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Society & Politics 1-2/2009

(Társadalom & Politika 2009/1-2)

Editors’ Foreword

International Politics
Tamás Magyarics: The Rollercoaster Ride of Transatlantic Relations Since the Iraq War
Transatlantic relations seriously deteriorated after the quasi-unilateral American invasion of the Iraq of Saddam Hussein in 2003, and – although tensions eased between the two sides of the Atlantic – there are a lot of still relevant question marks concerning the short-term and long-term cooperation of America and Europe in world affairs. The author, one of the main authorities of the subject in Hungary, aims at describing the past dynamics, the present state, and the future perspectives of the issue. The study begins with a historical overview that informs the reader about the Cold War roots of the Transatlantic link, the basic motives and the most relevant problems of the security link between America and Europe; later we get the same concerning the post-bipolar era, from the collapse of the Soviet Union until the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. However, of course, the main part of the article deals with the special political factors that formed the relations before and after the war in Iraq from 2003: we get a broad analysis of all relevant diplomatic and security policy issues – actual events, practical problems and solutions as well as theoretical considerations and abstract perspectives. The study follows the course of happenings almost up to the present, and the author, by sharing his present observations, also gives hints about his considerations about the future. The author is a senior lecturer and the Deputy Head of the Department of American Studies at the School of English and American Studies at the Eötvös Loránd University, a senior fellow at the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, and the chief editor of the Foreign Policy Review.

József Krizmanits: Tribalism in the Middle East – The Tribal System in Iraq Under the Saddam Regime and After the Beginning of the American Invasion
The author is a lecturer of political science and orientalism and a PhD aspirant of present-day world history at the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Humanities. (...)

Political Sociology
Róbert L. Holndonner: The Arab-American “Minority” Before and After September 11, 2001, and in Recent Years
The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 had a special effect on Arabs and Muslims living in America. After starting with comprehensive reflections on the concept of minorities in America in general, the author gives a broad social and historical overview of the Arab-American minority – concerning their social status and the basic stereotypes and types of discrimination they have to face. The main part of the study deals with the direct and indirect consequences of the terrorist attacks on the everyday life of Arab-Americans; beyond social phenomena, we can have a look at government responses and legal actions affecting immigration policy and civil liberties. The final part of the study deals with the political participation patterns and the changes in political preferences of Arab-Americans, with a special focus on the last three presidential elections. The author has graduated in political science and English language and culture; he is a PhD aspirant of present-day world history at the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Humanities.

Media and Communications
György Englert: “That’s How a Railway Toilet Can Also Look Like” – The 2006 Parliamentary Elections As the News Media Broadcast Them
The study published here is a part of the result of a research carried out by an academic research team on the 2006 parliamentary elections in Hungary. The basic question of the research was: How is the election campaign of the various political parties broadcast to the public by the different media branches? This given writing analyses the evening news of the three nationwide non-satellite TV channels. The study, basically, documents the factual research findings of the author: the main virtue of the work is that – instead of quoting other sources or compiling secondary materials – it is based on original, first-hand empirical data, recorded by the author himself, published for the first time. Of course, methodology is well-founded and concepts are defined well, the findings are commented and conclusions are drawn. The author is a historian and a graduate of political science, now a doctoral student at Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Humanities (present-day Hungarian history program).

Hortenzia Hosszú: Gandhi, the “Communicator” of the Masses
The research of the national independence movement in India requires the researcher to analyse the question whether the successfulness of the expansion of the movement is in connection with the methods and the content of political communication. The study tries to answer the question by analysing the political and communication methods of the leader of the movement, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and the messages conveyed by these methods in the period between 1942 and 1944. As an introduction, the author enumerates the concepts and principles of Hinduism on which Gandhi’s argumentation is based and by which his public image and political acts and campaigns are defined. After presenting Gandhi’s collective and individual political methods, the author – with a content-analytical approach – focuses on their connection to communication channels. The empirical findings highlight a special Indian phenomenon: namely, that the selection of communication channels aims at identification with the masses instead of typical mass communications. This finding also means that the political and communication methods were applied simultaneously, in a complementary way in India. The author is a research fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute for Political Science.

Gertrúd Kendernay-Nagyidai: Picture, Image, Reality – Or “Stop Borat”?
The essay takes the “mockumentary” comedy film entitled “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit of Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” as its subject of contemplation. The film, which was produced in 2006, generated stormy reactions, mainly criticism and refusal on the part of its parodied subjects, especially the state and leadership of Kazakhstan – condemning it for being false and harmful to the country and its external “world image”. The author makes an attempt to theorize on the phenomenon: the concept of “country image”-stereotypes, the relevance of such an image in our post-modern globalized world, and the intentions of post- or semi-dictatorial regimes ruling in “little” states, related to the defining and forming of this image. The essay also reflects upon some social causalities and consequences. The author is a doctoral student of political science at the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law.

Huba Szeremley: True Wine, Honest Politics
Imre Tompa: Ten End-of-Summer Observations About Hungarian Wine

Interview (Zoltán Fehér)
Charles Gati – Hungarian-born American political scientist, professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University

Book Review
Dávid Pusztai: The Warnings of a Diplomat

The 4th Conference of Young Political Scientists from the Carpathian Basin (Fipoli’08)
Politikatudományi Szemle (leading periodical of political science in Hungary) 2008/3-4. and 2009/1. (national periodical of students of political science studies in Hungary)

Contents & Abstratcs