reviste   » Altera
  autori a b c d g h k l m n p r s t u v w z  
  căutare á é í ó ö ő ú ü ű ă â î ş ţ
  toate numerele » altera ANUL XI. 2005., nr. 26-27 »

| observaţii
| listare
| bookmark


altera 26/27
YEAR XI. 2005


In memoriam Adrian Marino- 3


Victor Neumann

Communism and Nationalism in East-Central-Europe:

The Totalitarian Regime of the Postwar Romania

in the Identity Theory Perspective- 5

Lacking – unlike its East-Central European neighbours – a solid left-wing tradition, Romania was for a long time unable to draw up the proper criticism against the communist totalitarian regime. While Moscow was criticizing Stalinism and Budapest was protesting against its own dictatorship, Romanian communist leader Gheorghiu-Dej was pretending that destalinization had already taken place in Romania avoiding thus responsibility for Stalinist ideology and its implementation in Romania. He was also pleading for the right to assert national communism. Due to political police surveillance, Marxist thinkers were unable to initiate disidence and even less to influence masses.

Romanian intellectuals did not notice that Marxist ideas themselves could be employed against political terror. Gheorghiu-Dej and later Ceauşescu were masters in manipulating nationalist ethnicism to support their own regime. The grassroot Romania did not enjoy an alternative political way of thinking as a result of the lack of a genuine relationship between the intellectual elites and the masses. The nationalist dimension was to many Romanian intellectuals the sole tenet opposed to communism, that is why even today various historical facts bear a dif ferent meaning to the Romanian majority and the Hungarian, German and Jewish minorities. Such a difference in meaning is also reinforced by the larger East- European background where national identities asserted themselves by denying the right to existence of the neighbouring identities.

Even after the Yougoslavian tragedy most of the East-European intelligentsia do not perceive the harmfulness of the ethno-national discourse and do not realize that in order to assume the European identity they have to reassess the concept of nation.

Metamorphosis of the Austrian Identity- 14

In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy the Austrians did not have a national identity of their own, their selfidentification being that of a part of the German nation. Beginning with 1934, opposing the ideas of national- socialism, the Austrians sought to shape a distinct identity, but had it not been for the Allies, their strivings would have failed as they were not only victims of the nazi system but also participants to it.

During the postwar period, the „Austrian consciousness” has been shaped by the country’s neutrality and by its trying to move away culturally and economically from Germany

Today Austria is facing the European integration challenge, a process where it could play the part of reference point for the Eastern European countries and thus become the main winner of a possible Central-European „regional federation”. At the same time, this could be the right way to strengthening Austrian identity.

Mykola Riabchuk

Ambiguous ’Borderland’:

Ukrainian Identity on the Crossroads of West and East- 53

This paper aims to explore the Ukrainian identity-in-the-making as an important factor of European both geopolitical and cultural self-identification. The author argues that, since 19th century, there have always been and still are two different options for Ukrainian national and territorial elites: to embark on a ‘Central- East European’ project of nation-building or to further benefit from some regional role in a more general project of ‘Greater Russian’, or Soviet, or East Slavonic empire-building.

The first option would inevitably mean the full integration of Ukraine into Euro- Atlantic structures and, probably, a gradual transformation of neighboring Russia into a ‘normal’ and basically European nation-state. The second option would certainly mean the revival of some sort of Eurasian’ empire that has always been strongly biased if not completely hostile against the West. Thus, Ukrainian path and pace of development would largely determine where the Europe’s eastern border is set and, even more importantly what kind of a border it might be.

Cristina Gheorghe

The Identity of the European Human Being

with Denis de Rougemont- 72

The beginning of the Denis de Rougemont’s Europe-oriented career dates from the postwar period, when his exile to America opens a new perspective on the Old Continent: what he had previously seen as a conglomerate of various entities reveals itself to be a whole. The solution to the problems Europe faced in the aftermath of Second World War depended on two elements: the European human being and federalism, that are inseparable in de Rougemont’s view. Striving to outline a typology, de Rougemont speaks of three categories: a free, but unengaged human being having his correspondent in a democratic regime tending to anarchy; the totally engaged human being (the political soldier) that completely lacks freedom and has his correspondent in a totalitarian regime; and the person, a human being that is both free and engaged and that has his correspondent in a federalist regime.

