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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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Catalan brinkmanship tool for political rivalry in Spain

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyze the independence activities undertaken by the Catalan government in the context of the brinkmanship strategy and the assumptions of game theory based on “the game of chicken”. It allows us to put the issue of Catalan’s claims in a different context than to refer to political, historical or cultural grounds for self-determination. By adopting this approach to the problem and putting it in the field of political competition at central and national level, it is possible to expose the elements that treat the whole problem as a political game, rather than a real endeavor to reach a consensus between the parties and finally solve the problem. In addition, from the point of view of party interests, it is beneficial that the problem of Catalan independence, absorbing much public attention, continues to function in the political sphere and in the consciousness of the people.

Open access