81-93.
15
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ferociousness of a lion. He writes: Since, then, a prince must know how to make use of
the nature of the beast, he should choose from among the beasts the fox and the lion;
for the lion cannot defend itself from traps, while the fox cannot protect itself from the
wolves.21 This is a direct reference to the very opposite claim made by Cicero in book I,
chapter 41 of De Officiis: There are two ways in which injustice may be done, either
through force or through deceit; and deceit seems to belong to a little fox, force to a lion.
Both of them seem most alien to a human being; but deceit deserves a greater hatred.22
Again, in contrast to the same tradition of political thought and contrary to its
origins in Platos idealism, Machiavelli announces that his writing depart[s] from the
procedures of others, that he search[es] after the effectual truth of the matter rather
than its imagined one, while [m]any writers have imagined republics and principalities
that have never been seen nor known to exist in reality.23 And, indeed, his insights are
submerged in historical arguments and personal experience, rather than in intellectual
abstractions. In this, Machiavellis approach is similar to Polybiuss. The two authors
accounts have a similar starting point. They begin from a common place, the established
fact of ancient Romes greatness, and trace the argument back to its historical causes.
Machiavelli does not imagine a model republic that never exist[ed] in reality. Instead,
like Polybius, he uses Rome, in all of its (historical) glory. Machiavelli was certainly well
aware of Polybiuss work, including the political ideas laid out in the Book VI of Histories,
which were known in Florence for several years when, to all appearences in 1513, he
started writing his Discorsi.24
3.

MACHIAVELLI ON POLITICAL STABILITY AND GREATNESS

Polybius seeks to uncover the workings behind an unprecedented event of


incredibly fast Roman expansion. Similarly, Machiavelli comments on the history of
Rome through the lenses of greatness it had achieved. Therefore, he comments on
particular historical events and judges their value in the light of them leading to certain
consequences. Historical particularities are not treated in isolation and judged on their
own merit, but only as a part of a bigger and chronologically more recent picture. For
example, although inexcusable in its own right, Romuluss fratricide is permissible in the
context of the consequential establishment of the great polity: It is at any rate fitting
that though the deed accuses him, the result should excuse him; and when it is good, like
that of Romulus, it will always excuse him, because he who is violent to destroy, not he
who is violent to restore, ought to be censured.25 The desirability of the consequence,
thus, excuses the undesirable cause. This, however, does not mean that every end
justifies the means. Instead Machiavelli, in the spirit of classical political thought,
underlines the distinction between private and the public good and points out that what
Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, The Prince, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005, p. 60.
CICERO, On Duties, p. 19.
23 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, The Prince, p. 53.
24 Arnaldo MOMIGLIANO, Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography, University of Chicago Press, Chicago,
2012, pp. 87-88.
25 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius in Allan GILBERT (trans.),
Machiavelli: the Chief Works and Others, Vol. 1, Duke University Press, Durham and London, 1989, p. 218.
21
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[Romulus] did was done for the common good and not for his own ambition26. For
Machiavelli, acting for the common good is intrinsically linked to being successful at
establishing and expanding the state. In fact, the only way for Machiavelli to know if a
ruler is acting for the common good is historical he needs to know whether he is
successful at leading his state to greatness. If Rome did not develop into a great and
long-lived state, Machiavelli would probably judge Romuluss fratricide very differently.
Machiavellis criterion for distinguishing good from bad constitutions is thus
consequentialist, historical and centred on the states stability and longevity. In other
words, if a state achieved greatness, it must be that it has had a good constitution.
This is contrary to Ciceros account. Cicero argues that appearance of benefit
drove [Romuluss] spirit and that when it seemed more beneficial to him to rule alone
than with someone else, he killed his brother. 27 He did wrong, Cicero concludes, as
Romulus abandoned both familial obligation and humanity. 28 Romulus, then, was
driven by his private interest and this is where he did wrong. But Machiavelli, although
he does not agree with Cicero on the wider benefits of Romuluss fratricide, still sets the
discussion up in the familiar, classical, manner. Therefore Machiavelli, following in the
footsteps of classical authors, sets up a moral distinction between acting in ones own
interest and striving towards the common good. A similar point is raised by Cicero,
when he discusses Brutuss deposition of Collatinus, his trusted colleague and ally. He
argues that, unlike Romulus, Brutus did right, as this action, [t]he thing that was
beneficial, namely to consider the interests of the country, was for that reason
honourable. 29 But neither Ciceros condemnation of Romuluss fratricide, nor his
justification of Brutuss act, does not stem from the (im)morality of the acts themselves.
Apart from the fact that the two authors present their republican political theory
primarily in a form of a historical commentary, Machiavelli and Polybius both consider
the Roman republic as a model for the best constitution. What made Rome great was its
power and vast territory, brought upon by, as Polybius argues, its good constitution, a
kind of political system almost the entire known world was conquered and brought
under a single empire, the empire of the Romans, in less than fifty three years an
unprecedented event.30 Similarly, Machiavelli praises the constitution that made ancient
Rome stable and long-lived, arguing that: the laws [] kept [Rome] full of vigor [virtu]
as great as that by which any city or republic was ever distinguished.31
For both authors, the best constitution is the mixed (republican) constitution. In
Discourses Machiavelli echoes the classical Aristotelian typology of constitutions, along
with Polybiuss account of the everlasting cyclical transformations of simple
constitutions. The conclusion is again very familiar a mixed constitution brings stability
to the state. Machiavelli writes, in a very Polybian tone:
I say, then, that all the said types [of government] are pestiferous, by reason of the short life
of the three good and the viciousness of the three bad. Hence, since those who have been
Ibidem.
CICERO, On Duties, p. 115.
28 Ibidem.
29 Ibidem.
30 POLYBIUS, The Histories, p. 3.
31 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, Discoursescit., p. 195.
26
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prudent in establishing laws have recognized this defect, they have avoided each one of these
kinds by itself alone and chosen one that partakes of them all, judging it more solid and more
stable, because one keeps watch over the other, if in the same city there are princedom,
aristocracy, and popular government.32

Furthermore, similarly to Polybius and unlike Cicero, Machiavelli believes that


the discord was a very important component of the mixed constitution and the first
cause [that] kept Rome free. 33 The tensions between the rich and the poor played a
pivotal role in the establishment of good laws in ancient Rome, which, in turn, brought
glory and longevity to the republic. Machiavelli writes:
[I]n every republic there are two opposed factions, that of the people and that of the rich, and
[] all the laws made in favor of liberty result from their discord. [] For anyone who will
properly examine their outcome will not find that they produced any exile or violence
damaging to the common good, but rather laws and institutions conducive to public liberty. 34

Therefore, as Machiavelli argues, [t]hose enmities rising between the people and Senate
must be borne, being taken as an evil necessary to the attainment of Roman greatness.35
Such conflicts lead to good laws, good laws bring about good education and good
education gives rise to honourable conduct. But although Machiavelli sees the hostility
between the rich and the poor as conducive to a well-ordered and free polity, he remains
suspicious of (other kinds of) factions. As Skinner points out, 36 Machiavelli writes in
History of Florence that:
[i]t is true that some divisions harm republics and some divisions benefit them. Those do
harm that are accompanied with factions and partisans. Those do harm that are kept up
without factions and without partisans. Since, then, the founder of a republic cannot provide
that there will be no enmities within it, he needs at least to provide that there will be no
factions.37

Various groups working to their own advantage and without regard for the common
good pose a real threat to every republic.38 Republics in which group interests come first
are corrupt and their citizens lack virtue (virtu), which makes them unable to endure the
capricious nature of Fortune (fortuna), resist her assaults and take advantage of her
blessings. In his account of Fortune, Machiavelli is a typical representative of humanist
attitudes who distances himself from the Christian idea of fortune and reiterates the
classical image of a capricious and powerful goddess. 39 On a whim, she brings
advantages to some and misery to others; she favours the bold the young and the
Ibidem, p. 199.
Ibidem, p. 202.
34 Ibidem, p. 203.
35 Ibidem, p. 211.
36 Quentin SKINNER, Machiavelli cit., pp. 94-95.
37 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, The History of Florence in Allan GILBERT (trans.), Machiavelli: the Chief
Works and Others, Vol. 3, Duke University Press, Durham and London, 1989, p. 1336.
38 Quentin SKINNER, Machiavelli cit., p. 64.
39 Ibidem, p. 31-32.
32
33

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virtuous. When we suffer from her bad temper, Fortune is like a destructive river,
which when [it] become[s] enraged, flood[s] the plains, ruin[s] the trees and buildings,
raising the earth from one spot and dropping it onto another. Everyone flees before it;
everyone yields to its impetus, unable to oppose it in any way. 40 However, malign
Fortune that strikes a polity can be counteracted by good institutions, as [s]he shows
her power where there is no well-ordered virtue to resist her.41 Virtue (virtu), enforced
by good laws and education, is the answer to Fortunes whims.
World governed by Fortune is unpredictable, unordered, irrational and far from
harmonious.42 Ideal polities crumble in a non-ideal world. This is why both states and
citizens, if they want to survive in such a world, need to discard the old notions of virtue
and embrace virtu, their much more flexible and effective counterpart. Machiavellis idea
of virtu is defined by its relation to fortuna, in The Prince and in Discourses alike.
Machiavellis virtuous man, a virtuoso, is not the virtuous man from Ciceros writings.
Contrary to Ciceros account, Machiavellian virtue is not structured by the four
cardinal virtues of wisdom, justice, courage and temperance and steered by honesty
a willingness to keep faith and deal honourably with all men at all times.43 Instead,
virtu is defined in consequentialist terms, as ones ability to cope with necessity and deal
with Fortunes caprices. For Machiavelli, a virtuous act is the one that brings glory to the
agent. This is where his views converge with Ciceros, for whom glory is virtus
rewarded.44 Machiavelli is keeping the structure of Ciceros argument and turning it on
its head. The Roman moralist argues that only virtuous acts lead to glory and, on the
other hand, Machiavelli claims that any act that leads to glory is, ipso facto, virtuous.
However, not all acts lead to glory, especially not the ones that ignore the common good.
We will discuss this aspect of Machiavellis argument in the next subsection of this paper.
4.
MACHIAVELLI
ON
GLORY,
STATO
AND
INSEPARABILITY OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC GOOD

THE

In Machiavellis Discourses, Rome is an exemplary state both because of longevity


and greatness it had achieved. The latter, of course, depends on the former. But, even
though a state cannot attain glory if it is short-lived, one could also imagine a stable and
long-lived polity that is not glorious. Therefore, achieving both longevity and greatness
might seem as a too ambitious of a task, at least from the perspective of The Prince.
However, mantenere lo stato is [1] inseparable from the states longevity that exceeds a
single generation of rulers and [2] preservation of the state is not the only goal that
Machiavellis prince has. In Discourses Machiavelli further illustrates the first point: It is
not, then, the salvation of a republic or a kingdom to have a prince who will rule
prudently while he lives, but to have one who will so organize it that even after he dies it
can be maintained.45 If it is not followed by success at establishing good institutions,
Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, The Prince, p. 84.
Ibidem.
42 Isaiah BERLIN, Against the Currentcit., pp. 67-68.
43 Quentin SKINNER, Machiavelli cit., p. 40.
44 Ibidem, p. 38.
45 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, Discoursescit., p. 226.
40
41

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success at barely protecting his own authority does not make a good prince. Secondly, in
his discussion of Agathocles ruthless, but successful, acts, Machiavelli notes that, even
when such actions lead to ruling and maintaining the principality, it cannot be called
virtue to kill ones fellow citizens, to betray allies, to be without faith, without pity,
without religion; by these means one can acquire power, but not glory.46 Machiavelli,
therefore, clearly distinguishes between maintaining a state and making it glorious. Those
who manage both, who [found] a new principality, and [have it] adorned and furnished
[] with good laws, good armies, and good actions deserve double glory.47 On the
other hand, if a prince rules by birth right and if his lack of prudence makes him lose his
throne, he deserves double shame.48 From these passages we can see that Machiavelli,
same as his classic predecessors, distinguishes a good polity from a bad one by
employing two criteria: political stability (preservation of the state) and its greatness or, at
the very least, the institutional potential for achieving it. Consequently, both in The Prince
and in Discourses, a good ruler is a glorious ruler; the one who achieves both these ends.
While the preservation of the state is the necessary condition for attaining worldly glory,
it is not a sufficient one.
The emphasis Machiavelli puts on the attainment of glory as a principal life goal
again echoes the thoughts of ancient Roman thinkers. In contrast to the Christian
thinkers disdain of worldly greatness, Machiavelli aligns himself with Livy and Cicero in
believing that [t]he attainment of worldly honour and glory is [] the highest goal.49
Cicero, for one, devotes a large part of De Officiis to discussing ways in which
outstanding men can acquire honour and glory.50 Glory is a property of both a ruler
and its state and a prince can never gain personal glory if he is ruling an undistinguished
state. This points us to another important similarity between Machiavellis theory and the
basic structure of a classical political argument. The achievement of glory, being a
personal and a public goal at the same time, concerns both prince and his state and, thus,
merges private with public interest. Machiavelli notes that [h]e who considers present
affairs and ancient ones readily understands that all cities and all peoples have the same
desires and the same traits and that they always have had them.51 Therefore, if a prince
hopes to achieve greatness and bring glory to himself, he must not separate his personal
pursuit of glory from the attainment of glory for his country. Like Ciceros magistrate,
Machiavellis prince shares private with public good and, again, like Ciceros citizens,
citizens from Machiavellis Discourses cannot separate their personal glory from the glory
of their republic. Therefore, both thinkers follow the classical idea by which ones
personal end can never be obtained if it opposes the aims of his community.
In comparison to bringing glory to your state and double glory to oneself,
maintaining a long-lasting and stable political order is a somewhat less ambitious goal for
a prince. However, mantenere lo stato is still a (praise)worthy goal which, again, inseparably
links princes own good with the good of the community. The link is obvious, as we can
Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, The Prince, p. 31.
Ibidem, p. 83.
48 Ibidem.
49 Quentin SKINNER, Machiavelli cit., p. 34.
50 CICERO, On Duties, pp. 74-82.
51 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, Discoursescit., p. 278.
46
47

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hardly call a prince somebody who has lost his princedom. In Machiavellis terms, a
prince who loses his authority deserves shame. 52 But apart from this logical and
somewhat trivial connection between public and private good, there is another way in
which the two are intertwined. The term stato designates the regime of government
and the office of a prince. In pointing at Machiavellis and his contemporaries use of the
term, Skinner notes that Machiavelli does not employ the term stato to designate the
state in the modern sense of the word, as the name of an agent distinguishable at once
from rulers and ruled. 53 Instead, for Machiavelli, stato means both a system of
government [or] general area or territory54 and princes il suo stato, [his] own state or
condition of rulership. 55 Mantenere lo stato, the princes primary task, should be
understood as a twofold directive: to maintain the constitution of his polity and to
protect his own rule at the same time. Those are the two sides of a same coin: aiming to
protect the government and maintaining its stability leads to assuring princes rule and
vice versa. By setting the pursuit of glory and mantenere lo stato as the princes main goals,
Machiavelli repeats the classical imperative by which private and public good should not
and cannot be seen as separate. This normative view is very clearly phrased in Ciceros
De Officiis: the benefit of each individual and the benefit of all together should be the
same.56
The people, however, are by nature less inclined towards virtue than towards
vice, insofar as they usually strive for personal gain. In The Prince Machiavelli famously
writes that people are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger,
and greedy for gain.57 In Discourses he offers a similar formulation, advising lawgivers to
presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the
wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.58 Machiavelli is addressing a
classical theme here. Well aware of the classical problem of corruptibility that concerns
both polities and individual men, he is exploring the ways in which virtue could be
reinforced to counteract the decay into anti-social behaviour. In this he is following
Cicero and other classical authors. And although his account of virtu includes acts that
could not be considered virtuous in the classical sense, it still relies on the classical
notion of the common good. So how can so crooked men hope to live in stable state and
ever hope to achieve greatness?
For Machiavelli, the laws of a well-ordered polity channel self-centred and antisocial acts and turn them into efforts that support the common good. Like characters
from his play The Mandrake, self-interested and, in the classical sense, immoral citizens all
get exactly what they desire59 when they act according to the plan set in motion by a
virtuoso. The role of Ligurio is in many ways similar to the character of a good lawgiver:
he knows what the individual (and often immoral) desires of his citizens are and he is not
Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, The Prince, p. 83.
Quentin SKINNER, Visions of Politics: Renaissance Virtues, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, p.
378.
54 Ibidem, p. 384.
55 Ibidem, p. 378.
56 CICERO, On Duties, p. 109.
57 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, The Prince, p. 58.
58 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, Discoursescit., p. 201.
59 Isaiah BERLIN, Against the Currentcit., p. 72.
52
53

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judgmental about them; he recognises necessity and opportunity and boldly takes action
against the Fortunes misgivings; his directions turn the tide into everybodys advantage
and bring about the common good. Both in Machiavellis comedy and in his political
writings, the moral of the story remains the same: people are flawed by nature and
nothing can be done about that, but they can reach greatness if they go about their
personal goals within the framework set by a virtuoso.60 There are two great perils in their
path, both very familiar to classical authors. The first danger rests in factions. Personal
interests are in line with the common good, but factions distort them and Machiavelli is
strongly against them, as we have shown previously. The second danger comes from the
peoples misconceptions about their personal interests. People often wrongly believe that
their personal interest is incompatible with the common good, while in fact the two are
inseparable. Machiavelli, much like Cicero, in an entire section of Discourses dedicated to
this issue argues that the people, deceived by a false image of good, many times desire
their own ruin. And if somebody in whom they have faith does not convince them that
what they want is bad and explain what is good, countless dangers and losses come upon
the republic.61 For Machiavelli and for Cicero, the good character is inseparable from
the good constitution and such an identity is reinforced by the identity of the private and
the common good. If a citizen does not recognize this identity, he will be compelled by
law to act as if he did. Those who disregard the common good are in fact ignorant and
act against their own interest. A good lawgiver knows that there will always be such men,
so good laws correct this behavior and educate citizens for greatness.62
Machiavellis and his classical republican predecessors arguments employ the
same basic structure. In their own ways, they all aim to uncover the foundations for a
stable political order, while arguing in favour of the inseparability of private and public
good. Also, none of them (including Machiavelli) believe that the stable constitution is its
own goal. Aristotle argues that a polity exists for the sake of the good life, 63 while
Machiavelli, much like Cicero, puts the emphasis on attainment of glory as the primary
goal in life. And while mantenere lo stato is not its own goal, maintaining a stable political
order and leading ones country into greatness is a route to personal glory. Again, just
like his predecessors, Machiavelli preferred the mixed constituting to simple forms of
government for its stability. 64 This does not mean that kingdoms can never achieve
stability, but that: kingdoms depending on the vigor [virtu] of one man alone are not
very lasting because that vigor [virtu] departs with the life of the man.65 Now, one could
argue that, apart from the already discussed similarities between Machiavellis and
classical political thinkers accounts, the key difference still remains. After all, Machiavelli
is notorious for advocating immoral deeds in The Prince, even if they are championed for
a good cause. Indeed, Machiavelli is a consequentialist, in Discourses and The Prince alike:

Quentin SKINNER, Visions of Politics... cit., pp. 178-180.


Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, Discoursescit., p. 302; Quentin SKINNER, Visions of Politics... cit., p. 164.
62 Quentin SKINNER, Visions of Politics... cit., pp. 178-180.
63 ARISTOTLE, Politics, 1252b.
64 Niccolo MACHIAVELLI, Discoursescit., p. 199.
65 Ibidem, p. 226.
60
61

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This idea deserves to be noted and acted upon by any citizen who has occasion to advise his
country, because when it is absolutely a question of the safety of one's country, there must be
no consideration of just or unjust, of merciful or cruel, of praiseworthy or disgraceful; instead,
setting aside every scruple, one must follow to the utmost any plan that will save her life and
keep her liberty.66

Also, Machiavelli does away with the classical virtue-ethics along with the basic set of
virtues that Roman moralists such as Cicero and Seneca have propagated.67 Unlike the
classical virtus, the Machiavellian virtu is a matter of expediency.
It may very well be true that this makes Machiavelli a teacher of evil as Leo
Strauss argued, but it is worth noticing that even in this aspect of his thought Machiavelli,
at least to some extent, follows the path set by his classical predecessors. Cicero, for one,
allows for situations where deeds that are by themselves immoral become justified.
Although in De Officiis he discusses cardinal virtues and devotes a large part of his work
to proving that there can be no clash between morality and expediency, Cicero still
supports killing of ones friend or father if their ambitions put our republic in peril. A
good citizen, [i]n the last resort, if the affair would lead to the ruin of his homeland,
[] will put its safety before that of his father.68 Cicero notes that often the occasion
arises when something that is generally and customarily considered to be dishonourable
is found not to be so.69 He then argues that a person who kills a tyrant who happens to
be his close friend, commits no crime and, in facts, does the fairest of all splendid
deeds.70 Finally, Cicero offers his conclusion in a very Machiavellian tone: Did the
beneficial, therefore, overcome honourableness? No indeed; for honourableness
followed upon what benefited.71 Clearly, Cicero was inspired by the turbulent times that
marked the bloody end of the Roman republic and his writing was affected by his own
involvement in the political upheavals of the day. But could less be said about
Machiavelli?
5. CONCLUSIONS
Regardless of the exact goal of his political writings, Machiavellis formulated his
argument in a familiar, classical, form. Not unlike Cicero or Livy, Machiavelli saw glory
as the highest of goals, for citizens, princes and political communities alike. Whatever his
particular life goals may be, every man strives to attain the greatest possible honour and
glory. Although such an angle on glory is in stark contrast with Christian teachings, it is
perfectly in line with Ciceros and Polybiuss accounts. In republics, public and private
good is identical and that also applies to princedoms. Therefore, what is good for a
prince is good for his country and vice versa, and there can be no glory and no glorious
prince in an oppressed princedom. And, in order to have a chance at achieving greatness,
Ibidem, p. 519.
Quentin SKINNER, Machiavelli cit., p. 40.
68 CICERO, On Duties, p. 135.
69 Ibidem, p. 107.
70 Ibidem.
71 Ibidem.
66
67

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every polity needs a good constitution that will make it stable and long-lived. This view
carries normative potency, since a prince who acts like Agathocles is without virtu and
can never attain glory, even if he had managed to secure his rule and his stato. Here we
can draw at least two parallels between Machiavelli and his classical predecessors. First,
mantenere lo stato is instrumental to achieving glory and maintaining the state and staying in
power is not its own goal. Second, based on this criterion, Machiavelli distinguishes the
good from the bad forms of government and praises the mixed constitution.
Machiavelli reiterates the point raised by Cicero and Plato: there can be no
conflict between private and public good. If they are prudent, men who pursue glory
know that they cannot achieve greatness by harming their compatriots or by weakening
their polity. The conflict between public and private interest is only apparent. However,
in contrast to Cicero and Plato, Machiavelli follows Polybius in judging acts from a
historical perspective and by their (historical) consequences. Contrary to Cicero, who
endeavoured to prove that a virtuous act always leads to a desirable consequence,
Machiavelli argued that a desirable consequence proves an act virtuous. Virtue was
replaced by expediency, virtus became virtu, but the end remained the same.

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Bibliography
ARISTOTLE, Politics, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis and Cambridge, 1998.
ASMIS, Elizabeth, The State as a Partnership: Ciceros Definition of Res Publica in His
Work On the State, History of Political Thought, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 569-598.
BERLIN, Isaiah, Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas, The Viking Press, New
York, 1980.
CICERO, Marcus Tullius, On Duties, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003.
COLISH, Marcia L., Cicero's De Officiis and Machiavelli's Prince, The Sixteenth Century
Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, 1978, pp. 81-93.
DIETZ, Mary, Trapping The Prince: Machiavelli and the Politics of Deception, The
American Political Science Review, Vol. 80, No. 3, 1986.
HAHM, David E., The Mixed Constitution in Greek Thought in Ryan K. BALOT
(ed.), A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought, Blackwell Publishing, 2009.
MACHIAVELLI, Niccolo, Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius in Allan
GILBERT (trans.), Machiavelli: the Chief Works and Others, Vol. 1, Duke University
Press, Durham and London, 1989.
MACHIAVELLI, Niccolo, The History of Florence in Allan GILBERT (trans.),
Machiavelli: the Chief Works and Others, Vol. 3, Duke University Press, Durham and
London, 1989.
MACHIAVELLI, Niccolo, The Prince, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005.
MOMIGLIANO, Arnaldo, Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography, University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, 2012.
PLATO, The Republic, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003.
POLYBIUS, The Histories, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010.
ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques, The Social Contract, in Susan DUNN (ed.), The Social
Contract and The First and Second Discourses, Yale University Press, New Haven and
London, 2002.
SKINNER, Quentin, Machiavelli: a Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press,
Oxford, 2000.
SKINNER, Quentin, Visions of Politics: Renaissance Virtues, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, 2004.
STRAUSS, Leo, Thoughts on Machiavelli, The Free Press, Glencoe, 1958.
WOOD, Neal, Ciceros Social and Political Thought, University of California Press, Berkeley,
1988.

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The European Citizenship: Republican, Multicultural or


Hybrid?
Lucian DUMITRESCU

Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Romanian Academy


Miriam CIHODARIU
Faculty of Sociology, University of Bucharest
Abstract: Our contribution brings into focus the meaning of the European citizenship. The novelty of
our approach is that we tackle this issue backwards. We argue that in order to delve into the question of
the European citizenship one needs to clarify first of all the political meaning of the European Union
which is still somewhat abstruse. After all, citizenship is a contract between an individual and a center
of power which unfurls a particular identity. Following an institutional path, our contribution seeks to
examine both the institutional meaning of the European Union and the particular identity that has been
adopted for the last two decades through specific narratives. Otherwise, without the abovementioned
details, it will be impossible to understand the meaning of a European polity. We than argue that a
polity is a sine qua non requirement for the emergence of both a republican and a multicultural
citizenship. For without a polity, motivation and responsibility, which are the most important conditions
of citizenship in our view, will not appear. A citizenship that is not reliant on motivation and
responsibility turns a political actor into an user with a faltering political identity, namely an individual
that has no interest in checking the institutional slippages of a center of power and, more importantly, the
political ability to organize a vivid civil society.
Keywords: European Union, identity, republican citizenship, deliberative democracy, participative
democracy.
1. INTRODUCTION
This article works from the assumption that there is a salient nexus among
identity, citizenship and democracy. Needless to say, democracies are political regimes
whose effectiveness rely massively on the quality of social justice disseminated by its
basic institutions toward its citizens. But by the same token, this approach could be
reversed so that one could say that the qualities and attitudes of its citizens toward its
basic institutions reveal the effectiveness of a democratic regime. Dominique Schnapper,
a French sociologist who shares a republican view on the question of citizenship, has
espoused this latter perspective1. She claims that the quality of a democratic regime
depends on the number of the formal citizens this has forged throughout its political
existence. Under normal political circumstances, formal citizens are the ones who desire
to be part of the political process, hold public institutions responsible for their actions,
Dominique SCHNAPPER, Community of Citizens. On the Modern Idea of Nationality, Transaction Publishers,
London, 1998.
1

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show self-restraint and commitment regarding a fair distribution of resources, and prove
themselves tolerant toward those who are different from themselves. We argue that
responsibility and motivation are the most important constituents that propel formal citizens
toward most of the political demeanors mentioned above. But in order to work in an
effective manner responsibility and motivation need to be nourished by a very important
institutional outcome. Philosophers have called it reciprocity. For sociologists, the
institutional outcome that supports motivation and responsibility is trust or social capital.
Considering that this article is a rather philosophical undertaking, we will focus on the
issue of reciprocity, which occurs and develops in the setting of a particular societal
culture. For us societal culture is tantamount to identity, which is a modern concept that
runs contrary to identification, its postmodern counterpart.
In order to gain the loyalty of its citizens, a democratic regime needs to provide
social justice, that is equal opportunity to resources, and respect their dignity. We believe
that without resorting to appropriate politics of redistribution and politics of recognition,
it will be rather difficult for a state to forge trust in its public institutions. Politics of
recognition, which is another name for identity politics, refers to the ability of a state to
create an imagined community that encompasses all its citizens irrespective of their
religious and ethnic background. An ill-conceived politics of recognition could lose the
political adherence of either the dominant ethnicity or the national minorities. We claim
that an encompassing identity that brings together all the citizens of a nation-state forges,
at least theoretically, ethical obligations among them. Therefore, a collective identity
represents a necessary condition for the emergence of reciprocity, which, as weve stated
earlier, is the main underpinning of responsibility and motivation.
2. SOCIETAL CULTURE AND IDENTITY
By societal culture, which is a concept coined by the well-known Canadian
philosopher Will Kymlicka, we understand the public culture forged by a power center.
In modern times, the most salient power center has been the nation-state. Consequently,
through societal culture we understand the public or national culture forged and
developed by nation states. In most of his books, Will Kymlicka has brought to the fore
only the thin layer of societal culture. From this perspective, namely societal culture
understood as thin culture, one can operationalize It as language and social institutions
that are responsible for creating a minimum levels of social cohesion. On the contrary,
societal culture understood as thick culture lays emphasis on common religious beliefs,
family customs, or personal lifestyles2. Kymlickas societal culture understood as thin
culture clearly resembles Michael Billigs banal nationalism3 which is the public discourse,
with its specific symbols and rituals, daily employed by the nation-state in order to forge
minimum degrees of social cohesion and create trust and loyalty toward public
institutions. Under certain circumstances, such as public celebrations, political turmoil,
far-fetched demands disseminated by ethno-political entrepreneurs, sport events that
involve national teams and so on, the public routine of banal nationalism may turn itself
into hot nationalism. Consequently, a thin societal culture can become under certain
Will KYMLICKA, Politics in the Vernacular. Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Citizenship, Oxford University
Press, Oxford, 2013, p. 25.
3 Michael BILLIG, Banal Nationalism, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, 2010.
2

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circumstances a thick culture. Apart from thin culture that can turn itself into thick
culture, another aspect that Kymlicka hasnt mentioned in his well-known philosophical
writings is an institutional one. For a low-capacity state4 is very difficult to stabilize
identities considering its underdeveloped infrastructural capacity5 and the low levels of
civility shared by its political elites. Low-capacity states, which are around one century
old and emerged on the outskirts of empires, have ever had troubles in stabilizing
identities. What is characteristic to low-capacity states is a rather diluted civil society, low
levels of social capital and a submissive political culture shared by most of its citizens.
Therefore, low-capacity states have always had problems in forging trust in public
institutions. In order to offset the bad quality of its public services, a low-capacity state
and its elites have always used a thick culture in order to legitimize themselves.
Subsequently, the societal culture of national minorities have never been on the par with
the societal culture of dominant ethnicities. In other words, transforming a thick culture
into a thin one is almost an impossible task for a low-capacity state.
As weve mentioned before, every societal culture has had the role to create
minimum levels of social cohesion. In other words, every societal culture creates a
feeling of belonging to a political community that has a wider range than the natural
ones, such as primary social groups. And this is where the question of identity comes
into play.
For classic sociologists, like Weber or Simmel, the issue of identity didnt arrive
onto their intellectual agenda, which, at least at a shallow glance, is a little bit puzzling
considering that nowadays identity is the loudest talk in town. At a closer look though,
the explanation for such a lack of preoccupation regarding identity issues is hardly
surprising, argues Zygmunt Baumann6. A couple of decades ago, when Fordist capitalism
was still the prevalent economic and cultural model, national identities seemed to be
written in stone, and although other identity variants, such as regional or civilizational
ones, were subject to intellectual debate, they were of very little concern to most of the
citizens of the civilized world, i.e. nations forged and constantly reproduced by stable
modern states. But once a new capitalist model emerged, namely post-Fordism or the
flexible accumulation pattern, as David Harvey7 labels it, nation-states started withering
away from a political perspective and the identity securityprovided by national identities,
which had seemed to be natural closed communities that far, has constantly eroded ever
since. To put it in a nutshell, post-Fordism sidelined the Leviathan represented by the
nation-state with another Leviathan, this time a volatile one, which really transformed
what apparently were solid societies into liquid ones. Neoliberalism and the flexible
accumulation pattern that it triggered in the late 70s bred the new Leviathan, namely the
market. When the nation-state position, as the most prominent supplier of identity in
modern times, has been challenged by its new competitor, that is the market, the
question of belonging made it to the fore once again. Especially for national minorities
and immigrants, but also for some locals who hadnt become full formal citizens of their
George SCHPFLIN, The Dilemmas of Identity, Talin, TLU Press, 2010;
Verena FRITZ, State-Building. A Comparative Study of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia, CEU Press,
Budapest, 2007.
6 Zygmunt BAUMAN, Identity, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004.
7 David HARVEY, The Condition of Postmodernity. An Inquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, Blackwell
Publishers Inc., Oxford, 2000.
4
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nation-states, the issue of belonging surged up. One becomes aware that belonging
and identity are not cut in rock, that they are not secured by a lifelong guarantee, that
they are eminently negotiable and revocable8. This revocable part of identity, that
Baumann and, in general, most postmodern thinkers dwell upon, is, we claim, not that
revocable. One thing that social constructivists have failed so far to understand is that
once an identity formula has been institutionalized its specific practices and values
cannot be erased in a blink of an eye. The social residues left by religious, ethnic and
national identities cannot be swiftly supplanted by identity models of a different range
and with a completely changed doctrinaire texture.And still we concur with postmodern
thinkers who emphasis the importance of agency in choosing between different identities
and, therefore, with an approach that stresses the importance of identification instead of
identity. For dominant ethnicities the issue of identification probably doesnt seem so
urgent as for national minorities and immigrants, since the social and identity anchors
provided by the nation-state may look stable. But for the others, as long as these anchors
have been subject to contestation, finding another community to belong to,a community
different from the national one, might become an urgent task.
3. CITIZENSHIP AND SOCIETAL CULTURE
The emergence of market as the new Leviathan brought the question of
citizenship into the limelight. Of course, this story of the market as the new Leviathan
needs to be addressed carefully considering that nation-states continue to be the most
important political units in the realm of international relations. But in the academic
discourse at least, which is dominated nowadays by Marxist and (neo)-liberal thinkers,
nation-state seems has clearly lost its steam. But as weve said earlier, this dwindling
process of nation-state, and subsequently of national identities as suppliers of identity
security in modern times, has brought to the fore the issue of citizenship.Intellectuals, in
general, have understood that market forces alone and their subsequent individualism are
inappropriate social ingredients to hold a society together. Therefore, the question of
citizenship, but especially the alleged ethical force of citizenship, has become the subject
of a heated intellectual debate.
Whilst some political philosophers set out to explore the question of citizenship,
in order to extract its ethics and, subsequently, its binding abilities, other political
philosophers started a foray into the question of societal culture. Among the latter ones,
Will Kymlicka9 stands out. Kymlicka contends that two of the most prominent liberal
values, namely liberty, understood as autonomy, and equality, understood as equality of
opportunity in the institutional setting created by a nation-state, are massively reliant on
societal culture. Approached from a liberal perspective, societal culture, which is
tantamount to the public culture forged by a nation-state, is stripped of its ethnic
dimension by Kymlicka. Therefore, the Canadian philosopher treats societal culture as a
thin culture, that is a culture whose only binding abilities are a common language and
public institutions. The conclusion that we draw from Kymlickasis that societal culture

Zygmunt BAUMAN, Identity, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004, p. 11.


