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Open access

Gediminas Valantiejus

Abstract

For more than ten years (since 2004) the Republic of Lithuania is a member of the EU and is realizing its economic and trade relations with other foreign countries, and regulating customs duties according to the requirements of the EU Common Commercial Policy. However, in the recent years foreign trade (in particular - exports of goods) remained one of the main factors which increased an economic growth (recovery) in the Republic of Lithuania after the global economic crisis of the world, which began in 2008. In this context, the search for new markets and expansion of trade relations with new trade partners in Asia became essential in order to diversify the structure of the national economy and avoid dependence on traditional trade partners, such as Russia. Taking into account this strategic goal, the article seeks to answer a question whether an existing foreign trade regulation system ensures the status of Lithuania as an attractive partner of foreign trade with East Asian countries (Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore) and what regulatory instruments (customs duty rules and procedures) should be used on the national level to ensure cooperation with these countries. In order to answer this problematic question, the first chapter of the article overviews general tendencies in Lithuanian foreign trade with the countries of East Asia, while the second chapter is dedicated to describe regulatory regime for import customs duties on the national level (in line with the major provisions of the EU Common Commercial Policy). The practical problems and obstacles to international trade are presented in the third chapter and are illustrated by the examples of case law, which was formed in disputes relating to the decisions and actions of Lithuanian national customs authorities for the period from 1 May, 2004 (since entry to the EU)).

Open access

Kingsley Onyemekara Onyemekara Emecheta

Abstract

An attempt to contextualize the political power structure in Nigeria exposes an orientation and practice that directly negates the democratic norm of power belonging to the people. Today, power belongs entirely to government officials who use it to advance the course of their political and economic interests. The people are thus, subjected to the point and path of complete alienation from the demands and benefits of their democratic citizenship. Given the weakness of the rule of law and institutions of check in Nigeria, established statutes and legislation have not been able to stand tall to relevance in dislodging the hegemony of the ruling elites as is evident in our case study-Imo State. This has since 1999, propped up a telling political effect, which also spirals to the arena of development, and quakes the stability of the state, and the nation at large. The paper examines the current domiciliation of political power, its potential effect on the people, and on service delivery in the country. A case is made for recovery of power for the people and reasserting the law as a balancing force and as means of providing check against breach of constitutionally prescribed political power structure and configuration.

Open access

Vincentas Vobolevičius

Abstract

Several studies on municipal hiring decisions have indicated that when a city’s payroll grows, its mayor’s re-election prospects are likely to improve. It is not clear, however, if such an effect is attributable to patronage-driven, or signaling-driven, behavior of the incumbents. The difference is important: patronage leads to inefficient public administration, while signaling can produce political business cycles. In this paper, I propose some key electoral implications of patronage-driven and signaling-driven hiring, and verify them with data on local elections in Bulgaria (2015 and 2011) and in Poland (2014). I find that a large municipal workforce has a negative overall effect on mayors’ re-election. Importantly, the impact of city payroll varies with incumbents’ partisanship (strongly negative for mayors representing the economic right, neutral for independent mayors, positive for ex-communist mayors) and does not depend on the duration of incumbent’s tenure. These findings strongly support the patronage-driven explanation of Eastern Europe’s local political economy.

Open access

Shane J. Barter

Abstract

Studies of coffee production and consumption are dominated by emphases on Latin American production and American consumption. This paper challenges the Atlantic perspective, demanding an equal emphasis on the Indian Ocean world of Eastern Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. A geographical approach to historical as well as contemporary patterns of coffee production and consumption provides an opportunity to rethink the nature of coffee as a global commodity. The Indian Ocean world has a much deeper history of coffee, and in recent decades, has witnessed a resurgence in production. The nature of this production is distinct, providing an opportunity to rethink dependency theories. Coffee in the Indian Ocean world is more likely to be produced by smallholders, countries are less likely to be economically dependent on coffee, farmers are more likely to harvest polycultures, and countries represent both consumers and producers. A balanced emphasis of Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds allows us to better understand coffee production and consumption, together telling a more balanced, global story of this important commodity.

Open access

Olexii Zhyvora

Abstract

The topic of propaganda, which was thought to be a part of the Cold War past, was recently revived by modern and rather successful application in Georgian, Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts. In this regard Korean Peninsula is a perfect example of prolonged use of mutual practice of indoctrination to study its origins. This article discuses the evolution of propaganda use by both Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Republic of Korea (1945-1960) in cultural, economic and political dimensions. Qualitative text analysis and case study in conjunction with theoretical framework of A. E. Cassirer, S. Langer, E. Barneys and W. Lippmann are used to establish techniques used, and to explain its overall success.

