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Society & Politics 3/2005

(Társadalom & Politika 2005/3)

Foreword of the Editor

European Studies
András István Türke: The Background of the European Convention’s Draft Constitutional Treaty: Debates, Unrealized Plans, and “Archaisms”
This study deals with the analytical-historical analysis of the process that led to the idea of constructing a constitutional treaty for the European Union. The author begins his analysis with a strong statement claiming that the Constitutional Treaty is not a real Constitution for several reasons. To begin with, it is not a result of a broad social discussion, and besides, the Convention did not have a mandate to construct a constitutional treaty. Furthermore, the author gives a short account of the most important plans – the Fouchet-plans – that preceded the Constitutional Treaty, and their most influential aspects on the current functioning of the EU and their influence on the occurrence of the idea of a European Constitution. Th e last part of the study contains a description of the structure of the Convention, an introduction of M. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the president of the Convention, and gives a detailed analysis of the diff erent working groups – such as the working group on subsidiarity, on the legal body, on economic government, on EU foreign policy, on simplification, on freedom and security, on social Europe, the Charta working group, and the working group of national Parliaments. Finally, the study tries to take into account every rejected proposal that may occur in the future debates on the Constitutional Treaty.

Political System
Ákos Gergely Balogh: The Next Generations of Hungarian Politics – the “Junior” Organizations of the Parliamentary Parties
The aim of this study is to present the new supplies, the „juniors” of Hungarian politics. While examining the vivid youth public life, we restrict our focus of attention to the youth organizations of the four parliamentary parties of the present government cycle (Fiatal Baloldal – Ifj ú Szocialisták (“Young Left – Young Socialists”), Fidelitas (“Fidelitas”), Ifjúsági Demokrata Fórum (“Forum of Young Democrats”), Újgeneráció (“New-Generation”)). By giving a brief survey of the history of the four organizations and their legal predecessors,we present the circumstances under which they came into existence and their activity up to the present. The range of activities of these organizations is basically determined by their form of operation and their structural hierarchy. The number and composition of their members and the regional distribution and density of their local organizations indicate their level of organization and social embeddedness compared to each other and the political parties. On the basis of the main channels of the flow of information, we examine their information culture and the eff ectiveness of their inner communication, moreover, we compare their publications produced for the “outside world”. The relations between the parties and their youth organizations are of great importance for both sides. The deepness and quality of their cooperation, the potential career possibilities and the independence of the youth organizations from their “mother-party” are compared on the basis of their presence in the Parliament and their role in the EP-elections of 2004. If we assume that most politicians of the future come from the youth organizations of the present, from their institutional and informal connections, we can conclude important theses concerning the future public life of Hungary. We examine how much their relations mirror the relations of their “mother-parties”, and what are the main differences. In the closing section of the study, we summarize our findings by a SWOT-analysis.

Political History
Tibor Malkovics: Ferenc Szálasi – A Psychohistorical Approach
The study aims to present the extreme right between the two world wars in Hungary, and Hungarism, the typically Hungarian version of pre-war national socialism. We present the extreme right leader Ferenc Szálasi, his career as a professional soldier, and the political ideology of his parties: the Nemzeti Akarat Pártja (“Party of National Will”), the Nyilaskeresztes Párt (“Arrow-Cross Party”) etc. We use the method of psychohistory to introduce Szálasi with a focus on body, family, political career and death. The examination of the extreme right leader and Hungarism is a popular subject of the contemporary political sciences. It can be attributed to the fact that Szálasi and his parties provided the only revolutionary alternative in the Horthy-regime. Hungarism was one of those legal or semi-legal extreme right critical trends in the interwar period which successfully united – after suppressing the class-struggle emotions – the people who were disappointed of the system. It is no question that the social appearance of the ideology was helpful in this process. Th is explains why many former communists and socialists joined them. We discuss the similarities and diff erences between Hungarism and the German type of national-socialism, which exerted an influence on the relations towards the Nazi Germany. We briefly summarize the diff erences of the German and the Hungarian race-theory – namely, the Hungarian version of national-socialism was only based on the hatred of the Jews and gipsies, whereas the German ideology extended its racism to Negros, Slavs etc. We attempt to demonstrate that Hungarism was not entirely an adaptation of the German “fascism”, but was partly a necessary continuation of the race-protection movements after the First World War. Finally we run through the constitutional theoretical ideas of Szálasi and Hungarism, and we put him in certain alternative politician roles (e.g.: ritualizing role-player, smart mask-master and a politician who has become inseparable form his role). We recall the Szálasi-case and the circumstances of his execution, which is dominant for Szálasi-supporters of today when judging his historical role.