Will KYMLICKA, The Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, Oxford University Press,
Oxford, 2004.
8
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simultaneously forges a liberal national identity and supplants a preponderantly ethnic


national identity with a liberal one.
From a liberal perspective, citizenship is a set of rights enjoyed in an equal manner by all
members of a certain nation. The liberal view on citizenship is based on T. H. Marshalls
writings. The above mentioned rights fall, according to Marshall, in three categories: civil
rights, political rights and social rights. Civil rights comprise the right of free speech and
property rights, whilst political rights are about the right to vote and to run for public
offices. In a nutshell, social rights refer to welfare. T. H. Marshall wrote about citizenship
in Great Britain in the 50s. At a time when the Cold War had just started, in a relatively
homogenous Great Britain the issue of loyalty to the nation-state was of little concern.
Citizenship requires a bond of a different kind, a direct sense of community
membership based on loyalty to a civilization which is a common possession10.
Community membership, loyalty, common possession were practices and social facts
which are pretty easy to achieve in a relatively homogenous Great Britain. But thirty
years later, in a Great Britain characterized by prominent pluralism, such attitudes and
social facts prove to be difficult to attain. And this is where T. H. Marshalls view on
liberal citizenship runs into difficulties. The answer to a what seemed to be a insuperable
problem is offered by John Rawls in his well-known book A Theory of Justice.
For younger Rawls, just to use a trope that is fashionable nowadays, justice,
viewed as a set of principles, could be supported by rational individuals whose objective
is social cooperation. In the early pages of his famous A Theory of Justice, Rawls doesnt
detail the political status of those rational individuals, who allegedly can endorse social
cooperation. Later on he stresses the fact that principles of justice are conceived for
people who are citizens of democratic states and, quite importantly, think of themselves
as citizens. The latter mention that weve made may seem of no value to citizens of
stable democracies. But in some parts of the world, where low-administrative states
havent managed yet to fully stabilize societies and, subsequently, to forge full formal
citizens, this detail is of great importance. For most of the citizens continue to describe
themselves as simple-citizens in societies where the dominant political culture is not
civic, but rather a submissive one. Under such circumstances, where social practices and
values of citizenship havent been effectively institutionalized, most of the people tend to
depict themselves as second-class citizens. But this apart, what weve tried to highlight
regarding Rawls, is that older Rawls has a penchant for the language of citizenship,
whereas in his early writings he used to bring to the fore only the idea of persons. The
biggest difference between an abstract idea of rational individual and an individual
seen as a citizen lies in the fact that the latter one has been more or less effectively
shaped by the societal culture of a particular state, whilst in the case the former his/her
contact with a public culture is not so clear. Now, that this difference has been brought
up, the question of justice, viewed by Rawls as a set of principles that can be endorsed by
rational individuals who seek social cooperation, alters significantly. When the principles
of social justice are supported by individuals, who had already been shaped by a certain
societal culture, justice becomes culturally determined by what T. H. Marhall labeled
community membership, when he defined liberal citizenship. What is the propeller of
this community membership? A societal culture, argues Kymlicka who, as any
10

David MILLER, Citizenship and National Identity, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2000, p. 44.

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liberal thinker, would stress the thin dimension of such a culture. A public culture, says
David Miller, who also lays emphasis on the civic component. The idea of state,
contends Barry Buzan, who also tends to pay more attention to the thin component to
the detriment of the thick one.
John Rawls11 comes up with a slightly different answer regarding the issue of
community membership. For Rawls, members of liberal democracies have a double
identity, each one with its specific conception of the good. The first layer of the double
identity mentioned by Rawls concerns private life, an area where individuals have a
specific ethnic belonging and share different tastes and religious beliefs.The second layer
of this double identity refers to the public realm, where individuals with different ethnic
backgrounds and religious beliefs are expected to act as citizens. The question is if, and
how, the private and public conceptions of the good can be reconciled. Or, to put it
another way, is there a common denominator of the double identity shared by members
of liberal democracies? Rawls doesnt offer a straight answer to these questions. He
rather displays a wishful thinking piece of reasoning. In their capacity of citizens, people
will be able to reach an agreement about the meaning of social justice by allowing their
public identities to take precedence over personal identities. Rawlss cerebral view of
citizenship is striking. Mostly because he doesnt delves into the learning process, and
simultaneously on the institutionalization of this learning process, that turn people into
defenders of a public good, at times to the detriment of their personal good. In other
words, the one pivotal variable that really turns people into citizens so that a public good
could, under certain circumstances, take precedence over a private good, is the state.
4. DIFFERENT TYPES OF CITIZENSHIP AND PLURALISM
The focus of this section will be to describe different types of citizenship so that
one can choose the most appropriate pattern for the European citizenship. Probably the
most well-known conception of libertarian citizenship belongs to Robert Nozick12. The
question of societal culture, which is of pivotal importance for other philosophers with
respect to the question of justice, is left aside by Robert Nozick who starts from a
different premise when he delves into the meaning of citizenship. According to Nozick,
what turns people into citizens is their need for public goods. From this perspective, the
state is nothing more than a giant enterprise and the citizen is just a consumer. Nozicks
perspective runs into different troubles. First of all, access to public goods is massively
reliant on market-determined incomes. Consequently, the social dimension of citizenship
is entirely lost as long as there are no entitlements that aim at balancing inequalities
created by the market, and the public/private distinction is of almost no importance. The
other difficulty that Nozicks conception of citizenship runs into is related to those
public good that the market fails to provide, such as a way of life with a certain cultural
content: tolerant, non-violent, concerned about the environment etc. Such a way of life
needs to be publicly endorsed by the state. In a nutshell, libertarian citizenship is about
customers who have the right to contract into a community of their like, with the
function to provide goods as the only social cement of a community.
11
12

John RAWLS, A Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press, Harvard, 2005.


Robert NOZICK, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Basic Books, New York, 2013.

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We now turns to liberal citizenship. According to Rawls and his well-known


conception of justice, people, in their capacity of citizens, will be able to endorse a
conception of the good that might contradict their tastes and preferences as private
persons. But what is going to happen to those citizens whose personal identities are
encumbered by the public conception of the good. What is Rawlss answer on this
matter? Rawlss answer is not a straight one. It is rather a strategy. Rawls retreats to a
pragmatic defence of liberal institutions. It is a modus vivendi strategy according to whom
the best way to avoid an open conflict is to adopt liberal institutions. Not surprisingly,
liberal institutions will not suit the cultural needs of every ethnic or religious group. But
what liberal institutions offer to ethnic and religious groups which are not accustomed to
a Western way of life is a political setting where they can follow, at least partly, their
conception of the good life. Kymlicka is not convinced by the effectiveness of this very
pragmatic view. Instead, he argues that each group should be allowed to deal with its
cultural matters as long as group rights dont take precedence over individual rights.
There is also a second strategy that Rawls embraces. In this second case, altough it is
admitted that liberalism is a morally contestable way of life, it is worth defending it from
a political perspective. It breeds a benign pluralism in which everyone will treat their
conception of good life in private. The problem with this type of the strategy, the
strategy of militant liberalism, is that it is tantamount to declaring war on those groups
who are not prepared to accommodate themselves to the liberal understanding of
citizenship13.
Of course, republican citizenship is also about a set that is to be respected by
someone who thinks and behaves in a certain manner. Republican citizenship doesnt
fare better in a multicultural milieu than its liberal counterpart. Every demand can be put
forward in the political forum as long as it respects the general political ethos of the
community. Therefore, if immigrant groups or national minorities claim that only a full
recognition of their demands means to respect their identity, such a political request
sharply contrasts republican citizenship. Regarding the public/private distinction, this
emerges from public deliberation, meaning that matters agreed upon are sent to the
private sphere. The main difference between republican and liberal citizenship lies in the
fact that defenders of the former claim that a minimum involvement in the public debate
should be part of every citizens conception of the good. The reason behind such an
argument is that theres a fare chance for some citizens, the ones that have no interest to
engage in the public debate, to perceive public policies as completely alien. Republican
thinkers allow that, although politics is part of the public good, peoples participation at
public debated will differ significantly, depending on their personal values. The contrast
between republicanism and liberalism is not that liberal recognizes the value of
entrenched rights whereas the republican does not, but that the liberal regards these
rights as having a pre-political justification while the republican ground them in public
discussion14.The institutional aftermath is that liberals completely subject the matter of
rights to the judiciary, whilst republicans continuously stress the importance of making
the question of rights a matter of public debate. Consequently, as a result of everyday
politics understood as everyday political debate, constitution is more open to
13
14

David MILLER, Citizenship and National Identity, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2000, p. 49.
Ibidem, p. 60.

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amendments, and, therefore, republican citizenship seem to be more suitable to the


political debates specific to a plural milieu.
At a shallow look, there is hardly a difference between liberal and republican
citizenship, considering that they are both political contracts which offer equal access to
political rights, and their subsequent obligations, to people who happen to be citizens of
a political community. On a closer examination though, some consistent differences may
arise, and the source of these differences is public virtue. As weve already mentioned,
liberal citizenship refers to rights that are enjoyed equally by citizens of a certain state.
Republican citizenship is also about rights equally enjoyed by the citizens of a state. And
yet there are two characteristics of republican citizenship that liberal citizenship doesnt
share. And this is where the concept of public virtue comes into play. Republicanism has
always required an active political behavior. From this perspective, citizens are expected
to defend the rights of other members of a political community and also to know and
promote the common interests of a political community. Liberal citizenship has no such
pretension. In other words, citizen is expected to be ready to volunteer for public
service, argue the defenders of republican citizenship. This is a residue of the old
republican perspective, according to whom republics should be defended by citizens
instead of mercenaries. Another aspect where republican citizenship sharply contrasts
with its liberal counterpart, concerns the political arena. Republican citizens should play
an active role in both private and public sphere, considering that this is the most
effective manner in which someone expresses its commitment to the community. To
sum it up, two attitudes lie at the very heart of republican citizenship, that is motivation
and responsibility. But in order to act as motivated and responsible citizens, people need
a third constituent, namely reciprocity. For without reciprocity, the republican citizen will
have no assurance that his/her fellow-citizens are going to act in a similar manner.
Patriotism and common nationality used to be the main propellers of reciprocity in citystates and modern nations. Under those political circumstances, political citizenship used
to be a bounded political status. For to give citizenship to anyone was a certain way to
undermine the conditions of trust and assurance that used to guarantee a responsible
citizenship. Therefore, republican citizenship asks for a shared political culture, which is
tantamount to admit that a purely political citizenship is not possible. It has to be
supported by a minimum allegiance to a political community.

4.1 A European identity?


Weve start from the premise that European identity is not given or predefined,
but should be understood as a process. Therefore, our primary concern is to bring to the
fore the mechanisms that reproduce the social process called European identity. Every
collective identity, namely the story used by a power center to legitimize itself, has always
had two dimensions: an inward looking one and an outward looking one. Regarding the
inward looking dimension of the European Union, weve come to the conclusion that it
is rather underdeveloped, which is hardly surprising. The absence of a European
homeland, civilizational myths and heroes, and, last but not least, of a European memory
are the reasons why a European consciousness hasnt emerged yet. Nietzsche said once
that it is more important what nations forget than what they remember. Maybe this is the
main motif that can explain why European consciousness is very diluted, considering
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that the memory of both World Wars, as the climax of a European enmity between
European nations, is still vivid. Moreover, there is no doubt that national histories of,
lets say, France, Great Britain or Germany are still more glorious than the history of the
European Union, which as a political actor hasnt written too much history so far.
Because the national histories are more glorious that the European history, citizens
continue to be more loyal to their nation-states, which still produce strong political
attachments and pride. We argue that the most important setback regarding a European
identity stems from a still unfathomable political meaning of the European Union.
Politics, according to Aristotle, is about making things in common. Therefore, politics is
about building together a common future. Because it still lacks a coherent political
definition, the European Union is pretty difficult to grasp regarding the things that
European citizens make in common. It is doubtful that a European Union that cannot
give up on austerity measures, mainly due to political reasons that are meant to preserve
a strong social and economic inequality between West and East, will be able to forge a
common future for its citizens.
We now turn to the outward looking dimension of the European identity. This
particular layer of the European identity has a much better contour, considering that
many EU states, especially the ones with a colonial background, are pretty experienced in
the so-called Othering process. From this perspective, the European Union has a
salient internal otherness, namely those Eastern countries Romania and Bulgaria that
are still waiting to join the Schengen Area. Simultaneously, the European Union has an
intermediary Otherness which includes Turkey and those little Eurasian states that are
members of the Eastern Partnership. The question is if the European Union has an
absolute otherness. Apparently, the Russian Federation, especially after the Ukrainian
crises, seems to play the role of an absolute otherness for the European Union. And yet
there are many cultural and civilizational traits shared together by the Russian Federation
and the European Union than, for instance, cultural similarities between China and the
European Union. For the moment, what undoubtedly plays the role of an absolute
otherness for the European Union is the national history of the continent, a national
history dominated by religious and national wars. A post-national European Union seeks
to forge a constitutional patriotism as the main source of loyalty towards European
institutions and simultaneously as a social cement between European citizens.
Unfortunately, this ethnic and national history of the continent is embodied nowadays by
immigrants coming from Central and Eastern Europe, but also from South Asia or
North Africa. The question is how a European citizenship is going to accommodate
immigrants, who are still anchored in a thick culture, with the constitutional patriotism
disseminated by the European Union? For the moment, the European Union is a
paradoxical imagined community. What makes the European Union a paradoxical
imagined community is that its absolute otherness immigrants coming from either
Central and Eastern Europe or South Asia and North Africa finds itself entrenched in
most of the so-called Eurocities, namely Berlin, London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels etc.
Nation-states have usually had their absolute otherness outside their political borders.
And this takes us to another aspect of the European identity. The European Union,
being involved in a continuous enlargement process, doesnt have clear cut political
boundaries. In this regard, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is
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of little help. On the contrary, it makes confusion even bigger, considering that it hosts
55 states that stretches from Vancouver to Vladivostok.
As weve said, what makes European identity particularly difficult to pin-down is
mainly the still diffuse political meaning of the European Union. Using either
postmodern perspectives, such as the European Union understood as governmentality,
political field of public sphere, or institutional approaches like neo-realism or neofunctionalism, the political sense of the European Union proves difficult to grasp. Quite
plain is the fact that European Union is a power center that really needs to make its
institutional foundations sacred. But exactly as nation-states used to be involved in a
political process of withering away the sacred character of the church, nowadays
European Union is apparently involved in a similar political process. In order to make its
political basis sacred, the European Union needs firstly to dilute the sacred character of
its nation-states. Thomas Risse argues that the EUs Copenhagen criteriahave been used
in order to forge a sacred political basis for the European Union. Democracy, human
rights, the rule of law, and the market economy are considered superior to other political,
economic, and social orders and they are constitutive for the EU15. The conclusion that
one can easily draw regarding the issue of European identity is that it should be
understood as a social progress that is in the making as we speak. Therefore,
identification, instead of identity, might be a more fruitful way to tackle the question of
European identity. But, undoubtedly, if there is an European societal culture this is so
diluted that is nowhere next to Kymlickas liberal perspective on societal culture: a
common language and public institutions.

4.2 Europeans. Individuals or citizens?


For Pierre Manent, a well-known French philosopher, the meaning of European
Union continues to be somewhat abstruse. Manent is not interested in a political
definition of the European Union. The odds of European Union to becoming a
democracy is rather of primary concern for Manent. At the heart of every democratic
regime lies a duality that cannot be overcome, contends Manent.
Democracy is the guarantee of the protection of individual rights; and so of personal
autonomy, yet is also the ordering of self-government, and so of collective autonomy. The two
aspects are not separable, but are distinct. In the language of contemporary political philosophy,
the first aspect concerns the individual, the second concerns the citizen16.

It is an undeniable fact, claims Manent, that what explains the huge popularity of
the European Union is that this still diffuse political institution greatly expands on the
rights of the individual. Unsurprisingly, continues Manent, this extension of individual
rights strongly supported by the European Union is detrimental to the rights of the
citizen. Whats the explanation behind this line of reasoning? Basically, Manent espouses
a republican perspective on citizenship, one that requires every individual to be involved
Thomas RISSE, A Community of Europeans? Transnational Identities and Public Spheres, Cornell University Press,
London, 2010, p. 28.
16 Pierre MANENT, A World Beyond Politics? A Defense of the Nation-State, Princeton University Press, New
Jersey, 2006, p. 61.
15

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in the public debate at least to a minimum extent. Without such a minimum involvement
not only that political decisions will be alien to politically impervious citizens, but a
democratic regime will also be stripped of one of its most valuable traits, namely the
motivation and responsibility of some of its citizens. Of great concern to Pierre Manent
is that decisions reached by the European Commission might completely disregard what
had already been decided at a national level through public debate. In other words,
national governments that need to grapple with political decisions reached in Brussels are
in this manner forced to take into consideration the wills and desires of democratically
elected government of other EU countries. Such decisions might be completely alien to
citizens of some EU countries, and this is how a supra-national mechanism of taking
political decisions can backfire. The construction of Europe thus involves a continual
diminution of the feeling of civic responsibility17. Democratic regimes have faced the
daunting task of getting their citizens involved in public debates, especially in a time of
crisis. When this institutional effort failed, people felt misrepresented because of very
low levels of linking social capital, that is low levels of trust in the government and other
public institutions. Under those circumstances, a strong feeling of political alienation
arose. Such a perilous feeling to the health of a democratic regime, might arise steadily,
claims Manent, considering that national governments need to take into account a
diffuse European opinion that has not been subject to a European civic debate.
According to Manent, a European Union that steadily endorses the rights of individuals
to the detriment of the rights of citizens, will end up like a European civilization with no
political body and a minimum to none political responsibility of its individuals. It will be
very difficult to turn such a European civilization into a European democracy, concludes
Manent.
Can human beings live fully without belonging to a body politic that claims their allegiance? Can
they live only as economic and moral agents, free and mobile in a space of civilization? Whatever
the answer to these questions, the construction of Europe has rested on this ambiguity, which
has not been formulated nor understood between Europe as civilization and Europe as body
politic18.

Citing Aristotle, Manent claims that politics is about citizens who make things in
common. In other words, citizens are expected to act and deliberate together. The
European Union, allows Manent, continues to create supra-national institutions, but it
has failed so far to provide its citizens with a common goal as the necessary
underpinning of the institutions it creates. Differently put, it has not been clear to
European citizens so far what do they put in common.
5. IN LIEU OF CONCLUSION
Judith Squires argues that both liberal and republican citizenship have dealt
poorly with minority rights and the question of difference. There is no universal model
of citizenship, continues Squires, who then claims that liberal and republican citizenship
have been falsely universalistic19. Whilst the liberal citizenship transcends particularity,
Ibidem, p. 62.
Ibidem, p. 63.
19 Paul KELLY (ed.), Multiculturalism Reconsidered, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2002.
17
18

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the republican version of citizenship suppresses it. Therefore, current attempts have
sought to define a more inclusive version of citizenship, one that does not reject
universalism per se, but tries to get rid of the false universalism of the traditional notion
of citizenship. To this aim, a so called differentiated citizenship has emerged, a version
which links identity and citizenship. In the first line of inquiry, it is highlighed the
importance of culture for autonomy and a responsible citizenship. For without culture
and cultural structures citizens will not be able to make meaningful choices. This type of
citizenship, the differentiated citizenship, presses for political and cultural rights for
national minorities and groups of immigrants. Differentiated citizenship starts from the
premise that only in the milieu of their particular culture, national minorities and
immigrants will fully capitalize on their individual rights. The other line of inquiry that
supports differentiated citizenship, brings to the fore the issue of authenticity. Whilst
autonomy requires cultural structures, authenticity asks for dialogical interaction. Taylor
says that the discovery of ones true identity is not a monological process. On the
contrary, authenticity needs to be negotiated with others. From this perspective,
citizenship needs universal recognition so that the human need for authenticity will be
universally fulfilled. Beside autonomy and authenticity, a third line of inquiry stresses the
importance of transgressing political boundaries. From this perspective, politics is about
questioning group loyalties and collective identities. A concept of citizenship that has at
its very heart diversity politics steadily challenges governmental institutions, the territorial
state and reified political boundaries. Such a concept of citizenship has nothing in
common with a territorially citizenship and aims at creating a universal loyalties. But
every pattern of citizenship needs a political support in order to entry into force. For a
differentiated citizenship propelled by diversity politics such an institutional model
doesnt exist. Therefore, concludes Judith Squires, a differentiated citizenship will
oscillate between impartiality and identity politics.
The conclusion of our contribution is that at the heart of a citizenship lies the
question of societal culture or, to put it differently, identity. As long as the European
identity or societal culture continues to be rather diffuse, what brings together the
European citizens and what turns them into motivated and responsible citizens has not
been clarified. Therefore, European civilization has taken precedence so far over
European Union, and European individuals over European citizens.
What seems to suit best the postmodern political contour of European Union is
a differentiated citizenship. It remains to be seen what is going to lie at the heart of this
pattern of citizenship - autonomy, authenticity the transgression of political boundaries -,
but most importantly what kind of political regime will get on well with a differentiated
citizenship.

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The Utopia and the Public Space of European Citizenship


Lorena-Valeria STUPARU

Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Romanian Academy

Abstract: First point of the Article 8 of Maastricht Treaty states that any person holding the
nationality of a Member State is citizen of the Union and the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) added that
Citizenship of the Union complements national citizenship and shall not replace it. Beyond these
technical issues European citizenship can also be considered in terms of a philosophical view. My study
aims to show that this new positioning of the individual in the political form of European Union is a real
and right-full manifestation of the citizen as rational being concept whose utopian connotations belong
to political and cultural value system of European space.
Keywords: citizen, european citizenship, public space, informational area, philosophical view.

1. INTRODUCTION
Before being a legally regulated reality, the European citizenship, such as the
national citizenship, is a projection of the individual in a public space that extends the
private space, enhancing its role and adding sense to its political being condition
discovered since the European antiquity. If being European means, in terms of culture,
to recognize yourself in a pattern of Europeanness, in something from the field of
universality which also includes individual differences - being a European citizen means
more than a subjective identification. More specifically, it means a new political and civic
identity which can be found in institutional realities and within a specific area whose
recent changes occur at both real and virtual levels. In this respect, among the concepts
that have contributed to transforming the geographical and historical Europe into a
political Europe, the european citizenship is distinguished by a functionality whose
utopian connotations ennobles it.
2. THE FRAMEWORK OF PHILOSOPHICAL THINKING ON
EUROPEAN
CITIZENSHIP AND THE PUBLIC SPACE
In the notions phere of European citizenship are intersecting mentalities
regarding the identity and its crisis, related to the otherness in its disjunctive or
complementary meanings, to its end, understood as the decline of the radical otherness

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(concept analyzed by Marc Guillaumme and Jean Baudillard)1. If at the beginning of its
history, the idea of citizenship has instituted the otherness of those which arent citizens,
the more we advance in modern times, citizenship becomes the status which formally
puts an end to otherness. At least to that radical, because otherwise, the otherness of
class is kept in reality. National citizenship is the common denominator of the locals
and ethnics which become each for other neighbor in a the political frame of the
state. The quality of citizen whereby people coexist is also that which approaches the
radical otherness in a public space. We resemble one another by citizenship, which is a
common denominator: the neighbor or the fellow is in the same time the citizen. On the
other hand, citizenship implies the right to alterity (in its profound sense), being itself a
kind of otherness compared to natural self as it was understood by Rousseau.
The alterity highlighted and concealed at the same time through the citizenship
status, also occurs in the case of integration of different members in a group, of the
incorporation of different groups within a national community and, more recently, of the
integration of citizens with their states in the European Union which becomes the
potential public space of their manifestation.
Not only the cultural and natural identity alienate in the citizen, but the citizen
himself alienates from the group of origin. Dominique Schnapper shows that there is a
natural essential difference between ethnicity, lived as a feature immediately, and
participation in the nation, the latter being the result of the detachment of data
characteristics. In other words, the nation, i.e. the Community of citizens in Hegelian
terms, is the product of a culture, or Bildung, which aims to alienate us from ourselves,
to raise us through this dispossession, beyond the limitations of our belonging to a
particular people, realizing the universal essence of the humans2. At this level, the
concept of European citizenship which in principle alienates all the members of
integrated states, while ensuring end to otherness, achieves - interpreting Pierre Manents
vision - the postmodern ideal of European construction: Europe is a political promise
because it promises the exit from the policy, which would announce a meta or postpolitical world, an unmediated human world.3
Foreseeing such a possibility post-historical, Dominique Schnapper draws
attention to the potential risks it entails: In fact, the post-national citizenship desired
by philosophers and lawyers anxious of any nationalist derives, if it would be adopted,
would also act for the purposes of depoliticization. Within the nation were built the
legitimacy and democratic practices: the weakening of the national state, which is a
consequence of European construction risks to involve that of democracy.(...) In
Western Europe societies that do not recognize neither the legitimacy of religious
principle nor the dynastic principle, the nationel links dissolution risks to weaken even
more the social relation.4

Jean BAUDRILLARD, Marc GUILLAUME, Figuri ale alteritii, translated from French by Ciprian Mihali,
Paralela 45,Piteti-Bucureti, 2002.
2 Dominique SCHNAPPER, Comunitatea cetenilor. Asupra ideii moderne de naiune, translated from French by
Ana-Luana Stoicea-Deram, Piteti, Editura Paralela 45, 2004, p. 101.
3 Pierre MANENT, O filosofie politic pentru cetean, translated from French by Mona Antohi, Humanitas,
Bucureti, 2003, pp. 322-323.
4 Dominique SCHNAPPER, Comunitatea cetenilor...cit., p. 201.
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A philosophical answer we can find pursuing the history of European democracy


from the beginnings until today, as does Salvo Mastellone:
European unification called into question the national state, the political representativeness, the power of

governments, giving a particular value to the topic of democracy. But what kind of democracy should be
adopted by the European Union? The democracy of rules, was the answer of Norberto Bobbio (...).
According to Bobbio, European civil society must comply with constitutional norms, adopt the principle of
mutual tolerance, to act in the name of peace5.

In short, the ideal system of stable peace can be expressed by the synthetic
formula: a democratic universal order of democratic states6.
Analyzing the different conceptualizations of citizenship and law, Habermas
considers that they are the expression of a deeper disagreement on the nature of the
political process. If according to the liberal conception in the public space and in
parliament, the process forming of opinion and political will is determined by the
competition between collective actors acting strategically to maintain or acquire positions
of power7, in terms of republicanism the formation of opinion and political will in the
public space and in the parliament structures is not subject to market processes, but to
structures proper for a public communication oriented to understanding. According to
Habermas, the advantage of the Republican conception consists in the fact that the
radical democratic meaning of self-organization of society by citizens united through
communication is kept, and collective objectives are not reduced to a bargain (deal)
between opposing private interests, and the disadvantage regards the excess of
idealism and the understanding of the the democratic process as dependent by the
virtues of the citizen oriented to the common good8. Sharing a vision of democracy
synonymous with the political self-organization of the society and of the policy that
maintains a controversial report with the state apparatus, Habermas foreshadows the
possibility of correspondences between public space and public stage.
And this is an important acquisition, because, as Luc Boltanski shows, the theater
metaphor used until the eighteenth century to define the essence of society, today
suffered a stroke which gives it a fresh meaning and in this respect the most
spectacular is the fact that it not only focuses on the the actor, to denounce the
hypocrisy of the world or to found in an anthropology the political representation, nor
on the scene of worlds show, now it is linked with the spectator who observes. The
advantage of the spectator in the political and social space can be found in the ability
that one has to see without being seen9.
Compared with the active spectators wishing to communicate their opinions more
or less critical about the political, economical and social show, the citizen of a political
entity has the right to manifest itself in a public space - whose emergence was defined by
Salvo MASTELLONE, Istoria democraiei n Europa. Din secolul al XVIII- lea pn n secolul XX, translated by
Bogdan M. Popescu and Gheorghe-Lencan Stoica, ANTET XX PRESS, Bucureti, 2006, p. 248.
6 Ibidem, p. 25.
7 Jrgen HABERMAS, Trei modele normative de democraie, translated in Romanian by Dana Mnescu,
in Secolul 21. Publicaie periodic de sintez. Dailogul culturilor. tiinele omului. Literatur universal, edited by
Uniunea Scriitorilor din Romnia and Fundaia Cultural Secolul 21, 1-6/2008, p. 14.
8 Ibidem, p. 15.
9 Luc BOLTANSKI, Fapt i cauz, translated in Romanian by Sofia Oprescu, in Secolul 21. Publicaie
periodic de sintez. Dailogul culturilor.tiinele omului. Literatur universal, edited by Uniunea Scriitorilor din
Romnia and Fundaia Cultural Secolul 21, 1-6/2008, p. 25.
5

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reference to the formation of modern conception on journalism linked to the presence


of an outside and detached observer, being in the same time objective, impartial and
tolerant. However, public space is not only a rational place for debate important
topics10 because the conditions of emergence of public space are created when people
are able to exist in two different moods: one of disengagement and one of
engagement. According to the scenic model of public space, since actors are always
qualified by at least through they do, by their prior commitment to ongoing actions, only
the audience, observers inactive by position, are available from an engagement. But the
condition in order to achieve this space consists in the fact that all people are able to
dispose of same network information, between them all connections being possible in
the initial state, and also they must know the same causes11, although in the public
space the transportation of information take a different form because it opposes to the
common space 12.
According to Habermass interpretation from the study Three normative models
of democracy already quoted, in Hannah Arendts political writings (of which we can
mention for the subtle distinctions between public and private, the work The
Human Condition) expressed herself against the private dimension of civism as a
characteristic of a depoliticized population. Moreover, contrary to establish the
legitimacy with the help of state parties, the political public space must be revitalized so
that it can regenerate a citizenship able to (re)learn, as a decentralized self-management,
the state power emancipated in the form of bureaucracy13.
It is difficult to evaluate the extent to which this is possible by assuming and
recognition of European citizenship, the more so as the Union documents, although
promising in fact, are bushy in the form.
3. THE LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK OF EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP
European citizenship as defined in the Treaty on European Union signed in
Maastricht in 1992 which becames effective in 1993 is an attributive citizenship
conferred by the constituent states of the European Union, based on reciprocity of rights
between Europeans, in fact a substitute for the European nationality; in other words, a
kind of citizenship without nation.
The Article 8 of The Maastricht Traety Provisions amending the Treaty establishing the European
Economic Community with a view to establishing the European community from 7 february 1992,
on the ctizenship of the Union this stipulates that: 1. Citizenship of the Union is hereby
established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of
the Union. 2. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights conferred by this Treaty and
shall be subject to the duties imposed thereby. The Article 8 a of this Treaty brings
details such as:1. Every citizen of the Union shall have the right to move and reside
freely within the territory of the Member States, subject to the limitations and conditions
laid down in this Treaty and by the measures adopted to give it effect. 2. The Council
may adopt provisions with a view to facilitating the exercise of the rights referred to in
Ibidem, p. 29.
Ibidem, p. 30.
12 Ibidem, p. 31.
13Jrgen HABERMAS, Trei modele normative cit., p. 18.
10
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paragraph 1; save as otherwise provided in this Treaty, the Council shall act unanimously
on a proposal from the Commission and after obtaining the assent of the European
Parliament. In Article 8 b of the same act, we are informed that: 1. Every citizen of the
Union residing in a Member State of which he is not a national shall have the right to
vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections in the Member State in which he
resides, under the same conditions as nationals of that State. This right shall be exercised
subject to detailed arrangements to be adopted before 31 December 1994 by the
Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting
the European Parliament; these arrangements may provide for derogations where
warranted by problems specific to a Member State. 2. Without prejudice to Article 138(3)
and to the provisions adopted for its implementation, every citizen of the Union residing
in a Member State of which he is not a national shall have the right to vote and to stand
as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament in the Member State in which he
resides, under the same conditions as nationals of that State. This right shall b e exercised
subject to detailed arrangements to be adopted before 31 December 1993 by the
Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting
the European Parliament; these arrangements may provide for derogations where
warranted by problems specific to a Member State. The Article 8 c states that: Every
citizen of the Union shall, in the territory of a third country in which the Member State
of which he is a national is not represented, be entitled to protection by the diplomatic
or consular authorities of any Member State, on the same conditions as the nationals of
that State. Before 31 December 1993, Member States shall establish the necessary rules
among themselves and start the international negotiations required to secure this
protection. The Article 8 d formulates another fundamental right: Every citizen of the
Union shall have the right to petition the European Parliament in accordance with
Article 138d. Every citizen of the Union may apply to the Ombudsman established in
accordance with Article 138e.14
Dac primul punct din articolul 8 al Tratatului de la Maastrict afirm Este
cetean al Uniunii orice persoan care deine naionalitatea unui stat membru, n
Tratatul de la Amsterdam (1997, intrat n vigoare n 1999) se adaug: Cetenia Uniunii
completeaz cetenia naional i nu o nlocuiete. Tratatul de la Amsterdam, intrat n
vigoare la 1 mai 1999, a consolidat protecia drepturilor fundamentale, condamnnd
orice form de discriminare, i a recunoscut dreptul la informaie i protecia
consumatorilor. If the first point of Article 8 of the Treaty of Maastrict stated that any
person holding the nationality of a Member State is a citizen of the Union, in the Treaty
of Amsterdam (1997, became effective in 1999) is added that the citizenship of the
Union complements national citizenship and not replace it. The Amsterdam Treaty
strengthened the protection of fundamental rights, condemning all forms of
discrimination, and recognized the right to information and consumer protection.
This complementary citizenship means a political situation of the individual
beyond the boundary between an autonomous and conflictual citizenship and getting
a cultural, economical or social citizenship as remarked Catherine Wihtol de Wenden:
Europe which felt the need to constitute itself from the moment when it ceased to be a
center of the world, putting an end to the Franco-German conflict and to the trade of
14

http://www.eurotreaties.com/maastrichtec.pdf.