Open access

Sanggum Li

Abstract

Since the beginning of the 1990s in Korea, the category and definition of new generation literature have become the topic of heated debate. One may understand this tendency as ‘generation severance’, ‘alienation between social classes’, or the ‘consumption-oriented culture of the masses’. Here, we call the literary youth born in approximately 1960 ‘the new generation’.

In literature, the new generation refers to the appearance of a new culture and way of thinking. This generation passed their childhood in the 1970s and faced no such great difficulties as their parents combating poverty. However, they grew up under the indirect influence of a dark political outlook and suppression. Generally, they have a great affection for the culture produced by mass media.

If we compare their development process with the literary stream in Korea, the 1960s could be defined as the era of literature for independence and strong self-awareness, the 1970s as the era for people, the 1980s as the era for the rights or emancipation of labour, and the 1990s as the era of new generation literature. Meanwhile, the appearance of the ‘Korean Wave’, or so-called ‘Hallyu’, has become one of the most beloved popular cultural phenomena both in Asia and in other countries since the late 1990s.

Open access

Yunhee Won

Abstract

This paper is an overview of Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) is a test to measure and evaluate the Korean language proficiency targeting for overseas Koreans and foreigners who do not speak Korean as their first language. The TOPIK is utilized for studying in Korean universities or taking advantages of employment. Systems of the TOPIK are largely divided into TOPIK I and TOPIK II: TOPIK I is divided into the Beginner 1 and 2; TOPIK II is divided into Intermediate 1, 2, Advanced 1, and 2, all of which are equal to the measure proposed in the European common reference standard. Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) is equipped with a six-step framework for language proficiency and communicative activities. This system describes knowledge, skills, cultural competence, and regulations of each step-by-step learning skill level for the purpose of communication in the private, public, and occupational areas.

This paper first presents the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) that is familiar to Europeans, and compares it with the TOPIK system. First, it compares the TOPIK with the Common European Framework of Reference on the overall system, the assessment method, question types and etc. Also, it briefly examines foreign language education in Korea. Foreign language education in Korea was in abstract level as compared to the Common European Framework of Reference or topic.

As in Europe, Korea also divides the language acquisition into 6 levels. It prepares the evaluation criteria for each level. Criteria and test methods can be understood by comparing the German language test and TOPIK to be carried out in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference. Test methods and criteria of the German test and TOPIK are similar, but information and instruction for testing showed at the Goethe-Institute is far more detailed than TOPIK in Korea. The problem lies in the absence of speaking test in TOPIK. In order to understand the language proficiency, speaking, listening, reading and writing in all parts should be evaluated; however, there is no speaking test in TOPIK, and it is unfortunate that there is no writing test in the beginner-level test. This is what should be improved in the future.

Open access

Linas Didvalis

Open access

Marta Čubajevaitė

Abstract

New social movements in South Africa could play a prominent role in mobilizing the communities to reflect critically and address the repercussions of the neo-liberal agenda which manifests itself in perpetual exclusion of under-educated adults and provision of poor quality education.

Few studies especially from the perspective of the activists leave a potential research area of a very interesting phenomenon of how people learn while struggling for social justice. Therefore this article based on a single multi-site case study on a social movement cohering around literacy issues in Gauteng, South Africa, aims at answering, what forms of learning and education the social movement encompassed, how did the group conscientization occur and what are the individual transformations.

Semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion were held with 13 learnersactivists and 2 adult educators. By applying Mezirow’s individual transformation and Freirean group conscientization models the analysis of primary and secondary data, revealed that the engagement in the social movement challenged and changed learnersactivists’ understanding of educational status within their respective communities. This in turn led to transformative action addressing the problems identified. On the individual level, some learners-activists became more tolerant and willing to cooperate with those of different political ideologies, able to tap into community resources. Finally, the potential of social movements as adult learning environments are outlined.

Open access

László Kákai

Abstract

The development of the nonprofit sector of a country can be assessed by several methods. We may begin by introducing the numeric data and finish by speaking of their social embedment. We may analyse their presence in the economy, the labour market or their contribution to political and social liberalization. In my study I refer to Taiwan as an example to introduce the complex presence and impact of all these processes on the development of the nonprofi t organizations in a country less known for a European researcher. With special respect to the economic and political aspects of “development”.