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Politics and Constitutional Law: A Distinction without a Difference?

-motivated, last-ditch attempt to prevent the Supreme Court acquiring a liberal majority. Its last hope was that a Republican candidate would win the presidential election in November, 2016, and be able to replace Scalia with another conservative. The absence of any principle in McConnell’s strategy was confirmed when he reversed his argument when Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the Court in June 2018. As noted above, Kennedy was regarded as the swing Justice who sometimes joined the four liberals on the Court to create a majority on matters such as gay rights

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The Web of the EU'S Neighbourhood Policy: Between Bilateralism and Multilateralism

The Web of the EU'S Neighbourhood Policy: Between Bilateralism and Multilateralism

This article examines the divergence in the EU's strategies towards neighbours. The goal is to connect different EU neighbourhood initiatives into one framework in making a correlation between national and supranational levels. The distinction between bilateralism/multilateralism and Russia inclusion/Russia exclusion is made within both levels. The division is between European Neighbourhood policy and Eastern Partnership (within bilateral framework) on the one hand, and Northern dimension initiative and Black Sea Synergy on the other. These different EU's strategies towards neighbours reflect contradictory EU development models. The argument is made that national preferences and interests precondition a variety of the EU's neighbourhood initiatives and create a web in EU's neighbourhood policy that is filled with many contradictions.

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The Lithuanian Referendum on Extending the Working of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Station: The Rationality of Actors within (Un-)Changing Structures

The Lithuanian Referendum on Extending the Working of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Station: The Rationality of Actors within (Un-)Changing Structures

This article explores the structural factors and the arguments of the political actors in the Lithuanian referendum of 2008 on extending the working of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Station. By applying a new institutionalism theoretical perspective, this article studies campaign development, its structural framework and the actors' arguments. The presupposition has been confirmed that the value normative environment of the referendum was long-term and sustained, without any "paradigmatic shifts" during the referendum debates themselves. With that said, the equilibrium of competing normative attitudes was shifted towards agreeing with an extension of the work as a "minor evil". Within this structural environment, a range of "second order" features was typical for the referendum campaign model, additionally reinforced by another parallel (chronologically coinciding) campaign, that of the elections to the Seimas. Minor shifts in the otherwise overwhelming YES vote could be evoked by formal mechanical nuances, if nothing else. The diverse positions of the political actors involved in the campaign - whether active, critical, reluctant, or floating ones - were supposed to shift their opinion(s) within a stable structural value normative environment, not seeking any reconsideration. This model of referendum campaign development is typical for the Lithuanian direct democracy tradition. Frequently, a referendum serves as a supplementary formal institutional instrument allowing an expansion of the field of political debates and/or the possibility for political actors to place themselves within a stable value normative structure where they may strive for additional mobilization of behalf of their electorate.

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The Rise of Anti-Roma Positions in Slovakia and Hungary: a New Social and Political Dimension of Nationalism

ABSTRACT

This article discusses the continuous substitution of traditional mutual conflicts and historical grievances between Slovakia and Hungary that has created fertile ground for nationalists on both sides. Currently, we witness the rise of anti-Roma positions and negativism oriented toward this particular group of the population in Slovakia and Hungary. For this reason, we track the sources of new nationalism associated with the hatred of the Roma population. This can be demonstrated by a variety of political incentives and measuring extremism as a tool of acquiring and maintaining political power. The aim of the article is to investigate the extent and reasons of the new social and political dimensions of Slovak and Hungarian nationalism. We assume that the traditional form of bilateral nationalism based on historical, political and social tensions between Slovakia and Hungary is being transformed by the ethnic nationalism against the Roma minority in Central Europe. To support our argumentation, we use the qualitative data from in-depth interviews with young respondents from two contrasting research field sites in Slovakia from EC research project MYPLACE (Memory, Youth, Political Legacy and Civic Engagement).

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Towards Presidential Rule in Ukraine: Hybrid Regime Dynamics Under Semi-Presidentialism

Towards Presidential Rule in Ukraine: Hybrid Regime Dynamics Under Semi-Presidentialism

This article sets out to analyse recent regime developments in Ukraine in relation to semi-presidentialism. The article asks: to what extent and in what ways theoretical arguments against semi-presidentialism (premier-presidential and president-parliamentary systems) are relevant for understanding the changing directions of the Ukrainian regime since the 1990s? The article also reviews the by now overwhelming evidence suggesting that President Yanukovych is turning Ukraine into a more authoritarian hybrid regime and raises the question to what extent the president-parliamentary system might serve this end.

The article argues that both kinds of semi-presidentialism have, in different ways, exacerbated rather than mitigated institutional conflict and political stalemate. The return to the president-parliamentary system in 2010 - the constitutional arrangement with the most dismal record of democratisation - was a step in the wrong direction. The premier-presidential regime was by no means ideal, but it had at least two advantages. It weakened the presidential dominance and it explicitly anchored the survival of the government in parliament. The return to the 1996 constitution ties in well with the notion that President Viktor Yanukovych has embarked on an outright authoritarian path.