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nations, has tried to replace the world of the countries by a transnational citizenship,
more economic and cultural than political in front of the globalization.15
Nevertheless, as the same author remarks, Europe of citizens who made a
qualitative leap at Maastricht (1992), exceeding the Europe of workers of 1957 cannot
constitute by a decree or by a treaty and we can add that to achieve this status is required
an adequate public space.
Despite this philosophical remark, EU citizenship under the Treaty on European
Union, as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, is subsumed under the principle of the
strengthening of European democracy. Since the Introduction states that The Treaty of
Lisbon puts the citizen back at the heart of the European Union (EU) and its
institutions. It aims to revive the citizens interest in the EU and its achievements, which
sometimes appear too remote. One objective of the Treaty of Lisbon is to promote
European democracy which offers citizens the opportunity to take an interest in and
participate in the functioning and development of the EU. And Such an objective
necessarily depends on better recognition of European citizenship in the founding
Treaties of the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon also endeavours to simplify and clarify the
functioning of the Union in order to make it more understandable, and therefore more
accessible to citizens. Finally, the Treaty of Lisbon strengthens the representation and
participation of the citizen in the European process. The creation of a citizens initiative
is one of the main innovations. Developing the idea of a better recognition of citizens
in the Treatis, The Treaty of Lisbon introduces a new article in which it fully
recognises European citizenship. Thus, the Article 10 of the Treaty on EU provides
that citizens are directly represented at institutional level by the European Parliament.
The article adds that this representative democracy is one of the foundations of the EU.
Such recognition does not give citizens new rights but it does have strong symbolic value
in that it enshrines the principle of European citizenship in the founding Treaties.
Article 10 also establishes a principle of proximity which provides that decisions must be
taken as closely as possible to the citizens. This principle applies especially in the
implementation of competences within the EU. This implementation should involve
national and local administrations as effectively as possible, so as to bring the EU closer
to its citizens.
As for issues relating directly to the European public space, namely concerning A
European Union more accesible to citizens, is shown that The EU has often dismissed
the image of a body with a complex structure and procedures. The Treaty of Lisbon
clarifies the functioning of the EU in order to improve citizens understanding of it. The
vast numbers of legislative procedures are now giving way to a standard procedure and
special legislative procedures detailed on a case by case basis. Similarly, the old pillar
structure has been abolished in favour of a clear and precise division of
competences within the EU. In the same context, the Treaty of Lisbon improves
the transparency of work within the EU. It extends to the Council the principle of public
conduct of proceedings, which is already applied within the European Parliament.
Moreover, this greater transparency will result in better information for citizens about
the content of legislative proceedings, which has the effect a grater participation of
Catherine Wihtol de WENDEN, La citoyennet europenne, Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences
Politiques, Paris, 1997, p. 15.
15

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citizens in the decision-making process: The Treaty of Lisbon establishes a right


of citizens initiative for the first time, introduced by Article 11 of the Treaty on EU: not
less than one million European nationals may invite the Commission to submit a
proposal on a specific matter. This provision expresses the EUs wish to involve its
citizens in European projects and in the taking of decisions that concern them16.
The opening of the European Union to the East was accompanied by a wave of
Euroscepticism more or less manifest, signaling a crisis of legitimacy. On this basis, EU
citizens are found at the crossroads of several roads between individualism and
collective identities (regional, religious or ethnic), between the local, national or
international stages, between universalism and specificity claiming: If Europe is seeking,
it is because the invention of European identity is seeking his own imaginary, an
imaginary which must at the same time to protect itself from the trap of hide the
differences through a reductive identification unifying and false, and to define the unity
(): you are not less a French, if you are an European or a Muslim; you can be a
Catalan, a Corsican or a Breton while defining yourself as a European and as a national
of a Member State 17. If European citizenship seems to be the sociocultural texture of
political Europe which would otherwise remain - according with Jacques Delorss
phrase - an unidentified political object18, European identity is expressed, most
probably, by reference to Europe as a symbol and as the space able to unify the
economic, legal and communitarian of citizens from member states. And this despite the
lack of symmetry between East and West, despite a dual European society which is
manifested by the formation of a Europe for the elite citizens and a Europe of the
workers19; despite a Europe organized around urbanity and civility, limited to
individuals who share a common language (democracy, rule of law, aspirations to
political consensus, reconciliation, valuing individualism and privacy) on the one hand,
and on the other a Europe of the excluded from the edge20.
But also for these latter, at least in principle, European citizenship provides a
framework of extensive life, as shown in practice and on social networks, in online
forums and media by the rights of citizens of the member states: freedom of movement,
the right to stay, the right of establishment, the right to work and study in other EU
Member States, the right to vote and to stand for election to the European Parliament
and in municipal elections in the State of residence, under the same conditions with the
citizens of this state; the right to benefit on the territory of a third country (not a
member state of the European Union) from consular protection from the diplomatic
authorities of another Member State, if the State of origin has no diplomatic or consular
representation in the relevant third country ; right to petition the European Parliament
and the right to appeal to the European Ombudsman to address cases of
maladministration by the Community institutions.
EU legislation sets however many conditions for exercising these rights. European
Commission, having the role to ensure compliance with Union Treaty, oversees the
16

The strengthening of European democracy, in Summaries of Eu Legislation,

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/institutional_affairs/treaties/lisbon_treaty/ai0021_en.htm
17 Catherine Wihtol de WENDEN, La citoyennet.cit., p. 16.
18 Ibidem.
19 Ibidem, p. 18.
20 Ibidem, p. 19.

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implementation of the provisions relating to European citizenship and issues periodic


reports on the various situations encountered.
In the Amsterdam Treaty is specified that any European citizen and any natural
or legal person having its registered office in a Member State has a right of access to
European Parliament, Council of the European Union and the European Commission,
within the rationale of public or private interest.
Regarding the condition of information in the public space, declaratively, citizen
information is considered a priority by the European institutions. In 1998, the European
Commission released the information service Europe direct, in order to inform
citizens of the rights and opportunities offered to them by European citizenship - a
citizenship of positioning, however, and not of substitution21.
Currently more in the virtual European public space there are questions related
to European citizenship, such as: Are really complied the European citizenship rights?
Do we know the european citizen rights? Involves such a status any obligations? Because
the European citizenship requires a certain involvement, such as participation in
European elections and the participation issue goes beyond elections: it reflects the
manner in which the european citizen can communicate with its representatives. Is there
such a communication? We make our voice heard in Brussels? If so, how? We have civic
spirit in an european meaning?
As illustrates various sources of information available on the internet, today
European citizenship has exceeded the scope of protection achieved at the level of
nation-states and that achieved through the instruments provided by European
institutions22. And because both theorists and European politicians have understood
that it is necessary to give a new conception of citizenship, emancipated from any
accredited ideological coloratura, which underpin the truly participatory practices, it
becomes possible the discourse about a broad European space capable of deliberation
and joint decision-making, obviously opposite to the image of a society consisting of
atomized individuals23.

4. EUROPEAN PUBLIC SPACE AS A SPACE OF


INFORMING UNIONS CITIZENS
As can be deduced from Andrew Joness work Globalization: Key Thinkers, the
contemporary conception of public space is based on Leibnizs philosophical perspective
which criticized the newtonian idea that the space exists by itself, arguing that it can be
said that there is space only when it was created through things. Thus, social relations
are inherently spatial and the spaces reflect and shape the social life as a whole.
Globalization has changed the idea of common space as a sum of places physical

http://www.9am.ro/stiri-revista-presei/International/39345/Cetatenia-europeana-un-concept-de-trait-side-reinventat-I.html#ixzz2Sg7h3mE4
22 http://www.9am.ro/stiri-revista-presei/International/39882/Cetatenia-europeana-un-concept-de-trait-side-reinventat-II.html#ixzz2Sg7uw792
23 Ibidem.
21

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close, producing a new type of space, virtual space in which social actors can
communicate instantly with each other from distant physical locations24.
Recently, Castells proposes the concept of space of flows which tries to reflect
the proper condition of a new material base of Leisure wherein the dominant social
processes are reorganized and administered through flows. Since this is a meaningful
sequence from the social life of actors, flows space does not replace the geographical
area, but by selective connection of places changes their functional logic and the social
dynamics. This is a new era which essentially corresponds to whats new in
contemporary globalization, with the implication that, to a point in the mid of eighty
years, social practices that relied on physical places for Leisure, dominated those built
around spending the time away. The effect of the second type of practices development
(due greatly to a revolution in information technology) was the change of social
distance between physical places. According to Castells, the development of space
flows is similar to the onset of a globalized social world with a new non-linear spatial
logic25.
Serge Latouche states that the cultural flows in one way start from the
countries of the Centre and arrive anywhere on the planet by classics broadcast media
such as newspapers, radio, television, movies, books, records, video, to which are now
added the virtual media. Therefore, these flows of information and cultural products
inform the desires and necessities, forms of behavior, attitudes, education systems,
lifestyles of the receptors.26
In addition to the disadvantage of imaginarys standardization, this
phenomenon has the advantage that the West - the place of projection and achieving
European citizenship - designates - more than a geographical entity or a precise space a direction27.
And this direction to the West as more ideological than geographical
concept28 is the one where the citizen of a political entity which is still building
(European Union) can manifest itself in a space more or less real, more or less virtual.
This aspect reiterates the philosophical premises of European citizenship and public
space. According to Habermas, in the description of a political public sphere intersect at
least two processes: on the one hand, the communicational production of legitimate
power and, on the other hand, the monopolization of media force to create the loyalty,
of requirements and of an compliance to the imperatives of the system. From this
perspective, a public sphere able to political functioning needs not only guarantees
received from state institutions, it is also linked to the support of cultural heritage and
socializing patterns, to political culture of a population accustomed to freedom29. Also
available for both public space own of the national citizenship as well as those

Andrew JONES, Globalizarea. Teoreticieni fundamentali, translated by Monica Neam, Sorina Pricop,
Translation coordination: Corneliu Nicolescu, CA Publishing, Cluj-Napoca, 2011, pp. 74-75.
25 Ibidem.
26 Serge LATOUCHE, Occidentalizarea Lumii. Eseu despre semnificaia, amploarea i limitele uniformizrii planetare,
Translated from French by Paul Kun, Cluj-Napoca, Editura CA Publishing, 2012, pp. 55-56.
27 Ibidem, p .62.
28 Ibidem, p. 63.
29 Jrgen HABERMAS, Sfera public i transformarae ei structural. Studiu asupra unei categorii a societii burgheze,
translated and bibliographycal note by Janina Ianoi, Comunicare.ro, Bucureti, 2005, p. 41.
24

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concerning European citizenship is that assumptions regarding a political functioning


public sphere (...) can no longer be simply characterized as utopian30.
The European citizenship status pays attention to citizens public information
and to their feeling of belonging to an ideal space. In this regard, in the center of
Bucharest operates a European Public Space (EPS), managed by the European
Commission Representation in Romania and by European Parliament Information
Office in Romania. This is a multifunctional space, opened daily to the public and
hosts conferences, official events, exhibitions, film projections, press conferences,
presentations, book launches, public lectures, aiming to promote debates on European
issues and increase the information level of citizens about the EU, facilitating the access
to information by presenting it in an accessible and attractive format, adapted to the
Romanian public interests31.

5. CONCLUSION
Looking for correspondences philosophically hidden and politically visible
between European citizenship, European public sphere and the public space, I have tried
to show that this latter represents an informational building and it is accessible at least
virtually to all members of the European Union. Beyond the critical relationship that
the public space maintains with representatives of the power, it is a place for debates of
ideas and projects, a habituation own to the rational being that involves european
citizenship.

30
31

Ibidem, p. 283.
http://ec.europa.eu/romania/about_us/spatiul_public_european_ro.htm

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SCHNAPPER, Dominique, Comunitatea cetenilor. Asupra ideii moderne de naiune, traducere
din limba francez de Ana-Luana Stoicea-Deram, Piteti, Editura Paralela 45,
2004, p.101.
(de) WENDEN, Catherine Wihtol, La citoyennet europenne, Paris, Presses de la Fondation
Nationale des Sciences Politiques, 1997.
Jurnalul Oficial al Uniunii Europene Ediie n limba romn, anul 53, 30 martie 2010, C 83,
pp.56-58,
http://www.presidency.ro/static/Versiunea_consolidata.pdf
http://europedirect.centras.ro/assets/editor/file/continut%20brosura.pdf
http://ec.europa.eu/romania/documents/eu_romania/tema_9.pdf
http://www.9am.ro/stiri-revista-presei/International/39882/Cetatenia-europeana-unconcept-de-trait-si-de-reinventat-II.html#ixzz2Sg7uw792
http://www.9am.ro/stiri-revista-presei/International/39345/Cetatenia-europeana-unconcept-de-trait-si-de-reinventat-I.html#ixzz2Sg7h3mE4

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Social integration of people with severe visual impairment


Case Study: Queen Elizabeth School Centre - Prospects for the future1
Octavian SOFRONEA
Ph.D. student at Doctoral School of Political Science, University of Bucharest

Abstract: The issue of social inclusion and subsequently the assistance of the poor

or those suffering from physical disabilities existed in Romania since the XIII century,
but only in the late twentieth century people with severe visual impairment were able to
exercise their fundamental rights: equality, access to public life, free access to education,
the right to have a job. After 1989, the concept of assisting people with disabilities
experienced a transformation: if social assistance represented only a service which often
translates into financial benefits, after the fall of communism, it aimed the restoring of
the normal functioning of society as a whole that is in close correlation to action. Also
after the fall of communism were prefigured the main programs of social inclusion of
persons with disabilities: both the state system by its Directorate of Social Assistance
and Protection of People with Disabilities and the associative environment by the
National Association of People with Disabilities and the Association of the Blind in
Romania started programs and partnerships with European institutions on the
employment of deficiencies, implementation of new technologies with synthetic voice for
the blind, virtual libraries and audio-books, and coexistence among healthy
individuals in collective projects. This article contains information on the educational
institution School Centre Queen Elizabeth from Bucharest, Romania, and a
qualitative research carried out with graduates of this particular center, respectively a
number of 10 persons who have graduated from the school in both communist and
post- communist regime. The main research objective is to present concrete situations in
which blind people, graduates of a special institution, fight for their desire to integrate
into the community, and what does the state do to help them in achieving their goal.
Keywords: equality, education, institution, integration, social assistance, social
inclusion, state.
1. INTRODUCTION
This article aims to determine the causes that led to the marginalization of
people suffering from visual impairment and inventories the measures taken by the
authorities and NGOs to achieve social integration of the disadvantaged categories. Are
these policies in support of the great mass of blind or only few know and have access to
these facilities? Social integration emphasis will be placed on the blind peoples ability to
integrate from a socio- professional perspective, the barriers they faced in finding a job,
This article benefited from financial support through the project Tineri cercettori de succes dezvoltare
profesional n context interdisciplinar i internaional: POSDRU/159/1.5/S/132400, financed from the
European Social Fund through Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development 20072013.
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and the relationship they develop with coworkers. Another aspect that will be discussed
in this paper aims to technological development and new demands on the labor market
that will be expected to be performed by the blind. With the development of IT industry,
also the educational process will undergo significant changes: will the Braille alphabet be
replaced with more advanced synthetic voice software? Within this research I will
present the trends in this field of special education.
As defined by Law 519/2002, persons with disabilities are those who live in a
social environment which is inadequate for their physical, psychical, sensory, mental
deficiencies and totally impede their access to equal opportunities in society, according to
age, gender, or material, social and cultural factors, requiring special protection measures
to support their social and professional integration.2 It can be easily observed that the
official definition emphasizes on the barriers that these people have to overcome in
order to adapt to the social environment and not on techniques that should be
implemented by social services to ensure the right to an independent life which would
turn a passive deficient receptor of economic benefits into an active one that should be
able to obtain his monthly care needed income by himself.
In support of my research, I will appeal to a qualitative method3, the interview,
through which I will try to find, with the help of a special school graduates from
Bucharest, answers and solutions to research questions. I decided to do a qualitative
study because of the complexity and depth posed by this type of research. Compared
with quantitative research, qualitative research adopts a narrower coverage to avoid
causal heterogeneity, and the selection of cases is geared towards positive cases for the
dependent variable4. I will interview subjects that are selected from among the
graduates of School Center no. 1 Queen Elizabeth, students who have completed their
level of education in the communist period or in the transition to democracy period. I
chose this time distribution to underline possible developments and changes in the field
of special education in Bucharest and how these educational changes contributed to
social change of people with visual disabilities.
The conclusions of this research will summarizes how the social integration of
the blind is possible in Romania, in the context of technological change and labor market
instability. At the same time, I emphasize in conclusion social integrations complexity
and its high temporal duration. Romanian case is not unique in Europe, but in the
Western world factors of social inclusion of disadvantaged persons were more
numerous: West did not experience the communist system in which people with
disabilities were excluded from public life. This thinking has had negative consequences
on those who lived under communism and systematically continued to penalize and to
marginalize deficient.
The current situation in Romania regarding the status of persons with disabilities
is quite sensitive to both public opinion and political class. Recent studies conducted by
NGOs show that general attitudes towards people with disabilities is a veiled rejection
Legea 519/2002 - http://legestart.ro/Legea-519-2002-aprobarea-Ordonanei-urgenta-Guvernului-102-1999protectia-speciala-incadrarea-munca-persoanelor-handicap-(MTM4NjA-).html, last accessed 23.03.2014.
3 Leslie TUTTY, M., ROTHERY, Cercetare calitativ n asistena social: faze, etape i sarcini, Polirom, Iai, 2005,
p. 19.
4 Florin LAZR, Introducere n politici sociale comparate - Analiza sistemelor de asisten social, Polirom, Iai, 2010,
p. 61.
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which is manifested through discrimination, isolation, marginalization and sometimes


pity. A study regarding the general opinion on people with disabilities conducted in 2006
brought to light that only 45 % of respondents know a person with disabilities, of
which 1 % say they had direct contact with it at work or at school5. For the vast
majority of the population, people with disabilities are almost invisible, and they should
not attend school nor have friends. This is a sad truth that cannot go unnoticed by
international institutions responsible for protecting this category. The new European
Commission directives coerces Romania to provide more support and assistance to
people with disabilities, who continue to be marginalized and disadvantaged in the labor
market and society. Echoes of these new European regulations are found in several draft
laws adopted or amended after 2007, through which are reproduced and enlarged the
spheres of competence of non-governmental organizations dealing with improving the
condition of the blind in Romania6. However, public authorities (local and general
directions for People with Disabilities and Ministry of Labour, Family and Social
Protection) started a series of new social inclusion projects to support people with
disabilities with effects already visible in society. Nevertheless, the blinds situation
remains an issue in the private sphere, where it continues the discrimination despite
favorable legislation for their employment in different organizations.
2. SOCIAL INTEGRATION
IMPAIRMENT

OF

PEOPLE

WITH

SEVERE

VISUAL

The idea of supporting people with visual impairment came to life in the XIII
century, and its evolution has seen many different stages of development. Late
nineteenth century was when the blind people across the country have made an
important step towards social integration. Until then, out of a total of 470 blind children
identified at the census of 1899 in Transylvania, only 38 had a minimum degree of
education.7 Therefore, it was decided to construct schools for this social category in
order to educate them and promise them a normal life. All these measures could not be
initiated without the immense contribution of the inventors of the alphabet for blind
people - Louis Braille and Valentin Haui who have laid the foundations of special
education for people with visual impairment.
The internal context of the early 20th century Romania shows the sympathy of
the Romanian elite for the French society and the social model of welfare characteristic
of this society. With Ion Vasile Tassu, the first Romanian blind person who was
educated at the Paris National Institute for Blind Children, the history of assisting
visually impaired people in Romania has acquired other implications. Following the study
and later the integration into society of blind people in France, Ion Tassu and
Romanians wanted to show that with darkness, a man's life does not end, but on the
contrary, very different and more sensitive dimensions emerge. Ion Tassu managed to
establish in 1901 the first class devoted exclusively to people with visual impairments in
de ar privind dizabilitatea n Romnia,
http://cndr.anvr.ro/documente.php?do=raport_de_tara, last accessed 23.03.2014.
6Asociaia Nevztorilor din Romnia, http://www.anvr.ro/prezentare-istoric-1.php, last accessed 17.04.2014.
7 Liceul pentru deficieni de vedere Cluj-Napoca, http://www.ldv.ro/istoric/istoric-detaliat.php, last
accessed 09.04.2014.
5Raportul

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Focsani, Romania.8 This class was integrated into the regular education system under the
Ministry of Education.
These first attempts to educate children with visual impairments did not leave
the Romanian political class uninvolved, especially the monarchy represented by Queen
Elizabeth. She tried to provide support on behalf of the crown to poor citizens, to the
disabled and the suffering. Because the queen herself was suffering from a visual
disorder
- cataract that was unsuccessfully operated by the Royal Palaces
ophthalmologist, her commitment to blind people was particularly special. Therefore, the
task King Carol I of Hohenzollern entrusted her with was considered a social and
patriotic act. The devotion with which Her Majesty took care of blind people in Romania
is reflected in the many institutions that she created in order to help them: the School
Workshop for young adults and blind, the charitable society of Vatra Luminoasa' and
The Blind People Asylum from Vatra Luminoasa.9 In order to build these institutions
of culture and support for young blind people, the royalty acquired in 1901 12.5 acres in
the area of eastern Bucharest where in 1912 the Asylum "Vatra Luminoasa and the
Primary School will open their gates. These two institutions will have, from that date, the
name of the Establishment Vatra Luminoasa.10
The queens initiative to establish a series of structures to support people with
visual impairments was encouraged by Theodore Roosevelt, the US president at the time,
who contributed with a part of the funds required to build these settlements. The whole
project had a significant role and Ion Tassu, who as a graduate of such institution in
Paris, influenced the queen to take the French model of institutional organization, thus
demonstrating that young blind people will be able to easily integrate in the Romanian
society. The prestige enjoyed by the establishment Vatra Luminoasa determined the local
authorities in Bucharest in 1920 to change the name of the street on which the
institution was built, the Mrcuantre-vii to Vatra Luminoasa Street. Later, the name
Vatra Luminoasa was extended to the whole eastern district of the capital, becoming
the first case in Europe where an entire neighborhood is named after an institution
dedicated to blind people.11
Nicolae Ionescu noted in the monograph on the settlement of Vatra
Luminoasa that this institution has transformed a world of doomed by fate and illiterate
into a world of educated and trained people able to integrate among the countrys
citizens.12 In the eyes of the union of Romanian Principalities the discrimination of blind
people was a real deal, so with the emergence of special legislations during the first
decades of the twentieth century, a number of rights for these individuals were
conceived, rights and duties that put the disabled and the healthy on an equal footing:
the right to be trained and to acquire a job, the right to have a job in the civil society, the

Asociaia Nevztorilor din Romnia mplinete un secol,


http://www.viatavalcii.ro/articol.php?ID=26143, last accessed 09.04.2014.
9 Nicolae IONESCU, Azilul de Orbi Regina Elisabeta. Vatra Luminoas i rolul su instructiv-educativ, Pandora,
Bucureti, 2005, p. 11.
10 Asociaia Nevztorilor din Romnia, http://www.anvr.ro/prezentare-istoric-1.php, last accessed 17.04.2014.
11 Ibidem.
12 Nicolae IONESCU, Azilul de Orbi....cit., p. 11.
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right to have a family and the duty to be subjects of any law in force in the State and be
responsible for penalties in case of breaching these laws.13
The whole building of Vatra Luminoasa had the outset role of helping the blind
youth and their families. Initially, the plan to help the blind people targeted only
Bucharest and the surrounding areas, but subsequently, enjoying external support
through donations from the US President and the Romanian monarchy, the project was
extended to the whole country, the institution operating also at a regional level through
subsidiaries. There were 70 Vatra Luminoasa Regional Societies, and were aimed
mainly at fundraising, identifying people with visual impairment and evaluating their
recommendation for the Establishment of Bucharest.14
With the outbreak of World War I in Romania, things suddenly get worse for the
Establishment of Vatra Luminoasa as well: the lack of donations, the increasing number
of disabled people, few healthcare professionals and staff led to the degradation of living
conditions for the people in the institution. With the worsening of the social and political
context and the occupation imposed by Austro-German troops, the situation of the
blind youth from Vatra Luminoasa becomes critical: in addition, an epidemic of typhus
ended many lives amongst the teachers and the elderly, the disaster culminating with a
strong fire that destroyed more than half of the living space. The dismissal of teachers
and cessation of workshops forced some to return to their families. Only two years after
the closure of the military conflict, the Establishment for blind people will be
reorganized and refurbished along with the recommencing of the study, interrupted also
by the Great War.15 Through the efforts of Prof. Ion Tassu, the school was moved to
Ghica Palace, where it will encounter functional difficulties for three years, until the
work at the Establishment of Vatra Luminoasa will be completed. Only in the fall of
1923 the school will resume its activity in Vatra Luminoasa.16
Starting with 1923, the first legislative initiatives on the organization and
functioning of social assistance are drafted in Romania. From that time until 1943 all
social security issues were the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health, Labor and
Social Care.17 Immediately after the First World War, the Establishment of Vatra
Luminoasa acquired legal personality and a Board of Directors starts commanding its
activities. The new status of the establishment stipulated the internal organization and
management of the institution, which was the responsibility of a doctor, the design of
the activities, their scope, the academic organization and its funding. It is interesting to
note that the term asylum did not have a negative association in this period, as a
century ago the same terminology indicated a place for people with disabilities, poor or
impoverished. At the asylum in Bucharest, production workshops used by blind people
to manufactures products were in place, products were subsequently sold and the
income earned from the sale of these products returned to the people. These additional
revenues were combined with ordinary subsidy from the state, so that this social category

Nicolae IONESCU, Azilul de Orbi....cit., p. 12.


http://www.bucurestiivechisinoi.ro/tag/scoala-si-atelierele-din-vatra-luminoasa/, last accessed 17.04.2014
15 Nicolae IONESCU, Azilul de Orbi....cit., pp. 21-23.
16 Ibidem, p. 32.
17 Florica MNOIU, Viorica EPUREANU, Asistena social n Romnia, Editura Institutului Biblic i de
Misiune al Bisericii Ortodoxe Romne, Bucureti, 1992, p. 19.
13
14

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could have a certain economic autonomy, contributing in this way to the mental integrity
of those people.18
In 1925, inside the settlement of Vatra Luminoasa a statue was built dedicated
to Queen Elizabeth for the immense contribution she has had in developing this project.
The event was a reverent one, attended by the Prime Minister I.C. Brtianu who actually
contributed with the necessary funds for the payment of the settlement construction.19
In the same year, Professor Tassu started a fundraising campaign to build a school
dedicated to all visually impaired people, but this time for those who were not assisted at
the Vatra Luminoasa establishment. With the support of the Ministry of Public
Education and of the Society Friends of the Blind People, the new school was
completed in the fall of 1925. The next period was prolific for the educational institution,
increasing their number of teachers and growing diversity of activities: the primary
school syllabus was almost identical to the one of a regular education system, comprising
first grade subjects like grammar, writing, memorizing, composition, mathematics and
religion. In grades II, III and IV students were introduced to geography, history, natural
sciences and physics, defining a more significant degree of complexity and academic
efficiency this way. The latter was enhanced by the functional development of higher
grade, the post-primary period comprising three years of study, after which graduates
could enroll in a mainstream school based on entrance exam.20
Before the outbreak of World War II, the schools and workshops for the blind
youth enjoyed optimal conditions for activities both in educational and housing terms.
With the Second World War the schools activity is halted again, when a field hospital
will be established in Vatra Luminoasa.21 In 1949, the school was closed and students
were divided by gender: girls were sent at the school in Buzau, while boys were sent in
Cluj.
The communist dictatorship influenced the school of Vatra Luminoasa in a
direct manner, leaving a four decades mark of moments and scenes of great terror and
extensive social injustice, and moments that will remain in the history of Romanian
schooling for the blind with remarkable results took place.22 Professor Nicolae Ionescu
noted in the monograph addressed to the teacher Ion Tassu that the Romanian
communist dictatorship had a positive impact on blind youth literacy, contributing even
to the restructuring of university degree education. At the same time, the author
mentions the benefits the communist regime in Romania has brought in its early years by
introducing a regular payment of disability allowances- the granting of financial and
moral support to all categories of disabled persons for training and professionalization.
After the party leadership changed its vision and its ways of governing, these benefits
were gradually canceled, and the processes of educational and professional development
were influenced by the trend of limiting the access of people with visual disabilities in
public life. So there was an attempt of segregation of people with disabilities from the
rest of the population by creating special sections for them, both in educational
Asociaia Nevztorilor din Romnia, http://www.anvr.ro/prezentare-istoric-1.php, last accessed 17.04.2014.
http://www.bucurestiivechisinoi.ro/tag/scoala-si-atelierele-din-vatra-luminoasa/, last accessed 17.04.2014.
20 Nicolae IONESCU, Azilul de Orbi....cit., pp. 31-33.
21 http://www.bucurestiivechisinoi.ro/tag/scoala-si-atelierele-din-vatra-luminoasa/, last accessed 17.04.2014.
22 Nicolae IONESCU, Ion Vasile Tassu - Monografie, 120 ani de la naterea ilustrului tiflopedagog romn, Pandora,
Bucureti, 2003, p. 49.
18
19

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institutions and labor: in that period UCECOM was established with special sections for
the blind people, the people suffering from amblyopia, and the disabled people, all these
within the handicraft cooperatives in Bucharest and the rest of the country.23 In the same
way that an individual directly involved in the educational process in the communist
period - Nicolae Ionescu, acknowledged the achievements of the Vatra Luminoasa
School had during that period, the same individual could not remain unresponsive to the
abuses and compromises of some communist leaders. In the period 1949-1989 the
establishment of Vatra Luminoasa and the School for Blind People, were temporarily
removed on the reason that their monarchical origin was not consistent with the
ideology and party vision. At that moment the blind people were moved to the village of
Becicheret in a specially equipped establishment as Bucharest was not seen as a favorable
place for their intellectual and professional development.24 Through this behavior, the
trend of marginalization and exclusion of people with disabilities from the public life of a
big city - the state capital, can be observed again.
After the Revolution of 1989 a new chapter in the history of special education in
Romania began. If during the two world wars and the communist era, special education
was possible at the primary and secondary school levels with the possibility of taking
courses at the Post-Secondary Medical School, the democratic regime has allowed the
blind with a superior intellect to go to college. This freedom to choose enjoyed by the
blind people contributed largely to the achievement of the most important changes at the
mental and moral level for this category hitherto marginalized: new life conditions,
favorable legislation, and a variety of employment opportunities and jobs.
The evolution of technology and the challenge for visual impaired people to
keep up with it, as well as modernization of the special educational system was required.
The emergence of voice writing systems will bring major changes in the use of classical
methods for educating and training blind children- Braille alphabet. Another
consequence of the technical development and social evolution is the blind peoples
capacity to provide services responding to the new socio-economic requirements, in
order to provide themselves the material basis, without resorting to the financial support
from social assistance. All these assumptions are based on the blind peoples ability to
adapt to the new social conditions, maladjustment leading otherwise to segregation,
marginalization and exclusion.
3. THE ORGANIZATION OF QUEEN ELIZABETH SCHOOL CENTER
Based on the findings of Prof. Nicolae Ionescu, I shall attempt to capture the
changes in the moral and psychological development of blind people in communism and
immediately after. How did they manage to integrate in the society after graduating from
Vatra Luminoasa Special School in the context of two opposite regimes - communism
and democracy?
The Queen Elizabeth School Centre had a long history, marked by activity
breaks during the communist period. One of the pointers that suggest a disruptive past
of the educational institution is in fact its name - initially the school was called Queen
Elizabeth-Primary School for Blind People then, starting with 1912 both the school and
23
24

Ibidem, p. 51.
Ibidem, p. 52.

