2020 Issue No. 33 /September
Table of Contents
The paper embraces the concepts of social acceleration and Late Modernity into a multi-theoretical argument. It sheds light on the reflexive and critical shifts, both at individual and institutional-structural level, induced by these processes. Through this lens, the proposed argument revisits the principal fundaments of ‘Europe’; those orienting and underpinning foundations that need to move from the ‘either/or’ framings to the ‘both/and’ logics of pan-relationalism, anti-representationalism, and anti-essentialism. Finally, in the last chapter, the paper (re-)theorizes the role of ‘spokespeople’ in the field of European Studies in order to show how academics/scholars can contribute the most to the reflexive and critical actorness of ‘Europe’ as a multi-layered institutional entity and its European citizens.
- Keywords: social acceleration, Late Modernity, Europe, reflexivity and critical agency, spokespeople.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.01
The purpose of the article is to characterize the genesis, role, significance, conditions, and effects of economic cooperation of the Visegrad Group states in the European Union, with particular emphasis on their development after 2015. It presents the distinguishing features and specificity of the Group before the accession to NATO and to the EU in the context of the then situation of Central Europe and other European post-communist countries, as well as characterizes the most important aspects of the economic potential of the V4 states against the background of the EU and of some selected Member States. The strengths and weaknesses of economic cooperation in the region are discussed, as well as structural restrictions on the role of the Visegrad countries in the European Union and the controversy surrounding their cooperation. The last part contains conclusions referring the activity of the Visegrad Group to the main axes of post-crisis political and economic divisions in the EU, with particular emphasis on their economic dimensions
- Keywords:: economies of the Visegrad Group countries in the EU, structural limitations of the role of the Visegrad Group countries in the EU, controversy around cooperation of the V4 countries.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.02
3. Adrian BODEA and José Manuel SÁNCHEZ SANTOS: DECENTRALIZATION AND EXPECTED TIME IN OFFICE. THE EFFECT OF DECENTRALIZATION ON CABINET DURABILITY
The objective of this study is to analyze the role played by both fiscal and political decentralization as determinants of the expected time in office, understood as the latent (unobservable) durability of the cabinets. Using data for all the EU member states for the period that spans from 2007 up to 2017 and employing two competing survival analysis models, namely Weibull (parametric) and Cox (semiparametric), the results show that, even after controlling for other relevant variables (such as majority in legislative, the number of parties in government, the range between the most distant positions in coalition, etc.), decentralization (either fiscal or political) seem to be insignificant over the expected time in office of the cabinets. To the best of our knowledge there is only one study that focused on testing this kind of relationships, but which only considered the case of regional parties with portfolio positions (thus losing sight of the very important “supply and confidence agreements”). The originality of this works stems from the fact that we are more inclusive and that we employ new data and new variables that are more appropriate for framework of European politics, dominated by the anti-EU and populist debates, since the Great Recession of 2008.
- Keywords: Decentralization; Cabinet Durability; European Union.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.03
4. Jacek WOJNICKI: CENTRAL EUROPEAN PARTY SYSTEMS AFTER 1990 – STABILIZATION OR CHAOS
The article analyzes the process of the formation of pluralist political scenes in Central and Eastern European countries. The focus of the analysis is five post-communist countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. The first contested parliamentary elections were held in successive months of 1990 (except Poland and Albania), which determined changes in the political scene. In the first transition period, the primary criterion determining the sociopolitical division was the historical factor. On the one hand, there were the so-called post-communist factions related to former ruling parties in the socialist states; on the other, factions created based on broad democratic opposition coalitions. In subsequent years, however, the socioeconomic division along the left-right lines grew in importance, as did the attitude toward the integration processes in Europe and the transformation process itself (along with the lines beneficiaries vs. transition losers). Also noteworthy is a weak „anchoring” of political parties in their electorates, which has resulted in frequent changes to the structure of parliaments and local government councils.
- Keywords: Political pluralism, party system, systemic transformation, democratization, elections, sociopolitical divisions.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.04
This article describes the process of repatriation back to Poland originating in the former Soviet Union and contemporary post-Soviet republics that emerged after the fall of the USSR. Over 3 Mln. Poles were living in the USSR (mainly in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine), as Polish communist authorities organized two waves of mass repatriation, accounting for over 1,5 Mln. Poles. By contrast, after 1989, more precisely between 1991 and 2018, only ca. 3,5 thousand Poles were subject to repatriation, a situation that needs to be analyzed in the context new migration opportunities opened up by Poland’s EU accession.
