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Open access

Deepjyoti Chand

Abstract

As interdependence grows, economic issues are increasingly political in their nature and impact, and political issues are increasingly economic. The interdependence is acute in issues that relate to international trade, and especially in the case of landlocked countries. Nepal is one such land-locked country, being between India and China, whose economy depends on the trade relations with its neighbouring countries. Two-thirds of Nepalese trade depends on India. The article presents a summary of Nepal-India trade cooperation, primarily the Nepalese dependence in trade and transit route to India and its effects. It also presents an overview of the trade pattern between the two countries and focuses on the trade embargoes by India. The article analyses the reason behind the embargoes of 1969, 1989 and 2015 and how the situations have been resolved. The embargoes imposed by India on Nepal seem to be more political in nature and their impacts are both political and economic. The Indian embargoes in Nepal follow an objective of compliance, deterrence and subversion. By analysing India’s pursuance of trade embargoes against Nepal, the article reaffirms that landlocked nations such as Nepal are susceptible to manipulation by geopolitical threats since neighbouring countries adjust trade ties or use trade ties to fulfil their political, security and economic interests.

Open access

Ewa Skrabacz

Abstract

Constituting the key element of a democratic system, political parties are among entities obliged by the Polish legislator to comply with the principle of disclosure by providing public information. The main objective of this paper is to determine the level of Polish political parties’ disclosure, understood here as their willingness to disclose information on their own structures. It seems that the practice of disclosing such basic organizational data may constitute a specific measure of Polish political parties’ respect for the idea of disclosure. The subject matter of the conducted research was particular parties’ sites in the Public Information Bulletin as well as their official websites. An attempt was made to acquire data concerning party structures by way of direct contact with particular parties’ organizational units – questionnaires were sent to both central and regional/district organizational units. In order to acquire a wider perspective, the research also included data provided by the Central Statistical Office concerning political parties’ organizational structures and election manifestos. The conducted analysis was summarized in the form of a ranking of the examined political parties based on a proposed political party disclosure index. This attempt to measure disclosure on the basis of data on internal structures provided by parties themselves is of a preliminary character which, nevertheless, makes it possible to capture the general properties of the phenomenon under analysis. Among the examined parties, it is PSL, SLD, and PO that, to an acceptable degree, follow the principle of disclosure in the analysed scope (indexes at the level of 60%-80% of the maximum value). Four other parties, i.e. N, Wolność, Razem, and Kukiz’15, are on the edge of the zone making it possible to regard their disclosure as sufficient (indexes at the level of around 50% of the maximum value). In the case of PiS, whose index does not reach 20% of the maximum value, it should be concluded that this party implements the principle of disclosure at a minimum level. The ranking did not show relationships between parties’ willingness towards providing information and their sizes or positions on the political scene (parliamentary parties vs. extra-parliamentary parties).

Open access

Denys Kutsenko

Abstract

The paper analyzes the transformation of identity politics of Kharkiv local authorities after the Euromaidan, or Revolution of Dignity, the annexation of Crimea, and the War in Donbass. Being the second largest city in Ukraine and becoming the frontline city in 2014, Kharkiv is an interesting case for research on how former pro-Russian local elites treat new policies of the central government in Kyiv, on whether earlier they tried to mobilize their electorate or to provoke political opponents with using soviet symbols, soviet memory, and copying Russian initiatives in the sphere of identity.

To answer the research question of this article, an analysis of Kharkiv city and oblast programs and strategies and of communal media were made. Decommunisation, as one of the most important identity projects of Ukrainian central authorities after 2014, was analyzed through publications in Kharkiv’s city-owned media as well as reports from other scholars. Some conclusions are made from the analysis of these documents: Kharkiv development strategy until 2020, Complex program of cultural development in Kharkiv in 2011–2016 (and the same for 2017–2021), The regional program of military and patriotic training and participation of people in measures of defense work in 2015–2017, Program of supporting civil society in 2016–2020 in Kharkiv region and the city mayor’s orders about the celebration of Victory Day (9 May), the Day of the National Flag (23 August), the Day of the City (23 August) and Independence Day (24 August) in 2010–2015.

Open access

Ghada Awada

Abstract

The study was set to examine the differences between religion and religiosity and to explore how communities can be protected against religious violence. The study also intended to investigate the motives and the effect that religious violence has had throughout history. The study employed the qualitative research method whereby the researcher carried out a meta-analysis synthesis of different research findings to make conclusions and implications that could answer the study questions. Using the literature review they conducted, the researchers carried out data collection. As such, the researcher employed the bottom-up approach to identify the problem and the questions along with the investigation framework of what they decided to explore. The findings of the study revealed that religious backgrounds should be the cornerstone to realize the diff erence between religion and religiosity. Religion is of divine origin whereas religiosity is specifically a humanistic approach and a behavioral model. The religious violence phenomenon is formed by interlocking factors such as the interpretation of religious texts which clearly adopt thoughts and heritage full of violence camouflaged by religion. It is recommended that governments use a strong strategy employing the educational system, summits and dialogs to successfully overcome religious violence. The summits on religion should result in starting a dialog that ensures acceptance of the different religions.