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the Vatra Luminoasa Blind Asylum founded by King Charles I through the association
Blind People of Romania will be called Vatra Luminoasa Establishment. Until the
rise of the communists to power, the establishment will hardly surpass the two World
Wars, and it will even cease its activity for a period, in such a way that in 1950, the
Reeducation Center No.1 (founded by the communists) changed its name to The
Vocational School Centre No.11. Since 1952, the school for blind people was renamed
taking the title of Special Vocational School No. 5, and in 1965 the new name of the
institution will be Bucharest School Centre No.1. Currently, the school for blind
people in Vatra Luminoasa is called Queen Elizabeth School Centre, thus showing the
attachment of people with disabilities for the initiative of the Romanian monarchy.25
Queen Elizabeth School Centre currently comprises both high school and postsecondary courses, within the institution operating both a high school with four levels
(IX-XII) and evening classes (Class XIII), and also a technological high school with
technical profile, the basic activity being the manufacturing of wood products, the
professional qualification in this area being that of carpenter. Also included in the School
Center was the Post-Secondary Medical School of 3 years, the field of activity being that
of medical and pedagogical activity with its related specialization - nurse for
kinesiotherapy and physical rehabilitation therapy. During the academic year of 20102011, the education offer of the School Center was segmented into categories: for
secondary education with theoretical, hard sciences and natural sciences
profiles/specializations, 12 seats were made available, while for the technological profile
with focus on the manufacture of wood products - 24 seats were available. In secondary
education, 45 seats were allocated for students grouped into three classes. The staff at
the School Centre included 67 teachers and 38 other people, most of them serving as
caretakers.26
Using the means of qualitative research (the chosen research method is the
interview), I wanted to know how government initiatives for social integration have
evolved from the communist era up to the present moment and how are they are
perceived by visual impaired people graduating from special education institution.
Specifically, the aim of this paper is to determine the social integration opportunities that
these graduates have, realizing if necessary a parallel between the communist regime and
post-revolutionary regime.
To test the level of social integration of graduates at the Queen Elizabeth School
Center in Bucharest is necessary to formulate the research hypotheses. The two main
hypotheses of this study are: graduates of the Special School for Blind People in
Bucharest have restricted access to the labor market compared to graduates of normal
schools; graduates of the Special School for Blind People are discriminated against and
marginalized by their healthy peers when participating in joint projects.
The sample consists of 10 individuals selected not only from the graduates of
the theoretical and technical high schools, but also from Post-Secondary Medical School.
Throughout the paper, two distinct groups were differentiated: 5 subjects have graduated
from Vatra Luminoasa School Center during the communist period of 1970-1989, and 5
subjects graduated from the same institution after 1989. We chose this distribution to
highlight any changes over the years. The research was conducted with the support of
25
26

http://centruelisabeta.uv.ro/istoric.html, last accessed 24.05.2014.


http://centruelisabeta.uv.ro.html, last accessed 29.05.2014.

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the association of Blind People from Romania and the Queen Elizabeth School Center
to which I offer my gratitude for cooperating in this study.
After interviewing a number of 10 graduates of the Queen Elizabeth School
Centre in Bucharest, two main lines of approach related to the integration of the blind
people into society were revealed. The graduates of the Queen Elizabeth School
Center in the communist period had another professional development and other
contact with the society upon graduation. The practice of class segregation from the rest
of the population of persons with disabilities was a normal and common practice in the
communist regime: one of the partys views was that of displaying a perfect society
where all citizens participated in the manufacturing process. So those who were unable
to fit in the work field were marginalized, being practically excluded from society; the
disabled people who could provide services for the benefit of the party or state were
grouped in organizations specially designed for them. Through their efforts, they
brought their contribution to state building and economic development. All graduates of
the school during the communist period said they had to follow a special educational
institution as the Commission of local medical expertise did not allow the blind people
to accede to mainstream education. The same situation was encountered when the blind
people wanted to follow a program of higher education: in addition to the fact that
universities did not have the necessary equipment for a blind person to actively
participate in the educational process, the access of this category to higher education was
not allowed either. The few blind people with higher education who graduated in that
period pursued their education in Paris or Western Europe, in institutions aware of their
needs. Regarding the relationship with students and teachers at the School Center,
subjects admitted that they did not feel discriminated against at all because of their
disability, for the simple reason that all pupils and even some teachers had serious vision
problems. Thus the similar conditions and sad experiences of the past did not determine
the students or the teachers to have a discriminatory attitude towards the students. A
respondent who first attended the courses of a normal school, and then was transferred
to the special school from Vatra Luminoasa recalled to have experienced a sudden
change in her colleagues and teachers behavior when she applied to the special school.
At the normal school she was marginalized and discriminated against because of her left
eye disease, colleagues calling her the dim. Teachers were reluctant with regards to the
learning abilities of the respondent, who in the first three years of school did not
received the first prize despite having the same grades as the student ranked first in the
class because of her disability. Moreover, the teacher ask the respondent parents a
'compensation' for the effort she was making by superficially adapting her teaching style
to accommodate the needs of the respondent.
Discrimination against blind people was made in communism at the macro level,
the access of this category in different systems or programs being restricted. The
problem of employment of blind people was a matter which the party approached in a
simple way: social and professional inclusions of disabled people meant having a job and
participate in the production process. It was not the right of equal opportunities the
communist were taking into account, but the jobs they assigned the blind people were
specially designed for them. Of the five graduates of the School Center during the
communist period, none of them was able to choose a profession according to their
skills and preferences, but professions that were specially created for them. The School
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Center of Vatra Luminoasa allows the possibility of being integrated in the field of
medicine by attending the Post-Secondary Medical School. Graduates of this institution
became nurses in Physiotherapy, in the massage specialization. Another alternative to the
nursing profession was that of carpenter, found more frequently in the case of men. For
this qualification, the blind person had to attend the courses of the Technical High
School at the Centre of Vatra Luminoasa. The last alternative of employment for a blind
person was in manufacturing- cardboard or brushes.
The relationship of blind people with coworkers and team leaders was another
point of the interview. This indicates the degree of tolerance, support, compassion a
visual impaired person enjoys from his/her team. The responses to this question varied,
each of the five respondents describing their own experiences with their colleagues.
Generally, the atmosphere was positive, with no open conflicts between the visually
impaired people and their colleagues. However, two respondents stated that they had
some problems getting used to new colleagues when changing jobs because of the
general reluctance communism created which still remains in the Romanian society
today. Respondents working in the medical system said that the major problems
concerning the relationship with colleagues and marginalization have emerged after the
change of legislation for providing access to the medical system: currently, any individual
who attends two or three months of massage courses organized by institutions more or
less reliable may work in the medical facilities along with the blind people whose medical
training consists of years of study and experience. People who do not have any
disabilities are preferred even with a minimum training at the expense of those with
visual problems with extensive experience in the field.
All blind persons attending the Queen Elizabeth School Center are enrolled
with a degree of disability through the expertise of a Committee. In most cases, at this
institution are admitted the blind people with severe disabilities or depending on the
disease history, healing possibility or deficiency compensation. Taking into consideration
that the Vatra Luminoasa School Centre has a common history with the association of
the Blind People in Romania, currently sharing the same building, all middle school
pupils or students are members of this association. All ten respondents in the interviews
are active members of the Association of the Blind People in Romania. To become a
member, each person with disabilities must compile a medical file and pay an annual fee
of 100 lei. Of the 5 respondents who graduated before 1989, all know the general social
inclusion programs the association is undertaking. Four of the subjects turned to one of
these programs, either for financial support or charity. Currently, the Association
develops partnerships with county councils and other public institutions, organizing
cultural events, competitions and social activities providing support to people with
disabilities who are in need. Not the same can be said about the social inclusion
programs run by the public system of social assistance and support to disabled persons.
Most respondents are not familiar with these programs, some even saying that they do
not feel supported by the authorities or informed of these programs and therefore
confidence in the purpose of these programs has decreased.
Like any normal citizen, blind people have passions that they manifest whenever
they have the chance. Of the ten respondents, the answers to the question What do you
do in your free time? were multiple and diverse: reading audio-books, shopping with
family, cooking, walking in the parks, hiking, sports, poetry. Perhaps the most frequent
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hobby among the respondents was music: five of the ten subjects participate annually in
music competitions organized by the Association of the Blind People in Romania, but
not only that. Two respondents participated in international competitions, having
important competitors in the domain of music and still achieving prizes and recognition.
A respondent organizes guitar and mandolin instrumental music courses with great
results, appreciated both at the radio and television. According to the theory of
compensation, with the loss of the sense of vision other senses improve, and seeing is
most often compensated by the hearing sense. Having a sensitive hearing leads to the
maximization of the acoustic perception in such a way that the sounds blind people hear
are clearer and can be captured with greater ease. This can explain the blinds people
inclination for music, an area in which they can achieve great performances.
With the technological evolution and wider internet networks, more and more
blind people were able, using programs of synthetic voice, the help of their friends and
taking special classes on computers, to enjoy the opportunities and facilities the new
technology brought. However, I asked the young graduates why they have chosen to
follow the courses of a special school since they could directly enroll in mainstream
education. The responses have pointed out the reason of convenience as the school was
close to home. I would summarize these answers, saying that there was an indirect fear
of exclusion, marginalization, maladjustment which blind students could have encounter
when registering at a normal school. However, this step was done by the majority of the
respondents during college and since they did not have an alternative, the blind people
who wanted to have higher education were forced to enroll in mainstream education.
The specializations chosen by the blind people were the most diverse: from tourism and
geography, and music, to psychology and social assistance. Of the five interviewed only
three people are active in the field they studied in, the others working in other
professional areas: music and sales. It can be seen as a major change compared to the
communist era when all graduates were employed in positions: the most frequent jobs
was that of medical nurse at the massage department, carpenter, brushes-manufactures,
cardboard or recently telephony. Currently, graduates have the freedom to decide upon
the area they want to work in, but competition in the labor market is fierce and blind
people must face the risk of competing against people without disabilities who have
similar training in the field.
4. CONCLUSION
The integration of people with visual impairment in society is a current and
sensitive for the Romanian public institutions, which spend on average 15% of GDP on
disability pension payments, and allowances for caretaking. Every year, programs to
support people with disabilities whose funding comes mostly from the state budget and
in some instances from the European institutions, especially the European Commission
are formulated. Therefore, the willingness to legally help the people with disabilities
exists, but difficulties arise at the social level, when blind people want to get involved in
various social and cultural projects, accede to normal education or get a job. Then, this
category encounters several psychological barriers from their fellow citizens that
continue to see them reluctantly, either with pity or ignorance.
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The blind persons, graduates of special education institutions, have restricted


access to the labor market. The reasons for this restriction vary according to the
political system and labor market performance27. During the communist period, once
completed a special school for blind people, the person was automatically assigned by
the local Commission of expertise to a default domain: the most popular profession was
that of the medical nurse specialized in massage, followed by the industry of
manufactures-carpentry, brushes, paperboard, subsequently adding the category of
telephone services to the distribution grid. So in this case the stated hypothesis was
totally confirmed, and even highlighted because access to blind people in the labor
market was not only restricted, but it was banned in many fields. The democratic regime
brought major changes in the labor market mobility28. Technological evolution
represented a challenge for the blind people who were accused by the authorities that
they are a passive recipient of the facilities provided by the state.
Also, the graduates of a special school are discriminated against and marginalized
in joint projects. Marginalization, exclusion and discrimination against the blind people is
reminiscent of communism that through the segregation practice conducted both in
education and the labor market established a pattern of thought still valid today.
Compared with the communist regime, a tendency of helping the blind people more can
be noticed now through the high degree of implication of NGOs and the European
institutions in supporting deficiencies. The age of social inclusion arrived, but this
process must counter the mentality and line of thought built during communism by
promoting social responsibility of every citizen to issues surrounding him. In the recent
years (since 2000) the system of social assistance was diversified, but not enough:
adequate preparation of professionals and skilled personnel in this area requires
significant time resources, the success of dealing with this issue depending on the
involvement of all relevant bodies in solving the problem.
The future of special schools is uncertain given the fact that blind people will be
able to fully adapt to the requirements of normal education. Unfortunately, the
Romanian public authorities attempted to speed up the process of giving up this type of
education by abolishing boarding schools near the special schools, turning them into
foster cares. However, the process of adaptation of blind people to normal education is
far from being over, very few cases existing where the blind quickly accommodated to
the requirements of normal education.
To conclude, the social integration of blind people who graduated from a special
school is an ongoing process whose variables: public institutions, NGOs, impaired
people, can cause changes to the current situation. The key to success of this program
lies in the involvement of the entire society within the issue, leaving aside the prejudices
created by the communist system. Tolerance and indifference no longer represent a
solution, but only empowering the stakeholders can lead to high resolution and
overcome the barriers faced by people with disabilities. The stage of adapting to the
demands of society is being finalized, the next step towards integration being the
collective participation in fulfilling common objectives. Once this step is successful, we
can speak of a genuine process of social integration.
27

28

Florin LAZR, Introducere n politici...cit., p. 76.


Florin LAZR, Introducere n politici...cit., p. 61.

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romn, Pandora, Bucureti, 2003.
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Polirom, Iai, 2005.
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Habermas Normative Model of Public Sphere


in the Current Debate of the European Public Sphere
Gabriela TNSESCU
Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Romanian Academy

Abstract: This study includes an examination of the concept of public sphere, as is it


grounded in the work Strukturwandel der ffentlichkeit (1962), the specification of the main
changes and nuances by which Habermas has realized the deepening of the normative
grounding of the critical theory of society in his subsequent works, especially in Faktizitt und
Geltung (1992), and the outlining of the applicability degree of Habermas deliberative model
of public sphere in the post-national political realm of the European Union. The assumption
of this approach is that the Habermas normative model of public sphere, through its criticaldeliberative dimension, indicates means of democratic legitimation which are applicable to the
representative institutions of European Union.
Keywords: public sphere, private sphere, normative model, rationality of communication,
democratic deliberation.

1. ASSUMPTION
The purpose of this study is to examine the relevance of Habermas normative
model for the theorization of public sphere in a transnational framework, mainly its
relevance for a theory of European public sphere1. The assumption of this approach is
that (1) Habermas normative model of the public sphere contains, through a
deliberative critical dimension with which Habermass name has become virtually
synonymous2, procedures of democratic legitimation3 which are applicable to the
representative institutions of EU and (2) completed and nuanced in his recent work,
Habermas model represents the maximum in terms of communicational and
deliberative requirements which, under the conditions of the network of formal and
A version of this examination was published as part of the study Sfera public i sfera public european.
Consideraii asupra modelului normativ, in Gheorghe CIASCAI, Gabriela TNSESCU (eds.), Spaiul
public european. Idei, instituii, politici, Editura Institutului de tiine Politice i Relaii Internaionale, Bucureti,
2014, pp. 38-72.
2 Rodney BENSON, Shaping the Public Sphere: Habermas and Beyond, Springer, Science-Business Media,
LLC 2009, p. 177.
3 The public sphere, in fact a viable public sphere, is considered to be the central precondition of a
democratic order both in the case of the national state and in that of the European Union. See John Erik
FOSSUM and Philip SCHLESINGER, The Europena Union and the public sphere: a communicative
space in the making?, in by John Erik FOSSUM and Philip R. SCHLESINGER (eds.), The Europena Union
and the Public Sphere. A Communicative Space in the Making?, Routledge, New York, 2007, p. 1.
1

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informal sovereignties of the EU public domain, could compete to correct the


democratic deficit of the EU, to build an interactive relationships between European
institutions and the citizens of Europe resulted in democratic rational results. This
study comprises an overview of the concept of public sphere grounded in the work
Strukturwandel der ffentlichkeit (1962), the indication of the main changes and nuances
whereby Habermas has deepened the normative founding of the critical theory of
society in his later works, especially in Faktizitt und Geltung (1992), and the specifying of
the applicability degree of the Habermas deliberative public sphere model in the postnational political domain of the EU.
2. HABERMAS NORMATIVE MODEL OF PUBLIC SPHERE
The theory formulated by Habermas in Strukturwandel der ffentlichkeit:
Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der brgerlichen Gesellschaft (1962) has become increasingly
central for the debate of the rationality of democratic communication and deliberation in
the last decades, including English-speaking area4, he representing the locus classicus of all
the discussions on the public sphere5.
The historical structuration of the public sphere, according to Habermas
perspective, has to be identified in the categories of Greek origin transmitted to us
bearing a Roman stamp: in discussion (lexis), consultation and sitting in the court of
law, as well as common action (praxis) of the equal citizens (homoioi) which did [their]
best to excel (aristoiein) and to gain the public recognition of their quality as virtuous
people.
According to Habermas, to the Hellenic, classical public sphere model6 is due the
peculiarly normative power which has been transmitted to us since the Renaissance,
to the definitions of the Roman law, transmitted throughout the Middle Ages, being
owed the categories of the public and the private and of the public sphere understood
as res publica7. Since their effective application in the legal practice has been realized
again only with the rise of the modern state and of that sphere of civil society separated
from it8, the paradigm through which Habermas has analysed the public sphere (the
public opinion sphere) is that of modernity. German author's theses are that: (1) the
public-private division manifested as separation of the modern state (the sphere of
public power) from the civil society (private sphere of the civil society which became
public9) makes it possible the political self-definition and legal institutionalization of a
After the English language publication of Strukturwandel der ffentlichkeit as The Structural Transformation of the
Public Sphere in 1989.
5 Cf. Nancy FRASER, Transnationalizing the Public Sphere. On the Legitimacy and Efficacy of Public
Opinion in a Post-Westphalian World, Europisches Institut fr progressive Kulturpolitik, eipcp.net
transversal publicum, 03/2007.
6 Habermas aimed not the social formation but the ideological template of whose continuity over the
centuries is appreciated as belonging to the level of intelectual history.
7 Jrgen HABERMAS, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois
Society, translated by Thomas Burger with the assistance of Frederick Lawrence, The MIT Press, Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 1989, p. 4.
8 Ibidem.
9 Built as the corollary of a depersonalized state authority by the transition of the activities and
dependencies from the framework of the household economy in the public sphere, the privatization of the
4

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public sphere in a bourgeois specific sense and that (2) during the last century the social
foundations of the state and civil society undergo a process of dissolution which implies
tendencies of public sphere disaggregation and of its function debilitation. In Habermas
view, the understanding of the historical structures of the complex that today,
confusedly enough, we subsume under the heading public sphere, is the access path to
a systematic comprehension of our own society from the perspective of one of its
central categories.
The bourgeois public sphere implies, in an initial definition, the sphere of
private people come together as a public that claimed the public sphere regulated by
the authorities in order to engage it against them. The aim has been the acquisition of the
capacity to discuss with the power the general rules of the sphere of commodity
exchange and social, a domain basically privatized, but publicly relevant10. This
political separation is attributed to so-called peoples public use of their reason
ffentliches Rsonnement or peoples public use of their reason that reported polemically
to the public authority, therefore to the private persons who, as public, related to each
other in an attempt to subject domination to the standards of reason and the forms
of the law and, thereby, in the attempt to change it substantially.
According to Habermas, the public sphere explicitly assuming political
functions, namely the sphere that called into question through critical reasoning of
private persons the public nature of public power, was preceded by a public sphere in
apolitical form, the literary form or the training ground for a critical public reflection in a
process of self-clarification of private people on the genuine experiences of their
novel privateness and that materialized itself, by culture, in a discussion through which
an audience-oriented (publikumsbezogen) subjectivity communicated with itself11. This
public sphere in the world of letters (literarische fflentlichkeit) covered centres of
criticism that gradually assumed political functions and imposed the principle of parity
between the aristocratic society and the intellectuals, bourgeois avant-garde of the
educated middle class (to whom joined then other categories of persons who
participated directly in capitalist production, the great urban merchants and officials
who could be assimilated by the cultivated nobility). If in this public sphere (literary
cercles and societies or Sprachgesellschaften, salons, coffee houses, table societies or
Tischgesellschaften, Freemasonry, press) the mind was no longer in the service of a patron
is because the opinion became emancipated from the bonds of economic
dependence, among persons of unequal social status existing equality and community
by virtue of their common quality as human beings and nothing more than human
beings12. In Habermas view, the decisive element of this fusion of private persons
was their exclusiveness in relation to the political realm of absolutism, the social equality
of the members of these societies being an equality outside the state and still under the
sign of the lack of publicity (a public sphere still existing largely behind closed doors).
process of economic reproduction, the public and commercial affirmation of this process, its placement
under the public direction and supervision and its transformation in a domain of general interest. Ibidem, pp.
19-20.
10 Ibidem, p. 27.
11 Ibidem, p. 29.
12 Ibidem, pp. 33-34.

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The sphere of this fusion adopted by educated human beings who used their rational
faculty was perceived as a potential threat to any and to all relations of domination,
therefore it was imposed against sphere regulated by authorities, just like the bourgeois
public sphere at whose creation helped.
This type of rational communication, grounded on the principle of parity and of
rational argument, the questioning of some areas previously considered as unassailable
and the involvement of a public un-secluded and psychological emancipated were
the most important institutional criteria of the public sphere with apolitical
functioning. Following the literary public sphere model in order to mediate between
power and the internal micro-familial space of bourgeois intellectuals (Intimsphre), the
political public sphere played the role of mediator between state and societys needs
through the public opinion. It should be underlined Habermas identification of the line
between state and society with the line that divided the public sphere from the private
realm, but also his ascertainment that, rigorously, with reference to the eighteenth
century, the public realm comprised the public power or the state (to which is still
attached the Court and the courtly noble society), the private realm subsuming both the
private sphere (the civil society in its narrower sense, namely the realm of commodity
exchange and social labour and the family, with its conjugal internal space), and the
authentic public sphere, as public sphere constituted by the private people.
The accomplishing and the re-functioning of the literary public sphere as
political public sphere is presented as result of the process whereby the public,
constituted of private people making use of their reason, appropriates the stategoverned public sphere and establishes it as a sphere of criticism of public authority13.
The public sphere is that wherein enters the experiential complex of audience-oriented
privacy. At the same time, as a result of disputing the regulation of the social sphere
between the public opinion and public power,
the theme of the modern (in contrast to the ancient) public sphere shifted from the properly political
tasks of a citizenry acting in common (i.e., administration of law as regards internal affairs and military survival as
regards external affairs) to the more properly civic tasks of a society engaged in critical public debate (i.e., the
protection of a commercial economy)14.

The political task of the bourgeois public sphere, namely the regulation of
civil society (in contradistinction to the res publica) in order to guarantee the freedom to
counteract the political authority, was placed by Habermas in the prolongation of the
philosophical tradition of the category of the lex generalis or universalis. Introduced
implicitly in the domain of social philosophy and politics by Hobbes and defined
explicitly by Montesquieu, the governing principle by established standing laws,
promulgated and known to the people, by rational rules of a certain universality and
permanence, has been subsumed to the quintessence of general, abstract, and
permanent norms, to which it is inherent a rationality in which what is right converges

13
14

Ibidem, p. 51.
Ibidem, p. 52.

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with what is just15. Thus, the configuration of the public opinion is explained as a result
of the power of the better argument which claims a morally pretentious rationality,
but one which strove to discover what was at once just and right. As such, the public
opinion had insight into the ordre naturel and made it visible in the form of general
norms so as the enlightened monarch to base on it his actions and to attempt a
convergence with reason. As a result, the crucial category of legal norm is identified
by Habermas as a means which led to the self-interpretation of the public in the
political realm.
The ambivalence of the private sphere of the bourgeois owner of goods and
persons and one human being among others, i.e., bourgeois and home is identified also in
his public sphere, where is transferred by the manifestation of the bourgeois desire and
requirement to influence the public power not only in behalf of the possibility to
manifest their subjectivity as human beings, but also in beheld of their common interest.
In this way, Habermas has revealed that in the political public sphere the interest of
private owners generally get to converge with the interest of individual liberty so that,
according to Lockes axiom, the preservation of property subsumes in the same breath the
life, liberty and estate under the title of possessionand, according to young Marxs
distinction, the human emancipation come to be identified with political emancipation.
The public sphere with a political functioning has acquired the character of a
public organ only when the rule of law, as the bourgeois state minimal defined from an
organizational point of view by a rational administration and independent justice
assured the interdependence of law and of opinion public, i.e. the possibility that the
audience of private persons to acquire legislative competence. Habermas indicated that
the basic rights guarantee:
the spheres of the public realm and of the private (with the intimate sphere at its core); the
institutions and instruments of the public sphere, on the one hand (press, parties), and the
foundation of private autonomy (family and property), on the other; finally, the functions of the private
people, both their political ones as citizens and their economic ones as owners of commodities (and, as
human beings, those of individual communication, e.g., through inviolability of letters)16.

Also, Habermas stated that the circumscribing of the public realm and of its
functions has as a result the transformation of the public sphere in organizational
principle of the state organs by publicity or by the principle of universal access.
The structural transformation or the downfall of the public sphere is
considered by Habermas as being coincident with/determined by the close of the liberal
era, with the manifestation hand in hand of a kind of refeudalization of society and
of a neomercantilist policy. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, after the great
depression that began in 1873 and after the economic and commercial revival which
followed, the sacred principles of free trade were abandoned in favour of the trends of
capital concentration and the merger of larger companies enjoying oligopolistic positions
15

16

Ibidem, p. 53.
Ibidem, p. 83.

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which restricted the competition and divided up the market by way of price and
production agreements. The movements of industrial capital meant the concentration of
social power in private hands and the re-feudalisation of the vertical relationships,
between these collective units emerging both relationships of one-sided dependency
and of mutual pressure. Habermas has shown that these processes of concentration
and crisis, in parallel, pulled the veil of an exchange of equivalents off the antagonistic
structure of society, so that the transparence of its independence grounded on
coercive constraints has made more stringent the need for a strong state17. The state
intervention in the social sphere, under the conditions in which the conflicts of interests
could not be regulated exclusively in the private sphere and converted into political
conflicts, meant in the long-term the extension of public authority over some private
areas. This dialectics manifested in the late nineteenth century through the increasing
state-fication of society (the organized capitalism) and progressive socialization of
the state (the process by which the private sphere or powers of society themselves
assumed functions of public authority) gradually destroyed the bases of bourgeois
public sphere, dissolved the public sphere in its liberal form, by transgressing the
18
separation of state and society. What followed was a repoliticized public sphere ,
distant from the distinction between public and private, which gave way of assuming
new, multilateral, functions by the state, the functions of social state manifested in the
field of providing protection, compensation, and subsidies to the economically weaker
social groups, to workers (including the redistribution of incomes), of preventing longterm changes in the social structure, of influencing private and of regulating public
investments, and of provisioning of services.
In Habermas view, despite the democratic influence of public intervention in
the private domain of economic order, the relations in general have not been articulated
in public or private institutions, but by introducing rules of social law, as the property
rights have been restricted not only by political and economic interventions but also by
legal guaranteeing which intended to restore materially the formal equality of the
partners contracting within typical social situations19. Moreover, system of private law,
infracted by the increasing number of contracts between the public authority and
private persons20, has been coextensive to a public law from which the state has
flown, transferring the tasks of public administration to enterprises, institutions,
corporations, and semiofficial agencies under private law. Beyond the parallelism:
publification of private law privatization of public law, the reciprocal permeation of
the state by society and of society by the state has implied a process of polarization of
the social sphere and the intimate sphere or of developing of them into different
directions: "the family became ever more private and the world of work and organization
ever more public21, even more objectified, taking [through that oikos of the big firms]
functions initially assumed by the public institutions [the industrial feudalism].

Ibidem, p. 144.
Ibidem, p. 142.
19 Ibidem, p. 149.
20 Ibidem, p. 150.
21 Ibidem, p. 152.
17
18

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The political character of bourgeois culture or literary public sphere it has been
lost by spreading of the literary public sphere into the realm of consumption, since in
these circumstances the market laws have entered in the sphere reserved for private
persons who came together as public and the web of public communication unraveled
into acts of individuated reception, however uniform in mode22.
In the circumstances in which the culture spread by the media was put in terms of a
patented culture industry whose products bring forth in their consumers
consciousness the illusion of bourgeois privacy, social psychological transmutation of
the original relation between the intimate domain and the literary public sphere was
linked sociologically to the structural transformation of the family itself and to the
dismantling of the institutions which until the middle of the nineteenth century have
assured the coherence of the public as a critically debating entity. Thus, as L. L.
Schcking showed, Gentlemen's societies and associations died out, drinking groups
were dissolved, and clubs went into eclipse; the notion of social obligations that had
played such a great role became hollows23. As a result, the relationship between the
domain of interiority and the public sphere has been tendentially developed as
reifications related to the-inner life, as absorption and exposure of the problems of
private existence in the public sphere and as formation of the consciousness of privacy
by publication, which takes on from the sphere generated by the mass media the
traits of a secondary realm of intimacy24.
The disintegration of the bourgeois public sphere was emphasized, therefore, by
the culture extended through the media, which acted, beyond the minorities of
specialists, for the integration of the mass of receptors. As pointed out Kellner, for
Habermas, the function of the media have thus been transformed from facilitating rational
discourse and debate within the public sphere into shaping, constructing, and limiting public
discourse to those themes validated and approved by media corporations25. In essence, the
media culture and the publicity generated from above, namely those that removes the
critical publicity, has come to dominate the domination of nonpublic opinion, serving
to the manipulation of the public and the legitimation before it. Given that this culture of
integration, promoted by media, was the mobile of some public relations favorable to the
statu quo, the public sphere that it potentiated becoming, on the whole, more
depoliticized and more privatized. Simultaneously, has been imposed a repoliticized
social sphere which could not be
subsumed under the categories of public and private from either a sociological or a legal perspective. In
this intermediate sphere the sectors of society that had been absorbed by the state and the sectors of the
state that had been taken over by society intermeshed without involving any rational-critical political
debate on the part of private people26.

