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Society & Politics 1-2/2008

(Társadalom & Politika 2008/1-2)

Foreword of the Editors

Transylvanian Autonomy
Zoltán Bognár: Plans of Autonomy of the Hungarian Living in Romania. The Drafts of Law Designed Between 1989 and 2006
The study aims at presenting all the fifteen drafts of law concerning the Hungarian autonomy designed after the regime change in Romania. The author divides his writing in four main sections: first, after introducing the subject and giving a broad overview of it, he gives a detailed analysis of the background of the drafts; second, he describes their main formal characteristic features; third, he goes ahead with the content of the documents, categorizing them into two main groups, according to their basic concepts, namely, their personal or territorial character; fourth, he scrutinizes the designs along one of their crucial features, the way they provide for the financial sources of the autonomies. Of course, the author doesn’t owe his readership a final evaluation. At the very end, the reader can also consult a really useful summarizing table with columns describing the exact title, the author, the date of production, the subject, the form, and the subcategory of the draft as well as the structure of the regional authority and the ethnic element designed in them.

Kata Eplényi: The Third Phase of Autonomy-Designs in Transylvania
The territorial autonomy is about aging 90 years, so its colourful and often controversial history is too broad to be analysed in one study; therefore, the author only gives an account of a part of it: namely, the era after the regime change, with a special focus on the years around the accession of Rumania to the European Union. The specialist literature distinguishes two main phases in the analysed period: the first half of the 1990s and the years after 2003. The main aim of the author is to draw her readers’ attention to her firm opinion that this second phase also ended on 1st January 2007, with the accession, and that a new, probably the last, third, phase has begun. The accession made everybody realize that the Rumanian membership in the Union does not necessarily have a positive pressing effect on the being born of the autonomy of Székelyland. In 2008, it is high time to draw a conclusion, and to use the pieces of experience while designing the plans of the future.

Bíborka Ádám: The Autonomy of Southern Tirol and the Pursuit of Autonomy of the Hungarian Minority in Székelyland
The history of the 20th century produced the several times repeated redesigning of political borders. That has resulted in many conflicts between neighbouring states and ethnic communities, what made statesmen and thinkers pay attention to the dangers of neglecting basic democratic principles, human and minority rights, and international treaties and regulations. Despite that fact, the systematic community level regulation of such issues is still missing, let alone their implementation behind the borders, on the national level. With these thoughts in mind, the author analysed and compared two actual cases: the autonomy of South Tirol in Italy and the history and perspectives of Székelyland in Rumania. The study scrutinizes some emphatic focal points of the issue: the Peace Treaty of Trianon, the phenomenon of the majority’s striving after ethnic homogenization in the past, and the present perspectives of the future.

European Studies
Katalin Velich: Problems and Characteristic features of Trans-Border Co-operations. The Case of the Pirineos-Mediterráno Euro-Region
Europe is divided into several countries by many-many borders, some of which do not regard natural, organic territorial cohesions; however – or therefore –, the “founding fathers” of the integration dreamed of co-operation between, and among, peoples, not only states. The study examines the role of the state borders and the bases of trans-border co-operations. After having a theoretical overview, the author turns towards the actual regional policy of the European Union, and its institutional and legal framework: the reader is informed about some basic facts and trends concerning the INTERREG or the AEBR, for instance. After that, we also get a matrix-like categorization of regions according to some of their main characteristic features, as well as a precise definition and a detailed description. Finally, in the bigger part of the study, the author presents and describes an actual Euro-region in a short but comprehensive case study: The reader can acquire many important and interesting pieces of information about the Pirineos-Mediterrano Euro-region – its antecedents, formation, and development, its structure and characteristics, as well as its problems and future perspectives.

Regional Studies
András Rácz: The Perspectives of the Belarusian Foreign Policy
The study aims at giving a brief summary of the foreign policy of the Republic of Belarus, with special emphasis put on the perspectives of the pro-Western “opening up” effort, which happened parallel to the worsening Russian-Belarusian relations. Therefore, the author analyses the three main strategic directions of the foreign policy of Belarus. The first and most important one is the relationship with Russia, while the second main vector is the European Union. The relations of Belarus and the United States have cooled down to a level experienced long time ago, the economic effects of the American sanctions have a serious effect on the foreign trade ambitions of Belarus. In addition to all these, the third main direction of the foreign policy of Belarus is the Third World, primarily the contacts with China, Iran and Venezuela. The economic and military ties of Belarus with these countries are of constantly growing importance. In the final chapter, besides summarizing the previously mentioned processes, the author intends to give some general recommendations as well. The main virtues of the study are its up-to-dateness and the distinguished on-the-spot “informedness” of the author.

Zsolt Szilágyi: Change of Regime in the Transylvanian Hungarian Political System in the Mirror of the Election Years of 2007 and 2008. Vote or Election?

Pro & Cons
Miklós Bakk: The Question of Autonomy and Regionalism in Transylvania (1990—2008 and After)
Balázs Izsák: The Chances of Regional Autonomy in Székelyland
Árpád Marton: Step by Step
Tibor Toró T.: The Bill-Package of the EMNT About the Person-Based Autonomy of National Communities

Máté Szabó, university lecturer, general ombudsman

Minority Government or Early Elections? Political Science Discourse Summer University #2
FiPoli 2008 (The 4th Conference of Young Political Scientists from the Carpathian Basin) – Society and Politics in Central Europe

Presentation 2008/1-2. (national periodical of students of political science studies)
Politikatudományi Szemle 2008/1. and 2008/2. (a leading periodical of social sciences in Hungary)

Contents & Abstracts