Abstract

The theory in practice in Central Europe

Ashok Kumar Upadhyay: Reflections on the Theoretical Development of Concept of Justice
Justice has been the topic of hot debate right from the beginning of systematic political theory. Though its nature and scope have changed with time, its importance has remained almost the same. In the ancient time when Political Science was treated as master science, the concept played a central role in the theoretical exercises of Greek philosophers. Justice was one of the four virtues which every individual possessed. As a virtue, the function of justice was to organise the self at individual level and the state at societal level. In the middle ages, the concept of eternal justice was complimented by divine concept and as such, the individuals were obliged to subordinate themselves to the commands of political and religious arrangements which were supposed to be just. In the modern period, individuals declined to accept the yoke of political and religious control and consequently asserted for their personal freedom. Justice came to be constituted in limited governance and all social and political institutions became subordinated to individual interests. In the contemporary period, the social basis of justice emerged and theoreticians and philosophers emphasised more on the just functioning of social and political institutions. The present article aims at finding the development of the concept of justice in western political philosophy. The attempt has been made to trace and analyse the concept from ancient Greeks to the contemporary philisophers.

Levente Nagy: The Meaning of the Concept of (Neo)-Conservatism
Political concepts are part of our daily speech, but we often abuse them, because of the lack of proper understanding of the terms. The primary task of political scientists is to analyze commonly used concepts in order to assist us in gaining a fuller understanding of the terms. It seems to be necessary to study the different ways in which (as well as the different purposes for which) given concepts are used in the course of history. More and more political philosophers have recognized the fact that unhistorical use of concepts does not allow them to distance themselves from thinking in terms of contemporary paradigms, unquestioned conventions or even value judgments. This paper is an attempt to provide a morphological analysis of Conservatism in order to emphasize the complexity of the inner structure of the concept. An analytical mapping of Conservatism with regard to the historical context the concept is embedded into seems to be necessary for a better understanding of Conservatism. The morphological analysis reveals the dominant features of the concept of Conservatism and the ranges of its inner structure.

Csaba Varga: The Revolution of 1956 in the Judgement of Ethics and Law, Or the Responding Ability of Law as a Post-totalitarian Dilemma
It is a shame for law and order built upon the ruins of Communism that by referring to the Constitution’s clause on Hungary as “an independent democratic country ruled by the law”, the new regime’s privileged legal protection has been extended to the criminal deed of the dictatorial past by a gesture equating physical time of the period of lawlessness to legal time under consolidate conditions, i.e., to legal time with definite expiry when the period of statutory limitations as prescribed by the law is passed, even if the entire machinery of justice used to be schemed as to block persecution and retaliate any lawful initiative to launch criminal inquiry. For the Constitutional Court declared that facing with a past of law-annihilation is excluded from the domain of this very Rule of Law once the perpetrator has succeeded to implemented for itself any legal excuse or pardon. Accordingly, legal instrumentality in action in Hungary positively sanctions even political murder and torture, only provided that the state, once having commissioned such deeds, keeps on to be dictatorial enough to survive the period of limitations it granted for itself. This vacuum of moral ethos is further aggravated by that the same Court acknowledges a legal response surpassing limitations if a superior forum (e.g., international humanitarian law) would impose it. Such indifference rejecting even basic justice and equity may undermine the ideal rule of law and its democratic popular support.

György Csepeli: Gypsies and gadje – The perception of Roma in Hungarian society
The paper gives an concise review of the classic literature on the social psychological problems stemming from the intergroup situation where people interract with each other without personal involvement. Interaction in intergroup siutation, however, can be characterized with deep emotional involvement stemming from distant historical, sociological motives shadowing the present encounters of people with different group background. The insights of literature will be applied in this paper trying to analyse the case of the tormented relationship of Gypsies and non-Gypsies in the contemporary Hungarian society. Special attention has been paid to the history of the social psychological research on the relationship between Gypsies and non-Gipsiies in Hungary starting in the early ’70-ies with small scale surveys. The various types of research have resulted in monotonous results indicating enduring patterns of troubled minority-majority coexistence.

István Murányi and Zoltán Berényi: The Relation between Prejudice and the Interpretation of Democracy among Teenagers
Based on the analysis of data collected in 2005 and in 2008 in Hungary our study explores the relationship between teenagers’ interpretation of democracy and the level of prejudice they show towards minority groups. The analysis explored that respondents fall into two categories having a distinctly different understanding of democracy: we called those the social/civil and the political interpretation. As for the understanding of citizenship concerned, also two different ways of interpretation emerged: the national and the egalitarian understanding of citizenship. Furthermore, our research on prejudice towards minorities also indicated that the attitudes, which inform us about how young people relate to democracy are not independent from the attitudes of young people have towards national and ethnic minorities. This, in turn, means that in the process of political socialization, where attachments to democratic values and norms develop and the understanding of democracy are formed the way how young people relate to minorities have a key importance.

Ateş Uslu: Nineteenth-Century Opera as a Matter of Comparative History
This paper is an essay aiming to go beyond this enclosure of disciplines in the field of the history of music, and to construct a general framework for the integration of opera studies into the research on social and political history, and especially, on the nationalism studies. In this framework, the elements of so-called “national cultures” present an excellent object of analysis. Culture is the main reference in the processes of construction of the modern, unitary nations. According to the national discourse, the specific community, which is said to constitute a particular nation, is unified by the cultural references reflecting the supposedly primordial national spirit. This statement is at the origin of the motivation of various nationalistic efforts to systematize and diffuse folkloric traditions. So the question is not whether operas are national or cosmopolitan works of art; it is more important to analyze the political and social function of the operas in the nineteenth century. From this viewpoint, it is possible to state that operas played a central role in the development of a national and patriotic discourse; the case of the “national operas” of the nineteenth century is one of the several examples where the construction of national identities functioned in an international framework.

The Budapest Analyses was launched in 2002 with the collaboration of policy analysts, economists and social scientists, dedicated to sharing, protecting and disseminating a common value system. His value aims to protect the pillars of human- and minority rights, political pluralism, the democratic constitutional state and the protection of national heritages – into the European system of cooperation. He continues to consider interpreting and evaluating events affecting Central Europe in accordance with our value system. While he published one analysis fortnightly on average, from now on this frequency will increase significantly – hopefully, to the liking of our readership. The previous newsletters can be accessed in the Analyses Archive. Prof. Ivan Bába is the editor-in-chief. www.budapestanalyses.hu