The repoliticization implied in fact the relief of the public from the duty of
using politically the judgment and the taking over of this task by other institutions, by
Ibidem, p. 161.
See ibidem, pp. 163.
24 Ibidem, p. 172.
25 Douglas KELLNER, Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy: A Critical Intervention,
http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty /kellner/kellner.html.
26 Jrgen HABERMAS, The Structural Transformation cit., p. 176.
22
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associations in which collectively organized private interests directly attempted to take on


the form of political agency and by parties which have transformed themselves from
instruments of the public sphere in formations established above the public. As a result,
the process of the politically relevant exercise and equilibration of power now takes
place directly between the private bureaucracies, special-interest associations, parties, and
public administration, the public being included only sporadically in this circuit of
power, and even then it is brought in only to contribute its acclamation27.
The changing of the idea of public sphere operating in the political realm was
clearly, beyond the principle of publicity and culture propagated by the mass media, in
the dissolution and obsolescence of the link between public discussion and legal norm,
the liberal concept of legal norms involving elements of universality and truth: justice as
equivalent to rightness (Richtigkeit). Habermas revealed that the generality of laws in the
strict sense was guaranteed only so long as the undisturbed autonomy of society as a
private sphere made it possible to restrict normative regulation to the general
conditions of a compromise between interests, the truth of the laws guaranteeing
being realized as long as a public sphere, elevated in the parliament to an organ of the
state, made it possible to discover, through public discussion, what was practically
necessary in the general interest28. According to Habermas, the general nature of the
rules could not be maintained as a principle under the conditions of the separation of
state and society and of government intervention in the social order because this formal
nature of that universality which guaranteed truth as rightness was subsumed to the
dialectic of a concept of law based on the dialectic of the bourgeois public sphere.
3. PUBLIC SPHERE THE NORMATIVE MODEL
RECONSIDERED
The concept of the public sphere operating in the political realm, proposed in
1962 in Strukturwandel der ffentlichkeit: Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der brgerlichen
Gesellschaft naturalized on different levels of study as a sort of manual and whose
current adequacy was re-confirmed by the evolutions from Central and Eastern Europe
after 1989 was considered by the author in his Foreword to the 1990 German edition
of the work as providing forwards an appropriate analytical perspective29. Habermas
specified in this context, responding to criticisms of his theory and with reference to the
authors who have developed his ideas that, under the conditions in which the extrascientific nature of the horizon of contemporary historical experience" has changed after
the Adenauer regime and in which the theoretical issues of public sphere has also
changed, his own theory has changed in terms of the degree of complexity, maintaining
for sure its fundamental features.
Admitting the various arenas for the struggle of views in modern public sphere,
Habermas was determined to admit that his model of institutionalization of the public
sphere in bourgeois rule of law should become more flexible by including the potential
Ibidem.
Ibidem, p. 178.
29 Idem, Sfera public i transformarea ei structural. Studiu asupra unei categorii a societii burgheze, translated by
Janina IANOI, second revised edition, Comunicare.ro, Bucureti, 2005, p. 15, p. 44.
27
28

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self-transformations generated by the tensions in the public sphere. What Habermas


has nuanced, moreover, by exploiting the new researches on the impact of
commercialization and channeling the communication ways were the conclusions on the
infrastructure of public sphere. The German author re-dimensionsioned mainly the
power of media organized in order to manipulate - to transform the public sphere in
a private arena of power in which occurs not only the fight for influence, but also for
an efficient routing of the communication flows, disguised as possible in the strategic
intentions30 and in which cannot be inserted uncontrolled capitalizing views.
Revisions he applied especially in the analysis of the modified behavior of the
public by valuing the role of school instruction in the formation of mass culture and, in
particular, by revealing the role of political culture for of the reaction potential of a
mass public, an inactive public, with a privatistic state of spirit, a public that does not
meditates the culture but consumes it, a pluralistic mass public, widely
differentiated, but that exceeded the barriers of class and set a new intimacy between
culture and politics.
Returning to the evaluation modality of the difference between the autonomous
processes of public communication and those of power frustrated communication,
Habermas considered that
the power frustration degree should be measured by the extent to which the institutionalized, non-public
opinions hence those cultural evidences which constitute the context of the lifeworld (Lebenswelt)
and the foundation of the public communication are shorted by the flow of formal, quasi-official
opinions, by those opinions offered by the media and those which the economy and the state seek to
influence as it they were some products of the surrounding world system, or by the level at which both
realms are mediated through a critical publicity31

Habermas has deepened the normative foundation of the critical theory of


society by using as instrument his theory of communicative action or the theory meant
to circumscribe the potential of rationality in even everyday communication practice.
The German author sought to avoid the abstract opposition between norm and reality
by renouncing to the stylization of some prototypical individual traits of the
communicational rationality, institutional materialized in favor of an empirical
approach. As a matter of fact, the complexity of the differentiated functioning of
societies was, as specified the author, the mobile of jointing in the work
Legitimationsprobleme im Sptkapitalismus (1973) of the concept of lifeworld (Lebenswelt)32,
Ibidem, p. 27.
Ibidem, p. 30.
32 The concept of Lebenswelt, translated in English as lifeworld, has been used by Habermas in the social theory
grounded on communication in order to designate the lived sphere of meanings and informal
understandings, socially and culturally grounded, namely, in terms of cognitiv horizon, the background
of the environment of competences, practices and attitudes in which the individual lives. In Faktizitt und
Geltung Habermas specified We have become acquainted with the lifeworld as a reservoir for simple
interactions which can be specialized in systems of action and knowledge. A category of specialized systems
like religion, education, and the family are associated with general reproductive functions of the lifeworld
(that is, with cultural reproduction, social integration, or socialization), another category of systems like
science, morality, and art take up different validity aspects of everyday communicative action (truth,
rightness, or veracity), basically its content. In Habermas logic contained in Faktizitt und Geltung, the
30
31

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introduced in the work Zur Logik der Sozialwissenschaften (1967), with that of system
maintaining its boundaries, so that in the Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (1981) be
able to sustained a two step concept: the society as lifeworld and as a system, with
decisive consequences for the concept of democracy33. In this way becomes possible
to examine the implications of the essential division of contemporary societies: the
lifeworld, governed by the norms of communicative interaction, and the system,
directed imperative through money and power.
Whereas he understood the functioning of society as being strongly marked by
the systematic integration of the economy and the state apparatus, by the impossibility
to reform them from within, to transform them democratically or to "transpose them
into a mode of political integration, Habermas considered as being possible the radical
democratization only by moving forces within a division of power. In these
circumstances, a new balance was considered possible not between the state powers,
but between the different resources of social integration, especially by preventing the
colonizing abusive interventions of the regulatory resources, money and administrative
power34, by integrative social force of solidarity (the productive force of
communication).
Habermas highlighted the intersubjective approach of the concept of solidarity
which he proposed, one that links the understanding with the criticisable claims of
validity, with the possibility of autonomous and responsible subjects to say no, and,
of course, with the sphere of morality.
Democratization would require, in these circumstances, as the productive power
of communication to be reflected in a process of general deliberation which gives
legitimacy to the law, i.e. in procedures of democratic configuration of will and
opinion, which have to justify the assumption that it could be obtained rational
results35. Only to the extent in that performs the discursive configuration of public
opinion and of citizens will the public sphere become the basic concept of a normative
theory of democracy. As such, the political mobilization and the using of communication
productive force, on which is based on such a concept, can reasonably determine a
rationally regulation, i.e. in the mutual benefit of those concerned, of the conflictual
social issues.
According to Habermas, only the argumentative form of political
communication that integrates the impartiality, only the medium of argumentation and
negotiation can ensure the rational, discursive configuring of the will finally oriented to
truth, consistent with a configuration of the will constrained at temporal finitude. The
German author showed that, in essence, the normative content of a concept of
communicative power of the public sphere depends on lifeworld sources and, articulated so, can realize
the connection with the politics. In a more precisely expression, that from the lifeworld emerges the
civil society whose internal dynamic transpose itself in public processes of communication. See Jrgen
HABERMAS, Between Facts and Norms. Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, translated by
William REHG, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press,1996, p. 360, p. 385, p. 375.
33 Jrgen HABERMAS, Sfera public i transformarea ei structural, ed. cit., p. 33.
34 Or to protect the communicative spheres of the lifeworld from encroachment by the forces of instrumental
rationality and action and the imperatives of money and power, preserving a sphere of humanity, communication,
morality, and value in the practices of everyday life. Douglas KELLNER, Habermas, the Public Sphere, and
Democracy: A Critical Intervention, http://www.gseis.ucla. edu/faculty/kellner/kellner.html, p. 13].
35 Jrgen HABERMAS, Sfera public i transformarea ei structural, ed. cit., p. 35.

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democracy targets, beyond the established communicational and decision-making


processes, to the cooperative search for truth only to the extent that [it] remains
permeable to values, themes, contributions and arguments that freely float in the
surrounding political communication, i.e. spontaneous, non-organized, unspoiled by
power. As a result, as shown Habermas, the public sphere operating in the political
realm needs not only the guarantees of the rule of law institutions, but also a cultural
heritage, models of socialization and political culture of a population accustomed to
freedom.
As indicated the Foreword to the 1990 edition of the work Strukturwandel der
ffentlichkeit, Habermas theorization of the public sphere already acquired specific
emphases in the second half of the 80s. The work Faktizitt und Geltung. Beitrge zur
Diskurstheorie des Rechts und des demokratischen Rechtsstaats (1992) presented actually a
necessary change in perspective36 in which the new role of the public sphere has
been subsumed to a theory of deliberative democracy37.
In the procedural concept of democratic process and in the deliberative
normative model formulated in Faktizitt und Geltung, the role indicated for the public
sphere was that to influence effectively the formal and institutionalized contexts of
deliberation and decision. In the new mode in which the discourse theory invested
the political process with normative connotations, stronger than those found in the
liberal model but weaker than those found in the republican model, the central stage
was paid to the process of political opinion- and will-formation and to the understanding
the constitutional principles as a consistent answer to the question of how the
demanding communicative forms of democratic opinion- and will-formation can be
institutionalized38. As such, the role designated by Habermas for the political public
sphere has been to ensure through its peripheral networks39, a procedural popular

Jrgen HABERMAS, Between Facts and Norms, ed. cit, p. 288.


Habermas' theory on the deliberative politics from Faktizitt und Geltung has inspired numerous debates,
the most positions formulated in the literature devoted to the deliberative democracy being subsequent
Habermas work since 1992. See in this regard Jorge Adriano LUBENOW, Public Sphere and Deliberative
Democracy in Jrgen Habermas: Theorethical Model and Critical Discourses, American Journal of Sociological
Research, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2012, p. 68, notes 12, 15, 16.
38 Ibidem, p. 298.
39 Following Bernard Peters's model in order to explain how a constitutionally regulated circulation of
power might be established, Habermas refered to the processes of communication and decision making in
constitutional systems by means of three features: axial configuration center-periphery, structuration by a
system of sluices, and involvement of two modes of problem solving. The inner periphery of the
administration or political system (the edges of the administration) develops out of various institutions
equipped with rights of self-governance or with other kinds of oversight and lawmaking functions delegated
by the state (universities, public insurance systems, professional agencies and associations, charitable
organizations, foundations, etc.). The outer periphery in relation to the core area of the system branches
into customers and suppliers, the former being those who bargaining the of clientele (complex
networks have arisen among public agencies and private organizations, business associations, labor unions,
interest groups, and so on networks that fulfill certain coordination functions inmore or less opaque social
sectors), the others being those who give voice to social problems, make broad demands, articulate public
interests or needs, and thus attempt to influence the political process more from normative points of view
than from the standpoint of particular interests. Jrgen HABERMAS, Between Facts and Norms, ed. cit., pp.
354-355.
36
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sovereignty that establishes the connection with the political system40, the instruments
of the success of deliberative policy being precisely the institutionalizing of the
procedures and conditions appropriate for communication, as well as of interaction
between the institutionalized deliberative processes and the informally developed public
opinions.
It should be specified that Habermas emphasized the complementary
relationship between the public and private sphere, i.e. the lifeworld or the sphere from
which the public, as the bearers of the public sphere, is recruited41 and which consists
of a network compose of communicative action or of legitimately ordered interpersonal
relationships. What particularly emphasized the German author was that certain systems
of actions formally specialized can become independent in relation to the integrated
spheres through values, norms, mutual understanding and develop their own codes, as
the economy does with money and the administration does with power.42 The category
of the public sphere formulated in Faktizitt und Geltung is thus an extended one and
constitutes the main deliberative category of the deliberative political process, given that
the procedure of deliberative democracy constitutes the heart of democratic process43.
To the definition of the public sphere as communicational structure rooted in
lifeworld through the associational network of civil society or description of the public
sphere as sounding board44 for the problems that must be processed by the political
system it is added a definition from the perspective of democratic theory:
the public sphere must, in addition, amplify the pressure of problems, that is, not only detect and
identify problems but also convincingly and influentially thematize them, furnish them with possible solutions, and
dramatize them in such a way that they are taken up and dealt with by parliamentary complexes.45

In Habermas view, the public sphere should not only fulfill the function of
"signal", but also that of effective problematization and monitorization of the manner in
which the political system deals with the issues that were signaled, discussed and
advanced solutions.
From the normative perspective what matters is that the basis of legitimacy lies
in the influence that public opinion has on the political system after the informal flows
of public opinion were tested from the perspective of the generality of interests. As such,
Whose core area is formed by the familiar institutional complexes of administration (including the
incumbent Government), judicial system, and democratic opinion- and will-formation (which includes
parliamentary bodies, political elections, and party competition). This core, organized as a polyarchy,
distinguishes itself from the periphery in virtue of formal decision-making powers and actual prerogatives,
the capacity to act in its interior being determinated by the density of organizational complexity.
Ibidem, p. 355.
41 The core private spheres, characterized by intimacy and hence by protection from publicity, constitute
the lifeworld, that one which structure the encounters between relatives, friends, acquaintances, and so on,
and link together the members' life histories at the level of face-to-face interactions. Ibidem, p. 354.
42 Ibidem.
43 See in this respect Jorge Adriano LUBENOW, Public Spherecit., p. 61sq.
44 Habermas even more suggestively formulates: the public sphere is a warning system with sensors that,
though unspecialized, are sensitive throughout society. Jrgen HABERMAS, Between Facts and Norms, ed. cit,
p. 359.
45 Ibidem.
40

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from normative perspective it is relevant as the public influence, generated more or less
discursive, can be transformed into communicative power after its passing through the
filters of institutionalized procedures of democratic opinion and will formation and its
entrance, through parliamentary debate, in a process of legitimate lawmaking.
As such, in comparison with the perspective expounded in Strukturwandel der
ffentlichkeit according to which the delimited institutions and practices could directly
affect and transform all the areas of social life, the major fields of politics, society and
everyday life being democratized , that from Faktizitt und Geltung argues that public
discourse has the power to reveal the problems with broad relevance to society, to
interpret the values, to contribute to solving the problems, to generate solid arguments
and to remove the unfounded ones, but that the decisions are taken by the
democratically constituted decision-making bodies. Therefore, the communicative
power cannot and did not take the place of administration, but can only influence it and
this influence is limited to the procurement and withdrawal of legitimation46. In essence, the
context in which the public sphere functions as a normative category is that of the
junction between the formal and informal public sphere, of the dialectics between the
informal public opinion and the institutionalized one, the "game" established between
the political formation of the will, institutionally constituted, and the informal,
spontaneous communicational flows of the unplanned and unorganized public sphere to
make decisions, flows which are not absorbed by power. The procedural mode of
institutionalization of the civil society self-determination through the public opinion
appears thus as the result of the horizontal socialization and of "the vertical forms of
organization and filtering the relevant themes. In this regard, the enlarged category of
public sphere as communicative power resulting from the deliberative procedure of
discussion and from deliberation, and as power of influence that must be mediated by
political and-administrative sphere expresses the fundamental role of the principle of
popular sovereignty, namely as rational procedure based on a discursively structured
political communication.
The ensuring of the mediation between the political sphere of state institutions
and the private sphere is liable to reflect the degree to which the society be it at micro(sub-national), mezo- (national), or macro- (regional, European, global) level operates
effectively following democratic standards, i.e. the degree to which the public debate can
influence or change the course of the institutional arrangements in public interest.
4. PUBLIC SPHERE NATIONAL, TRANSNATIONAL AND
EUROPEAN
The conceptualization of the public sphere as a highly complex network allowed
to the German author to assert in Faktizitt und Geltung the plausibility of a branched
application of the normative model in a variety of overlapped arenas: international,
national, regional, local and subcultural, in order to reflect to specific scale the mediating
articulations resulted from the lifeworld and the spheres of civil society and from the
political, administrative-institutional spheres. According to a fairly wide shared view,
Habermas' general thesis was actually the understanding of the global public sphere as an
46

See in this regard Douglas KELLNER, Habermas, the Public...cit., p. 15.

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extension of the characteristics of a national political culture to European and global


level. As a result, the most disputed issue in this regard was and is the extent to which
the category of public sphere, designed for analyzing the deliberative procedures to
group and national level, constitutes an appropriate analytical perspective in order to
capture the deliberative procedural process to international level, to that of European
Union in particular.
In the works published after 1992, Habermas has reoriented itself toward a
post-national theme Weltffentlichkeit and kosmopolitische ffentlichkeit in order to
discuss the possibilities of a deliberative democracy involving a global public sphere. The
German author's hypothesis was that the national states cannot manage the problems of
political legitimization caused by the transnational evolutions that affect to varying
degrees the institutionalized mechanisms of legitimization at the level of national states47.
Therefore, the basic theoretical structure of the public sphere presented in Faktizitt und
Geltung still needed a reformulation in order to be applied in European and global
context.
After the issuing in 1996 of the work Die Einbeziehung des Anderen. Studien zur
politischen Theorie, Habermas thematized the public sphere in connection with themes like
the multiculturalism, tolerance, recognition, redistribution, fundamentalism,
secularization etc.48, in a changed applicative context49: the European Union enlargement
on the constitutional basis amended to ensure its functioning as a system of
intergovernmental and supranational independent institutions. Habermas has devoted
also many articles and studies to the theory of minorities recognition, to the European
identity as constitutional patriotism and to the European Constitution50.
Habermas' approach after 1992 is part of the broader current trend of designing
the future of European multicultural society in the horizon of a common identity built
on the ground of non-cultural factors. . Habermas wanted thus to reply to a question
that has become recurrent with EU enlargement and that Eriksen synthesized as follows:
Can there be a public sphere when there is no collective identity?, if there are not some
basic sociocultural characteristics which historically are attached to the public sphere: a
state which ensures the rights of the citizens, and a society that can make for allegiance
and a common we-feeling a collective identity.51 The type of political culture to
See Jorge Adriano LUBENOW, Public Spherecit., p. 67.
Habermas wrote a series of books and articles on these themes: Die Zukunft der Menschlichen Natur (2001),
Glauben und Wissen (2001), Zeitdiagnosen: Zwlf Essays (2003), Der Gespaltene Westen (2004), Zwischen Naturalismus
und Religion (2005), Dialektik der Skularisierung. ber Vernunft und Religion (2005).
49 Jorge Adriano LUBENOW, Public Spherecit., p. 68.
50 Of which the reference became: Citizenship and National Identity: Some Reflections on the Future of
Europe, Praxis International 12, 1, 1992, published also in Bart van STEENBERGEN (ed.), The Condition of
Citizenship, SAGE, London, 1994; Die Festung Europa und das neue Deutschland, Die Zeit, Hamburg, 28
May 1993, which formed the basis of the study Struggels for Recognition in the Democratic Constitutional
State, in Amy GUTMANN (ed.), Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition, Princeton University
Press, Princeton, New York, 1994; Die Einbeziehung des Anderen: Studien zur politischen Theorie, Suhrkamp,
Frankfurt, 1996; Between Facts and Norms, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1996; Reply to Grimm, in Peter
GOWAN and Peter ANDERSON (eds.), The Question of Europe, Verso, London, 1997; Die postnationale
Konstellation: Politische Essays, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 1998; A political Constitution for pluralist World
Society? (2005).
51 See in this regard Erik Oddvar ERIKSEN, An Emerging European Public Sphere, European Journal of
Social Theory, Vol. 8, No 3, 2005, p. 342.
47
48

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which appealed Habermas is thin political culture, one in which the politics (prevalent)
determines a redefinition of the culture so that it can serve the political functions and to
pave the road of integration. In this context, the multilingualism is not an obstacle to
European federalization whose democratic evolution implies the renunciation to the
assumption of macro-subjects, such as the people and the community, in favor of the
interconnected discourses (inter-linked) and developed communication52. Moreover,
Habermas suggested that the European Constitution sustains a multicultural common
European identity based not on cultural links, but on shared political principles53.
In the logic of his normative conception on the public sphere, Habermas reiterated that
only through democratic debate the substantial State of United Europe has the
possibility to establish the procedures by which the communities can find themselves
therein. In the order of constitutional democracy what is essential, according to
Habermas, is the preservation of the identity of the political community, an identity that
is founded on constitutional principles rooted in the political culture and the basic ethical
guidelines of the prevailing cultural life forms54. But in the normative model of public
sphere he laid aside all linguistic, customary, values and behaviors cargo in favor of
focusing on the constitutional principle. According to Craig Calhoun, the discursive
equality that circumscribes the public sphere following the model presented by
Habermas disqualifies the discourse on the differences between actors because the
differences are treated as problems of private and not of the public interest55. By this, in
Calhouns view, Habermas imagined a public sphere in which the roles are accepted, but
is suspended their reality. Also, for Habermas, the best version of the public sphere
would be represented by a type of social interaction which, far from assuming the equal
of status, disregards the status. This putting in brackets of the difference, this
accounting of it as irrelevant to the public sphere is justified in order to sustain the
original rational-critical thesis that the arguments should be decided and promoted for
their merits rather than for the identity of those who argue. For Calhoun, this "putting in
brackets" would undermine even the self-reflexive capacity of the public discourse and
the ability to communicate the basic differences between the members of the public
sphere. The only concession that Habermas done in the last decade has been the
recognition of a greater role for the identity in the public discourse, but in its weak,
lowest form, in the form of common denominator or of constitutional patriotism,
i.e. of the attachment to the procedural norms and conditions that a community provides
for the communicative action tolerant with the differences. I think that this common
European identity built on the constitutional patriotism can be appreciated as what
Jrgen HABERMAS, Die Festung Europa und das neue Deutschland, Die Zeit, 28 May 1993, apud.
Stephen CASTLES, Democracy and Multiculturalism in Western Europe, in Leslie HOLMES and
Philomena MURRAY (eds.), Citizenship and Identity in Europe, Ashgate, Aldeshot-Brookfoeld USA; Singapore,
Sydney; 1999, p. 11.
53 Cf. idem, Reply to Grimm, in Peter GOWAN and Peter ANDERSON (eds.), The Question of Europe,
Verso, ,London, 1997.
54 Idem, Struggels for Recognition in the Democratic Constitutional State, in Amy GUTMANN (ed.),
Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New York, 1994,
p. 139.
55 Craig CALHOUN, The Virtue of Inconsistency: Ideality and Plurality in the Conceptualization of
Europe, in Lars-Erik CEDERMAN (ed.), Constructing Europes Identity. The External Dimension, Lynne Rienner
Publishers, Boulden & London, 2001, p. 44.
52

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Eriksen inspired called a rationally founded identity, an identity suited for an idealized
public standard, necessary for normative and critical purposes in order to decide
whether the outcome of the deliberation is legitimate. Such an identity involves a
higher level of abstraction which enable to the participants to take a disinterested
perspective and rule with regard to what is in the equal interest of all citizens.56
It is not an accident that in May 2003, in the text of a manifesto57 which required a
European common security policy and foreign policy, one united and strong, Jrgen
Habermas together with Jacques Derrida has achieved a common intervention in the
European public sphere and in favor of a European public sphere.
The anti-war movement has been associated with a European transformative
politics, a politics which forms a common will and takes recourse in this regard to
the motives and the attitudes of the citizens themselves.
According to Habermas, this common will presupposes a feeling of common
politically belonging to both majority and minority levels, a feeling provided by the
sense of the European dimension of their identity which was added to their national
identity. More specifically, the already fairly abstract form of civic solidarity, still largely
confined to members of nation-states, must be extended to include the European
citizens of other nations as well58.
The European identity is expressed thus as the conscience of a shared political
destiny and the common future perspective that makes the citizens of a nation to regard
the citizens of another nation fundamentally some of us. In Habermass view, the
Erik Oddvar ERIKSEN, An Emerging Europeancit., p. 357.
February 15, or What binds Europeans: A Plea for a Common Foreign Policy, Beginning in the Core of
Europe, assumed also by Jacques Derrida, circulated before publication among several renowned
intellectuals such: Umberto Eco, Adolf Muschg, Gianni Vattimo, Richard Rorty i Fernando Savater. On 31
May 2003, the same day in which the manifesto was published simultaneously in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
and Liberation, these authors published in response own articles in the top press in France, Italy, Spain and
Switzerland and thus have contributed to the onset of a broad debate about the meaning of Europe, the
differences between the European values and the American values and traditions, in which took part
intellectuals from all over Europe, including several from Eastern Europe and from Uited States (among
them Pter Esterhzy, Aldo Keel, Karl Otto Hondrich, Dieter Grimm, Timothy Garton Ash, Ralf
Dahrendorf, Iris Marion Young, Ulrich K. Preuss, Susan Sontag). Habermas considered the simultaneity of
mass demonstrations in 15 February 2003 the largest since the end of the Second World War in
London, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris, in response to attack Iraq as Londra, Roma, Madrid,
Barcelona, Berlin i Paris, ca reacie la atacarea Irakului London, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris,
in reaction to the attacking of Iraq, as a sign of the birth of a European public sphare. See the manifesto in
Constellations Volume, No. 3, 2003 [pp. 291-297], p. 291. Author's thesis is that the old Europe sees itself
challenged by the blunt hegemonic politics of its ally, by the illegality of unilateral, pre-emptive, and
deceptively justified invasion. The commentators of the opportunity of the manifesto assumed by
Habermas and Derrida point out that the U.S. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld engaged the new
Europe, i.e. those Eastern European countries applying for the admission to the EU, against less supportive
old Europe, France, Germany, Belgium, which attracted the reaction against the enclosing of the heart
of Europe, i.e. France and Germany, in a Small Europe. As such, the manifesto called attention not only
on the need for Europe of assuming of new political responsibilities beyond any Europecentrism, but also
on the renewed confirmation and effective transformation of the international law and its institutions, on
the affirmation of a new conception and a new praxis of the distribution of the state authority in the spirit of
Kantian tradition.
58 Jrgen HABERMAS, Jacques DERRIDA, February 15, or What binds Europeans, loc. cit., p. 293.
56
57

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European identity, born in the light of public sphere, namely the self-understanding
of Europeans and the appropriation of this understanding, is in itself a rational
construction reflecting the primacy of decision on the interpretation and which
aims the guaranteeing the social security by the state and the regulation of the basis of
solidarity, the understanding of the politics as organization of the power and as a
medium for the institutionalization of political freedom, the trust in the civilizing power
of the state and in states capacities to correct market failures, the imperative of
developing new forms of supranational cooperation by domestication of state power, by
mutual limitation of sovereignty, on the global as well as the national state level59, the
capacity to assume a reflexive distance from themselves which would support the rejection of
Eurocentrism and the Kantian hope of a domestic global policy60.
As such, the analysis of political relevance of Habermas normative model of
public sphere was circumscribed to the issue of the possibilities of European public
sphere existence, in the conditions in which in the political practice level the main
problems derived from the task of the supranational democratic construction and
correction of the democratic deficit registered in the functioning of European
institutions have proved to be those due to configuration and operation of the public
sphere in European. Therefore, the analysis focused on the crucial issue of the possibility
of a public sphere in which citizens might simultaneously address common issues
across state borders and see themselves as the authors of the EU laws they have to abide
by, given that, through the fundamental assumption of the conformation of EU to the
democratic norms, the evolution of EU is seen as being in close connection with the
reshaping of the EU as an overarching communicative space (or spaces) that might
function as a public sphere61, namely as a realm of extremely heterogeneous,
polymorph, polyphonic and even anarchistic, which forms, according to Habermas
einen wilden Komplex, which is vulnerable to perversions and communication
disturbances62.

5. CONCLUSIONS
Beyond the many criticisms and problematic aspects, the deliberative or discursive
model of public sphere developed by Habermas has the highest relevance in the debates
concerning the democratic politics, the quality and the role of media and the quality of
international political and cultural life. This is because, in the first place, promotes most
strongly or argued the participatory democracy, delimiting a concept of the public sphere
which facilitates maximum public participation63, the most influential among the
contemporary political thought.
The public sphere constitutes for Habermas, as often has been remarked, the
precondition of the popular sovereignty or the vehicle for democracy. Through its
Ibidem, p. 296.
Ibidem, p. 297.
61 John Erik FOSSUM and Philip SCHLESINGER, op. cit., p. 2.
62 Erik O. ERIKSEN, Conceptualizing European public spheres: General, Segmented and Strong Publics, ARENA
Working Paper, Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, 2004, p. 6.
63 Douglas KELLNER, Habermas, the Publiccit., p. 1.
59
60

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normative concept, the revised and extended ones, through the placement into a
complementary relationship the communicative power of public opinion and its power
of influencing is argued not only the possibility and the importance of public opinion
democratization on European level, but also the necessity and the benefits of public
promoting of transparency, visibility, accountability, participation, rational debate and
deliberation for the legitimacy of EU institutions and policy decisions.
Habermas has the great merit of placing thus in the complementary relationship
the normative legitimacy and the political effectiveness of the public opinion on European level
which, by formal deliberative mechanisms, can substantially compete in terms of political
practice to diminish the democratic deficit of the EU. Also, Habermas normative
model that outlines a reflective and critical concept of the public sphere reserves for the
media the role of a transnational, inclusive and non-segmented infrastructure meant to
encourage and to sustain the reflection, the value of political choice, , and the search of
general societal agreement on common goods64.
As such, Habermas has succeeded to argue not only the importance of
participatory democratic procedures for the justification or legitimization of the laws and
decisions on national, transnational and regional (European) levels, revealing thus the
moral value of deliberation based on equal rights of participation, but also the
importance of the rational construction of deliberation and of its epistemic value65.
Such a synthesis, particularly rare in the contemporary political thought, far beyond its
markedly utopian character, represents the maximum in terms of communicational
and deliberative exigencies that could compete at correcting the democratic deficit of
the European Union, building an interactive relationship between European institutions
and the citizens of Europe accomplished in rational results from a democratic and
emancipatory-political perspective.

64
65

See Erik O. ERIKSEN, Conceptualizing European public cit., p. 4sqq.


See in this regard Erik Oddvar ERIKSEN, An Emerging Europeancit., p. 342sq.

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HABERMAS, Jrgen, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. An Inquiry into a
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ESSAYS
Why should we read Adam Michnik?
(Reading notes)
Gelu SABU
Hyperion University of Bucharest
Abstract: In Poland, Michnik is considered to be the initiator of a new ethics.
This consists in the unmasking of the conspiratorial movement and in open and
outright opposition to the system of power. His action has permitted the
coagulation of an important force that would raise awareness in the Polish
society with regard to the horrors of the communist regime and the democratic
alternative. In this essay, I will discuss a few aspects that are related to our recent
history.
Keywords: Poland, communist regime, Catholic Church, revolution.
I admit that Adam Michniks Confessions of a Converted Dissident 1 have been a
surprise to me, one that was first of all pleasant. It is encouraging to find out that an
intellectual from Eastern Europe is capable of writing a book of such magnitude, where
he discusses and analyzes with moral responsibility and critical sense the most sensitive
problems with which Eastern Europe, and especially Poland, has been confronted during
the last century. But the reading of the book has also been a less pleasant surprise, as I
came to realize that, at least according to my knowledge, there are no similar creations in
Romania. I do not know any text of a Romanian dissident that clarifies things in such a
frank manner and that has such a rigorous principled position concerning the communist
regime. Despite all these, I believe that Michniks book can be useful for us in a direct
manner. Starting from it, we have the possibility of understanding better a few aspects
that are related to our recent history. In brief, these would be: 1) nationalism, which has
marked the twentieth century from its beginning to its end; 2) the position of the
Catholic Church within communism and, more broadly, within the modern world; and 3)
the making and the evolution of the events of the December 1989 Revolution.
1. NATIONALISM AND SELFISHNESS
In the essay The Kielce Pogrom: Two Examinations of Conscience, included
in the present volume, Michnik effectively presents us a case study. Kielce is a city in the
central region of Poland. In this city, there were, before the Second World War, 25,000
Jews. As a result of the massive deportations organized by Hitlers regime, only around
1

Adam MICHNIK, Mrturisirile unui disident convertit, Polirom, Iai, 2009.

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300 of them remained in the city. But the survivors of the war did not have a better
destiny either. Rumors arose according to which children were disappearing from the
streets of the city. The rumors were spreading: the children had been kidnapped by Jews
in order to be killed and used for ritual purposes. The furious mob attacked the Jewish
Committee from the city in order to search for the children hidden by the Jews. But no
child was found. Yet, people became even more furious and Jews were attacked in their
own homes. Approximately 40 persons were killed and around 80 were wounded, racked
or mutilated. What was then the cause of that terrible aversion that persisted, and that
targeted once more the few survivors of the Holocaust?
Michnik tries to offer a response to this question starting from the analysis of
two reports on the tragic events written by two representatives of the Catholic Church.
The two are the bishops Czeslaw Kaczmarek and Teodor Kubina.
Kaczmareks report identifies two types of causes that have led to the revolt of
the citizens and the slaughtering of the Jews. First of all, we are dealing with the feeling
of hatred for the Jews that has taken hold of the Poles as a result of the establishment of
the communist regime. This is owed especially to the fact that many Jews came from the
Soviet Union, being agents of communist propaganda and occupying high administrative
positions. Thus, the aversion did not target the Jews directly but was derived from the
hatred the Poles felt towards the communists. A second explanation looks more like an
insinuation. The idea that the pogrom would have been initiated by the Jews themselves
appears. The purpose? The Jews from Europe were trying to convince especially the
government of Great Britain in order to receive administrative rights over the whole
Palestinian territory in the Middle East. They defended their cause by demonstrating that
Jews were still persecuted in Europe, which made it necessary for them to leave for the
newly founded Israel. This way, the pogrom is not only explained, but almost justified:
The communist activity of the Jews has generated the hatred of the large
masses from Poland towards them. The real incidents from Kielce, involving
children that disappeared, have not caused the hatred but have only amplified it
to a greater extent. Certain Jewish communist elements, in collaboration with
the Security Services that they controlled, have decided to take advantage of this
state of things with the purpose of triggering a pogrom that could be made
public afterwards as a proof of the fact that Jews need to emigrate to a country
2
of their own

The second report, of bishop Kubina, categorically condemns the horrible deeds
that have been committed at Kielce: The moral and legal authors of the crime have
trampled on human dignity and have disregarded in a horrifying manner the Christian
commandment of love for ones neighbor and the general human principle Do not kill!
3 Responsibility for such a crime belongs only to fanaticism: its background and its
causes must be sought in criminal fanaticism and unjustified ignorance4.
We therefore have two reports, written in different tones and which emanate a
different conscience with regard to such reprehensible events. The voice of Kaczmarek
Ibidem, p. 172.
Ibidem, p. 176.
4 Idem.
2
3

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is that of a community leader, of a political representative of the Church, who wishes to


defend the people that he represents from various accusations, coming especially from
the ruling power and the communists. Those considered the Church to be responsible
for the anti-Semitic attitude. Instead, Kubina is rather worried about the evil infiltrated
within his own community, concerned with the suffering of the victims, and indifferent
with regard to his own safety. He had spoken form the position of the Christian, in the
language of the uncompromising testimony5. It is not too hard to understand why the
voice of Kaczmarek has been approved by the majority, while the message of Kubina
has been qualified, even by the representatives of the Church, as being impossible to
accept6.
And yet, how have such deeds been possible? Michnik proposes a simple
explanation, but one that is not at all obvious. It is based on mans reaction to suffering.
His idea is that suffering is always selfish. We are always very sensitive to our own pain and
also to the pain of those who are closest to us: our parents, our family, our community,
our fatherland etc. But, immersed in this pain, we wish that the whole world would
understand us and, maybe, suffer together with us. If this thing does not happen, then
we are overtaken by aversion towards those who are indifferent or strangers. Thus, every
community, immersed in its own suffering and indifferent towards the suffering of other
communities, claims compassion for its own suffering. The Jews claim compassion for
the suffering caused by the Holocaust, the Poles claim compassion for the suffering that
they have experienced under the Soviet occupation.
Sunk in the egoism of pain, feeling solidarity with our own community, we do
not want and we do not know how to feel compassion for an alien pain. The
report of bishop Kaczmarek is the illustration of this incapacity to suffer
together with others. It explains why the episcopate has shared the point of view
7
of bishop Kaczmarek and not that of bishop Kubina.