Starting from the differences between the Western Europeans and those in the other areas of the continent or people on the other continents, de Rougemont ends up by assessing the differences between Europeans themselves, differences that had bred conflicts among them for centuries. Nevertheless, these very conflicts gave the solution needed for surpassing differences: federalism, the economical, political, social and cultural system that has as its goal (and also the capacity) to make contradictions acceptable as a normal and inherent state of affairs.

De Rougemont thus sensitizes the European individual to achieve the European dream, the united Europe once imagined by Dante, Rousseau, Voltaire or Briand, and which has come true only in part up to now...


Valér Veres

Ethnic Identity vs. National Identity in a Minority Position.

The Case of the Hungarians in Transylvania- 87

National identity is a vaster concept than any other form of collective identity including ethnic identity, and it has two manifestations: the Western-European one based on the notion of fatherland and citizenship and the Eastern-European one based on the notion of culture and ethnic origin. The essential difference between a minority group and an ethnic one is mirrored in the significant differences in the field of power and social prestige.

The field research conducted among Hungarians in Transylvania revealed that few of them define their Hungarian identity referring directly to the criteria of ethnic origin. The most representative factor seems to be cultural national identity based on self-identification, which ideologically speaking is not built on an ethnic criterion, originating in birth, but on the Hungarian culture, on identification with their political representation organisation (The Democratic Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania) and with national symbols, with socializing within the Hungarian educational system and environment.

Mara Mărginean

The Stolen Identity of a Transylvanian Town- 102

The paper here tells the story of an urban space, Hunedoara, against the background of industrialisation and territorial planning policy of the communist authorities. The identity of Hunedoara relies on two pillars: its history and its economical dimension (it hosts an iron and steel plant).

The study focuses on the beginning (1947-1949) and ending (1980-1989) periods of the communist regime. While the first period is devoted to building a gardentown for workers, its districts being placed as far as possible from the industrial area in order to avoid their pollution, the last period witnesses the easy and cheap, even if not desirable solution of demolishing the old, historical centre of the town in order to make room for block of flats. An urban process that had set out by building houses ended up by demolishing individual dwellings. Urban planning embodies the ideology of the time: the collective, be it the working class or simply the masses, should replace the individual. Local urban identity is destroyed by the actions of central bureaucracy; across the country the outcome is the levelling of the urban Romanian landscape that stamps also the individual.


Ovidiu Pecican

”J’accuse!”: Tom Gallagher’s Version- 115

The paper assesses Tom Gallagher ’s latest book, Theft of a Nation. Romania since Communism, which signals the failure of the transition process in Romania. The volume does not confine itself to analysing without bias the recent history of this country, it takes a clear stand: Romania’s past of foreign oppression cannot entirely account for its incapacity to relaunch itself. The book calls for Romanian citizens and their political elites to take responsibility to admit the internal causes of failure; it is a manifesto in favour of civicism that can build up a democratic society and support the rule of law.

Gallagher ’s criterion in assessing the present Romanian society is not at all inquisitorial or utopian, the standard is not an ideal governance, but it is a criterion of the maximum that could have been achieved by good decision-makers and citizens (but, unfortunately Romania has never had them up to now). Quite notable is Gallagher ’s effort to go beyond a critical analysis by providing solutions never before considered, although perfectly feasible. This effort is directed almost exclusively toward the political sphere, but such an option is legitimate as long as in postcommunist Romania political will is the one that creates economical, social and cultural realities.

On the other hand, Gallagher does not hesitate to note that the West has its share of responsibility in Romania’s backwardness as it sometimes too easily credited controversial actions and persons of the Romanian political elites.

Ioan Codruţ Lucinescu

Federal Aspects in the European Union- 123

The essay is an overview of the 20th century history of the European idea as well as an assessment of the sustainability of the European Union.

