2019 Issue No. 30 /September
Table of Contents
“Practice turn” can potentially influence both the theory and methods applied in EU studies. This paper attempts to grasp the most important features of this approach, as they could prove relevant to the study of decision-making at the European level. The point of departure is a research project on the role of socialisation mechanisms in the Council of the European Union, which was rooted in constructivism and used process tracing type case studies as its main method. The paper explores the principles and promises of practice turn and, more generally, of interpretive social science. It describes methods and practical considerations of tracing practices and studying the understandings they contain. Showing the limitations of a more conventional approach to issues such as supranational socialisation and decision-making, the paper argues for practice-oriented research by describing the opportunities and advantages it offers.
- Keywords: constructivism, interpretive methodology, interpretive methods, meaning-making, social practices.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2019.30.01
2. Vladimír KOVÁČIK and Michal IMROVIČ: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EU OPERATIONAL PROGRAM EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INCLUSION IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC IN THE CONTEXT OF SELECTED SOCIAL INDICATORS
The Operational program Employment and social inclusion was implemented in the programming period 2007-2013 by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic. The aim of the operational program was to increase employment, social inclusion and capacity building. Due to the low flexibility and efficiency of the staff in various areas of public administration, as well as the need to improve policy-making, the operational program supported activities aimed at improving human capital and activities oriented towards quality policy making. This paper analyses selected key social indicators such as employment rate, unemployment rate and people at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate in the context of the implementation. Active labor market measures are among the most effective instruments the state has to support employment and deal with the threat of poverty and social exclusion. The implementation of the operational program can be considered successful on the basis of results of realized projects and objectives achieved. The operational program helped mitigate the impact of the crisis on employment and started community-wide social and community work. As a result of the analysis, the implementation of the operational program significantly helped to increase employment, reduce unemployment rate and people at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate in Slovakia in the period of 2007-2017.
- Keywords: Regional policy, EU Structural Funds, European Social Fund, Active labor market policy, Operational Program, Unemployment.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2019.30.02
At the root of the article, there is an argument on the crisis of liberal democracy, which manifests itself in the atomisation of society, exacerbated by consumerism(among other things), and consequently, withdrawal of individuals from the public space, as well as an unwitting resignation from, for example, the rights of scrutiny over authority. It needs to be noticed that the above diagnosis may stem both from the concern about liberal democracy, the belief that there is no alternative to it, but it may also be derived from the conviction that it is necessary to reject liberal democracy and replace it with some other, allegedly better project. One of such counter-projects is nationalism. Every project of social organization, including liberal democracy, just like nationalism, adopts a certain catalogue of obligations or expectations towards individuals, citizens, members of the nation (the obligatory aspect). The aim of this paper is to analyze the connections between an individual, the society and the state, that is the scope of relationships determining certain obligatory aspects, namely the contents of obligations corresponding to the requirements of liberal democracy efficiency and the contents of obligations necessary to preserve the coherence of the nationalist counter-project, as well as specific costs (some kinds of hardships) necessary to achieve the efficiency of each of these systems. The subjects of reference in the text, despite the generalized character of some of the arguments mentioned in the text, are the Polish society and state.
- Keywords:crisis of liberal democracy, liberal democracy, nationalism, individual, society, authority, state, atomisation, community, nation, civic duties, civic preparation.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2019.30.03
4. Jacques BAZEN and Florin DUMA: ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS IN SUPPORTING EUROPEAN INTEGRATION IN THE CONTEXT OF ROMANIA
This study is about the effects of short exchange projects on students from higher education. The authors observe a low willingness among students from The Netherlands and Romania to spend longer term exchange periods in each other’s country. Just 0.3% of Dutch ERASMUS+ scholarship recipients went to Romania in 2017, and vice versa 1.8%. Given the population sizes and higher education enrolment rates, the expected average would have been around 3% for both countries. Even though Romania’s attractiveness of higher education is slowly increasing, the authors decided to try to help students with broadening their horizon by offering an educational intervention that consists of a short exchange project that consists of an actual business assignment for a client from either business or government. The results of the corresponding pre- and post-test indicates that students are probably a bit overly optimistic about their intercultural skills at the start, but at the end especially enjoy a lot the multidisciplinary approach of the exchange project.
- Keywords: education, internationalization, project management, European integration.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2019.30.04
5. Vephkhvia GRIGALASHVILI: GEORGIAN DEFENCE POLICY PLANNING MODEL: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND LEGAL ASPECTS
This article discusses the main tenets of Georgian national defence policy planning, as well as the institutional mechanisms that are essential for the management and governance of Georgian state defence. The scope of this article references the policy planning documentation at both the national level (via the Parliament or the Cabinet of Ministers, of the Government) and agency level (via the Cabinet of Ministers, or other heads of administrative entities), which pertain to the structure and hierarchy of state institutions as well as the peculiarities of their interaction. Additionally, a discussion of the competencies involved in defence policy planning, with respect to the separation of powers among state institutions, policy planning horizons, characteristics of intermediate stage plans, as well as the methodology involved in defence policy planning. In terms of the overall extent of defence policy planning, the objective of this article is to analyse concepts and factors, which from past observation can be identified as being constructive, or obstructive. Such analysis may help to formulate a more effective way forwards, firstly in terms of recommendations for reshaping the existing national defence policy planning model and ultimately in terms of the realisation of a more effective state governance model.
- Keywords: Defence Policy Planning, Competencies in Defence Policy Planning, Mechanisms of Defence Policy Planning, Defence Policy Planning Documentation, Horizons of Defence Policy Planning, Methodology of Defence Policy Planning.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2019.30.05
6. Rareș Vlad BUNEA and Lucian T. BUTARU: THE SOCIAL BRANCH: A NEW MECHANISM FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE
“The neoliberal policies activated since the 1970s have created unprecedented levels of wealth and income inequality, stagnating social mobility, aggravating effects that compound the climate crisis, and especially little prospects for an improvement of the general welfare of all citizens, not just the ruling wealthy. Many theoretical mechanisms have been proposed to fix the ailments of capitalism, Universal Basic Income (UBI) being amongst the most transformative and cutting-edge. These policy proposals all suffer a great shortcoming: they must be political. Leftwing and rightwing governments take turns at running UBI pilots then cutting them immediately after winning elections (Forget, 2018). The challenge to a solid long-term solution that brings economic justice for the many, not just the few, is to overcome the politics. This means deploying broad-spectrum and reasonable (re)distribution models that satisfy both the laissez-faire desires of the libertarian enthusiasts and the sentiments of solidarity of left-leaning activists. A transformative (re)distribution paradigm must become apolitical and must transcend the traditional separations of power in the state. This paper outlines the high-level attributes of this new mechanism: what it would look like, why it is so necessary, and how can be realized given the tremendous pressures imposed by the climate crisis.
- Keywords:Universal Basic Income, International Institution, Wealth Socialization.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2019.30.06