This is the way in which that bad type of nationalism, which easily leads to
xenophobia, is born. It is the same nationalism that appeared also in our country,
especially at the beginning of the twentieth century, reached its peak in the interwar
period and, afterwards, was transformed into communist nationalism, surviving until
today. It is a nationalism characterized by the egoism of suffering. For what were we if
not eternal victims of history? Or, after the Great Unification and the birth of Great
Romania, the moment came for our emancipation and our affirmation on the scene of
history. We were capable of doing that thing, but there were hostile forces that
systematically impeded us. From this point of view, the Jews were the most efficient.
This way, anti-Semitism was born. It did not have an ideological basis, as in the case of
Hitlers anti-Semitism, but I think it is best justified when one starts from the egoism of
suffering. We suffered so much that we have become unable to care for others as well.
Even more so, we suffered especially because of others. It is the idea which, for example,
was so often emphasized in Eminescus political writings and which afterwards became
widespread in the interwar period.
5 Ibidem,

p. 181.
Ibidem, p. 178.
7 Ibidem, p. 185.
6

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In this way, the extermination of the Jews, especially of the Jews from
Bessarabia, is equally supported by an explanation similar to the one provided by bishop
Kaczmarek: when Bessarabia was annexed by the Soviet Union, after the MolotovRibbentrop Pact, the Jews acted as communist agents of the Soviet Union. In this
capacity, not only did they occupy administrative functions in the newly conquered
territory, but they also ill-treated the Romanians, forcing them to convert to
communism. From this point of view, the cleansing of the Jews, after the Romanian
Army crossed the Prut, has been an act of revenge of the Romanians that until then
suffered because of the communist Jew. In this case also, we are dealing with a mental
clich which is obviously identical with the one present in Kaczmareks report.
This type of nationalism has afterwards been used and hyperbolized during the
communist period, especially under Ceauescu. This time, its ways of manifestation were
the ideologizing clichs of the communist regime. We had to use any means in order to
fight against capitalism and in order to arrive at the final victory of communism. As a
result, the Jews and the Germans were used as exchange goods. They represented an
addition of surplus value for the edification of communism and for the latters struggle
against capitalism. Dehumanization is obvious here as well, even though we are not
speaking of atrocities. But nationalism is not explained this time directly through the
egoism of suffering and mischiefs. We are rather dealing with a compensation
phenomenon. From the need of solving existing mischiefs one suddenly arrives at
extravagant accomplishments. But the need is the same: to cast aside the minor and
insignificant destiny and the suffering that has weighed down on us throughout history.
Of course, these reflexes are still present today. After the protective umbrella of
the communist regime disappeared for us, we found ourselves in a situation where we
had too much freedom which we proved unable to manage. Probably this is what
explains the disorientation and the relative chaos that exist in the post-communist
Romanian society. The tendency to blame others, foreigners, for our failures, continues
to exist and it is even quite powerful. They are the ones that have laid their hands on the
energetic resources and have monopolized the economic instruments that produce
prosperity. Much less is said about the fact that we are the ones who sold ourselves
cheaply. The tendency of such a nationalism is today mitigated to a certain extent by the
mere fact that we are members of the European Union. But this is not a solution that
can miraculously solve any problem. Until we will not recognize sincerely our own vices,
we will continue to be exposed to the same temptations. In one way or another, we have
to heal ourselves of our own selfishness.
2. CHURCH AND COMMUNISM
The fundamental question sounds like this: what is the situation as far as
communism and the Church are concerned?8 Michnik deals with the relation between
the Church and the communist Regime in the last essay of the book: The Clean
Conscience Trap. Logically, the relation between the two institutions can be defined in
two ways: through collaboration or through opposition. Starting from the relation
between the Church and the State in early Christianity, Michnik talks about the
8

Ibidem, p. 236.

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Constantinianism and the Iulianism of the Church. Constantine the Great recognized
Christianity as the official religion of the Empire. The Church became the Emperors
friend. Or, under the rule of Julian the Apostate, the promotion of paganism and of its
religious institutions became once again the Empires official policy. The Church became
the enemy of the Emperor.
Michnik defends the political tradition of the Polish Church:
The characteristic of the Church in Poland during occupation periods has not
been Constantinianism but precisely Julianism. As a model of the political
situation, Julianism is opposed to Constantinianism. Instead of being
characterized by the collaboration between both powers, spiritual and secular,
Julianism is characterized by the conflict that exists between them. The Church
9
is part of the opposition.

It is true that the attitude of opposition against the secular power is deeply
rooted in the tradition of the Catholic Church. The latter has always viewed itself as the
defender of freedom of conscience in the face of the excesses of the secular power.
This is what explains the fact that the Polish opposition movement has found a
reliable support in the Church. The fact that a personality like John Paul II became the
leader of the Catholic Church counted enormously for the Polish dissidents. As a matter
of fact, this thing can also be observed in Michniks confessions, whose profound
Christian ethics is owed to a great extent to the influences of John Paul II. The Pope has
openly militated against the Communist regime and has maintained connections with
Polish dissidents to the extent that it was possible. He was, par excellence, the
representative of the power of the powerless. The movement of the dissidents led by
Jacek Huron who explicitly militated for a movement of non-violent opposition to the
totalitarian regime was inspired from the Christian ethics of love and forgiveness.
Is the situation in our country comparable, from this point of view, with that in
Poland? One must first mention the fact that the political theology of the Orthodox
Churches is inspired from another tradition than that of the Catholic Church. The
relation between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the State is rather characterized
by Constantinianism than by Julianism. The Romanian Orthodox Church assumes for
itself explicitly the tradition of the Byzantine symphony, of the collaboration between
Church and Emperor, inaugurated at the time of the reign of Constantine the Great. But,
starting from this model, can we say that the Orthodox Church assumed its collaboration
with the communist regime? Can we deduce, from the fact that there have been
hierarchs and priests who sided with the regime, the institutional collaboration of the
Orthodox Church with the communist regime? Would not such a hypothesis be
exaggerated, taking into account the fact that there have been many martyrs from the
Church? But does the existence of martyrs confirm the dissidence of the Church in
relation to the communist regime? Can we deduce therefrom the Julianism of its
attitude? We will try in what follows to indicate a few components of the position of the
Orthodox Church regarding the communist regime.
The main interest of the communist regime was to use the Church as an
instrument subordinated to ideological purposes. It was indifferent to the dogmas and
9 Ibidem,

p. 210.

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the faith preached in the Church (even though, at least from a theoretical point of view,
atheism represents the basis of communism) as long as the exterior manifestation of the
Church took a form that was convenient. Communism wanted a harmonious relation
with the Church. It is easy to understand who was to profit from such a relation. And
this was the policy that was pursued with an astonishing consistency ever since the new
regime had been installed.
First of all, the communists apprehended the potential danger that threatened
the installation of their power, which came from the Church, especially from Catholicism
through the Greek-Catholic Church. For that reason, the person who had to be elected
as ruler of the Church needed to be someone who understood the necessity of making
compromises with the new regime. Providence worked in this sense through the
person of Justinian Marina who quickly became the leader of the Church. From this
point of view, the calendar of his ascension is telling: at the end of the war he was a
priest in Rmnicu Vlcea, in 1947 he was enthroned as Metropolitan of Moldavia, and in
1948 he was elected Patriarch of Romania. It seems that his ascension was also facilitated
by the fact that in 1944 he provided shelter in the parochial residence to Gheorghe
Gheorghiu-Dej who had just escaped from the prison camp in Trgu Jiu. In this way, he
gained the trust of the future communist leader. Something that did not remain
unrewarded.
The whole situation of the religious communities from Romania would be
changed in the same year, 1948, when a new law concerning religious groups would
appear. According to the new law, all the religious communities from Romania were
considered equal, an apparent progress if compared with the previous law that placed the
religious communities in a hierarchical order. However, while in the new Constitution,
approved in the same year, the freedom of conscience of the believers was stipulated,
there were a few conditions that were added: The religious communities are free to
organize themselves and can function freely if their ritual and their practice are not
contrary to the Constitution, to public safety and to public morality. (art. 27) It is
obvious that public morality was the morality that was in agreement with the
conceptions of the communist regime.
Those who prejudiced it were considered enemies of the new order and
were treated accordingly. The first who were targeted were the Greek-Catholics. The
position of the Greek-Catholic Church was one that was inconvenient at that time, both
for the Orthodox Church and for the new communist regime. Through the Concordat
signed in 1927 between the Vatican and the Romanian State, the Greek-Catholics were
depending directly on the Pope, being affected only indirectly by the law concerning the
religious communities from Romania at that time. For that reason, the Orthodox Church
condemned, already from this period, the treaty, seeing in it a loss of its religious
influence, especially in Transylvania and, more broadly, a threat for Orthodoxy. On the
other hand, the communists were seeing in this treaty a direct interference in the
internal affairs and a serious threat on behalf of the imperialist ideology acting
through the Vatican. For that reason, the Concordat was denounced in the same year,
1948, and the Greek-Catholic confession was outlawed. The Greek-Catholics were
obliged, according to the model applied by the Soviets in Ukraine, to return to the
Mother Church. The Orthodox Church was seeing here an act of historical justice in
response to the injustice committed through the creation of the Uniate confession in
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1700 and then through the establishment of its statute in accordance with the Concordat.
For that reason, it generally favored and supported the Communist dissolution of the
Greek-Catholic Church.
The Church also accepted the interference of the secular power in religious
problems and legitimized this attitude on the basis of the same Byzantine tradition. Two
principles in particular were invoked. That of the nomocanon and that of economia. 1) The
principle of the nomocanon was deduced from the historical situation of the official
adoption of Christianity as religion of the Roman Empire. As a result, the Church was
forced to adopt, as its own laws, laws that were valid in the Empire. In this way emerged
the principle according to which the laws of the Church (canon) were united and in
harmony with the laws of the state (nomos). By virtue of this principle, the Communist
regime had the right to legislate on religious matters. 2) The principle of economia was
deduced from the economic role of the Church, from the perspective of the work that it
had to accomplish on earth for the purpose of mankinds salvation. This stipulated that it
had to cooperate with the political power (render to Caesar the things that are
Caesars) for its own good and for the good of the faithful. It was the principle that
permitted the adaptation of the symphony, that regulated the relation between the two
powers, to different historical circumstances. In our case, it permitted the collaboration
between the Church and the communist regime.
This way, the Church managed to preserve itself as an institution in exchange
for a rather strict limitation imposed on it by the regime. As a matter of fact, there are
voices who claim that the merit of Patriarch Justinian Marina would have been that of
avoiding the adoption of a law that would have instituted the separation between the
Church and the State. Such a law was natural in the circumstances of the secular
existence of a modern state. But in the conditions imposed by the coming to power of
the Communist regime, this could have meant a tendency towards the extermination and
the disappearance of the Church as an institution. There are representative voices of
Orthodoxy who consider that the price paid by the Church was nevertheless
insignificant, because the virtue of survival is essential in this case:
It is forgotten that, in general, the Church, with the price of these rare and
terse homages, has been able to continue, throughout these 45 years, its
liturgical and spiritual work [] The Romanian people has thus been able to
10
preserve, through its Church, the fundamental continuity of its spirituality .

Given these conditions, it is easy to understand why the Romanian Orthodox


Church was unable to constitute a center of resistance in the face of communism. Even
if there have been many martyrs among its ranks, it has not been able to coagulate a
center of power that would resist communism. The Romanian Patriarch, whose
jurisdiction is strictly national, differs from the Pope through the fact that he is totally
dependent on the national political authority. It is hard to fight for freedom in the
circumstances in which your very existence is threatened. Thus, the communists were
able to easily remove the external influences, with the result that it was possible to
Dumitru STNILOAE, Tmoignages: La perscution de lglise Orthodoxe sous le rgime
communiste, Nouvelles de Lglise Orthodoxe Roumaine, XX, 1990, 1, p. 11.
10

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carry out with greater efficiency the work of indoctrination the purpose of which was to
install the new man in power.
3. REVOLUTION AND NONVIOLENCE
In Poland, the organized nonviolent protest was able to contribute in the end to
the removal of a regime based on terror. The promoter of this model followed by the
Polish dissidence was Jacek Kuron, the founder of the Committee for the Defense of the
Workers. He understood that the only modality of fighting against the Securitate apparatus
was the nonaggressive protest. This type of action had several advantages: instead of
contesting the instituted order, it offered the latter alternative options.
Instead of setting fire to party committees, form your own committees; instead
of begging the censorship to be merciful, publish your books outside the range
of action of the censorship; instead of lamenting for the fact that a falsified
11
history is taught in schools, organize seminars and teach the true history.

If in general the revolts are of a re-active type, this was an active type of revolt.
It was contesting the established order indirectly, through the alternative project which it
proposed. This made it harder to combat it. Given the fact that they did not respond to
the provocations and the violent acts of the security apparatus, the dissidents managed to
avoid a mechanism of violence, which would have recoiled on them. The political police
was waiting for any opportunity to falsify the deeds of the regimes opponents and, in
the name of their pretended abuses, to act against them. Or, the action of the
revolutionaries consisted precisely in the avoidance of that pretext that the regime was
looking for. The violent response was the great temptation from which the
revolutionaries had to stay away:
do not walk on the road that transforms the movement of the democratic
opposition in a religious sect, which is at the same time a group of bandits. This
has been the destiny of the victorious Jacobins, of the victorious Bolsheviks, of
the bearded victorious partisans of Fidel Castro. Jacek showed that it is possible
12
to remain true to yourself .

This was the psychological mechanism, intuited by Jacek, mechanism that has
made possible, on the one hand, the strengthening, in time, of the opposition movement,
and, then, the avoidance of its entering into a dialectic of violence that would have
ultimately turned against itself, destroying it. No revolution until now has managed to
avoid this trap. And all the revolutions until now have ended up devouring the
personalities who initiated and led them. The anti-communist revolution was the first
one in history which avoided this thing. It was also the first one which demonstrated the
efficiency of the nonviolent protest.

11
12

Adam MICHNIK, Mrturisirile, ...cit., p. 15.


Ibidem, p. 18.

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The Revolution in Romania was the only violent revolution from Eastern
Europe, being followed, after a short period of time, by other violent street movements.
What could have been the reason for this? The answer is apparently a simple one.
Compared to Poland, in Romania there was not any dissidence movement. When I am saying
this thing, I do not refer to the existence of dissidents. Obviously, dissidents did exist. I
am rather referring to an organized movement, with a certain ideological orientation and
with a political program capable of absorbing and formulating the discontents of the
masses. What we lacked was a politically educated elite, with anti-communist
convictions and with democratic options, which would have been capable of organizing
itself and, eventually, of taking over power if necessary. Unlike the cases of Poland,
Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the Romanian dissident movement did neither play a role
in the triggering of the events, nor did it play a role in the management of their
outcome.13
Thus, in 1989, there were no premises for a negotiation between the power and
the opposition that could have created the basis of a peaceful evolution. There was no
dissidence movement organized and capable of carrying such a negotiation, and the
Ceauescu regime was far from being open to something like that. This is what explains
the fact that, at the moment of the December Revolution, the revolted people on the
streets, those who rose up against the communist regime, accidentally met those who
took over power. Those were not anti-communist dissidents but former members of the
Nomenklatura, who, for various reasons, had been relegated to second level echelons.
Their explicit purpose was not the removal of communism but the removal of the
Ceauescu regime and, eventually, the implementation of a reform of communism,
following the model of the perestroika. For this reason, those who took out to the streets
were not found in the new ruling power, and protests continued, culminating with the
Mineriad from June 1990. But the insurgents were not enjoying popular support. With
the lack of an alternative during communism and of a liberal education, the organizers
of the revolts were viewed by the majority of the citizens as a band of troublemakers.
The new power was thus able to easily get rid of them, and communism metamorphosed
in the following years into post-communist capitalism.
4. IN LIEU OF CONCLUSIONS
In Poland, Michnik is considered to be the initiator of a new ethics14. This
consists in the unmasking of the conspiratorial movement and in open and outright
opposition to the system of power. His action has permitted the coagulation of an
important force that would raise awareness in the Polish society with regard to the
horrors of the communist regime and the democratic alternative. Of course, it has been
said that in our country such a movement would not have been possible. First of all, due
to the impeccable organization of those who were in power and due to the existence of
an efficient repressive system, which was annihilating any such possibility from its
incipient stage. We arrive thus at the existence of a vicious circle: the feeble existence of
the dissidence movement did not manage to create a conscience of the population,
13

Horia-Roman PATAPIEVICI, Revoluia romn: cteva fapte, cteva paradoxuri, Revista 22, 01.12.2009.
MICHNIK, Mrturisirile...cit., p. 235.

14 Adam

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which would have been sufficiently strong to resist in the face of the regime (as it
happened for example with Solidarity, which numbered approximately 10 million
members), and this dissidence movement was weak and inefficient due to the extremely
efficient repressive action. But from where were those responsible with the repression
recruited? Were they not a part of the people? How can the violence and brutality of
their actions, directed against their own citizens, be explained? Can the appeal to ethics
offer the answer to such questions? If Michnik inaugurated a new ethics through his
discourse, I believe that it would be about time for us to think, simply, of the possibility
of an ethics. Which we do not have yet.
.
Bibliography
MICHNIK, Adam, Mrturisirile unui disident convertit, Polirom, Iai, 2009.
STNILOAE, Dumitru, Tmoignages: La perscution de lglise Orthodoxe sous le
rgime communiste, Nouvelles de Lglise Orthodoxe Roumaine, XX, 1990.
PATAPIEVICI, Horia-Roman, Revoluia romn: cteva fapte, cteva paradoxuri,
Revista 22.

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Eastern Europe and the West: The Origins of Backwardness.


Case study on Russia
Teodora-Maria DAGHIE
University of Bucharest*

Abstract: Eastern Europe was used in the last century both from geographic and political standpoint,
Russia be it the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation remaining the core of
the development of the region. The paper examines the roots and the origins of the eastern/Russian
political culture and how it developed through time by analyzing the inputs it received from its large
number of neighbors and from the people that sought refuge in its arms.
Keywords: backwardness, Russia, nation-state, old regime
1. INTRODUCTION
The use of the term Eastern Europe in order to describe the geographical region
covered can be considered as being standard but it is nevertheless something of a
misnomer. The problem is that it not only makes a geographical distinction between the
West and this area but it also implies a clear distinction in development which has the
tendency to separate the continent into two distinct entities1. It even highlights the
Eastern Europe is a monolithic entity, failing to distinguish the states of the Balkans
from those of the Baltic region. In sort, it is an artificial construct that provides a
simplistic division in continent that is far more diverse, yet at the same time more closely
linked together than such a division implies2.
To dismiss Eastern Europe as being backward is to forget that many of the Jews
of Europe were saved during the Inquisition by emigrating to Poland or the lands of the
Ottoman Empire. To cite the Magna Carta as the foundation of democracy in England,
even though in reality it meant nothing more than protection for the rights of the
nobility, is to ignore the fact that the first written constitution in Europe was not found
in the West but rather in the East in Poland. Although backwardness and even barbarity
can be found in the recent past in the region, no country in Europe is immune from a
past that most would rather forget. Myths can be considered as being comfortable, but
they can also be destructive3.

* This paper was supported by the Successful youth researchers - professional development in an
interdisciplinary and international context project POSDRU/159/1.5/S/132400, financed by the European
Social Fund through the Sectorial Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013.
1 Daniel CHIROT, ed., The Origins of Backwardness in Eastern Europe: Economics and Politics from the Middle Ages
Until the Early Twentieth Century, University of California Press, Berkeley 1989, p.203.
2 Ibidem.
3 Ibidem, pp. 203-204.

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For centuries, Eastern Europe has served as a crossroads, both in terms of trade
and in the migrations (and in some cases invasions of peoples). The former brought
prosperity to some parts of the belt between the Baltic and Mediterranean seats, while
the latter left many areas a mosaic of peoples, who in the age of nationalism came to
struggle as much with each other for national dominance as they did with their neighbors
who dominated them politically4.
As the great medieval states in the region, from the Serbian Empire of Stefan
Duan to the first and second Bulgarian Empires to the Hungarian and PolishLithuanian states, fell to stronger neighbors or to internal difficulties, no peoples were
left untouched by outsiders5.
One of the dominant elements in the process of modernization has been the
establishment of modern nations. While the rise of the modern nation-state was late
arriving in Eastern Europe, and some in Eastern Europe had failed to experience in the
same manner some of the movements, such as the Renaissance or the rise of capitalism
that shaped Western Europe, it was no less affected by the rise of modern nationalism
than its Western neighbors. In spite of the divergent and in some cases the late
development of the region in regard to many of the trends in the West, the nations of
Eastern Europe in the early twenty-first century are again independent members of a
suddenly larger Europe6.
The story of Eastern Europe, while often written or at least directed by
outsiders, is more than a mere tale of struggle. It is also a story of enormous human
complexity, one of great achievements as well as great sorrow, one in which the spirit of
the Volk has triumphed. It is a rich story and it will continue to unfold as Eastern
Europe becomes more and more an integral part of Europe as a whole7.
More than two hundred years have passed since Montesquieu in The Spirit of Laws sought to define
the characteristics of despotic regimes, among which he numbered China, the Ottoman Empire, and Russia. Since
then, outstanding Western thinkers have often returned to the theme of what came to be known as oriental society or
oriental despotism. Conscious of some fundamental difference between their own societies and those of the Orient,
such men as the classical economists (notably J. S. Mill), Hegel, Marx and Engels, and Max Weber have probed
into the subject and brought forth various interpretations of the genesis of oriental societies, their distinctive features,
and their relationships to the societies of the Western world. In the last two decades, the leads of the classical
economists, the founders of scientific socialism, and Weber have been further explored and independently developed
by Dr. Karl A. Wittfogel, whose magnum opus-Oriental Despotism-has been recently published8.

2. RUSSIA CASE
According to Wittfogel's view9, oriental despotism is considered as being an
institutional complex which arose independently in a number of different areas10 in
Ibidem, p. 204.
Gale STOKES, The Social Origins of East European Politics in Daniel Chirot, ed., The Origins of cit.,
p.210.
6 Daniel, CHIROT, The Origins of cit., p.205.
7 Ibidem.
8 Samuel H. BARON, Plekhanov's Russia: The Impact of the West Upon an "Oriental" Society, Journal of
the History of Ideas, Vol. 19, No. 3, p. 388.
9 Ibidem.
4
5

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response to the need for an authority to organize the construction and management of
the large-scale hydraulic enterprises essential for the successful cultivation of certain
types of semi-arid regions. The distinctive features of the oriental society11 are: the
preponderant role of the state in the economic life of the country; a managerial
bureaucracy which administers the affairs of the state under an autocratic ruler; and the
weakness of society vis-a-vis the state, which renders the power of the latter over
individuals and groups total. He goes on to argue that once such a societal configuration
has come into being, it tends to perpetuate itself, even though the circumstances which
initially gave rise to it may have lost their force. Moreover, some societies-for example-,
Russia which were never hydraulic, nevertheless, developed more or less pronounced
oriental characteristics through conquest by, or cultural contact with, such despotic
regime12.
The most common elements in this new positive appraisal of Russia were the
absence or weakness of a bourgeoisie/middle class (considered against the opinion of
liberals as the main dissolving agent of the community) and the presence of an
egalitarian or communitarian popular culture. Naturally, for these intellectuals, praising
the Russian commune was a way of condemning the actual condition of European
bourgeois, individualistic and decadent society13.
The second challenge to the liberal representation of Russia that we shall deal
with is found mainly among intellectuals whose main concern was to reestablish order in
a time of revolutions and growing social unrest. Some of them not without doubts
and ambiguities, as we shall see chose Russia as an example of order that the
disordered Europe should follow. One of the groups that made this choice were the
ultramontane and traditionalist critics of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
For them, it was a matter of restoring Ancien Rgime Europe, the Europe that was
synonymous with Christendom and respected traditional authority and values. For them,
shortly after 1789 and its aftermath, Russia offered the example of a peaceful and
ordered nation, untouched by the influence of the philosophes and their new impious ideas
and the politicians with their unacceptable claims. For them, finally, it was a matter of
proving that civilization was the work of legitimate kings and the Church, rather than
Enlightenment or economic development14.
Another kind of order-seekers that considered Russia as a possible example for
Europe were though in a different way and for different reasons sociologists like
Comte and, partially, Le Play. The liberal tradition was also interested in restoring order.
However, the difference from the order-seekers described above is that the liberals did
not want to do it at the cost of the principles of 1789 and the general legacy of the
Enlightenment15. For them, Europe had to make room for the legitimacy of the
Samuel H. BARON, Plekhanov's Russiacit. This institutional complex is designated oriental only because
the first examples of it which were noted had their locus in the Orient. Wittfogel considers certain Central
and South American civilizations as exemplifying the same peculiarities.
11 Samuel H. BARON, Plekhanov's Russiacit., p.389.
12 Ibidem.
13
Ezequiel ADAMOVSKY, Russia as a Space of Hope: Nineteenth-century French Challenges to the
Liberal Image of Russia, European History Quarterly, 33: 4, 2003, p.414.
14
Ibidem.
15
Ibidem.
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Revolution at least in its first phase the Rights of Man, the absence of feudal
privileges and representative government; for the most radical among them, Europe had
to make room even for republicanism and democracy, and still remain ordered. Thus,
they could not praise a Russian type of order, no matter how much order was needed.
Therefore, the liberals had to struggle with the ultramontane and traditionalist thinkers
for the meaning of Europe and civilization16.
There was also a third kind of challenge to the liberal representation of Russia,
although a minor one. For a small group of socialists, the idea of civilization condensed
everything they hated. For them, it was not a matter of struggling for the right definition
of that word, for socialism was not meant to be the higher stage in the process of
civilization. On the contrary, socialism could only emerge out of the total destruction of
so-called civilization. Thus, for them the concept of Russian barbarism represented the
promise of a quick annihilation of European order and therefore, an unexpected ally for
socialism. Taking the revolutionary idea of the negation of social order to an extreme,
some socialists started dreaming of an invasion of Cossacks after which out of the
collapse of bourgeois order socialism would triumph17.
However, this extreme form of seduction of barbarism was very rare, even
among socialists. Most of them still perceived Russia as their most powerful enemy, the
barbarian ally of the conservative forces in Europe. For the bulk of the socialist
movement a Cossack invasion was the worst of nightmares.
After the experience of the French Revolution, those who regretted the old
regime challenged the tradition of the Enlightenment with a different worldview18. The
ultraroyalists of the time of the first Restoration supported the supposedly harmonious
hierarchy of the old days against the egalitarian principles of 1789, it was a matter of
restoring the organic and natural order evilly broken by the philosophes 19 and the mob.
For traditionalists and ultramontanes Europe meant tradition and religion, the opposite
of the universalistic idea of the Rights of Man. Some of them even praised the idea of
the divine origin of the Monarch and refused to accept any written Constitution as an
inconvenient limit to his power20. However, most of them were also against despotism,
for it was the enemy of the old liberties rather than the new abstract freedom that
they wanted to preserve21.
The role of the tsars as active supporters of the restoration of the old regime is
well known, and we shall not go back to that issue here. However, it should be borne in
mind that in the treaty of the Holy Alliance the monarchs chose to present themselves as
members of the same Christian nation, in an obvious challenge to the secular identity of
Europe. Consequently, it would not be surprising to find ultras admiring Russia and its
regime22.
This conflictual nature of Russian identity reflects one latent and fundamental
feature of Russian mentality - inherent anxiety and lack of stability of its attitudes and
Ibidem, pp.414-415.
Ibidem, p.415.
18 Ibidem, p.416.
19 Ibidem.
20 Ibidem.
21 Arthur LOVEJOY, On the Discrimination of Romanticisms, Essays in the History of Ideas, Baltimore
1948.
22 Ezequiel ADAMOVSKY, Russia ascit., p.416.
16
17

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values23. From the point of view of history, this inner conflict of Russian mindset looks
quite natural as Russian historic development lacked evolutionary features. Short periods
of radical transformations (under Peter I, Catherine II, Alexander II, Communism,
perestroika, and liberalization) often gave place to periods of conservatism and
stagnation. Moreover, transformations quite often did not derive from natural evolution
of the society but were planned and arranged by the top echelons of power. As a result,
every stage of social transformation remained unfinished; new norms, values, and
orientations proved capable of only shattering the old ones but failed to replace them24.
Therefore, essential characteristics of the personality and culture in Russia
remained conflicted and uncertain. This instability in many respects explains Russias
perception of the Western experience25. It makes Russian mentality remind of a sponge:
it is highly capable of absorbing different cultural trends and values. Moreover, qualities
largely attributed to Russian mentality are flexibility, mobility, and openness to the outer
world. In pre-revolution Russia, these qualities were not strong enough to penetrate into
mass consciousness, but they remained latent and dormant until prerequisites for
attractiveness of the Western model were formed in Russia.
A similar approach to Russia can be found in other minor conservative publicists of the time. For
example, in his Essai sur lhistoire ancienne et moderne de la nouvelle Russie (1820), the marquis de Castelnau
praises the Russian government, arguing that true freedom only exists when the monarchy can make free use of its
power against those who abuse the people. On the contrary, false freedom consists in enjoying the rights of Man
without any limit. In a similar way, in La Balalaka (1837) the Legitimist Julvcourt considers that a despotic
government is an advantage for Russia, and serfdom is a kind of parental protection for the benefit of the serfs. In a
similar way, in 1853 the anti-liberal and conservative Vicomte de Beaumont-Vassy argued that Russias despotic
system in which the government had no obstacles and social hierarchy was firm was better than the
parliamentary system that only encouraged the freedom to overthrow monarchs and weaken authority, tradition
and faith. Finally, as late as in 1877 Arsne Legrelle in his Le Volga described his travels to Russia as a journey
through an atmosphere of moral order that reminded him how much the principle of authority was needed to achieve
real progress, and how often liberalism is the worst enemy of sincere freedoms. And he concluded: It is a shame that
we need to go so far to become convinced by experience of this useful truth 26.
Roughly speaking, Hegels division between the historical and unhistorical nations corresponded to the
geographical division between East and West (he explicitly excluded Africa from consideration). For Hegel the
light of human knowledge rose in the East, like the sun, but the divine Spirit journeyed from there into the West,
leaving Eastern nations to the realm of the eternally prehistorically. Even China and India, the complicated and
great civilizations of Asia, were doomed to remain in the childhood stage of history. Only Persia could claim to
make the first steps into history, since it belonged to the Caucasian, meaning European race 27.

Guerman DILIGENSKY, Dr. Sergei CHUGROV, The West in Russian Mentality, Office for Information
and Press, Brussels Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow, 2000, pp.10-11.
24 Ibidem, p.11.
25 Ibidem.
26 Ezequiel ADAMOVSKY, Russia as a Space of Hope: Nineteenth-century French Challenges to the
Liberal Image of Russia, in Koenraad Swart, The Sense of Decadence in Nineteenth-Century France (The Hague
1964), 87. Particularly among the Catholics as in Lamennais Des Progrs de la Rvolution et de la Guerre contre
lglise (1829) or in his articles for LAvenir in 1831 the perception of Russia and the tsars became
extremely negative due to the conflicts in Poland (Lamennais, OEuvres Compltes, Paris 18367, Vol. 9, 24 and
Vol. 10, 3801).
27 Ana SILJAK, Between East and West: Hegel and the Origins of the Russian Dilemma, Journal of the
History of Ideas 62: 2, 2001, p. 340.
23

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In Hegels scheme unhistorical nations were known by their fruits. The proof of Asian backwardness
was found in the undifferentiated unity of Asian society and culture, which allowed no room for individual judgment
or individual action. In China, for example, religion, politics, and the family were indistinguishable: the Emperor
was worshiped as a God, the patriarchal family exerted its full power over passive individuals, and most people
lived in a condition of slavery. Freedom belonged only to one individualthe ruler, who exercised his arbitrary
authority over his subjects. The East ... to the present day knows only that One is free, Hegel explained, and
thus Asians were condemned to live under the most primitive form of governmentdespotism28.