After the First World War the European idea is overshadowed by the rise of the national states, but the third decade of the century witnesses Aristide Briand’s project whose importance lies in the fact that it brings together the theoretical and political activities. Suppressed during the ’40s, the concepts circulated in the project resurfaced in the postwar period. Set up by The Hague Congress in 1948, the European Movement promoted federalism as the best alternative to the nation-state, that was considered responsible for two world wars. Drawing from the American and the German experience, the federalist project envisaged a twotier distribution of political sovereignty: European and national. Neofunctionalism is another form of federalism and it relies on the idea that economical integration has a spill-over effect and leads to integration of other domains, too. The Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 is the epitome of all the previous achievements, but it is for the European Constitution to consolidate the European construction. The future of EU depends on three elements: the evolution of the international landscape, EU’s ability to reorganize itself in order to cope with the problems generated by its enlargement and the candidate countries’ capacity to meet the demands of their accession.


Assembly of European Regions:

Declaration on Regionalism in Europe-  138

Council of Europe:

Draft European Charter of Regional Self-Government- 146

Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the ’Reccomendation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe on a European Charter of Regional Self-Government’- 156

Conference of European Ministers responsible for local and regional government: Helsinki Declaration on Regional Self-Government- 162

Recommendation 156 (2004) on the ’Council of Europe

Convention on Regional Self-Government – progress of the draft’- 169

Resolution 186 (2004) on the ’Council of Europe Convention on Regional Self-Government – progress of the draft’- 172

Gábor Kolumbán

The Chances of Regionalism in Romania- 175

The study here strives to pinpoint the main causes that hinder the evolution of regionalism and regionalisation in Romania. Under the cover of the concern for the integrity of the national state there is a centralist will to power of the political elites that prevents any form of decentralisation. The present regions for development are designed only to absorb EU funding, but their structure and way of functioning prevent the emergence of genuine regional projects.

Misunderstanding of the notion of the region: while at the European level, Romanian counties pretend to be the regional tier, Romanian legal provisions define the counties as entities of local public administration. Lacking the political, institutional and community components, neither the regions for development (that have no administrative rights), nor the counties can be considered regions. The discourse on regions is fallaciously ethnicized: it is ignored that the cultural administrative competencies of autonoumous regions across Europe are given to territorial communities and not to ethnic ones.

The weak regionalism in Romania is also due to the fact that the economical elites are not aware of the effects of globalisation.

A regional development policy without regions is a typical East-European catch. Given all the reasons above, Romanian regionalists are in for a long and exhausting march with no end in view unless they manage to draw the interest of the political and economical spheres.


Paul Philippi

Present and Prospective Reflections

on the Deportation of the Germans- 194

Sixty years after the deportation of the Germans from Transylvania, the author ponders on the need to pass on the duty of commemoration to the young generation since the peoples that lose their historic memory also lose their future. The terrible experience of deportation should be processed in a way to lead to a better coexistence of ethnic groups and not to embittering them.

While striving for the proper recognition and condemnation of the deportation, the German community should not confine itself to deeming itself as a powerless victim only, it should also reassess and acknowledge its not having taken a stand against the national-socialism. The German community should become aware of its role as a constructive ethnic and politic minority that enjoys collective rights and is also ready to take on collective commitments.

A constant dialogue is needed both with the Romanian majority and the other minorities in Romania, especially the Hungarians, as well as with the political and social decision-makers in the German-speaking countries.


Christoph Pan

The Role of Education in Connection with Endangered Minorities- 194

Even though minority protection has recently experienced a proportionally great push in development throughout Europe, there are risk factors wich in particular threaten the smaller minorities. These are: insufficient demographic size paired with dispersed settlement, a lack of political organization, linguistic fragmentation and retarded linguistic development.

While demographic size is an independent variable and therefore cannot be immediately changed, the remaining risk factors can be influenced through measures of minority policy among which a special role is played by education. With the assis- tance of education the lack of direct communication brought about by a situation of dispersed settlement can be remedied through media forms of communication, the minority-specific difficulties of political organization can be corrected and the ability to organize can be improved, the danger of linguistic fragmentation and the reverse in linguistic development can be combated more easily


The Regional Dimension of the European Integration- 198

Although Romania has adopted the community acquis, it cannot effectively implement it as its county structure inherited from the communist regime is the result of an atomizing and dictatorial thinking. The regional idea, promoted mainly within Transylvania, should be seen as a tool for development, for solving problems, and not for secession, for creating new problems.

