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Byzantine spirit of the Undead and its legacy in the Sick Man of Europe

Abstract

This paper examines the source and consequences of permanent liminality in the political-legal administration of the Byzantine Empire. The paper argues ambiguous and incomplete identities of individuals, groups, and society associated with certain authoritarian political arrangements and consequent arrested liminal period(s) contributed to the decline of the Empire. Further, and significantly, the unresolved situation of disaggregated identity, or spirited away demos, persisted in the Ottoman Era and continues to infect contemporary socio-political affairs in regions in the Balkans and other countries of the former Soviet Union which now seek to balance the interests of a nation-state with the diversity of Europe. The paper does not consider the Orthodox Spirit, but rather analyzes the role of pseudo-intellectuals and sophists who derail the democratic and philosophical Hellenist traditions with authoritarian policies and tools. The research compares and links the institutional attempts of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires to manage and manipulate differences and distinctions through mechanisms such as theatricalization and the millets. The argument concludes that these strategies created the basis for the perpetualization of the sick man of Europe to the extent they focused on juggling the distinctions and identities of the empires rather than pursuing the development of the democratic self. Thus, in liminality is revealed and contained undead and viral authoritarian spirits, sometimes manifested in populist or extremist ethnic leaders, whose technologies trick the demos and disrupt the democratic imagination.

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Corruption in Spain and Catalonia after 2008

Abstract

The authors decided to deal with the theme of the influence of corruption on the political processes in contemporary Spain and Catalonia. The investigation of this problem requires the reference to both: a political situation in entire state and in the peripheral region, included in the territorial range of Spain.

Therefore, the main objective of the article is the attempt to answer three questions: 1) What is the corruptive phenomenon based on and why a public sphere is endangered with it to such a degree?, 2) How did the Spanish citizens react to corruptive processes after 2008?, 3) Did Catalonia, whose politicians regard this region as definitely separate from Spain, differ considerably from a political centre and other regions of the country within intensity of the occurrence of corruptive phenomena after 2008?

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Determinant factors of multiculturalism in Switzerland

Abstract

Switzerland consists of different regions, cultures and languages. The minorities in Switzerland are in the first place ethno-linguistic minorities, whose are unified by a common language. Therefore, since the foundation of the Confederation in 1848 the Helvetic state has been considered a multilingual country. The confederation and cantons are obliged to protect linguistic minorities. The grounds of the Swiss social structure, with traditional multiculturalism and four national languages are two principles: language freedom (Sprachenfreiheit) and territoriality (Territorialitätsprinzip). Switzerland has no official state religion. Predominant religion is Christianity, the largest religious minorities is established by Islam. The largest Christian denominations are Catholic Church (37.7%) and Swiss Reformed Church (25.5%). The influx of new cultural minorities to Switzerland began aXer the Second World War and was directly connected with economic migration, with the large influx of gastarbeiters from southern European countries and refugees from the Third World and from the former Yugoslavia. International law includes the protection of national, yet not cultural minorities. In Switzerland the protection of national minorities is also based on international standards. The necessity for systematic integration policy in Switzerland appeared in the nineties of the twentieth century, after removing the anti-immigration tendencies and hostile attitude towards foreigners. There is a conflict of interest between democracy and state under the rule of law, and between majoritarian democratic politics and liberal principles. The conflict can be controlled; however it can not be resolved. The principle of the Swiss “unity in multiplicity” is best reflected in the multiculturalism and multilingualism of Switzerland, but also a relatively high percentage of the foreigners.

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Economic expansion of China in Ukraine. Can the New Silk Road project support Ukrainian statehood?

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present the current condition of Ukrainian-Chinese economic relations, in particular initiatives related to the New Silk Road project. The author describes the main areas of cooperation between China and Ukraine, the results of individual initiatives, as well as the difficulties faced by some areas of bilateral cooperation. China turns out to be essential for Ukraine in a period when its relations with Russia have deteriorated and the European Union cannot provide Ukraine with sufficient support. The authorities in Beijing are aware of the strategic position of Ukraine, considering this country as an important link with Central and Western Europe. “is makes the bilateral cooperation very promising, and the increase of Chinese influence in Ukraine is an almost natural consequence of the good collaboration. An increasingly closer Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation results in a number of significant changes in Ukraine and its stronger statehood. According to the author, in the foreseeable future there will be further development of China’s economic expansion in Ukraine. The prospects for cooperation between these two countries are based on the current, multidimensional collaboration, which, however, encounters numerous barriers resulting from the economic weakness and the social capital of Ukraine.

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Geostationary Belt – State’s Territory or Province of Mankind?

Abstract

The geostationary orbit is a special area in outer space. Because of its distinctive characteristics, it has constantly been the subject of economic and political desirability. Space powers, taking advantage of their technological superiority and rules applied by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) retained a privileged position. Developing countries, responding to this state of affairs, have taken a number of measures to improve their positions. Some of them posed a challenge to the main regulation of space law (Bogota declaration was an attempt to exercise a national sovereignty over the segments of the geostationary orbit), some are based on the use of the legal gaps in ITU regulations. Given these circumstances, the specific case of geostationary belt contributes to the debate on the regulations governing space exploration.

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Italian migration policy: Changes and effects

Abstract

The phenomenon of Italian migration is characterized by a clear caesura, which makes Italy a country with a long history of emigration and a much shorter experience of immigration. The mid-1970s are considered a breakthrough, when the zero-migration balance was recorded for the first time. The growing wave of arriving foreigners forced the rulers to change the current immigration policy, which rarely responded to the needs of both foreigners and citizens of the Republic. Subsequent laws, usually created in extraordinary circumstances, were also subject to the process of alternating power. Lack of legislative continuity and insufficient social integration gave birth to additional tensions around the observed influx of refugees. In this situation, it seems that the management of the migration crisis is no longer the responsibility of a single nation, but should be an action taken at the level of solutions of the European community.

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Kurds in the Middle East in the context of plurality of identities

Abstract

The paper analyzes the ethnic, linguistic and religious aspects of the Kurdish region19. It explains the issue of the tribal identity of Kurdish communities in the Middle East and points to the phenomenon of tribalism as a key factor affecting the degree of ethnic and political consistency of Kurdistan20.

Open access
Lemkos – the rediscovered nation

Abstract

The article describes the basic problems of the Lemko community in Central Europe, with particular emphasis on the population living in Poland, its fate, history and contemporary position in Poland, recalling, among other things, the activities of associations (the Association of Lemkos, the Union of Lemkos, organization of Watra). The author presented literature by analyzing the content of Marek Koprowski’s book.

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The Methodist Church in Poland in reality of liquidation policy. Operation “Moda” (1949-1955)

Abstract

The aim of the article is to analyze the determinants and other conditions of the religious policy of the Polish state towards the Methodist Church in the Stalinist period. The author took into account conceptual, programmatic, executive and operational activities undertaken by a complex subject of power, formed by three structures: party, administrative and special services. In his opinion, the liquidation direction of religious policy towards the Methodist Church was determined primarily by two factors: 1) the activity of Methodists in Masuria, which was assessed as “harmful activities” because they were competitive to the activity of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church (in which the authorities placed great hopes for effective repolonization of the native population), 2) strong links between the Methodist Church in Poland and the Methodist Church in the West (United States of America, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden). The liquidationa ctivities have been depicted primarily on the basis of solutions included in the action of special services under the codename “Moda”. The author also explains the reasons for the final resignation from the liquidation policy towards Polish Methodism and the inclusion of the Methodist Church in the direction of the rationing policy.

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