Within the last few years, significant changes have taken place in the geopolitical and economic spheres of Europe: Euromaidan, annexation of the Crimea in the East, and problems inside the European Union (issue of migrants, Brexit) in the West. These changes had their impact on Belarus, a country situated between Russia and the EU. Conflict between Ukraine and Russia shook the Belarusian economy. Belarusian authorities were afraid about unexpected Russian steps towards Minsk and about social unrest against their own authoritarian president. All of this forced Alexander Lukashenko to search for new solutions in his policies. During recent months, it was possible to observe the change of a political discourse with Poland, attempts of a cautious cooperation with Russia (which is still Belarus’ main ally), and a search for new sources of finances and energy suppliers. The present situation is a new challenge for Belarusian authorities and even for foreign observers. For inhabitants of the country, the situation is not comfortable.
This article aims to present, based on selected sources, the synthesis of actions that were taken in the external and internal politics by the Belarusian authorities after the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
The article describes the changes in the president’s position in Albania over the years, starting with the democratic transition in the early 1990s. The work consists of three elements: (1) theoretical framework about measuring presidential power and institutionalization of the president (2) the Presidential competence index provided by T. Frye (3) the analysis of the reasons for the presidency implementation in Albania. The author considered two Constitutions acts that were valid in a given moment. The paper takes into consideration the analysis of legal (constitutional) factors that influenced the destabilization of political systems emerging in post-communist countries according to Frye Index.
Aldona Wiktorska-Święcka and Dorota Moroń
The aim of the article is to present a case study of the implementation of innovative social investment in the area of social inclusion. The case study analysed, namely the project Assistance from „A” to „Z” — Professional activation of homeless people from Wroclaw Circle St. Brother Albert Aid Society, refers to the social and vocational integration of homeless people at the municipal level in Poland. The authors hypothesize that innovative social investments are key to the success of the policy of social inclusion, which requires new, innovative ideas to empower people at risk of exclusion.
The article uses the case study method and the method of desk research, in which an analysis of the strategy documents, source materials and activities was carried out. The results were subjected to critical analysis, using the achievements of research in the field of social investment, social innovation and social inclusion policy. The paper is the result of partial studies carried out within the framework of the research project Innovative Social Investment: Strengthening communities in Europe (InnoSI), financed by the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020.
As a result, one has to consider the question “What works?”. The analysis showed the accompaniment method to be the most effective tool in the project’s actions and one which may be disseminated as a recommendation for social investment. The question “How?” brought evidence that the existing set of activities and their sequence (integrity and complexity) was appropriate, necessary and effective from the perspective of beneficiaries, the Wroclaw Circle St. Brother Albert Aid Society and stakeholders. Considering the question “In what circumstances?”, the key element was related to the leadership offered by the Wroclaw Circle St. Brother Albert Aid Society, which was running the implementation of the project. As a conclusion, one can formulate the cautious thesis that the outcomes can to some extent be generalized, particularly at the level of other local entities in Poland or in other countries/regions of Central and Eastern Europe, which have a similar welfare model (e.g. the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia).
The main aim of the article is to present the relationship between urban policy and the marketing activity of the presidents of Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Legnica, and Jelenia Góra during the period of the 2014 local government election campaign. Analysis of the marketing activity of the presidents, conducted via chosen social media, enables presentation of the most important conditions and reasons for using urban policy in the competition for the support of citizens – potential voters. First, it will show that the marketing actions of a president during an election campaign are not the means of creating the image of a city but gaining the support of voters. Second, the analysis will prove that the election message constructed by presidents is based on the actions conducted in the various areas of urban policy.
The paper analyses the transformation of the collective memory of the Lithuanian guerrilla war (1944–1953) during the Soviet occupation. The problem that arises on observation of the collective memory of Guerrilla war period is the disparity between the sense and meaning of the guerilla war as it was happening and the shapes of its memory that emerged at the beginning of the perestrojka and the reestablishment of the independence. The shift from the high support for the resistance and it’s goals in the 50’s to the ignorance of it can be observed, as well as the changing of the perception of it as the fight between two sovereign countries (Lithuania and the SSRS) towards the internal conflict in Lithuanian society. The paper raises the question about the reasons for this transformation and the impact of Soviet propaganda (expanding it to the scope of “historical culture” in Jorn Rüsen terms). The research of one peculiar sphere of soviet historical culture, that is, the building of monuments and carrying out of the related memorial practices, proved, that the forms and the intensity of the development of the soviet narrative of the Lithuanian Guerrilla war were poor and inconsequential. Such a results support the hypothesis that the soviet historical culture was not decisive in transformation of a collective memory, and that suggests to pay more attention not to the actions of the regime, but to sociological, sociohistorical and anthropological research of Lithuanian soviet society.
This article is based on two premises. First, the requirements for establishing political parties in Romania are the most restrictive in Europe. When a party has succeeded to register and took a non-ideological position, the electoral participation slightly increased. If the requirements for registering political parties were relaxed, new parties could emerge while greater participation to the elections is under question. The current legal procedure for registering political parties is contrary to Article 40 of the Constitution (the right to association) and the requirement according to which a political party wishing to participate in parliamentary elections must make a deposit is contrary to Article 37 of the Constitution (the right to be elected). Proving the validity of these premises leads to the necessity of changing the current normative framework in the sense of relaxing the requirements for the registration of political parties. This change may be accomplished by a draft law (which is already registered in the parliament) or by the intervention of the Constitutional Court.
This paper is based on a series of qualitative (semi-structured) interviews conducted by the author with representatives of Polish civic organisations in southeastern Lithuania (the towns of Eišiškės, Jašiūnai, Pabradė, Šalčininkai, Švenčionys, Švenčionėliai, and Turgeliai). Data was collected from January 2013 to June 2014 as part of a research project to investigate ethnic, civic, regional, and local identities of ethnic minorities in southeastern Lithuania. The project was carried out by the Institute for Ethnic Studies at the Lithuanian Social Research Centre and was funded by the Research Council of Lithuania. The paper discusses the role of voluntary organisations operating in Southeastern Lithuania in mobilising the Polish community. The author investigates the activity of Polish organisations as they maintain and construct the identity (ethnic, civic, local and regional) of local community. Part of the research strategy is to recognise the content and means by which these organisations appeal to collective memory to create and affirm Polish identity. An analysis of interview data shows that the activities of organisations predominantly target the Polish community and their aims are to promote and foster Polish culture, language, and history. The Polish civic and political organisations and their leaders play active roles in identity building and mobilising the Polish Community in southeastern Lithuania. Referencing and recalling collective memories of the Polish ethnic group is an important tool for building a collective identity that lack local and regional dimensions.