You are here

Society & Politics 1/2006

(Társadalom & Politika 2006/1)

Foreword of the Editor

European Studies
Viktória Ágnes Takács: Split over Europe?
The Debates of the French Socialists About the European Constitution

The goal of the essay is to reveal the tensions that outcropped within the French PS as a result of the debates on the Constitutional Treaty. In the first chapter the author presents the traditional diversification of the French left, which is fragmented to small parties. She reveals the long-lasting conflicts and the major currents within the party (NPS: Nouveau Partie Socialiste; Nouveau Monde). In the second chapter she describes the debate that took place at the congress of the party, showing the pros and cons of the right and the left wing of the party concerning the treaty. In the next chapter she analyzes the situation within the PS after the referendum, and at the end of her essay, the author gives a brief outlook on what we can expect at the PS until the next presidential elections in 2007.

Political System
Veronika Tamás: The High Prosecutor – As a Political Actor?
The author examines the role of the high prosecutor in the Hungarian political life in order to answer the question whether the high prosecutor is a political actor or not. As a prosecutor, most of his work connects him to the territory of law, but he is often in the centre of political debates. The law determines the high prosecutor’s position, but there are some elements that push him into the territory of politics. The Hungarian high prosecutor is chosen by only the simple majority of the representatives in the Parliament, so – if the majority changes at the elections – he has to work together with the opposition of the party that chosen him. The author examined the other political actors’ relationship to the high prosecutor: the debates in the Parliament; the opinions in party programmes; etc. She found that the former high prosecutor of Hungary was usually engaged by small parties, while the latter by the opposition. She also made a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the media: the high prosecutor has occurred in it mainly since 2000. In most cases, however, the other political side has been in the centre of the debates, not the high prosecutor himself. It seems that the high prosecutor is not an actor in the political field, but an instrument of other political actors during their political battles.

Political History
József Farmasi: The Hungarian Holy Crown Idea
The Role of an Approach of Law in Hungarian History

This essay attempts to present and model the formation and the development of the Hungarian Holy Crown idea (or Hungarian Holy Crown doctrine) – a typically Hungarian idea that can be dated back to the Middle Ages. It investigates which thoughts and meanings, which functions of constitutional law were linked to the “Holy Crown” – the supposed crown of Stephen I (St. Stephen), the founder of the Hungarian state – in different eras of Hungarian history. The essay gives a detailed description of the role of this idea between the two world wars – first of all, in legitimizing the “contra-revolutionary” system, and the creation of its constitution. The essay covers nine centuries, and ends with the Horthy-era (1944), for after the Second World War – due to the appearance of the written constitution(s) – the Crown lost its relevance in constitutional law, and the Holy Crown idea also stopped functioning as a relevant theory of power. The author of the essay also refers to the main happenings concerning the Crown in the last fifteen years (such as the arms of Hungary issue, the Millennial Law, etc.), and – by declaring the view of the analyst – gives a short opinion on the “Crown-debate” going on nowadays.

Gergely Ablaka: The Internet in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The Conditions of the New Communication and Information Technology and Its Impact on the Cognitive and Democratic Development of the Society

The information and communication technologies support the fights of the political opposition against authoritarian systems everywhere all around the world. The web and the e-mail are the forms of the communication which are able to act against the authoritarian rule. The Internet is an obvious democratic challenge to dictatorial systems: the cyberspace, rejecting any form of the control, is a useful tool of maintaining relations and influencing one another. In a world where public opinion counts, the Internet is surely effective as a space for the opposition, which can not be controlled at all. In the essay, the author tries to present the role of the Internet in the society’s mental progress and in the enforcement of a real democratic governmental system in present-day Iran. Will the Internet have the same role among the more and more self-conscious youth and the people who query the rule of the clerical leadership as the cassettes of Khomeini had before or will it be an another tool for the revolutionary elite to stabilize its power? Is there a real possibility for the forms of electronic democracy to gain ground in Iran and for the Internet-usage to make any shift in the political system of the Islamic Republic? This essay attempts to find answers to these questions.

Márton János Maczák: The Legal Perspectives of the Falkland Islands War from the Beginnings to the War in 1982, with a Special Focus on the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination
The Falkland Islands War entered the headlines in 1982. Are these small islands really so important? No, certainly not. The war has to be discussed in the wider and more complex inherences of history. The old grievances of the great powers are at least as important as the British and Argentine internal affairs of the time. The governments of both countries needed success in foreign policy in order to make their citizens accept them.
From the work of Hugo Grotius, which was written in 1623-24 and is considered to be the first scientific writing in the field of international law, on, international law primarily concerns itself with the law of war and peace. In international relations, the right and concept of national sovereignty became important to that same extent in the second half of the 20th century. The UN-resolution about the principle of the right to self-determination launched an avalanche in 1960, and a range of independent states came into being in the following years.
But the Falkland Islands War was qualitatively different from these wars of independence. It was not a fight between “white oppressors” and “the black oppressed”, as the inhabitants of the islands have a British identity up to the present day. A range of arguments and counter-arguments faced each other, and neither of them was convincing enough to make it possible to decide between them. Moreover, the black-versus-white logic of the Cold War was in search of the instance, with the support of which it can monopolize the conflict on its own side.
In short, the main point is not the war, but the circumstances around it – its antecedents and consequences. That is why it is interesting to approach the problem with the perspective of international law.

Pros & Cons
Ervin Csizmadia: Two-Party System – Blessing or Curse?
Tamás Fricz: Two- or Multi-Party System? – Hungarian Considerations...

András Bozóki – Minister of Culture, university lecturer and candidate of political sciences

Máté Szabó: Civilian Participation and Civil Society in Germany

Századvég 2006/1. (Periodical of the Századvég Foundation)
Citromfa Political Workshop
Tocqueville Research Centre

POLI 2006 – Roaming conference of Students of Political Sciences
Election 2006 – collecting of nomination forms

Contents & Abstracts