Laura Beatrix Leitmann: The Formation and the Development of the Jewish and the Israeli National Identity from the End of the 19th Century to the Present
This short essay deals with one of the most important aspects of the Israeli society, i.e., the development of the national identity. Zionism evolved at the end of the 19th century as a national movement of Jews all over the world, mainly those from Europe. Its main target was the fi nal solution of the Jewish problem, by the rebirth of an ancient people and establishing a Jewish state. At the beginning of the 20th century, large waves of immigration began to Erez Israel (then under Ottoman rule), and later, throughout the 30s and the 40s, a strong political and economic entity (Yeshuv) has evolved, later to become the basis of the State of Israel. Furthermore, the essay examines the hardships of the first years after the establishment of the new state, and analyse the consequences and the influences of the Six Day War on the society in Israel.
The differences and the divergence between Ashkenazi-Sephard, religious-secular, nationalists and peacesupporters, have reached its peak in the 1980s, and the gap between the opposing sides of these cleavages has become larger. Th e 1990s are called the years of peace and prosperity, which have brought economic betterment for many in Israel, thus hoping that this situation will fi nally resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, the huge waves of immigrants from the ex-USSR have certainly infl uenced Israel’s economy, yet it also caused social difficulties. As a result, in the case of Israel, we cannot determine that its national identity has already developed, as it is constantly changing.

Political Theory
Viktor Kiss: Eastern Europe – As It Has Got Realized, or Why Liberalism Is So Irremediably Controversial in Our Region After the Change of Regimes
Attributed to the “trauma of belatedness”, a third characteristic ideological trend was building up and taking the lead during the change of regime in Eastern Europe. However, this ideology – in contrast to the former traditionalist (1918-1945) and modernizing (1917/1945-1989) eras – combined progressivism with the idea that the region’s joining the West was present and reality. The biggest illusion of liberalism in Eastern Europe was that the elevated and protesting nature of the transition and the “involving” and helpful character of the West enabled the region to realize its old dream of a historical “tabula rasa”. After 1989 we can evade the period that says that “the West will come, we ourselves are part of the Western problems; therefore, we have to join the West concerning our way of thinking.” Instead of that we have to think in a new paradigm: “We have become the part of the West, all of our drawbacks can be ascribed to the fact that we have not joined the West in our way of thinking.” Today we can see clearly that both standpoints above lead to the same conceptual traps. The problem of “import”, however, is still more controversial and complex than that – if it is possible at all. The Hungarian conditions deserve special attention while examining this process, because “Liberal Progression” had have a live and actual tradition independently from everything, so the specific nature of the libertarian approach in the region could come to the surface more strikingly than anywhere else.

Pros & Cons
Zoltán Kiszelly: About the Fine Prospects of the Conservative Heritage in Hungary
Dániel Vázsonyi: The Hungarian and Central European Rightists’ Being at a Crossroads

Dr. András Körösényi – politologist; university lecturer at the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, Faculty of Law, Institute for Political Science; president of the Hungarian Political Science Association; member of the Board of Consultants of the Society & Politics periodical

László Csicsmann: Zsolt Rostovány: The Islamic World and the West – Clash of Interpretations

Centre for Political Discourse Studies
Federation of Regions – Forum for the young intelligentsia

Conference: Dialogue, Partnership, and Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

Contents & Abstracts