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Javier Lorenzo-Rodriguez

Abstract

The use of information and communication technology in electoral processes has become commonplace, being seen simply as another tool in the hands of policy-makers to improve the quality and effectiveness of public policy and representation. There have been diverse experiences in this area, and the instances in which ICT has been used in the mentioned processes differ. This article analyses and evaluates systematically, for the first time in literature, the incorporation of ICT when voting from abroad, paying attention to the practices of some of those countries that have implemented these technologies in one way or another, into their voting processes. Hence, by introducing the Electronic Voting From Abroad Index, this paper observes at which phase of the process the technology is being used and how this vary from country to country.

Open access

Amanda Anthony

Abstract

University entrepreneurship is an idea that has gained a significant amount of support globally in the last 30 years and is seen as promoting reinvention, revitalisation, and simply remuneration for the universities themselves and their regions at large. But as universities begin to ramp up their technology transfer activities and start to commercialise their research, it is important to consider the regional context and the regional impacts that this can have. Technology transfer is important, but to truly transform economic “catch-up” regions to future leading regions, it cannot be the only goal of university entrepreneurship. As a result, larger perspective and more government, business, and university collaboration is needed. Using Poland as a focus area, this paper will summarise the concept and development of the entrepreneurial university and the policies needed for success, and show that the technology transfer activity of the university should be considered just one element of regional development strategies. It concludes with policy recommendations that may be useful for Poland and other regions.

Open access

Waldemar Wojtasik

Abstract

The article presents the results of research on the congruence of the political representation formed in elections held in the years 2009-2011 in Poland. The election cycle included the European Parliamentary elections in 2009, the Polish presidential election, elections to local government in 2010, and the parliamentary elections in 2011. The median citizen, median voter, and their positions on the left-right scale were used as tools for examining congruence. Studies have proven that in Poland, the median citizen and the median voter are positioned on the right side of the left-right scale. The legislature and executive authorities chosen in the elections are located left of the median citizen and the median voter. Studies have not demonstrated the existence of any impact of the electoral system on the positioning of the median citizen and the median voter.

Open access

Ramona Coman

Abstract

Recent developments in Hungarian constitutional and judicial politics have given impetus to question not only the outcomes of democratisation and Europeanisation, but also the efficacy of the European Union’s compliance mechanisms. In 2010, Hungary, one of the forerunners in building democracy made the headlines with Fidesz’s attempts at adopting a new Constitution and implementing cardinal laws along with controversial institutional, cultural, religious, moral and socio-economic policies. This article attempts to depict the transformative power of the European Union within a sensitive policy area which touches upon States’ pouvoris régaliens: the independence of the judiciary.

Open access

Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka

Abstract

This article explains the relationship between subsidiarity and legitimacy of policies designed at EU level. Through means of theoretically informed analysis this paper claims that if the principle of subsidiarity is respected and implemented throughout the policy process, EU policy-making can aspire to satisfy the condition of both input and output legitimacy. The empirical part of the paper shows how, through a subsidiarity control mechanism known as the Early Warning System, national parliaments can collectively fulfill representative and deliberative functions in EU policy-making. Conclusions about the changing dynamics in parliamentary modus operandi in the field of EU affairs lead to forming a set of recommendations for further research.

Open access

Inta Brikše and Ieva Beitika

Abstract

The Development of public media in Latvia as a post-communist country has essentially been influenced by politicians. The political community has had consensus that certain reforms are necessary to ensure the development of public media given the changes in the communication space and its role in the facilitation of the strengthening of democracy, yet during the last fifteen years the political elite has not been able to come to a common agreement and to make decisions on systemic reforming and the development of public media. Since the communication environment has changed post digitalisation of television, the question about public media development and legitimisation has become increasingly topical.

The aim of the study is to explore how the members of the parliament of Latvia (Saeima) position public service media (PSM) in Latvia and assess the public value of PSM. The theoretical framework for the research is based on the concept of public value „strategic triangle” (Benington & Moore 2011), which consists of three main elements: public value outcomes, the authorising environment and operational capacity.

The study is based on qualitative research methods including 18 semi-structured interviews conducted with members of the Saeima in 2012 and 2013. The acquired data has been analysed by the principles of thematic analysis (Attride-Stirling 2001). Analysis of the interviews show that members of the Saeima recognise the need for public media to be independent whilst at the same time supporting a model in which public media is not supposed to have independent funding and they will continue competing with commercial media in the advertising market. High competition and resentment are characteristic features of the political elite in Latvia that apparently would also in future hamper the making of such decisions about public media that will facilitate their high-quality. Results of the research show the tendency for members of parliament to lack the necessary knowledge to formulate their opinion and to modulate relations of public media with society and their place in the overall media system in Latvia.

Open access

Karolina Kichewko

Abstract

The main aims of this article are: a presentation of the theoretical framework for the analysis of the social pacts policy (taking into consideration that social pacts are phenomena which are very difficult to clearly define) and the presentation of the practice of this policy in chosen European countries (including three cases of “using” social pacts for the shaping of public policy, taking into consideration the fact that the form and content of social pacts vary from country to country). Social pacts are very special kinds of agreements between the representatives of the state and the interest groups. They can include various issues of social and economic policies, but they can also be used for solving economic difficulties and sustaining progress, including the development of the state. Social Pacts Policy is useful for a weak state and interest groups, which as a result of it can have an influence on public policy. Although, its application is not a facile process of agreement between the state and the social partners, it can have various forms and can include different goals of social and economic policies. Similarly, the range, institutionalisation and length of social pacts are not the same in all countries. Moreover, as the article indicates it refers to the economic, cultural and social circumstances, which can also cause the disappearance of the social pacts mechanism.