Regionalism contributes to participatory democracy to involving citizens into decision-making, and it is high time citizens themselves tried to get this process started. Modern Romania relies on regionalist traditions, but how can they be highlighted? A regionalist reconstruction of Romania would be useful as it would make the country’s european integration easier and, at the same time, it could provide a solution to the Hungarian minority living here. Out of the three types of regionalism – cultural, political and economical – Romania has chosent to employ only the latest and only in order to be able to absorb the European structural funds. A matter to hinder a regional movement is the legal impossibility of setting up regional parties in Romania, all the parties now extant reproducing the centralist structure. The Romanian state cannot be reformed, what is truly needed is a recreation of the state. In the Constitution the borders, the national anthem, the national flag are given more consideration than the citizens. The diversity the Romanian state needs not so much intercultural tolerance as a solidarity of identities.


Ferenc Csortán

Non-Islamic Communities within the Ottoman Empire- 231

The principle underlying the Ottoman Empire was religion not ethnicity (just like in European states), but Islam had a different relationship with other religions, it not only tolerated them, it strived to protect the other two religions endowed with the Bible as it did not consider them „pagan”.

Christian and Jewish communities enjoyed a religious and cultural institutionalised autonomy status: the millet that enabled them to preserve their identity and, later, to fight for their own statehood. In response, the Empire tried to reform either by recalling its forgotten traditions or by borrowing from the Western societies patterns.

Nevertheless, a bitter historical experience prevented the political elites of the post-Ottoman countries to admit that there had been such forms of autonomy, historically validated, that had not promoted separatism and unsafety, but, on the contrary contributed to increasing stability and trust.


John Anderson

Justifying Religious ’Privilege’ in Transitional Societies- 249

This paper is part of a wider study of how societies undergoing political transition processes handle the issue of religious diversity. Here the focus is on the ways in which religious agencies, states or other political actors justify the granting of a special legal or constitutional status to traditionally dominant religious institutions or the application of restrictions on the activities of religious minorities. Five main families of argument are noted, rooted in appeals to the dominant church’s majority or national status, their potential role as moral guardians, the need for protection against unfair competition, the need for social and political stability, and nationalistic appeals based on assertions about national distinctiveness and the right of countries to develop their own models of church-state relations. Of these the latter category of nationalistic argument is especially strong in the three Orthodox countries under consideration.


Andi Mihalache

Controversial Identities.

We and the Germans in the 1949-1965 Historiography- 270

The territorial and ideological split of Germany into capitalist FRG and communist DRG made it difficult for the Romanian historiography to tackle this elusive entity from a Marxist perspective. East-German historians themselves included into their representations only those social categories that either had opposed or had been victims of the nazi system. Nevertheless, the everyday life of these social classes never made the object of East-German historical studies; they dealt exclusively with protests and of social-democrat and later communist elites. The impossibility to establish two identities – a socialist one in the East and a capitalist one in the West – for one nation led to a Marxist rigidity coupled with constant prosovietism. In the Romanian historiography the short nazi period was the quintessence of the whole German history and a symbol of the decadence of the Western civilization. Except for the Turks, the Germans are the nation opposed to which Romanians most readily defined themselves. The role the German world played in the modernization of Romania was deliberately ignored. Rem- nants of this anti-Western view are still to be found in the Romanian mentality but this time they are oriented against Americans.


Ovidiu Pecican

Levente Salat, Smaranda Enache (editori):

Relaţiile româno-maghiare şi modelul de reconciliere franco-german (Levente Salat, Smaranda Enache (eds.): The Romanian-Hungarian Relationship and the French-German Reconciliation Model)- 280

La Editura PRO EUROPA au mai apărut:

Heinrich Henckel, Sistemul elveţian

John P. Frank, Modele de guvernare democratică

Ezra Solomon, Economia într-o societate liberă

Chester Finn, Politica într-o societate liberă

Chester E. Finn Jr., A preda democraţia

Howard Cincota, Ce este democraţia?

Binder Pál, Az erdélyi fejedelemség román diplomatái

Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, Pan-Europa

Willy Zeller, Breviarul economiei de piaţă

Ionel Ion, Mariana Costin-Ion, Aritmetica. Aritmétika

Ionel Ion, Mariana Costin-Ion, Számtan. Aritmétika

Andrei Roth, Naţionalism sau democratism?

