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Donatella Bonansinga

Abstract

Terrorism is designed, as it has always been, to have profound psychological repercussions on a target audience and to undermine confidence in government and leadership. Nevertheless, after the 9/11 attacks, it is possible to claim that terrorism has changed and the European Union’s response, along with the world one, has also changed. By means of discursive analysis, this paper aims at exploring the complexity of the new threats that terrorism poses to the globalised world by combining 21st century technologies with the most extreme reading and vision of the clash of civilisation. The analysis will then proceed with an assessment of the change of approach that has guided EU action in the aftermath of 9/11 and with a critical examination of the issue of global actorness.

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Pavol Baboš

Abstract

Trust in political institutions is an important issue in contemporary democracies, as it contributes to democratic regimes’ legitimacy and sustainability. This paper investigates what effects corruption, political allegiance, and the post-communist history of a country have on political trust. Political trust is measured as trust towards parliament, political parties, and politicians. Both individual-and country-level factors are included in the analytical model in order to account for the personal and contextual characteristics that might shape political trust. This research employs the multilevel modelling for empirical analysis. The results show that the winner effect and corruption perception impact are relatively strongly affecting political trust. Surprisingly, the post-communist history of a country seems to play no significant role in driving political trust. The concluding part links the findings of this study back to the theory and draws several implications not only for the future research but also the real world of policies and politics.

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Maciej Hartliński

Abstract

The objective of this analysis is to examine political party leadership with reference to the rules and results of its selection process in post-communist Poland. The exploration of these matters is based on qualitative and quantitative data concerning 16 different political parties and 80 selections they conducted in the years 1990-2013. The comprehensive research methods employed for this study ranged from in-depth analysis of particular election results to analysis of constitutional and structural party variations. This extensive investigation enables the reader to draw conclusions about Polish intra-party politics and to understand the vetting processes that Polish politicians must undergo. The findings indicate that political parties tend to address wider selectorates; and that the rules of selection are transparent, democratic, and empirically predictable.

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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.