Open access

Lilla Barbara Paszkiewicz

Abstract

The Polish socialist movement has undergone various stages of development over more than 100 years of history. In the first half of the 20th century it was, to a large extent, identified with European Social Democracy. After the Second World War and the seizure of power in Poland by the communists, the socialist movement was replaced by a communist ideology that completely distorted the authentic democratic socialism and appropriated the values it represented. The unmasking of communist counterfeits was dealt with by the Polish émigré activist – Adam Ciołkosz, who as active politician and theoretician of socialism, showed a special activity in the contestation of communism. His views as an authentic Social Democrat had a significant impact on the political thought of the Polish socialist movement outside Poland. Ciołkosz, as an anti-Communist, represented such values as: respect for human rights and social justice, humanistic sensitivity, Christianity and above all socialism. At the same time, he promoted the need to fight communism and expose the criminal ideology. He pointed to the need to introduce a system of social justice (i.e. democratic socialism).

Open access

Rafał Dudała

Abstract

The conducted analysis evokes the polysemous character of the concept of laicism, which was influenced by modern political and philosophical ideas. Two positions have determined this: a diachronic one encompasses laicism as a process extended in time, and a synchronous one allows one to perceive the simultaneity of phenomena. Thus, the concept itself reveals its practical value, especially in the context of these challenges, which affect both the state crisis and the changing relationship between the State and the Church. This value is confirmed by an important place in the secular research that is based on the principles of sovereignty, equality and separation. Th us, laicism postulated and implemented in the democratic system and its reference to fundamental values should support, above all, the importance of arguments, mutual persuasion and decision-making procedures based on consensus.

Open access

Arkadiusz Domagała

Abstract

While the normative and legal aspects of humanitarian intervention have been explored in great detail, scholars have usually overlooked the more practical question of when military humanitarian action can be undertaken. To shed light on this question, the first section of the article investigates the conditions and circumstances that should be taken into consideration by the potential interveners. The conditions and circumstances are mostly external in nature which means that the interveners capabilities are important but not a fundamental issue. One of the crucial conditions, often neglected, seems to be clear political situation in the state that is the object of intervention. Preventing or stopping mass killings as a desired outcome is dependent on generating political will that is interlocked with the prospect of success. In the next section, itemised conditions and circumstances are examined in the context of a revolution in Libya in 2011 and of the early years (2011–2013) of the civil war in Syria. It appears that, in the case of Libya, the internal and international situation was definitely to the interveners’ favour. By contrast, the risk of failure in Syria was perceived as very high. A humanitarian intervention in Syria for Western powers could have led to sticking in the quagmire and would have in fact served the interests of local players. The conclusion is if certain conditions and circumstances are absent, the interveners refrain from taking action. Subsequently, humanitarian intervention is more likely to take place when the potential interveners see a higher chance of achieving their operational and political goals by using military force.

Open access

Ágnes Vass

Abstract

Policy towards Hungarians living in neighbouring countries has been a central issue for Hungarian governments, yet Hungarian diaspora living mainly in Western Europe and North America have received very little attention. This has changed after the 2010 landslide victory of Fidesz. The new government introduced a structured policy focused on engaging Hungarian diaspora, largely due to the nationalist rhetoric of the governing party. The article argues that this change reflects a turn of Hungarian nationalism into what Ragazzi and Balalowska (2011) have called post-territorial nationalism, where national belonging becomes disconnected from territory. It is because of this new conception of Hungarian nationalism that we witness the Hungarian government approach Hungarian communities living in other countries in new ways while using new policy tools: the offer of extraterritorial citizenship; political campaigns to motivate the diaspora to take part in Hungarian domestic politics by voting in legislative elections; or the never-before-seen high state budget allocated to support these communities. Our analysis is based on qualitative data gathered in 2016 from focus group discussions conducted in the Hungarian community of Western Canada to understand the effects of this diaspora politics from a bottom-up perspective. Using the theoretical framework of extraterritorial citizenship, external voting rights and diaspora engagement programmes, the paper gives a brief overview of the development of the Hungarian diaspora policy. We focus on how post-territorial nationalism of the Hungarian government after 2010 effects the ties of Hungarian communities in Canada with Hungary, how the members of these communities conceptualise the meaning of their “new” Hungarian citizenship, voting rights and other diaspora programmes. We argue that external citizenship and voting rights play a crucial role in the Orbán government’s attempt to govern Hungarian diaspora communities through diaspora policy.