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Ensuring Freedom of Labor in Ukraine in the Context of Labor Emigration

Abstract

The article is devoted to substantiating the necessity of using existing tools and means of labor law science in certain aspects of labor migration, particularly, concerning the provision of labor freedom for Ukrainian workers - labor emigrants. The integrated approach to the development of methodological foundations for such provision and the development of relevant legal provisions at various stages of realization of a person’s right to labor, as well as in part of ensuring the prohibition of compulsory labor, can qualitatively raise the level of legal regulation of labor migration through the inclusion of labor law science. In support of its argument the article provides a wide range of statistical data on Ukrainian labor emigration. It is determined that the existing problems of Ukrainian labor emigration in the context of ensuring freedom of work can be systematized at the stages of their occurrence in the following way: 1) before the emergence of labor relations with a foreign employer, that is, as long as a Ukrainian citizen is still in Ukraine and acts for the purpose of employment abroad; 2) the emergence of labor relations with a foreign employer, that is, the legal registration of such relationships; 3) the actual beginning of labor relations outside Ukraine, the course of labor relations and the presence of a Ukrainian labor emigrant in them; 4) termination of labor relations of the Ukrainian labor emigrant and return to the territory of Ukraine. The emergence of labor disputes is the optional stage.

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The Rise In Popularity Of The Lithuanian Political Party Drasos Kelias

ABSTRACT

This article examines the genesis of a new Lithuanian political unit, the Drasos kelias party, which was created in 2012 and successfully participated in the 2012 Lithuanian parliamentary elections, reconstructing it in three stages based on the analysis of news portals. Reconstruction of the first stage is based on the competing “conspiracy versions” (two different interpretations of the unsolved criminal story in the news media) in 2009- 2010. Two archetypal characters (criminal and/or hero) were sought in the interpretation of the two aforementioned versions. Agenda setting and media framing theories were used as explanatory theories. The second stage (2011-2012) is reconstructed through further analysis of the news portals as well as through the analysis of some additional research from the interviews and focus group discussions. This data allowed us to retrace the logic of collective thinking. This logic of collective thinking contributed to the formation of a continuous “single issue” protest community which was united by the slogan “do not hand the child to a paedophilia clan”. This group of people constantly hindered the governmental institutions from the implementation of the court decision to hand the child to her mother, and over a long period of time its protest arguments expanded from “not handing the child to her mother” to protests against the entire Lithuanian legal system. Further, the third stage associated with formal institutionalization of political party and its rising of popularity among the voters in the 2012 Lithuanian parliamentary elections is analyzed. The analysis stresses the importance of social and personal networks for the regional dispersion of party election results.

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Two Competing Normative Trajectories in the Context of the First Baltic Gay Pride Parade in Lithuania

ABSTRACT

For a long time post-Soviet space has been perceived as homophobic and intolerant of LGBT persons. The three Baltic States - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - as former Soviet republics and current members of the European Union, represent the space where a strong homophobic post-Soviet atmosphere competes with pro-LGBT Western influence. This article examines how the first LGBT Pride Parade (which occurred in Vilnius in 2010) is reflected in Lithuanian media portals. The article also presents the broader context of LGBT issues by reviewing legal changes and Lithuanian political parties’ programs. Our analysis of the media and other sources is based on three arguments: 1) that the LGBT pride parade in Vilnius became the most important event for reflecting LGBT issues in the media and society; 2) it might have not been possible without support and influence from external institutions; and 3) the LGBT parade revealed the division of two competing normative trajectories in Lithuania. The reconstructed trajectories in the article are based on the theoretical framework of new institutionalism, media analysis, interviews and focus groups. Construction of the LGBT campaign and counter-campaign seem delimited rather than approaching them as value normative consensus. However, the way in which LGBT persons are reflected within the Lithuanian media is remarkably different in comparison with the early post-Soviet period. The Baltic gay pride parade “for equality” and external (Western) support for it were highly visible in the media, influenced a significant debate on the topic not otherwise experienced in Lithuania, and (re)introduced a question about the perception of ‘normality’ within society. These debates also raise the question of how norms and institutions change and adapt within society.

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The Role and Place of the Preamble in Lithuanian Constitutional Regulation

Abstract

While analysing constitutions of various countries in the legal literature, typically not only the form and the content but also the structure of the constitution is discussed. The structure of the constitution is an internal organisational order of the norms of the constitution. Although every state’s constitution has a unique structure, certain regularities can be discerned. The analysis of the structure of various constitutions leads to the conclusion that normally each constitution consists of the following standard structural parts: the preamble, the main part, the final, transitional or additional provisions, and in some constitutions there can also be annexes.

The article confirms that most constitutions begin with an introductory part, the preamble. Only the constitutions of several countries (e.g. Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece) contain no preamble. The preamble reflects the historical context and the circumstances of the adoption of a constitution, names the goals of the constitutional regulation, fortifies the values to be attained, declares the key political principles or even the fundamental human rights and freedoms, etc. Often the preamble reveals the methods of adoption of a constitution. The preamble is an important structural part of the constitution that helps to understand the established constitutional regulation. The principles enshrined in it can be considered a significant argument for the constitutional justice institutions while solving the case of whether the law or any other legal act in question contradicts the constitution. The preamble is not only a political, ideological, and/or philosophical category; it undoubtedly also carries a legal burden, therefore it is considered to have legal validity. Preambles are characterized as having a so-called higher style; they are usually formulated not in compliance with the requirements of legal technique.

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Interpreters of the Constitution: The Problem of Typology

References 1. Alexy, Robert. A Theory of Legal Argumentation. The Theory of RationalDiscourse as Theory of Legal Justification. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. 2. Bergel, Jean Louis. Théorie générale du droit. Paris: Jurisprudence Générale Dalloz, 1999. 3. Diritto costituzionale. XVIII Edizione. Napoli: Gruppo Editoriale Esselibri - Simone, 2003. 4. Durkheim, Emile. Les Règles de la méthode sociologique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2007. 5. Dworkin

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