- Keywords: Poles in USSR, repatriation policy, repatriation, remigration, Polish Charter.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.05
The present study draws upon Eurosceptic sentiment in the present-day Czech Republic from the perspective of the political and party segment, and at the public level. Given the total of nine manifestations of Euroscepticism (Riishøj), we distinguish two types of party Euroscepticism: Hard and Soft Euroscepticism (Szczerbiak, Taggart). Czech party Euroscepticism is contemplated in terms of party behavior towards the processes of European integration (Kopecky and Mudde), the period of accession to the EU (Rovny) and the post-accession period of European adaptation (Marek, Baun). Two parties, such as KSČM (Hard Euroscepticism) and ODS (Soft Euroscepticism) parties enjoyed considerable electoral support (Chamber of Deputies), being backed by a Eurosceptically oriented electorate. Throughout accession and adaptation to the EU (2002–2010), the Chamber of Deputies rotation comprised around 50%. Since 2013, the Tomio Okamura political projects (Hard Euroscepticism) have joined Eurosceptic parties. In the 1990s, Czech society was mentally prepared for the EU accession, since the number of Democrats (Euro-optimists) was set at 65–77% (1994–1998) (Haerpfer). Following the EU accession, Eurosceptic sentiment in the Czech society constantly fluctuated, with the largest number of hard Eurosceptics in 2004–2010 (Eurobarometer). Simultaneously, elections to the European Parliament remain the least important issue for the Czech electorate (turnout of 28%), with political interests dominated by those of the national. The Czechs consider it best to maintain the EU membership, yet with the prevalence of national interests.
- Keywords:party Euroscepticism; public Euroscepticism; Soft Euroscepticism; Hard Euroscepticism; Chamber of Deputies Parliament of the Czech Republic.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.06
The article presents opinions and interpretations relating to the perception of threats to external security of the European Union (EU) and Poland. These are based on a comparison of the content of their strategic documents on the area of security. Despite the fact that Poland is a member of the EU it points out different attitude to threats assessment comparing those indicated in strategic documents of the EU. The EU security strategies and the security strategies of the Republic of Poland will be analysed. The time period taken was from the end of the Cold War until the current strategic documents were published. The perception of threats to the external security of the EU and Poland was correlated with the results of public opinion polls of the member states of the EU and Poland. The general findings lead to the conclusion that the perception of threats to external security contained in the strategic documents of the entities concerned is basically the same, but they perceive differently their priorities in reducing the risks associated with the occurrence of specific threats. Besides, Poland is more focused on military than none-military threats to its security especially from Russia’s side.
- Keywords: European Union (EU) strategies, external security, Poland’s security, threats to global security, security strategy.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.07
8. Monika Maria BRZEZIŃSKA: MODELS OF INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND THE ROLE THEORY ON THE EXAMPLE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY
The article deals with the issue of the role theory as one of research methods concerning international leadership. It explains the concept of an international role and shows its influence on research devoted to international leadership: how it is defined, how specific models are constructed and how particular types are classified. It also indicates the interdependencies governing international roles and leaders and emphasizes the significance of the factors determining it: the conflict, quantitative and qualitative changes, significance and influence of the position and identity of other international actors on the nature of leadership. The aim of the article is to tie the role theory with the concept of leadership and to check how and to what extent this method remains effective today within the field if international relations. The article tries to verify what research questions the method answers and what questions it leaves unanswered. The theoretical research in this field will be backed up with some empirical examples referring to the case study of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). This actor constitutes a perfect exemplification of an international leader with a wide range of roles played and changed over the years. It is characterized not only by dynamics and reorientation of its foreign policy as a manifestation of the role it plays, but also by its range of adaptation skills conditioned, inter alia, by such processes as role-making, role-taking or role-learning.
- Keywords: international leadership, role theory, Germany, international relations.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.08
In the context of the anti-corruption social movements in post-communist Romania, what role do local civil society associations, and more specifically artivism play in the articulation of corruption as a public problem? This translates into the desire to overcome the idea of corruption as a heavy Balkan heritage that explains the existence of a contestation movement only through external pressure. Therefore, this study argues that through a specific form of artivism, Funky Citizens, a very active NGO on the anti-corruption stage, is an example of a modernizing agent in post-communist Romania. To do so, this socio-historical study uses concepts and perspectives borrowed from the theoretical field of pragmatic sociology instrumentalized for the pursuit of apprehending artistic activism mobilized in the anti-corruption fight. The argument put forward is that the specificity of the Romanian case can be grasped through visual means of expression of actors that promote this specific modernizing project. So, this research reveals a new attitude towards corruption, different from that present during the first 20 years after the revolution, which implies the need to investigate its references to the recent past. Finally, this contribution reflects on the usefulness of artivism as a new language to channel ideas, in the pursuit of contributing to the articulation of a certain type of public memory of communism.
- Keywords: Post-communism, Romania, Modernizing Agents, Anti-Corruption, Artivism.
- DOI: 10.24193/OJMNE.2020.33.09