3. CONCLUSION
During the nineteenth century, in the general political arena, the liberal tradition
had to fight against powerful enemies29. Several types of socialists, communists,
anarchists (on the Left) and conservatives, ultramontanes and authoritarians (on the
Right) disputed its pre- eminence. In this struggle for hegemony, the debate about Russia
played an important role. Against the principles of 1789 the ultramontanes explored
Russia in search of a model of order, only to find that she lacked the principal
ingredients: a corps of nobility and the Catholic religion. Other conservatives found that
Russia had some elements worth admiring, such as patronizing institutions (Le Play) or
a powerful monarch (Comte and Balzac). On the Left, some intellectuals found in Russia
the promise of total destruction (Coeurderoy) or a model of association30 (Reclus).
Others, more inclined towards Romantic anti-individualism or religious mysticism, found
an idyllic society and a promise of redemption (Robert and Lbre). On the other hand,
the liberal tradition continued to find in Russia nothing but a negative reflection of their
Europe: the absence of middle class, bourgeoisie, civil society, individuality, economic
progress, freedom; in summary, the lack of civilization. In the battle for the definition of
the identity of Europe/the West a central part of the more general political struggle
liberal and bourgeois ideology would emerge as hegemonic31. In that process, the
liberal representation of Russia became predominant. In many ways, our own perception
of Russia is still today marked by that victory32.
East European backwardness is of very long duration, indeed, and there
are still no signs of its being overcome. Its causes can be sought in a complex
interaction of ecological, political, and cultural forces. In the twentieth century this
backwardness has led to several nervous and risky socio-economic experiments,
which ultimately exacerbated the region's relative standing in the world economy.
Many third-world economies have, in fact, not only caught up with it, but bypassed
it by a clear margin, and the region as a whole is probably farther behind Western
Europe than it was at the turn of the century33.
Ana SILJAK, Between East and West: Hegel and the Origins of the Russian Dilemma, in Hegel, Werke
in zwanzig Bnden, XII: Vorlesungen ber die Philosophie der Geschichte (Frankfurt, 1970), 134-35, 157, 164-65.
29 Ezequiel ADAMOVSKY, op.cit., p.441.
30 Ibidem.
31 Ibidem.
32 Ibidem.
33 John KOMLOS, The Origins of Backwardness in Eastern Europe: Economics and Politics from the
Middle Ages until the Early Twentieth Century by Daniel Chirot, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 21 (2), pp.
337-340.
28

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Bibliography
ADAMOVSKY, Ezequiel. Russia as a Space of Hope: Nineteenth-Century French
Challenges to the Liberal Image of Russia, European History Quarterly 33, (4): 41149.
BARON, Samuel H, Plekhanov's Russia: The Impact of the West Upon an Oriental
Society. Journal of the History of Ideas 19 (3): 388-404.
CHIROT, Daniel, ed., The Origins of Backwardness in Eastern Europe: Economics and Politics
from the Middle Ages Until the Early Twentieth Century, Berkeley, University of California
Press, 1991.
DILIGENSKY, Guerman, The West in Russian Mentality, Office for Information and
Press, Brussels Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow, 2000, pp.1011.
LOVEJOY, Arthur O, On the Discrimination of Romanticisms, PMLA 39 (2): 229.
SILJAK, Ana, Between East and West: Hegel and the Origins of the Russian
Dilemma, Journal of the History of Ideas 62 (2): 335-58.

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Book Reviews
Maia RAMNATH,

Decolonising Anarchism: An Antiauthoritarian History of Indias Liberation


Struggle,
AK Press and Institute for Anarchist Studies, Washngton D.C., 2011, 302 pp.

Organisations create hierarchies


to assure the better functioning of the
whole and rutinate power with a certain
division of labor. From the standpoint
of efficiency, hierarchies should strive
to mitigate conflicts between parts and
maximize output without compromising
order. In optimum scenarios, power
relations, either preordained, established
through debates and contracts or
spontaneously arisen serve the general
purpose outlined above. Most oftenbecause reality lags behind ideals- power
becomes a goal in itself and establishes
a class for itself, a sui generis division of
labor above all the others.
Since Aristotel, Kautylia or
Confucius have laid down the first
reflections in political science, the
implicit goal of every good governance
stood in making power accountable if
not shared with as many people as
possible and, at the same time avoid
corrupting order for ordeals.
The
path
taken
by
postEnlinghtment modernity, especially
as it was interpreted by Western world,
put to the fore secular rationality
channeled towards amassing more and
more citizens into the geometry of
urban industrial civilisation. Streamed
by the already ongoing process of
colonialism,
Western
modernity
replicated itself in most inhabited
regions of the world. By brute force,
cultural seduction or the benefits of
commerce it challenged all other
civilisation to find an answer if they so

wish to survive and maintain their


identity.
The same way any project has
its contenders, Western inspired
modernity confronted alternative vision.
While with some it reached an
agreement or vanquished at the price of
bitter scarce, other gained place of their
own in various places of the
international system. The most
powerful secular alternative ideology Socialism, with Communism as the
most extreme form- carved the
fizionomy for most of the XX century.
Once established in the former Russian
empire in the aftermath of World War I
it has spread in Asia, Africa, and bits of
Latin America. While it did not prevail
in the West, nonetheless its impact
imposed sessions of domestic soulsearching and inner critics of liberalcapitalism as optimum vector of
progress and individual satisfaction (if
not hapiness).
Other alternative project, less
influential and much more difficult to
assess was and continues to be
Anarchism.
Chameleonic
in
connotations but with a stint of
hiperradicalism, anarchism astonishes
because one is never clear if it conjures
only a tactical methodology against
existing order or a fullfledged
established political philosophy awaiting
beyond insurection.
Taking into account both
conotations (means/tactics and goals)
Maia Ramnath writings taccles the issue
of Indian anarchism as part of the
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

overall Indian struggle for independence


and reads the meaning of an ongoing
resistance project against what she
labels neoliberal globalisation.
COLONIALISM,
IMPERIALISM,
NATIONALISM AND
ANARCHY. BEYOND
WESTERN REFERENCES
When
one
talks
about
anarchism, the noun evokes either
memories
of
early
Russian
prototerrorists more or less justifying
their actions with quotes from ilks like
Kropotkin and Nacheav either cry
battle once associatied with punk
counterculture but now devoid of
intensity. For Ramntah, before defining
anarchism of indulging in grammatical
polemics one should search for those
instances against the noun has been
deviced. And those are imperialism and
colonialism. From international towards
national: Imperialism is the projection of
power by a political entity beyond its territorial
jurisdiction, whether through economic or
military means, hard power or soft, or some
combination thereof. (p.16). The conquest
of imperialism cannot be longlasting
absent governance in subdued teritories.
Therefore colonialism steps into the
light. Institutionally speaking its
archendeavour precipitates in the
creating a: A state [which] is, in the
starkest terms, a mechanism designed to
accumulate wealth in order to make war, to
make war in order to protect its wealth, and
to make laws to facilitate its functioning,
meaning to protect its own stability. [p.17]
In more depth, colonialism stands as
precondition instrumental in generating
the logics and structures
of capitalism,
nationalism, and racism during their formative
periods. (p.17). Between them, the logic
176

of nationalism developed in tandem with


the period of high imperialism in the second
half of the nineteenth century, leading to
what's often termed the first round of
globalization at the turn of the twentieth
but
in
long
dure
survived
decolonisation and, attached to the
postcolonial state at its worst actually
perpetuated the same kinds of oppression and
exploitation carried out by colonial rule, but
now in the name of the nation. (p.3-4).
All the above being said and
explained, the anarchist tradition is a
continuously unfolding discourse-meaning not
just the writings and rhetoric of anarchism but
also its body of practices and history of
performative acts. And the content of this
discourse - the thematic that defines its
boundaries - is the quest for collective liberation
in its most meaningful sense, by maximizing
the conditions for autonomy and egalitarian
social relationships, sustainable production and
reproduction. (p.37).
FROM IDEATIC HISTORY
TO FACTUAL
Going from desire (understood
as idea or project) to deed, the history
of Indian anarchism charted by
Ramnath dawns late XIX century - XX
century, period known in Europe by the
name La Belle Epoque - a time of
technical breakthroughs in cascade,
social turmoils and religious revivalism
with ecumenical width. For Indian
struggle of Independence, the birth of
anarchism is bracketed or, should we
say favored by two factors: 1) first is
political and regards the partition of
Bengal (1906); 2) the second is
geographical, namely the spread of
Indian diaspora all over the world
carried away by early age of what we call
today
Anglobalisation.
Indian
communities were to be found from

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

South Africa, Zanzibar to Berlin, San


Francisco, Southeast Asia, Singapore
and Japan.
Back home in Bengal the turn
of the century sees proliferating many
socities (samitis) amd athletic clubs
(acharyas) soon to host political hubs
with revolutionary potential. The most
powerful and visible of them emerged
to be Anusilan Samiti centered around
Aurobindo Ghose (later revered as Sri
Aurobindo-1872-1950), his brother,
Barin, and Sister
Nivedita (born
Margaret Noble), an Anglo-Irish
woman enamoured with India and
disciple of both Kropotkin and Swami
Vivekananda, both with whom she had
met
previously.
(p.48)
Their
headquarters was Maniktola Garden, a
street in Calcutta. They, along with their
most intimate trustees taught classes on
Mazzini, Russian anarchists, fighting
with lathis (long sticks) and bomb
making. Also their gospel was spread
through different newspapers like
Bande Mataram inaugurated in
1906/1907. Other organisation, also
emerged from a seminal achara was
Jugantar, closely connected to Anusilan
Samiti. (pp.48-52) Thus prepared, the
Maniktola Garden cell launched a series
of robberies, dacoities, bombings and
assasination attempts between 19061908 all culminating with the attempt
towards the assasination of magistrate
Kensington, British official. Police
cracked the grouping. The subsequent
trial, also remembered as Alipore bomb
case involved 36 suspects amongst
which 17 were aquitted of charges and
released (Aurobindo Ghose one of
them) - (p.56).

LONDON AND PARIS


Six months before the partition
of Bengal, Shyamaji Krishnavarma,
Oxford lecturer and teosophist created
Indian Home Rule Society to advocate
the benefits of liberation and national
unity
for
his
home country.
Supplementary
to
the
society,
Krishnavarma founded the Indian
Sociologist journal together with friend
and socialist ally, Henry Mayers
Hyndman. The Journals self confessed
mission was to inculcate
the great
sociological truth that it is impossible to join
injustice and brutality abroad with justice and
humanity at home. (p.57). Just like the
Gosh brothers, Krishnavarmas society
hosted meeting between aspirant
revolutionaries. By August 1906 two
Indian businessmen, Nitisen Dwarkadas
and Gyanchand Varman smuggled guns
under their legitimate company Eastern
Export and Important Company (p.58).
Under the banner of Vinayak Damodar
Savarkar (1883-1966), India Home Rule
Society morphed into a secret recruiting
office. Words and training finally
converted into action on Juy 1, 1909
when Madan Lal Dhingra, student and
anarchist killed William Curzon-Wyllie,
aid of the secretary of state for India.
Dhingra has been hanged after a short
trial while Savarkars brother was also
arrested. To revenge Dhingras
execution, colored in martyrdom in the
eyes of his peers and also his brothers
inprisonment, Vinayak sent packages
with Browning pistols to India to
support several assassination acts in
Maharastra. The Londonese episode
would soon be cut off by the
intervention of British police and
Scotland Yard (pp. 58-61).
Overtly
filled
with
the
iconology of French empires and
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revolutions, Paris perfected its status as


place of choice for numerous radical
undertakings and covert outfit groups
from all across Eurasia. An an
unparalleled hub to cross fertilization
(p. 62). Here, in the capital of the Third
Republic, Indian diaspora hovered
around Rana and Madame Bhikaj and
Rustomji Cama. French police got word
that Indian nationals, namely Savarkar
who had already fled from London,
Hem Chandra Das ( aka Kanungo),
Har Dayal and Miss Perin Naoroji,
granddaughter of former parliamentary
and author Dadabhai Naoroji, mingled
with Russian anarchists or other antisystemic celebrities: Emma Goldman;
W. Bromjevski, Polish bombmaker and
Albert (Joseph) Libertad, founder of
the journal L'anarchie. From Paris the
Indian went back to motherland or used
French colonies to go further in order
to escape state police (pp. 64-66).
GHADAR PARTY AND
THE HINDU-GERMAN
CONSPIRACY
Early XX century, San
Francisco rivaled Paris in its plenitude of
international revolutionaries and progressives
of all sorts. It was a milieu suffused by
various aspects of individual as well as social
anarchism that brought together bohemian
counterculture,
artistic and spiritualistic
experimentation,
efforts toward women's
suffrage, reproductive rights and sexual
freedom, and militant labor activity. (p.78).
The main actor of the situation
is the Ghadar party, a sikh centered
organisation with an urdu denomination
(ghadar meaning revolt), ecclectic
ideology channeled towards the
liberation of Hindustan. The cell has
been nurtured in San Francisco after
uniting several rights organisations of
178

Indians previously established in


Canada and the United States (1913).
Galvanising
anti-British
attitudes
Ghadar made contact with other
nationalist movement like Sinn Fein and
especially with Germany whose
intelligence was eager to provide
support and logistics to any who might
undermine Anglo-American domestic
front. With the help of German council
from San Francisco, Ghadarists
endeavoured to sparkle a constellation
of mutinies from Punjab to Burma
hoping to cause a domino effect.
Unfortunately for their cause, British
and American police penetrated their
ranks and finally broke all the plans.
After the war Ghadarians split between
a nationalistic faction surviving until
1946 and a pro-Communist one bent on
hail Moscows ideological messages. In
this stays confined to only a parcel of
Indian movement for independence,
but in other monography Ramnath
describes at length its saga which served
quite concretely as connective tissue or switching
circuit capable of linking various elements
among the Indian radicals abroad, linking
Indian radicals to other networks [..] In fact it
could be hazarded that the movements wider
network overlapped at some point, at no more
than a degree of separatism, with the every
radical tendencey of its time (Maia
Ramnath, Haj to Utopia: How the Ghadar
Movement Charted Global Radicalism and
Attempted to Overthrow the British Empire,
University of California Press, 2011, p.
2).
Indias independence did not
truly end colonialism from the anarchist
point of view. Albeit more humane and
closer to the needs of the disfranchised
subject, Nehruvian dirigiste developmental
orthodoxy (p. 224) fulfilled only in part
the tryst with destiny, Nehrus speech so
beautifully had proclaimed in August

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

1947. Ramnath does not tire to list all


domestic turmoils and sedition
movements from Naga rebellion in
Northern India in early 1950s to the
chronic presence of Maoists born in
1967 and reborn after 2004 to the split
of Pakistan in 1971 or the long lasting
Sri Lankan civil war clustered around
Tamil Tigers quest for better
integration, and to submit all of them
under the rubric of postcolonial state
failure.
Descending from high politics
to grass root level, Indian civil society
has never been short of empowering
initiatives at local level carrying further
the early anarchist legacy. Amongst
them one can exemplify Shramik Mukti
Dal crafted in Maharastra during 1980
with the professed mission to fight
against state shortcomings, brutality of
dam building and most of all to garner a
total transformation in all fields including the
relations among human beings, the means of
human production and the relations of
production, the relations of humans with
nature. In order to foster a new
ecologically balanced, prosperous, nonexploitative society. (p. 222).
Finally, Ramnath monography
ends with a diatribe against what she
considers to be the evil of neoliberalism
which replaces public national space
with private oligarchical interests and
which requires global solidarity.
In a global age one needs a
global transdisciplinary history able to
translate the saga of present and not-sopresent times in an unitary fashion.
Maia Ramnath investigative endeavour
sheds light upon a little known,

outstream subject and present a


different film for the early XX century:
one in which state and modernity were
not
wholhearted
accepted
and
transnational
revolutionary
cells
contested the Westphalian project.
Indian revolutionaries, many of them
ultimately religious figures more than
overtly political, held colonialism to be a
shackle not only upon ankles but also
upon minds. Therefore they struggled
to annex the City of Man to the tenets
of the City of Spirit, whichever form
they may have envisaged for the latter.
The short space of present review does
not dwell upon the validity of the view
or the political orientation expressed by
the book or the author.
Returning
to
the
text,
Decolonising
anarchism
should
probably be read as a sequel for Haj to
Utopia, Maia Ramnath monography
about Ghadar party and their
undertakings prior and during First
World War. By comparison with that
previous book, Ramnath second
volume bends methodology towards
ideology- in other words, she aims at
writing a Indian history of anarchism
but the economy of the book and her
beautiful prose is at times unclear,
fuzzy; characters come and go without
much details. For the beginner it is not
always easy to make of what happened
with one event or other. Should such
fuzzines be seen as a suggestion that
ideas mingle together both people and
events, text and context to such
intimacy that they do not have
individuality?!
Silviu
PETRE
SNSPA

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Feliks GROSS,

Citizenship and Ethnicity: The Growth and Development of a Democratic


Multiethnic Institution,
Greenwood Press, Westport CT, 1999, pp. 159.

With all the mix of substructures of meaning and unities of


semantic
enhancers,
the
term
citizenship has departed, in the current
vocabulary of current social affairs or of
current political science debates, from
the original tenders of its definition and
conceptual encompassing.
Like in the case of any other
terminology, that gave itself a destiny,
with an innate proclivity to change, too
much experimentation triggered, in the
end, an improper use and a dissipating
attention towards what we can actually
regard as examples of successful usages.
In the work Citizenship and
Ethnicity: The Growth and Development of a
Democratic Multiethnic Institution, Feliks
Gross touches upon a review of a
term`s nativity, whilst not yet
pinpointing an expiry date. Gross
exercises the smooth lines of the birth
of citizenship, the flux of its concurrent
alterations, and, at the same time, the
correct parturitions of attributing the
right responsibilities of conception.
The book is enticing, wellstructured, clearly-delineated and with
an intrinsic voyage of gestation
regarding the road towards total
emancipation, which has been traversed
by the term of citizenship. The
instances when citizenship has been
taken aback from the pathway of
manumission are also included with a
sense of mastery, that has to be
acknowledged for Feliks Gross`
commentaries. The book betrays some
inclinations to recognizing episodes and
moments where the author can fail to

produce relinquishing authority, despite


the release of so much documentation
and research work.
Nonetheless, the book is
devoid of a beginner`s remarks of
superstition regarding the subject
approached and ponders into the issues
regarding
citizenship
all-too
commodiously.
Beyond any shadow of the
doubt, citizenship has procured for
itself an essence of an unperturbed
performance within a civic state. A state
where everybody is offered a haven of
protection, regardless of the lineage of
blood relations, of ethnicity, of religion
or race, is a state that exercises a civic
feeler regarding the concept of
citizenship1.
The civic state, as Gross
underscores, is a focus of gesturing
separation of the cluster of identities
that are shared and encompassed within
the same individual. This component is
In the civic state, foreigners come as closest as
possible, in terms of rights and obligations with
the original residents of a state. A statute of lee
and guardianship is offered, in equal dosages, to
foreigners. According to Feliks Gross, this does
not prevent the importation of two different
kinds of identity: an universal and a particular
one. The universal identity represents the link
between a citizen and the nation-state. The
particular identity welcomes the correlation and
the productive set of loyalties between an
individual and the ethnic group to which he/she
belongs. This classification can be performed
within a civic state. In a nationalistic state, the
ethnic identification operates on a basis of
sameness with the national identification. All
issues regarding discrimination arise from this
fuselage.
1

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

the main driver of distinction between a


tribal and a civic state: In a tribal state
those who are different belong to other
ethnic, religious or racial groups, not to the
dominant cluster, and are an outgroup,
subject to discrimination of varying degrees. In
a democratic civic state separation of identities
is a technique of uniting different cultural,
ethnic and racial groups. The separation of
church and state was a major step in that
direction (p.xiii).
Gross portrays citizenship as a
landmark design of the historical
transportations of
the Western
civilization: starting from the inception
point of Ancient Rome, after that,
recognizing many fallbacks until the
French Revolution and, in the end,
reassessing its statute as a concept
worth of extrapolation in the future.
Conflicts were indicative of every
historical age.
In the aftermath of conflicts,
microethnics survived, further claiming
the right of re-emergence and also the
exercise of different political rights and
obligations, just as the prerequisites of
citizenship entail.
These ethnicities bore nations
and devoted an important implication in
the dynamics of citizenship and in the
many sub-apportionments that the term
embraced. In traditional societies,
citizenship sprang from a ranking that
interpolated
common
descent,
neighborhood, and consanguinity2. As
Gross underlines: The most powerful was
probably the common descent bond fused with
In the primitive forms of sovereignty that
included the kernels of rightful ascendancy,
according to the criteria stipulated above, over a
particular territory.
The self-confidence and self-assurance of the
members of a particular collectivity, that resided
over that piece of land, came from the
ingredients of power, dominion and selfrecognition mentioned above.
2

182

and reinforced by religion. There was a time


span of transition from those early forms of
political authority, still in a nascent form, to
the advanced form of a state. When the state
begins is of course a matter of definition (p.4).
During the time-frame between
the fall of Rome, on the one hand, and,
the waves of invasions from the East,
on the other, nation-states were born.
Aboriginals mixed and meshed with
foreigners, in a prelude to stateformation3.
As Gross distinguishes the
theory of conquest helped offer an
alternative undertaking to the process of
the egress and conceptual maturation of
citizenship.
The theory of conquest was
utilized by the Arab historian from the
fourteenth century, Ibn Khaldoun, to
explain state-formation in the Arab
Northern Africa. The feat of the
conquests provided a new framework of
interaction, especially between the
conquerors and the nascent uprising of
social bonds that were created4. Too
much mixture5 diffused clarity of
identification.
Ethnic
lineage
stopped
mattering so much, as a clear distinction
of a person`s ethnical identity, as they
could not be superseded correctly. In
some imperial settings, citizenship was

The hypothetical elementary portions of stateformations included the development of coercive


bonds between the newly-proclaimed masters
and their subjects.
It served as a process of new items of
identification and a process of new adamant
constituents for the dynamics of the term
citizenship and for all that this term induces.
4 A theory that Gross gives special mention of
being reapplied within the French interpretations
of state-formations in the eighteenth century.
5 This was made possible especially through the
processes of cultural assimilation and inter-ethnic
marriages.
3

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

awarded by purpose of religious


adhesion.
The case of the Ottoman
Empire, the faithful support for the
cause of Islam and of proclaiming new
adherents is implied in the book. This
was only a simple instantiation, that
together with other imperial practices
from other political environments,
forged the idea that, in multi-ethnical
surroundings, such as in the case of
empires, religion mattered, even in the
post-Antiquity historical eras.
One of the main historical
sponsorships of the modern unveilings
of citizenship has to be recognized as
belonging to the ancient Greeks. The
states within the Eastern Mediterranean
basin are thought to be formed by a
process of constant and progressive
association.
Towards other people, the
Greeks projected some sort of
ambivalent curiosity: their tolerance had
nothing to do with inclusion, but the
benevolence towards foreigners found a
fertile terrain for flourishing6.
As Gross describes: The
Greeks may have considered outsiders as
barbarians, yes, inferiors. On the other hand,
however, many Greek writers had a creative
curiosity and a friendly interest in those cultural
differences. We can notice in the writings of
Herodotus, an early Greek historian (more
like the father of history), an appreciation,
curiosity and intellectual interest when he wrote
about the peculiarities of Egyptian or Persian
ways of life. This attitude was also a reflection
of a broader, general Hellenic outlook (p.8).
Common lineage be it racial,
civilizational, linguistic or cultural - was
replaced by territorial proximity that
The Others were, as far as the Greeks were
concerned, still destitute of civility. They were
not rejected on this basis, however, and were
treated with an actual sense of open exploration.
6

mattered also as a source of


identification and of mutual recognition
among people7. As such, foreigners
were also given the status of being
citizens.
A
strong
remainder
of
consanguinity strived in maintenance: a
citizen needed to be born out of an
Athenian mother and out of an
Athenian father. Compared to other
types of conquerors, the Romans
developed an inventive solution towards
the prolongation in time of their
imperial overstretch: they did not curtail
the sentiment of firm attachment of the
conquered people, but rather, they were
quick in unifying the people from the
conquered territories with elements of
Roman culture and civilization, by the
act of furnishing citizenship.
Gross describes the Roman
continuous attempt of keeping the
empire unified as a nationality policy
(p.8). By the third century AD, all
inhabitants of the Roman Empire, that
had were considered free, had the right
to be linked to the Roman state, trough
the juridical-political link that was called
citizenship.
It was one of the most intrepid
attempts of downscaling ethnicity, that
history has ever seen8. Certainly, a selfA turning point in the development of the
modern concept of citizenship.
8 Quite different from the analogical Greek
world where ethnic descendancy still reigned
supreme. The proportions onto which
citizenship was exercised were quite different:
the Greek territories were small and Rome was
an empire. All-mighty Rome feared the dissolute
indulgence into territory loss. Territorial recovery
implied unending wars and costs. Citizenship
and its awardings were rather cost-effective,
from this perspective. In the Greek World,
Alexander of Macedon partly Greek and partly
Macedonian was a figure for whom ethnic
belonging had to undergo liquefaction, from the
process of citizenship bestowal.
7

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

propelled movement into citizenship,


could not have been made without the
mentioning of the social contract.
Feliks Gross interrelates the
concept of citizenship with the tenures
of Rationalism, Enlightment and with
the theories revolving around the social
contract.
As Gross sees it, the social
contract as partially falsifying the
historical truth, as the political system
was not a product of an act of volition
of free individuals, as explained by and
through the theory: The fundamental
theory of social contract was simple: the state in
its beginning was the fruit of an agreement of
free men. Free men, by means of a voluntary
contract, a social contract, established the state
and delegated political authority. The theory
was false but convincing and at the same time
constructive. It was this false theory that made
a contribution to the rise of a more humane and
benevolent state and democratic institution
(p.12).
The civic principle is further
explained by Gross in a plentiful, yet
very connecting rendition: The civic
principle reconciled two identities: the ethnic, of
common ethnic culture, and broader civic, an
identity based on belonging to the same state
and also sharing a broader, national culture
and institutions of the common nation-state
(p.14).
Under a civic government, all
other ethnic groups, than the dominant
one, are empowered to exercise
freedom of association, under any
factors of binding and relating that they
may choose. If in Ancient Greece,
especially in Athens, the foreigners were
assigned a special status, being called
Metoikoi, in the civic parlance, all rights

He ensured this by the acceptance and actual


exercise of inter-ethnic marriages.

184

are awarded collectively, and not, on an


individual basis9.
In addition to this, Athens had
many frailties as a political system,
being, among other characteristics, a
slave society10. As Gross underlines,
Athens remained an endogamic society.
Mixed marriages were not condoned. Those of
impure birth who claimed Athenian
citizenship were often sold into slavery. Ethnic
cleansing or purges (disephismos) occurred
early in times of the tyranny, but also occurred
later even under Pericles (p.23). Endogamy
was a trait that was visible in plenty of
ancient societies. The Greeks grew the
stakes even higher, as they did offer
some juridical amenities to foreigners.
The breakthrough in the tribal
organization of Greece was inaugurated
by Kleisthenes, who introduced
territorial administrative units, in the
form of demes11.
In contrast, Rome managed to
transform the allowance of citizenship
from an exclusive, tribal setting into an
inclusive one, comprehending the
absorption of foreigners.
Romans are highly valuated for
the manner in which they understood
the relations with people from other
ethnicities, whilst not disposing of the
cultural and civilizational allure of
greatness of Rome.
As
Gross
accentuates,
inclusivity did not cut down superiority
in inter-civilizational encounters: The
inclusive trend was not a result of an early
Whether it is per group and/or individual.
Not all types of foreigners were disadvantaged.
Proxenoi as foreigners in charge with special
Athenian affairs, that were not residing, per se,
on Athenian territory, were given a large
employment of social privileges, for the
representation prerogatice bestowed in their
dealings.
11 They were different also by their involvement
in the Athenian political system.
9

10

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

definite policy, much less an early universal


philosophy; it was rather a consequence of the
practical Roman genius, of their skill to resolve
problems in a pragmatic as well as orderly way.
The institution of citizenship evolved and
broadened as a consequence of practical
(although at times forced) way of conflict
resolution (p.29).
Another important peculiarity
of both the Greek and the Latin worlds
is that they extended a genesis of a very
urban phenomenon, as far as citizenship
was regarded, before its proliferation in
other unlike contexts.
As early as 311-312 AD, Rome
inserted an equal granting of rights and
obligations to all the religions and
religious cults of the Roman Empire. As
the book extrudes, the phenomenon of
Greek citizenship developed in a much
narrower urban setting, than it did in
the Latin world.
The influence of the egalitarian
perspective of the Stoic philosophers
could not be overseen, nevertheless,
from the Greek endowment. The broad
scope of Latin citizenship bestowal
managed to consolidate, even after
centuries of barbarian invasions, the
gaze of cultural unity, on the residual
vestiges of the Roman Empire12.
Due
to
the
cultural
interconnections, manifested primarily,
through trade, the cities in Eastern
Europe, also managed to showcase a lot
of tolerance to outsiders.
Gross traced the most potent
forces of the modern civic state, as: the
Roman pragmatism and benign
disposition towards other people, and
the historically unverified social
contract, through whose creeds, the
seeds of the Western political thinking
were implanted.
Which was, in all terms of comparison, a
historical feat.
12

One cannot be left immune to


the deficiencies of the social contract
theory: The theory is logical and convincing,
based on reason and deduction, but there is no
evidence, no historical verity or scientific
validity, in Rousseaus famous volume on social
contract (p.62). Despite this, the social
contract indoctrinated political volition
as the impetuous expression of the free
will of people one of the major
democratic sources: power without
popular legitimacy is highly-flawed. In
this way, the modern civic state, by the
theoretical engulfing of the social
contract, accepted the naturalness of
change, in collation with the traditional
societies.
French
republicanism
encountered plenty of inconveniences
in the promotion of a new type of
citizenry, by the inclusion of all sorts of
classes and social categories.
This was due mainly to the lack
of previous political introduction in the
subject matter at hand. Also, language
and its uniformity among all the social
classes and categories played a powerful
role in the production of such
difficulties.
The French embedded the term
of citizenship with one of the most selfsustaining and widespread political
folklores: the one proclaimed during the
French Revolution.
On the other hand, in the
British and American political milieus,
the citizen was still called a subject and
did not have the same controlling
influence that the French citizen had.
Here, citizens were called subjects, in
spite of the fact that the full exercise of
political rights and obligations was
recognized to and for them.
The faade of a higher
hierarchy of power, descending from
divine ruling was still in-keeping with
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the prerogatives of the political system,


even if transformations occurred, with
the force of time and with the necessity
of their: The councils, which developed
gradually into the houses of Parliament, also
had an unusual continuity, essential in the
development of legal institutions. Twentiethcentury Parliament preserved a traditional and
historical continuity from its thirteenth-century
early political ancestry when the House of
Commons was in its infancy (p.88).
Dynastic ruling combined
masterfully and efficiently with a very
efficacious Parliament13.
As for the Americans, their
political system was the product of
plenty of migrations, which were
engrossed by naturalization, through indetail political-juridical instruments, like
the 1669 Carolina Constitution, written
by John Locke.
American citizenship began to
multiply the cares of its destiny after the
Civil War of 1860. Many debates were
actually forwarded by the federal nature
of state-building: Federalism implies a
certain diarchy, dualism in distribution of the
authority, even sovereignty. Hence, the existence
of two centers of power became an issue over
whether naturalization and citizenship
belonged to the state or to the Union (p.97).
After a period of immersing itself into
the mentality of subjectship, prevalent
in the British political setting, the
American citizenship structure managed
to contrive a modern paragon of civic
state-building, perhaps the most
mindful of the Roman legacy, from the
modern world14.
Other dynastic rulings, across time, were
sources of many oppressions and of many
inadequacies of the civic state. Here, however,
dynastic power transferred also plenty of
channels of expressions to the voices of the
people.
14 A comparison made poignantly by Gross.
13

186

The American
citizenship
model had to experience the stateliness
of plenty of migration periods. Yet, its
main
theoretical
and
practical
proponents remained untarnished.
The effective securing of civil
rights to all the foreigners was an
example of a successful exaltation of
both political ideals and of the modes of
further construing. The idea of a nation
that became supra-racial and supraethnic, despite accepting the ethnic and
racial diversity at hand, was rather a
unique mutation.
The protective state of all
citizens needs to be generated, also, no
matter what competition models can
provide opportunities for rethinking
inclusiveness, without the same nobility
of action towards the protection of
Otherness15: Arnold Toynbee (the uncle of
the historian A. J. Toynbee), in his Oxford
lectures (188081) on the Industrial
Revolution, attached this term to this historical
economic change. His conclusions and warnings
are still pertinent today. The effects of the
Industrial Revolution prove that free
competition may produce wealth without
producing well being. We all know the horrors
that ensued in England before it was restrained
by legislation and combination (p.111).
Tout ensemble, citizenship that
finds the current utterance in the
modern civic state, is a strong
communication of the past beliefs and
opinions, that formulated some answers
to some of the political problems,
pressed by multi-ethnicity. As Feliks
Gross undertakes: Any attempt or plan to
improve society, to build a better state, a more
humane community, calls for a vision, even a
distant one, and includes a remote image that
sets the direction of our goals and pragmatic

15

In all shapes and forms.

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

targets, generates actions and invigorates our


efforts (p.131).
A new, improved vision, has to
contribute to the betterment of the
exercise of both rights and obligations,
in a manner that was is anew, but, as the
latter example has shown, in a manner
that can be barracked by the past, as the
past inhales some extraordinary
influences, in its continuous rediscovery.
Ioana-Bianca BERNA
University of South-East
Lumina

Europe

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Gh. CIASCAI, G. TNSESCU (eds.),

Spaiul public european. Idei, instituii, politici [Public European Sphere. Ideas,
Institutions, and Politics],
Institutul de tiine Politice i Relaii Internaionale, Bucureti, 2014, 201 pp.

