Abstracts

FUTURE – INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDIES

Gianfranco Pasquino: Left/Right in Europe:  A Critical Analysis at the Turn of Millennium
The author will first try briefly to sketch the political and socio-economic background conditions in which the idea of the Third Way made its appearance. Then, he will indicate its strengths, few, and its weaknesses, many. He will do so both with reference to the “theoretical” ideas and to the practice of some parties, suggesting that the variety of national experiences cannot be subsumed under any single heading. Finally, he will assess the present status of the concept and provide some criteria which might help in evaluating the goals and the strategies of West (and, perhaps, East) European parties more than their concrete policies. A concluding comment on the case of the Italian left will bring the paper to its conclusion on a sober and less than enthusiastic note. There is, curiously, a not so distant event, that is the collapse in 1989 of East and Central European Communist regimes and, especially in 1991, of the Soviet Union. Even though widely criticized, also by the West European left, the Soviet experience (and its degeneration) had provided “another point of view” for millions of leftwing voters, especially, of course, in Southern Europe, and for thousands of party activists and many, many leaders. Indeed, the first mention of a Third Way was made by some politicians and some scholars who wanted to identify an alternative both to Communism and to Capitalism.

Csaba Varga: Global Transfer of Institutional Patterns World Bank, Ethno-Centrism, and New Challenges: A Case-Study in Law
In the age of globalisation, the issue of legal effects ending in the reception of complete texts has become a widespread phenomenon while its scholarly elaboration hardly keeps pace with this. Not even its terminology is yet crystallised. Reception, octroi, export, transfer, borrowing, transplant, foreign aid, assistance, Law and Development, Modernisation through Law, droit du développement are equally to conceptualise different characteristics from differing aspects. The positivistic attitude that identifies law as a rule by in-law positivation, complemented by the law’s interpretative medium and the entire legal culture behind the entire social enterprise »law« is thereby transcended. This perceives half the past century’s efforts at generating such legal effects as a process with obvious successes but also as accompanied by considerable failures. After all, do we act narcissistically, inflicting our traditions on others, or can we support foreign peoples selflessly, helping them to find their own way to optimum improvements? Is our interest driven by mere selfish hunger for more power, or by helpful intention? Eventually, which pattern do we prefer from among the stunt of transference of will by a circus showman, on the one hand, or a gardener’s humility attending all round at all times, on the other? True, it may require sacrifices to withstand the temptation by the former, yet only a way leading back to the lessons drawn from experience can be successful in the long run. For ultimately the destiny of all modernising reforms is up to the selective force of the targeted system, moreover, the latter’s environment may determine the law’s eventual fate. Therefore it is better to find out first what the soil and its living milieu need, and the gardener may also come afterwards.

Peter Bishop: Central Europe’s Present and Future
From geographical aspect, Central Europe comprises one part of the currently called „core Europe” as well as certain countries of the former socialist Eastern-European block. These countries had been going along various political and economic paths – even today they represent a different political culture – until they met in the European Union. The economic, social and societal differences between the old and new member countries are quite significant even at the present time. The question is how the western half of Central Europe will be able to integrate Central Europe and in what way the catch-up process of the former could be accelerated towards core Europe. And what kind of strategy Central Europe should choose to follow for catching-up? Are there any compromises standing beyond nations which could force the Central European countries to cooperate with each other? In my opinion, they must be existing, the recognition and implementation of these common causes should be a precondition of the later successful all-European cooperation’s within the EU. For all this it is the political elite of these nations who has to take responsibility, they should learn to think at global level and pursue their political goals in the interest of Europe.

José Villegas: Critical Approaches on the Integration of Latin America
By the author, highlights the need to reliably establish the foreign policy “hidden agenda” of the Great Powers to identify the real issues disguised and obscured behind ‘politically correct’ language and formulations. Thus, to establish their true aims compared to the wishes and interests of the people affected by the Great Powers actions. Neither Western greater Powers nor the Soviet communists at the time really understood or wished to support Latin American effective integration. Marxism as understood and practised by the Soviet never really understood South America, particularly the Southern Cone (Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay), including Peru and Ecuador. Latin America grass-roots deeply desires integration but the Western great Powers and local traditional ruling elites are suspicious of them.

Kinga Szabó-Tóth: The Construction of Ethnic Identity of Successful Gypsies/Travellers in England
The paper is about the question of Gypsy/Traveller identity. Bearing in mind what different authors had written on this topic, the main objective of this investigation is to understand the theory of ethnicity, identity and assimilation/acculturation, through the opinions and experiences of Gypsies/Travellers themselves and to develop a further understanding of the identity construction process among the target population by the application of qualitative investigation. By conducting qualitative interviews with 22 persons, we try to examine questions such as  (1) under what kind of circumstances is it important for them to hide or reveal their ethnicity; (2) are they balancing cultures, or in other words can they be described as bi-cultured persons. Based on the interview material it was found that the assumption of double-binding identity is sound. And as it was also expected, it is especially so among the Gypsy/Traveller professionals.

József N. Szabó: The Importance of Emigration in the Endeavours of the Hungarian Culture Diplomacy /1945-1948/
In a critical situation political forces responsible for the fate and future of a country are willing to seize any opportunity and means to reduce difficulties and find a solution for the crisis. This was the case in Hungary after World War II where the members of the political and cultural élite took every morally acceptable step in order to contribute to the democratization and modernization of the country. Emigration was assigned an extremely important role in the plans of the contemporary professional and political elite. Emigrants of Hungarian descent were expected to contribute to contribute to the efforts of Hungary aimed at the democratization of the country and its re-emigration into the community of free nations. Several of the political parties appearing in Hungarian domestic politics after 1945 had clear-cut and elaborate ideas regarding the emigrants. They wished to rely upon the support of the emigrants and expected them to support Hungary’s reconstruction through their personal and professional contacts in their new home countries.