You are here

Society & Politics 2/2007

(Társadalom & Politika 2007/2)

Foreword of the Editors

European Studies
Andrea Király: Making Attempts at Strengthening National Parliaments in the European Union: from the European Convention to the “Reform Treaty”
The role of national parliaments on European Union level is thought to be strengthened from the beginning, and especially from the Maastricht, Amsterdam, and Nice Treaties. Afterwards, questions concerning the possible future role of NPs were put by the Laeken Declaration, leaving the answers to them to be formulated by the European Convention. The present paper gives an overview of the problem on the basis of the work of the European Convention and the Constitutional Treaty, through COSAC factual bi-annual reports. This is done with the purpose of giving a broad analysis of the developments in procedures and practices in the European Union that are relevant to parliamentary scrutiny mechanisms, interparliamentary cooperations, and the relationship between NPs and European institutions. The paper concludes that, theoretically and practically, the future role of NPs will be realized on four bases: by European Union Treaty/Constitution guarantee and strong relationship between NPs and EU institutional bodies; by intensive interparliamentary coopeartions; by the better communication between NPs and their governments on EU matters; and by the effective internal procedure of NPs and committed work of their standing committees connected to EU matters.

International Politics
Attila Erdős: The North Korean Nuclear Threat in the Mirror of the American Defense Objectives – The Relationship between Washington and Pyongyang after 11 September 2001
The North Korean Nuclear Threat in the Mirror of the American Defense Objectives – The Relationship between Washington and Pyongyang after 11 September 2001
The successful North Korean nuclear test in October 2006 brought high tensions into international relations, and it seemed that the West seriously miscalculated Pyongyang’s abilities to create such a weapon. The nuclear test raised the question whether Washington would resort to the argued pre-emptive strike again. To illustrate the problems pointed out above, the paper consists of four sections: the presentation of the theory of pre-emptive strike; the North Korean nuclear and missile program; the political games behind the six-party talks with special emphasis on the dynamics of the American-North Korean relations; and the analysis of the changes in policies caused by the successful nuclear test. While all problems and viewpoints of the countries concerned in the region are presented, the background intensions are also illustrated. However, the answers to the main question, namely, the actual prospects of North Korea and the possible impact of its incidental collapse on the global strategic and economic dimensions, are still left for the future.

Regional Studies
Olivér Horváth: Xanana Republic – East Timor on Predetermined Paths
Anyone who is interested in politics can hardly find a more interesting issue than the birth and the first steps of a new country, a new state. The subject of the study, East-Timor is an example on which we can examine almost every possible question of the phenomenon. Can a constitutional system formed by UN experts become firm and generally recognized? Can nation-building be successful when the Timorese identity is dubious and fragile? Can charismatic leadership be in accord with democracy, and doing justice in accord with reconciliation? Recent prospects might lead us to pessimism, but it might be too early to announce a new failed state. The struggle of East Timor takes place in front of our eyes, and this writing may contribute to the understanding of the processes behind.

Political History
Attila Vági: East Berlin, 1989 – The Anatomy of a Crisis
This essay deals with the reunion of Germany, a significant member of our region and the European Union. The course of events took place parallel with the ceasing of the bipolar power-system, and it not only influenced both German states – the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic – but also the four victorious Great Powers – the USA, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France. The study shows the internal proceedings of the GDR at that time, on one hand, and the foreign reactions to these proceedings, on the other. In addition to the German-German bilateral relationship, the diplomacy of the Great Powers is also stressed in this work. Concerning the historical sources used by the author, new original sources should also be mentioned: A few documents found in the Hungarian National Archives (Department V, documents of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party) – non-researched until today – and a personal interview with Dr. Mária Ormos, as well (in September 1989, Ormos negotiated with leaders of the GDR in East-Berlin; details of this official visit are also mentioned in the essay). The study follows the events until 3rd October 1990, as the formal political union occurred on this day: over four decades after the separation, nearly a million Germans gathered at the Reichstag in Berlin to mark the German reunification.

Balázs Kiss: Colourful Democracies

Politikatudományi Szemle 2007/2. and 2007/3. (contents of two issues of a leading periodical of social sciences) 2007/9. and 2007/10. (contents of two issues of the national periodical of students of political science studies)
Political Science Discourse Summer Academy and Camp I: The Question Marks of “Grassroots-Democracy” (Balatonfüred, 2007)

Focus on the Reform Treaty – PPT-PHE Study Visit to Brussels, Autumn 2007

Contents & Abstracts