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Understanding the Narratives Explaining the Ukrainian Crisis: Identity Divisions and Complex Diversity in Ukraine

Abstract

The central argument of this paper is that radical and opposing interpretations of the Ukrainian conflict in politics and media should be studied as offspring of broader narratives. These narratives can be better understood by examining the national identity of Ukraine. Since Ukrainian national identity shows a high degree of diversity, it offers a rich source of arguments for any party wanting to give an interpretation of the present Ukrainian crisis. Narratives explaining the crisis often ignore this complex diversity or deliberately use elements from it to construct the ‘desired’ narrative.

Firstly, this paper defines four overarching narratives used in the current debate: the geopolitical, the nationalist, the structuralist, and the legal narrative. Secondly, this paper shows how various interpretations fitting within these narratives are all one way or another related to the divisions dividing Ukraine’s complex national identity. Examining the underlying divisions helps to explain the appeal of differing interpretations of the conflict in the West, Ukraine, and Russia. Especially the nationalist narrative and geopolitical narratives show how the complexity of Ukraine’s national identity is deliberately used to construct a narrative.

The combined study of constructed narratives and Ukrainian national identity thus provides valuable material for any scholar or policymaker looking for a deeper understanding of the situation in Ukraine amidst a confusing information war.

Open access
Why Multilingualism and Multilingual Communication Jeopardize a Common Social Policy for Europe

Abstract

This paper studies the consequences of European multilingualism and multilingual communication for a common social policy in the Europe Union. In the past fifty years, the main focus of the Europeanization project has been on financial-economic developments and less on a common social policy. Even today, there is no common framework for social protection in the European Union. Common minimum income or wages for European citizens are lacking. In this paper, it will be argued that the lack of social protection has to do with Europe’s linguistic diversity. Language is seen as a building block of national communities and their political cultures. The European integration project can only continue if different European political cultures are shared. However, due to the fact that a neutral lingua franca is lacking, this has been unsuccessful so far. The interaction of social groups that have a different language repertoire with the structures of multilevel governance are responsible for the fact that some of these social groups, including the ‘Eurostars’, and national cosmopolitans benefit from social protection, whereas other groups lacking relevant language skills, such as anti-establishment forces, commoners, and migrants, are excluded from the European power domains. These power configurations can be fruitfully studied in the floral figuration model. Consequently, due to these patterns of inclusion and exclusion, true solidarity among European citizens is not within reach. These claims will be illustrated by a case study on the Netherlands, a country that has been pursuing neoliberal policies counterbalancing Eurozone and economic crises and is trying to assimilate migrants and other newcomers. Apart from assimilatory policies targeting migrants, language games used by competing forces are playing an important role in the discourse in order to set up power structures.

Open access
Users' Needs Report on Play for Children with Disabilities
Parents' and children's views
Open access
Festivals in Transylvania
A Review of the Volume Barna Bodó (ed.): Hungarian Civil Yearbook of Transylvania 2015
Open access
Hungarian Culture of Philosophy and Historiography of Philosophy in Transylvania

Abstract

The first part of the study debates the role and the status of philosophy in the Hungarian culture in Transylvania, trying to explain why philosophy has not become an organic part of the Transylvanian culture as a whole. There are presented a few experimental and theoretical arguments, especially the theory of the so-called ‘short philosophical tradition’. The second part the paper seeks to analyse the impact of the ‘short philosophical tradition’ on the current philosophy life in Transylvania, bringing an overview of the institutional structure of Hungarian philosophy in Transylvania.

Open access
Hungarian Minority Politics in Post-Socialist Romania: Interests, Strategies, and Discourses

Abstract

This paper analyses the integration strategies formulated by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania and the Hungarian political elite in the post-communist period. It argues that the internal debates of the political community are formulated in a field where other actors (the Hungarian and the Romanian state, political parties, European institutions, etc.) carry out their activities, which deeply influences both the chosen strategies and the needed resources for their implementation. Moreover, it questions the monolithic organization of the minority organization, showing that DAHR as the representative of the minority community was shaped by several internal debates and conflicts. Also from 2003 these conflicts have grown beyond the borders of the organization and since 2008 we can follow a whole new type of institutionalization. In achieving this, I introduce three strategies - individual integration, collective integration, and organizational integration - which are chosen by different fragments of the Hungarian minority elite both toward the Hungarian and the Romanian political sphere. Throughout the 1989-2012 period, the outcome of the conflict between the supporters of these strategies is deeply influenced by the policies of the two states.

Open access
Hungarians from Transylvania in Soviet Captivity between 1945 and 1953
Lectures, Exhibitions at Sapientia University
Open access
The Interoperability between the Public and Private Sectors in Light of Adult Education. Supplements to the Planned Downsizing in the Public Sector

Abstract

The current study is a result of the Hungarian government’s aspiration to cut bureaucracy and increase public administration’s efficiency, thus impacting personnel and reorganizing the labour market. The public-sector headcount reduction is being justified in terms of Hungary’s inadequate private-/public-sector employment ratio. This reorganization can come to fruition only via the development of intellectual capital and a well-designed system for retraining and further education. In cases of retraining and further education offered by the state, we must be wary of generational differences and possible motivations, while also keeping in mind the influence education can have on the market, society, and the individual. Our research has shown that the demand for a given type of instruction is also influenced by the generational differences among those who wish to learn. Overall, our respondents showed an interest in learning.

Open access
Measurability of Social Development. Reflections on the Applicability of Social Progress Indices with Reference to Brexit

Abstract

The question is how the global and local economic actors’ innovation-based local social and environmental objectives and results can modify the social cohesion strategies, how the disparities in economic and social development can be measured and evaluated at regional level in addition to a comparison across countries. We have seen that any one indicator in itself is not enough since it does not provide sufficient explanation for either the development disparities or their reasons. Anyway, in addition to GDP per capita, it is worth applying - and it is important to apply - such indicators as SPI and Well-Being, and various indices of social progress.

Open access