Roth Endre, Nacionalizmus vagy demokratizmus?

Hamar, J.& Sárkány-Kiss, A. (red.), The Maros/Mureş River Valley. A study of

the geography hydrobiology and ecology of the river and its environment Hamar, J.& Sárkány-Kiss, A. (red.), The Criş/Körös Rivers' Valleys. A study of

the geography hydrobiology and ecology of the river and its environment

Hamar, J.& Sárkány-Kiss, A. (red.), The Someş/Szamos River Valley. A study of

the geography, hydrobiology and ecology of the river and its environment Hamar, J.& Sárkány-Kiss, A. (red.), The Upper Tisa Valley.Preparatory proposal

for Ramsar site designation and an ecological background Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian and Ucrainian co-operation

Sárkány-Kiss Endre, Hamar József, Sîrbu Ioan,, Starea ecologică a râului

Mureş/ A Maros folyó ökológiai állapota Sárkány-Kiss Endre, Sîrbu Ioan, Kalivoda Béla (red.), A Körös-medence

folyóvölgyeinek természeti állapota/Starea naturală a văilor din Bazinul

Crişurilor *** Fragmentarium. Judaica-Christiana-Islamica *** România şi minorităţile. Colecţie de documente *** Învăţămîntul pentru minorităţile naţionale în România *** Drepturile persoanelor deţinute şi închise în Penitenciarul din Tîrgu Mureş *** Respectarea drepturilor lingvistice în Tîrgu Mureş *** Respectarea drepturilor copilului în şcolile din Tîrgu Mureş *** Educaţia în societăţile multietnice din Europa Centrală şi de Est *** Administraţia locală în comunităţile multietnice din Europa Centrală şi de Est *** Rolul minorităţilor în relaţiile transfrontaliere şi internaţionale din Europa

Centrală şi de Est *** Minorităţile şi mass-media în Europa Centrală şi de Est *** Administraţie locală. Autoadministrare locală (vol. I-IV)

Revista Altera

1.    Autonomie şi autodeterminare

2.    Drepturi individuale. Drepturi colective

3.    Drepturi individuale. Drepturi colective

4.    Drepturile omului şi religia

5.    Etnic. Naţional. Multinaţional

6.    Federalism

7. Federalism şi reconciliere

8.    Federalism şi devoluţie

9.    Regionalism şi regionalizare

10.    Regionalism şi/sau descentralizare

11.    O Europă a regiunilor

12.    Multiculturalism

13.    Multiculturalism / Interculturalism

14.    Drepturile lingvistice ale omului

15.    Drepturile lingvistice — drepturi fundamentale

16.    Universităţi multiculturale 17/18. Identităţi culturale periclitate

19.Regionalizare în Europa Centrală şi de Est

20/21. Integrarea europeană şi statutul minorităţilor

22/23. Politici descentralizatoare şi autonomia regională

24.     Identităţi – structuri şi caracteristici

25.     Dilemele identităţii


The PRO EUROPE League (Liga PRO EUROPA) is one of the most well-known civic NGOs in Romania, founded in the Transylvanian town of Tîrgu-Mureş (Marosvásárhely — Neumarkt), on 30 December 1989, immediately after the fall of the Ceauşescu’s dictatorial regime.

The PEL has become respected due to its involvment in promoting human rights, pluralism and multicultural values. From the very begining of the transition, the PEL has played a significant role in the political reality of Romania, joining different civic movements and alliances committed to mobilize public opinion against the restauration of the former communist structures. In the specific area of the multicultural society of Transylvania, the PEL has played an important role in monitoring discriminatory policies against minorities and in promoting tolerance between Romanians and Hungarians, a key issue for peace and democratic progress in Central Europe.

For more than eight years, the PEL has organized an impressive number of workshops, seminars, round-table debates, summer camps, conflict resolution missions and meetings for teachers, local authorities, judges, prosecutors, students, political and civic leaders, has published an independent weekly and a series of booklets and brochures.

altera is meant to promote the PEL’s values among academics, policy makers and the large public in Romania. It is one of the few Romanian publication focusing on the issue of ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity in the Transylvanian area, as well as European integration.




(c) Fundaţia Jakabffy Elemér, Asociaţia Media Index 1999-2006