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Rainer Eisfeld

Abstract

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik (DHfP, German Political Studies Institute) in Berlin both emerged extramurally. LSE was founded in 1895 by Fabian socialists Sidney and Beatrice Webb; DHfP was established in 1920 by liberal-national publicists Ernst Jäckh and Theodor Heuss. However, superficial resemblances ended there, as shown in the paper’s first part. The founders’ aims differed markedly; incorporation into London and Berlin universities occurred at different times and in different ways.

The chair of political science set up at LSE in 1914 was held, until 1950, by two reform-minded Fabians, Graham Wallas and Harold Laski. DHfP, which did not win academic recognition during the 1920s, split into nationalist, “functionalist”, and democratic “schools”. Against this backdrop, the paper’s second part discusses Harold Laski’s magnum opus (1925) A Grammar of Politics as an attempt at offering a vision of the “good society”, and Theodor Heuss’ 1932 study Hitler’s Course as an example of the divided Hochschule’s inability to provide adequate analytical assessments of the Nazi movement and of the gradual infringement, by established elites, of the Weimar constitution. Laski’s work and intellectual legacy reinforced the tendency towards the predominance, in British political science, of normative political theory. West German political science, initially pursued “from a Weimar perspective”, was also conceived as a highly normative enterprise emphasising classical political theory, the institutions and processes of representative government, and the problematic ideological and institutional predispositions peculiar to German political history. Against this background, the paper’s third part looks, on the one hand, at the contribution to “New Left” thinking (1961 ff.) by Ralph Miliband, who studied under Laski and taught at LSE until 1972, and at Paul Hirst’s 1990s theory of associative democracy, which builds on Laski’s pluralism. On the other hand, the paper considers Karl Dietrich Bracher’s seminal work The Failure of the Weimar Republic (1955) and Ernst Fraenkel’s 1964 collection Germany and the Western Democracies, which originated, respectively, from the (Research) Institute for Political Science – added to Berlin’s Free University in 1950 – and DHfP, re-launched in the same year.

In a brief concluding fourth part, the paper touches on the reception, both in Great Britain and West Germany, of the approaches of “modern” American political science since the mid-1960s.

Open access

Ciprian Negoiţă

Abstract

Scholars have long debated the normative rationality, the temporal and legal aspects, and finally the limits and modern practices of parliamentary immunity. Therefore, this study does not insist on these classical interpretations anymore, but seeks to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the conceptual history of parliamentary immunity. Embracing two schools of thought, the Koselleckian interpretation and the Skinnerian variant, this paper aims to establish and clarify in detail the story of the concept of parliamentary immunity in order to elucidate, in a Socratic fashion, what we really mean when we say that a senator or a deputy benefits from legislative immunity. This inquiry will help us emphasise how this concept leaves behind its abstract notion and becomes an institution with strict rules and practices. In addition, considering the importance of this concept in the modern legislative and rhetoric histories and the frequency with which it is used, this study will question the meanings of parliamentary immunity in the light of different historical settings and will eventually trace out a single, coherent, and unified conceptual matrix. My contention is that once parliamentary immunity – seen as a conceptual construct only adjusting the balance of power between the executive and the legislative powers – becomes an institution with strong practices, it enforces the parliament as a unified and independent body and creates the prerequisite conditions for the democratic development.

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Łukasz Kubisz-Muła

Abstract

Contemporary Polish local and regional elections serve the purpose of electing the government on the level of a municipality, county, and the voivodeship, and therefore represent a particular type of elections which could be referred to as polytonal. A unique quality of polytonal elections is the fact that the separate elections for each of the levels of local/regional government that take place on a single day are quite distinctive in terms of the behaviour of voters, politicians, political parties, and other organisations participating in the elections. As a consequence, we can indeed observe differences in the results of the elections on the level of municipality, county, and voivodeship.

Open access

Gerda Jakstaite

Abstract

Traditionally, Containment and Engagement strategies are considered to be the part of the United States foreign policy during the Cold War. However, recent developments in international relations indicated that these strategies are still relevant to the contemporary foreign policy of the U.S., particularly in the U.S.-Russian relations. Contradictory presidency of George W. Bush has raised a question which of the mentioned foreign policy strategies was dominating in the U.S.-Russian relations. On the one hand, U.S. officials had declared that partnership with Russia was being pursued. On the other hand, the administration of G.W. Bush favored the expansion of NATO and did not surrender the initiative of missile defense shield. This paper intends to assess which foreign policy strategy (Containment or Engagement) dominated in U.S.-Russian relations during the presidency of G.W. Bush and to analyse reasons of such domination and the ways these strategies were implemented. The results of the research indicate that G. W. Bush administration implemented different foreign policy towards Russia on the declared and practical foreign policy levels. If on the official U.S. foreign policy level Russia’s engagement strategy dominated, in the U.S. foreign policy practice, particularly influenced by the foreign policy of Russia, and to a lesser extent by the events in the international arena, the dominant foreign policy strategy towards Russia was Russia’s containment strategy.

Open access

Leszek Kwieciński

Abstract

This article presents the main elements of the creation of the pro-innovation policy as a new public policy. For understanding this kind of policy we should analyse the structural and functional aspects this public policy. The main concept of structural description pro-innovation policy is a National Innovation System. NIS is being analysed as a sub-functional part of the political system as a whole. This sub-functional political system should also have social and institutional connections. Furthermore, pro-innovation activity is connected with the market, state, and social aspects. The pro-innovation policy and system must be based on social endogenous resources, needs, and possibilities. These are the basic factors for legitimisation and participation, which are crucial elements for the effective implementation of the pro-innovation policy.

Open access

Teresa Łoś-Nowak

Abstract

While analysing Poland’s foreign policy and its dilemmas from the perspective of changes in the international environment at the turn of the 21st century, the Author introduces a new analytical category – “international space”. This is a new analytical term with larger explanatory content and more capacious than the category of international environment. This paper explains the validity of such a procedure and its analytical strength. Against the significance of changes, it is the international space, not international environment, that is able to explain the depth of changes in morphology of the international system, where access to knowledge and information has become the source of changes and their dynamics. These phenomena and processes critical for the international system force the post-industrial country to develop a new approach to Poland’s foreign policy. They also impose reflection on Poland’s presence in the global “post-modern” international space, segments of international relations that are important for its development. This paper should be treated as an introduction to the difficult but very important debate on Poland’s foreign policy, dilemmas that it has to face, and areas of special sensitivity for the state and its development.

Open access

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.