Publishing a volume dedicated


to European public space is not
commonplace in political science
landscape in Romania, as the press
usually concerned with topical internal
political agitation rather than what
happens farther in Europe.
However,
a
group
of
researchers have taken the initiative to
commemorate the 20th anniversary of
the entry into force of the Treaty of
Maastricht, in a debate on European
public space. It started from the idea
that public space is most closely
mirroring means the degree to which
political discourse and decision fulfill
the expectations of citizens and national
communities in the Member States of
the Union. Under such circumstances, it
became possible to discuss failures,
ambiguities and institutional inefficiency
of traditional EU as its "democracy
deficit".
Public space as a concept and
reference theoretical model was
launched by Jrgen Habermas in the
Strukturwandel der ffentlichkeit (1962) and
further developed in the works, one that
lays the groundwork for understanding
European public space as an extension
of
national
political
cultures
characteristics, meaning "national"
public space as a meeting place,
discussion, formation of opinions,
choices and actions on behalf of a
common cause constituting the core
meaning of "European". More specific
reporting of some of the authors was to
mass demonstrations in London, Rome,

Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris held


on 15 February 2003 - "the largest since
the end of the second world war" against the US intervention in Iraq.
They were characterized by Habermas
as "mark the birth of a European public
sphere".
Studies published in this
volume are illustrative not only on how
to address the theme amplitude
European public space, but also the
degree of systematization of them,
operational
research
approaches
manifest phenomena at European level
and their conclusive transposition. In
essence, they are illustrative of the
authors on different perspectives on
how the " promised creation" a
European public space "is" or "must be
filled with content".
The study "Space and Culture
European problem" is questioning an
European public space in terms of
"place" individuals "world" of individual
ownership
and
therefore
the
consciousness of this belonging, and
both in terms of space "collectivized"
the social construction type the police,
falling logic zonal, national and
implicitly broad cultural. The author
believes that the European public space
is marked both by historical image of a
fractured Europe and European identity
construction difficulties. Imagined
solution" would be the planetary
reconciliation, Europe is not broken by
the "rest" and who can say their sociocultural value.
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

In a deconstructive method is
proposed, under the title "European
public space: alternative philosophicalpolitical unlock" a European public
space ambiguity scoring, identification
of alternative meaning to certain
blocking effects of the contemporary
world. Considerations aimed at
"dynamic changes" of European public
space under "pressure of the crisis" and
"strategic removal" of European ideals,
a detachment of the model and
configuration of a project of civilization
in which globalized society has the
mission to reconcile democracy and
capitalism.
The study "European public
sphere and the public sphere.
Reflections on normative model
"examines the relevance of normative
model for theorizing the public sphere
in Habermas transnational framework,
mainly relevance to the formulation of a
European public sphere theory. The
author indicates the degree to which the
normative model of the public sphere
Habermas, the size of the criticaldeliberative democratic legitimating
contains procedures applicable to
representative institutions of the EU. It
is believed that Habermas's model,
complex tinted recent works of the
German author, is "peak" in terms of
communication
and
deliberative
requirements that could compete at
correcting the "democratic deficit" of
the "post-national political field" of the
European Union.
The aim of the study "political
paradoxes of the European Union
public space" seems to validate the
hypothesis of a European public space.
The analysis focuses on the one hand,
on some political steps performed at the
highest level of the EU executive to
launch the term "European public
190

space". On the other hand, aims at


analyzing the institutional structure of
the EU transnational political space as
public space in which European
institutions, European citizens and
national communities in the Member
States try to define, discuss and support
the common good democratic Europe.
The author identifies in this way
tensions and paradoxes resulting from
interference between the transnational
public space and public space National
Union Member States.
Under the title "European
transnationalism and democratic model
of the European Union" we provide an
overview of ideologies that "up"
marking of trans European and EU
political
legitimacy:
secularism,
seduction exercised left, including
"welfare state" constitutional patriotism
universalism
Habermas
German
peculiarity branded "anti-American
emotion" pluralist liberalism and
"societal elite culture". The author
identifies uncertainties which mark the
democratic character of the political
model of the Union in the absence of a
European demos, uncertain political
significance of the EU institutions and
the value of humanism without borders.
It is considered as part of the EU
political value,, feeling comparable ''
completely open to each other.
"Public interest" in political
discourse" includes examination of the
concept of "public interest" in terms of
political science analytical concept "hard
operationalized", like that of "public
interest or national" irreducible diversity
of meanings because it is used. Author's
thesis is that "public interest" is often
used to promote or "legitimate" political
pressure are just the result of powerful
interest groups and government policies
that determine justifiable in terms of the

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

public interest is still one of the


fundamental challenges of science and
political practice current. It argues that
the abandonment of the concept used
rhetorically fraudulent naive and even
cannot be a solution for the problem
remains of "hiding" it under other
names.
Objective approach entitled
"Networking - action areas in the
European public space" is to highlight
the role of networks in the European
Union in particular in terms of
stimulating the formation of a
European public sphere viable. As such,
the author identifies the extent to which
the sense of Europeanism, European
capital and inter-activity relationships
(networking) influence each other in a
positive manner in the European public
space. The starting point of the
approach is the descriptive parts of
Europeanism viewed from a diachronic
perspective edifying and in relation to
European values and the specific
economic situation.
International migration in the
European Union, one of the most
important contemporary phenomena
with the economic, social and
geopolitical analyzed for statistical data.
The study examines the current
phenomenon of international migration
following the evolution of the
phenomenon in the context of
globalization,
international
understanding disparities in average
levels of income per capita (according
to statistics provided by the World
Bank) and the impact of the financial
policies of the IMF and World Bank.
The author shows how the EU as the
main "beneficiary" of this phenomenon,
built the legislation to ensure that the
natural rights of immigrants, preserving

the rights of European citizens and


guarantee human rights.
In the paper "European
Partnership
for
youth
policy:
cooperation and European public
communication" is presented the
experience of collaboration between
two major contemporary European European Union and Council of
Europe - in youth policies and public
communication. The author argues that,
in terms of communication strategies,
the project faces a number of challenges
specific international public relations:
the linguistic communication option in
relation to cultural specificities,
knowledge and avoid unwanted effects
resulting from cultural practices of
national, local and national government
failures
reactions
to
public
communication coming from Europe
and perceived as a form of "leadership"
that can distort "shaping the
relationship between the organization
and its audience."
Studies of this volume, in
whole and every part circumscribed axis
of research that deepens constitutes
"good guide" to address current issues
of European public space and related
topics and also a good opportunity to
illustrate the level which takes place
today in our research field.

Sorin MITULESCU
Lumina The University of
South-East Europe

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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Rashid KHALIDI,
Sowing Crisis - The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East,
Released at Beacon Press, Boston, 2009, 292 pp.
This is a book which talks not only
about history but also about
international relations and an overview
of the Cold War period. The author,
Rashid Khalidi is considered to be one
of the top academy writers who
managed to preoccupy an intense study
concerning the Middle Eastern area and
the International community. Although
the subjective majority consider him as
mostly on the American side rather than
the more oriental area of concern it still
is debatable. His style of analytical
approach towards the historical eras, the
interests and international contexts are
highly well-explained and pointed out
so as to make delimitation in not only
time and space but also the shaping of a
better understanding in concepts and
perceptions.
The book of two hundred and
ninety two pages starts up with an
impressive dedication to his new born
grandson in which he wishes that his
growth and development would lead to
the creation of a better and more
peaceful world.
The book is structured into ten
chapters in which a preface, a set of
notes and a final index are inclosed. The
first part of the book illustrates a full
map of the Middle East as it is now and
as it was there during the period
discussed in the book. The introductory
chapter shows us a clear picture of what
there is to be discussed in the book. A
very important part is the controversed
historical limitation of the cold-war
period, the international context of
cooperation and conflict between the
rival countries and the rather poorly

implemented situation in the Middle


East. In the pre-arrival of Western
companies, even though it was rich in
resources, the area was one of the most
underdevelopt regions in the world. At
the beginning of Cold War times, they
considered
themselves
as
an
underdeveloped
peaceful
nation
because they did not wish to be
introduced in the community of
external politics partly because of
traditionalist and religious values, partly
because they did not want to share what
they had with foreign communities.
However,
what
is
mostly
developed during the second chapter
but also mentioned in the first one is
the fact that the bipolar world,
conceptualized thus after the end of
World War II, was at a loss for
resources after a period of huge military
effectiveness and disturbance, so the
United States and the Soviet Union
decided to turn to the Middle East in
order to convince the regional
authorities to provide them with oil for
maintenance. Secret meetings and
transactions were made in order to gain
oil on stock and detailed examples
about
negotiations
carried
out
confidentially between Russian and US
officials in countries like Saudi Arabia,
directly with important persons from
within the countries are pointed out as
key strategies. This also brings into
discussion the idea of financial
development for Arab and Middle
Eastern countries, they also being in the
internal conflict zone as well as a result
in profit for the US who offered more
money than the currently submergent
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Soviet Union which was soon to


become Russia in an exclusive term.
The following two chapters
describe the belonging and the entering
of Middle Eastern countries in the
International System, the close Soviet
Invasion, the transactions with the US
as well as the problems they went
through internally. The world which was
rather isolated in the beginning went
through a slight sudden change because
it became one of the world's greatest
providers. This is mostly why the book
states that the US was a dominant
factor in that territory because they
somehow exercited an influence
through the mostly imposed concept of
soft power application and for the fact
that they created an image of the
colossal being in the system who would
have the capacity of throwing away the
Soviet power.
The internal conflicts were masked
by the international interest that the
USSR and US created between
themselves, each waiting for the other
one's attack and each expecting for
more influentialism in the Middle
Eastern areas.
Thus due to the finishing part of
the book there is a conclusionary
chapter which describes the so called
victorious ascending of the States and
the way it exercited influence through
mental evolutionism and through
continuous transactions.
I would truly say this book is
worth reading not only because it is a
very good structural analysis of the
historical and relational context but also
it is a very well written work, clear and
explicit in an easily perceptible writing
manner. The author manages to tell the
story linking facts to opinions and
thoughts. Apart from this it makes the
persons interested in the Middle
194

Eastern subject better understand the


area's identification with the outside and
it offers the majority an opportunity of
exploring identity concepts, affairs of
interests, cooperation and conflict
between the world's most influential
powers and the other states under the
influential sphere.

Petra-Iuliana PINTELEI
Lumina The University of
South-East Europe

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

SIGNALS
Scott MAINWARING, Anbal PREZ-LIN

Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall


Cambridge University Press, 2014

This book presents a new theory for why


political regimes emerge, and why they
subsequently survive or break down. It then
analyzes the emergence, survival, and fall of
democracies and dictatorships in Latin
America since 1900. Scott Mainwaring and
Anbal Prez-Lin argue for a theoretical
approach situated between long-term
structural and cultural explanations and
short-term explanations that look at the
decisions of specific leaders. They focus on
the political preferences of powerful actors the degree to which they embrace democracy
as an intrinsically desirable end and their
policy radicalism - to explain regime
outcomes. They also demonstrate that
transnational forces and influences are crucial
to understand regional waves of
democratization. Based on extensive research
into the political histories of all twenty Latin
American countries, this book offers the first
extended analysis of regime emergence,
survival, and failure for all of Latin America over a long period of time.

Source:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Democracies-Dictatorships-Latin-America-Mainwaring-eboo
k/dp/B00E99YON2
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Claudio LOPEZ-GUERRA

Democracy and Disenfranchisment: The Morality of Electoral Exclusions


Oxford University Press, 2014

In Democracy and Disenfranchisement: The


Morality of Electoral Exclusions, Claudio
Lopez-Guerra argues in favor of an elitist
system of enfranchisement by lottery. He also
criticizes arguments that universal suffrage is
consistent with the exclusion of children, the
mentally impaired, felons, and resident
non-citizens. The result is a fascinating and
provocative exploration of, and challenge to,
the fundamental idea that voting is a basic
right.The denial of voting rights to certain
types of persons continues to be a moral
problem of practical significance. How should
we think morally about electoral exclusions?
What should we conclude about these
particular cases? This book proposes a set of
principles, called the Critical Suffrage
Doctrine, that defies conventional beliefs on
the legitimate denial of the franchise.
According to the Critical Suffrage Doctrine, in
some realistic circumstances it is morally
acceptable to adopt an alternative to universal suffrage that would exclude the vast
majority of sane adults for being largely uninformed. Thus, contrary to what most people
believe, current controversies on the franchise are not about exploring the limits of a
basic moral right. Political theorists have rarely submitted the franchise to serious
scrutiny. Hence this study makes a contribution to a largely neglected and important
subject.

Source:
http://newbooksinpoliticalscience.com/crossposts/claudio-lopez-guerra-democracy-and
-disenfranchisement-the-morality-of-electoral-exclusions-oxford-up-2014/
196

South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Steven LEVITSKY, Lucan A. WAY


.Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War (Problems of

International Politics)

Cambridge University Press, 2010


Competitive authoritarian regimes - in
which autocrats submit to meaningful
multiparty elections but engage in serious
democratic abuse - proliferated in the
post-Cold War era. Based on a detailed study
of 35 cases in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and
post-communist Eurasia, this book explores
the fate of competitive authoritarian regimes
between 1990 and 2008. It finds that where
social, economic, and technocratic ties to the
West were extensive, as in Eastern Europe
and the Americas, the external cost of abuse
led incumbents to cede power rather than
crack down, which led to democratization.
Where ties to the West were limited, external
democratizing pressure was weaker and
countries rarely democratized. In these cases,
regime outcomes hinged on the character of
state and ruling party organizations.

Source:
http://www.amazon.com/Competitive-Authoritarianism-Problems-International-Politic
s/dp/0521709156
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Spencer D. BAKICH

Success and Failure in Limited War


Information and Strategy in the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Iraq Wars
The University of Chicago Press Books, 2014

In this book, Spencer D. Bakich investigates

a crucial and often ignored factor in determining


the nature and direction of limited war:
information institutions. Traditional assessments
of wartime strategy focus on the relationship
between the military and civilians, but Bakich
argues that we must take into account the
information flow patterns among top policy
makers and all national security organizations. By
examining the fate of American military and
diplomatic strategy in four limited wars, Bakich
demonstrates how not only the availability and
quality of information, but also the ways in which
information is gathered, managed, analyzed, and
used, shape a states ability to wield power
effectively in dynamic and complex international
systems. Utilizing a range of primary and
secondary source materials, Success and Failure in
Limited War makes a timely case for the power of
information in war, with crucial implications for
international relations theory and statecraft.

Source: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo17436650.html

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John LAMPE

Balkans into Southeastern Europe, 1914-2014


A Century of War and Transition
Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

John R. Lampe offers a comprehensive


assessment of the full century from the
Sarajevo assassination in 1914 through to
EU membership and developments up to
the present day. The main idea presented by
Lampe is that the Balkans, in their
development and ultimate destination - the
EU - do not significantly differ from the
rest of Europe. In order to prove this
assertion, the author explores the shared
problems of the region in the years before
the Second World War, and highlights the
positive developments emerging from the
bloody experience of post-communist
transition. Therefore, this book offers a
multi-layered, comprehensive perspective of
a century long history of the Balkans and
includes many remarkable political,
economic and social observations.

Source:
http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/balkans-into-southeastern-europe-19142014-john-lampe
/?K=9781137019066
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Stephen WELCH

Hyperdemocracy

Palgrave Macmillan
What is the future of democracy? Is it
steadily improving in scope, depth, and
accountability? Is it being marginalized by
economic forces? Or has it already
progressed too far? This book argues that
none of these assessments is right, and
instead that democracy is becoming 'hyper.'
An increasingly well-educated citizenry and
freer flow of information contribute to the
intensification of democracy, but at the same
time begin to impede decision-making by
contesting more and more of the cognitive
preconditions that decision-making rests
upon. Under hyperdemocracy, democracy
begins to undermine itself. This book applies
the idea of 'reflexive modernization' to
democratic theory, setting out a new
perspective on the challenges democracy
faces.

Source:
http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/hyperdemocracy-stephen-welch/?K=9780230341142

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Michael BRUTER, Martin LODGE (ed.)

Political Science Research Methods in Action


Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

What are the common challenges that


researchers face when designing and
performing research? What are the choices
and trade-offs that social scientists encounter
when seeking to implement a fascinating
idea? This volume brings together
world-leading scholars from a range of
political research methodologies and
sub-areas in order to show how they have
dealt with these challenges during the
research process. Looking at every stage of
the research process, Political Science
Research Methods in Action shows common
problems that affect diverse research
approaches and shows how they were
encountered and resolved. Aiming to help
researchers whether new or experienced
to take control of their research, this volume
brings the research process to life and shows
how actual research is 'done' within the
frameworks
of
core methodological
principles that guide research design.

Source:

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/political-science-research-methods-in-action-michael-br
uter/?isb=9781137318268
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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
Ioana-Bianca BERNA
Ioana-Bianca BERNA is a lecturer at the University of Southeast Europe
Lumina. She has a Ph.d. in Political Science, International Relations
Specialization, with the thesis: Southeast Asian Security Dynamics. The Role of
Extra-Regional Actors. She has published studies in a wide range of
publications, such as: Hiperboreea, Monitorul Strategic, Universul Strategic,
Moldavian Review of International Law and International Relations, Economie
i Administraie Local, Tribuna Economic, International Journal for Public
Management and Political Development, Sfera Politicii, Revista de Comer,
Journal of East European and Asian Studies, Romanian Military Thinking,
Gndirea Militar Romneasc, Annals of University tefan Cel Mare of
Suceava, Philosoply, Social and Human Disciplines Series, Studia Securitatis
Security Studies Magazine, International Journal for Human Capital
Development, Southeast European Journal of Political Science. Her research
interests include: East Asian and Pacific Studies, Fractality in International
Relations Theory, Identity Theory in International Relations. Her first book,
entitled: Incrementalism and Identity-Building in Southeast Asian Security
Dynamics is under current publishing under the aegis of the Military Publishing
House.
Miriam CIHODARIU
Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Bucharest and a Ph.D.
candidate in Anthropology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. She
has experience as a teaching assistant and as a junior researcher in various
groups conducting medium and small-scale researches and field trips, as well as
doing field research on her own, employing various qualitative methods
(interviews with various degrees of limitations, focus groups, observation and
participative observation, photo elicitation, mental maps and narrative mental
maps etc).
Teodora-Maria DAGHIE
Ph.D. candidate in political science (University of Bucharest), researching the
Latin American development and security issues. Her interests include:
development, security studies, regional cooperation, Latin American relations,
North-South
cooperation, inter-governmental cooperation, regional
organization, research methodology and comparative politics. Her most recent
articles can be found in prestigious national and international journals:
Romanias national security strategy in the 21st century as member of the
European Union (2014), Brazils renewable energy as a tool of foreign policy
(2015), Seguridad: Crime, Police Power, and Democracy in Argentina (2014).
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Drago DRAGOMAN
Ph.D. in Sociology, lecturer with the Deparment of Political Science, Lucian
Blaga University of Sibiu. His research interests include capital and political
participation, ethnicity and nationalism, democracy and democratization. Recent
publication: Capital social i valori democratice n Romnia, Editura Institutul
European, Iai, 2010; Gestiunea politicilor publice teritoriale i integrare european. Politici
culturale, sociale i de sntate n Frana i Romnia (coord., with Dan-Alexandru
Popescu), Editura Universitii Lucian Blaga Sibiu, 2010; Populism,
autoritarism i valori democratice n opinia public din Romnia, in Sergiu
Gherghina, Sergiu Micoiu (eds.), Partide i personaliti populiste n Romnia
postcomunist, Editura Institutul European, Iai, 2010, pp. 267-307; Partide
regionale i democraie local n Romnia, in Sergiu Gherghina (ed.), Voturi i
politici. Dinamica partidelor romneti n ultimele dou decenii, Editura Institutul
Europeean, Iai, 2011, pp. 319-345.

Lucian DUMITRESCU
He works at the Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations. He
has been involved in fundamental research programmes regarding the social
problems that a still backward rural area needs to grapple with. He has a PhD in
Sociology from Faculty of Sociology, University of Bucharest. He is still a PhD
candidate in political philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of
Bucharest. Lucian Dumitrescu is also associate lecturer at the Faculty of
Sociology, University of Bucharest, where he teaches classes on history of
sociology, political sociology, societal security, international relations etc. He is
also involved with the The Department-UNESCO Chair in Inter-cultural and
Inter-religious Exchanges at the University of Bucharest, where he deliveres
classes on Sociology of European Culture and Globalization and European
Cultural Identity.
Bogdan GHEORGHI
Ph.D. in Sociology University of Bucharest. Recent publications: Popular
music, social capital and the consolidation of public space in post-communist
Romania (with Drago Dragoman, Sabina-Adina Luca, Anmria Kdr),
Sociologie Romneasc, 2, 2012, 113-133; The Sociocultural Identity of Young
People in Post-Communist Romania. Attitudes Towrad Work and Migration
(with Drago Dragoman, Sabina-Adina Luca, Anmria Kdr), Studia Politica, 12
(1), 2012, 91-104.
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South East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS), Vol. II, No. 4, 2014

Marinela ISTRATE
Lecturer, Ph.D. the University Al. I. Cuza of Iai, Faculty of Geography and
Geology, Department of Geography. Interest fields: Geodemography,
Economic Geography, Regional Disparities. Significant scientific contributions:
Marinela ISTRATE, Relaiile urban - rural in Moldova n perioada contemporan,
Editura Universitii Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Iai, 2008; Marinela ISTRATE,
Fora de munc feminin n Romnia comunist: de la rezilien la discriminare
profesional, in Maria Nicoleta TURLIUC (ed.), Gen, munc, familie i schimbare,
Institutul European, Iai, 2013, pp. 31-50; Marinela ISTRATE, (N)ever
becoming urban? Romanian small towns crisis, in Peripherisation. The making of
Spatial dependencies and Social injustice, Springer, 2013.
Raluca-Ioana HOREA-ERBAN
Lecturer, Ph.D. University Al. I. Cuza of Iai, Faculty of Geography and
Geology, Department of Geography. Interest fields: Geodemography,
Geography of Tourism, Economic Geography. Significant scientific
contributions (books and chapter books): Raluca-Ioana HOREA-ERBAN (coauthor), Atlasul electoral al Romniei/Atlas electoral de la Roumania/Electoral Atlas of
Romania (1990-2009), Editura Universitii Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Iai, 2014;
Raluca Ioana HOREA ERBAN (co-author), Fora de munc feminin n
Romnia comunist: de la rezilien la discriminare profesional, in Maria
Nicoleta TURLIUC (ed.), Gen, munc, familie i schimbare, Institutul European,
Iai, 2013; Raluca HOREA-ERBAN, Rumania en transicion a pais de
inmigracion, in Miguel PAJARES, Olga JUBANY (eds.), Sindicatos e inmigration
en Europa, 1990-2010, Ed. Icaria Antrazit, Barcelona, 2011; Raluca HOREAERBAN, Vatra Dornei, M. Ielenicz, E. Matei, N. Ciang, C. Iau, C. Vert
(eds.), Resorts of National Interest in the Romanian Carpathians, Editura Universitar,
Bucureti, 2009.
Katarina LONAREVI
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Sciences; Research: Philosophy,
Political Philosophy, Gender Studies; Interests: Women and Gender Studies,
Identity politics, Political Theory, Cultural Theory. Recent publications: Dasa
Duhacek, Katarina Lonarevi, Dragana Popovic, eds., Education, Gender,
Citizenship, Belgrade: Faculty of Political Sciences, Center for Gender and
Politics, 2014 [in Serbian]; Jelisaveta, Olga Dimitrijevic, Dubravka Djurik, Zorica
Ivanovic, Katarina Lonarevi, and Ana Stolic, eds., Who Said It Was Simple:
What Do We Think When We Speak about LGBTIQ Activism, in Between Us:
Untold Stories of Gay and Lesbian Lives, Belgrade: Hartefact Fund, 2014 [in
Serbian].
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Sabina-Adina LUCA
Ph.D. Lecturer, Department of Political Science, International Relations and
Security Studies Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu. Recent publications:
Popular music, social capital and the consolidation of public space in postcommunist Romania (with Drago Dragoman, Bogdan Gheorghi, Anmria
Kdr), Sociologie Romneasc, 2, 2012, 113-133; The Sociocultural Identity of
Young People in Post-Communist Romania. Attitudes Towrad Work and
Migration (with Drago Dragoman, Bogdan Gheorghi, Anmria Kdr),
Studia Politica, 12 (1), 2012, 91-104.
Helen MARGARITOU-ANDRIANESSI
Ph.D. at the University of Athens (1994). Post-Doctoral research (1994-1996) in
Greece (University of Athens) and in Italy (Centro Internazionale di Studi
Rosminiani). Publications: Essays on Aristotle's Ethics, Grigoris (1988). (NeoAristotelian Views: Implicit Categorical Semantics of the Aristotelian Model
Scheme ); ANAMET.Impressionism and Literature
(Intercultural Anthropology: Implicit Categorical Semantics of the Aristotelian
Model Scheme ), Armos (2009); Eclectic and Modificative Conditions of
Reality (Towards a Cybernetic Realism:Implicit Categorical Semantics of the
Aristotelian Model Scheme ) (2011).
Florin-Ciprian MITREA
Ph.D. in Political Sciences at the University of Bucharest, with the doctoral
thesis entitled Intellectuals in totalitarianism. Cultural Foundations of the
Polish Critique of Communism (1945 1989); B.A. (2000) and M.A. (2002) at
the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest; Studies of academic
research at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow and at the University
LaSapienza of Rome. Presently, he is lecturer at LUMINA The University
of South-East Europe (Department of International Relations and European
Studies), Bucharest. He published several scientific articles in journals such as:
Sfera Politicii, Revista de tiine Politice i Relaii Internaionale a Academiei
Romne, Romanoslavica.
Sorin MITULESCU
Associated professor to Lumina-University of South-Eastern Europe teaching
in European studies, European policies, sociology of international relations and
political anthropology and a senior researcher under Institute of Education
Sciences. Is a member of European Youth Knowledge Centre a network for
youth policy in Europe. On 2013 he has been a coauthor of the survey
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Adolescents Situation in Romania, ordered by UNICEF Romania and a member


of Ministry of Youth and Sport consultancy team for elaboration of Youth
National Strategy 2014-2020. Recent publications: Sorin Mitulescu, Integrarea
european a rilor mediteraneene, un model pentru zona Mrii Negre? in
Mediterranean Pattern and the Extended Region of the Black Sea. Political, Economic and
Cultural Confluence, Ars Docendi, Bucureti, 2013; Sorin Mitulescu, The History
of Youth Work in Romania, in Marti Taru, Filip Cousse , Howard Williamson
(eds.), The history of youth work in Europe Relevance for todays youth work policy,
Volume 4, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, 2014.
Rzvan PANTELIMON
Lecturer at the Faculty of History and Political Science, Ovidius University
Constanta/Associate Professor at Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad
Catlica de Valparaso, Chile.
Ph.D. in Europe and the Americas: constitutions, doctrines and political institutions, at the
Department of Politics, Institutions and History, University of Bologna, Italy
and PhD in Political Science at the Faculty of Political Science, University of
Bucharest. Post-doctoral studies on RomaTre University in the framework of
the Europaeus International Project. Associate Professor at the University of
Bucharest and visiting teacher/researcher in Chile, Italy, Spain, Portugal.
Member of the Latin-American Association for Political Science and of the
European Network of Information and Documentation on Latin-America. Main
research interests include: political parties, socialist and leftist ideologies and
parties in Latin America and Latin Americans political systems evolutions. As of
lately, he has published various articles and book chapters on: Latin-American
socialism, Latin-American political theories and thinkers, populism and neopopulism, transition and democratic consolidation and new types of political
parties.
Silviu PETRE
Researcher at the Center of East European and Asian Studies within SNSPA.
He holds a Ph.D. about Indias war on terrorism and regional hegemony. Silviu
Petre is author of the book India i hegemonia regional (Tritonic, Bucureti, 2014).
Petra-Iuliana PINTELEI
Undergraduate student at LUMINA the University of South-East Europe.
Former student at George Cobuc English High-School advanced Cambridge
certified in English earned equivalent diplomas in Spanish and Portuguese
Language. Cultural essay writer, blogger and Public Speaker held a speech in the
European Parliament in 2009 about the standard in European legislation for
disadvantaged persons. Supporter of charities and humanitarian associations,
former intern at the McCann PR company of Bucharest.
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Ctlin-Valentin RAIU
PhD and MA in Political Science, MA and BA in Orthodox Theology, all at The
University of Bucharest, currently postdoctoral fellow at the Romanian
Academy. Recent books: Democraie i statolatrie. Cretinismul social la Bartolomeu
Stnescu, episcopul Rmnicului Noul Severin (1875-1954), Editura Universitii din
Bucureti, Bucureti, 2014.
Gelu SABU
Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Bucharest; lecturer at Hyperion
University (Faculty of Journalism), Bucharest. Fields of interest: Philosophy of
religion, religious dogmas and doctrines, Political philosophy, Religious and
political modern ideologies. Published studies: Church and State in Orient and
Occident. The two cities and the conflict between the two powers, Studia
Universitatis Babe-Bolyai. Theologia Graeco-Catholica Vardaniensis, Vol. LV,
No. 1, 2010, pp. 173-192; On created and increated in (Pseudo-)Dionysius the
Areopagite and the neo-platonic tradition, Schol. Independent Review of
Philosophy, No. 2, 2011, pp. 5-20; Religion and modernity. Instruments of
ideologizing the religious discourse, Cogito. Multidisciplinary Research Journal,
Vol. IV, No. 4, 2012, pp. 113-132.
Marko SIMENDI
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Sciences; Interests: History of
Political Ideas, Modern Political Philosophy. Recent publications: Lino i
suvereno(st): Hobsovo vienje meunarodnih odnosa, Tomas Hobs utemeljenje
moderne filozofije politike, Institut za filozofiju i drutvenu teoriju i Albatros Plus,
Beograd 2012; Thomas Hobbess Person As Persona And Intelligent
Substance, Intellectual History Review, 22:2, Routledge, London 2012; Hobbes
and Coke on Corporations: Parallels and Dissonances, Jurisprudence and Political
Philosophy in the 21st Century Reassessing Legacies (ed. Miodrag A. Jovanovi and
Bojan Spai), Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2012.
Octavian SOFRONEA
Ph.D. student at Doctoral School of Political Science, University of Bucharest
with a research about the promotion of human rights during the Olympic
Games. He holds a MA degree in Political Science, department of International
Relations, from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest. His
area of expertise includes: Political Science, International Relations, Security
Studies, Human Rights and Olympic Games.

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Lorena-Valeria STUPARU
Scientific researcher III, Ph.D., Institute of Political Sciences and International
Relations of the Romanian Academy; graduate of Post-doctoral School,
University of Bucharest.
Authored book: Our identity: a substantial reality or a convention?, LAP LAMBERT
Academic Publishing, AV Akademikerverlag GmbH & Co. KG, Germany,
2014; Filozofia chiriaului grbit. Studii i eseuri, Aius, Craiova, 2012; De la cetenia
clasic la eurocetenie. ntre realitate i utopie, Editura Institutului de tiine Politice i
Relaii Internaionale, Bucureti, 2009; Simbol i recunoatere la Mircea Eliade.
Semnificaii religioase, politice i estetice, Editura ISPRI, Bucureti, 2006; Co-author
and editor: Identitatea individual n contextul globalizrii. Studii i interviuri, Aius,
Craiova, Aius, 2013; Co-author: Teorii ale legitimitii puterii, Editura ISPRI,
Bucureti, 2014; Conservatorismul. Istorie i actualitate, Tritonic, Bucureti, 2010;
Societatea civil i drepturile omului, Editura Institutului de Teorie Social, Bucureti,
1997.
Gabriela TNSESCU
Scientific researcher III, Ph.D., Institute of Political Sciences and International
Relations of the Romanian Academy; postdoctoral researcher, Romanian
Academy. Authored book: Spinoza libertate i raiune. Libertatem Philosophandi
(2010, Ion Petrovici Prize of the Romanian Academy).
Co-author and editor: Teorii ale legitimitii puterii (2014); Spaiul public european. Idei,
instituii, politici (with Gheorghe Ciascai, 2014); Romnia i Rusia dup 20 de ani
(with Dan Dungaciu, 2013); Liberalismul occidental al secolului XX (2011); Puterea
politic. Abordri actuale (2008); Tendine actuale n filosofia politic (2006).
Co-author: Sistemul politic din Romnia (2014), Conservatorismul. Istorie i actualitate
(2010, 2007), Europa 2005. Unitate n diversitate (2005), Enciclopedia operelor
fundamentale de filosofie politic, vol. III (2005), vol. II (2004), vol. I (2001), Individ,
libertate, mituri politice (1997).
Translations from Giovanni Sartori, Quentin Skinner, Jrgen Habermas, William
J. Connell, Irving Kristol, Mortimer Adler.

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210

South-East European Journal of Political Science (SEEJPS) is a peer-reviewed journal, with four
thematic issues per year, dedicated to South-East Europe to the socio-historical and political
peculiarities and commonalities this area has in relation to the West and in relation to other
surrounding cultural and political spaces, as well. First, by extending classical theoretical
frameworks, the journal aims to create solid bridges between the research devoted to SouthEastern European political phenomena and processes before 1945, on the one hand, and research
on communist regimes, post-communism and transition, on the other hand. Second, by probing
various perspectives offered by political science (philosophy and political theory, sociology and
political history, anthropology and political psychology, political analysis and public policies,
international relations and European studies, etc.), the journal aims to contribute to the creation of
an international forum for interdisciplinary debates on the latest concepts, issues and
methodologies in the eld.

Issues of the Numbers (2015)

Vol. III, No. 1 Gender Politics in Post-Communist Countries;


Vol. III, no. 2 Left and Right Today. Elections in Central and East-European Countries;
Vol. III, no. 3. Security Studies - Advances, Challenges and Unremitting Constancies;
Vol III, no. 4 UNO - Challenges and Solutions in a Global World.

LUMINA
THE UNIVERSITY OF
SOUTH-EAST EUROPE

(ENGLISH PROGRAM)
(ENGLISH PROGRAM)