Abstracts

THE PRESENT FROM THE PAST

Petr Prokš: „Mitteleuropa„. German Conceptions of Central Europe during the „Great War„ in 1914-1918
Berlin elaborated the Mitteleuropa project as a political, economic and military commonwealth under the German dominance. The main point of this project was Germany’s dominant control of Central Europe and suppression of Slavonic nations within the Habsburg Empire. Vienna concurred with the German dominance in Central Europe, but not with dissolution of Austria-Hungary or submission of the Great Power Policy to Berlin. The controversies between Germany and Austria-Hungary culminated in arrangement of the Polish issue. Slavonic nations of the Habsburg Empire opposed the Mitteleuropa program and war aims of the Entente Powers, which rejected the German expansion project.
Péter Krisztián Zachar: A possible heritage of anti-libertarian political thoughts of the interwar period in Central Europe: the tripartite social dialogue
The author is dealing in his essay with the topic of the social-economic state-organization between the two world wars in Central Europe. He is searching for answers to the questions of the root of anti-liberal economic views, therefore he summarizes the feelings of economic theoricians about the economic-social crises after the First World War, which was worsened by the Great Depression of 1929. As a result new economic approaches emerged, criticizing the liberal methods and social results of the “Manchester capitalism”. Claiming for review the economic Liberalism was a general tendency in the interwar Europe and America. This tendency included the transformation of the Central European states as well, which, however, fundamentally differed from the reform attempts made in Italy, in Germany or the Soviet Union. Certain political circles strongly supported implementing the idea of transforming the state and economy on a “vocational order” basis, which were suggested by the papal encyclicals and the Christian-social movement. This paper aims to analyze the role played by economic thoughts of the catholic thinkers on the state-organization and the interest-representation in the interwar period. The main thoughts are solidarity and subsidiarity, which lead to an interest representing organizational form where labor-unions and capitalist pressure groups can decide together about the economic politics of the “modern welfare state”. This trend did not cease to exist even after the Second World War: the social market economy based on concordance and cooperation between social actors instead of class battle (the so called tripartite dialogue) is a descendant of this view in many respects.

Frédéric Dessberg: Poland in European in the French Historical and Political Research
The most moderate and detailed comments are those which place the Polish foreign policy in a logical continuity. These comments take into account the historical factors and the European geopolitics but they do not exaggerate their significance. While considering too much that the Poles are only driven by a conditioning of safety and a will for power, or while considering too much Poland according to the French interests, the analysis becomes a caricature. Georges-Henri Soutou wrote that during the period of the Cold War, the French leaders had difficulty to understand the real situation of Poland1. The European background now changed, Poland of today makes a success of its European integration. If the French searchers often observe Poland through the prism of her relationship with Germany and Russia, they wish seeing her play a significant role within the European Union. The studies concerning the Polish foreign policy become now more and more refined. The main reason is the growing development of the scientific exchanges between the Frenchs and the Poles2. Thus, the reasons of misunderstanding could decrease.

Pál Koudela: Policy Influencing Society after Trianon in Kosice (in Hungarian Kassa)
Policy makes such a big influence on society and economy that social structure economic level can change rapidly. Demographic conditions changes by changing political circumstances. But something in bourgeoisie, in its values, communities doesn’t change so easily and in our essay we show the results of our researches of this phenomena with parallel life spans, network compositions and demographic, political, economic contexts. The period and place is the First Czechoslovakian Republic but understanding contexts are general.

Arvydas Guogis: How Can the New Governance Benefit the World and Lithuania?
How can a newly emerging model of the New Governance benefit the world and Lithuania in theory and in practice? Does it have the potential of improving the quality of public administration and bringing it closer to the public? Or will the New Governance remain merely a collection of „effective theoretical prescriptions“, which will never be put into practice in real life? The answers to these questions must be based on comparative historical analysis of public administration, which could „lead“ us to the most current issues and possible solutions.

Jolanta Aidukaite: Citizens’ Initiatives in the Housing Policy Field: the Case of Lithuania
Since the fall of communist regimes, housing policy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has experienced dramatic changes. The major problem has been the liberalization of housing and urban policies allowing market forces to take almost full responsibility for it. The aim of this paper is to explore the citizens’ initiatives around housing issues, which were provoked by the rapid change. Specifically, this paper focuses on the activities of the housing self-management organizations in Lithuania, which were established to replace the function of the state in the housing stock repair and maintenance. The paper shows that the massive privatization and consequently the lack of the public housing policy do not facilitate citizens’ mobilizations around housing issues. On the contrary, it seems to have created conditions for non-participation and neglect of the common property. It has not only created an increasing income inequalities but also age inequalities in housing, which were not so clearly visible during Soviet times.

Rukavishnikov Vladimir: Youth and Revolution Today in Russia
The prediction of coming revolutionary changes in this nation is often seen of pages of the contemporary western newspapers. But are forecasters right or is it simply a part of a new ideological attack on Russia? It is clear that the answer depends on youth’s orientations to a large extent. That is why the paper deals with an issue of youth and new revolution in modern Russia. Youth violence acts occasionally are reported by media, the number of those actions is not great, and we cannot speak about the mass involvement of the Russian student youth into a criminal and nationalist activity. The paper discusses results of the recent study conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Data of this survey and personal observations of the author confirm the opinion about the absence of revolutionary stage in a contemporary Russia despite the involvement of a portion of youth in protest rallies occurred in winter 2012/13 in the capital and big cities under the slogan “For an honest elections!” This is an important outcome of the paper, which is not address the larger debates over whether the Russian civil society is mature or remains weak.

József N. Szabó – Nándor Csiky: Dezső Keresztury—Educational politician and cultural diplomat of the post-war democratic Hungary (1945-1947)
In the post-war Hungarian democracy, an education policy integrating both national and universal standpoints was represented by Dezső Keresztury, an outstanding cultural politician of the Hungarian education policy. Keresztury always put professional considerations before party interests. After the parliamentary elections, he accepted the position of Minister of Education, as an expert, and not as a party politician. He stipulated that he would stick to party discipline just as long as it was not inconsistent with his convictions as an education expert. With regard to his opinion on cultural policy, he claimed that the Hungarians had to face and utilise all the prevailing values connected to the old Hungarian history and traditions. Nevertheless, he added, tradition had to be assessed and it had to be differentiated between out-dated values and constructive up-to-date values. Justness, humanity, Hungarian traditions and identity were considered by him to be the ultimate objectives of education policy. Clearly, his conception was consistent with the stipulations of democracy and it was free of day-to-day party interests. His ethical and moral values stemmed from universal humanism, as well as progressive national traditions. In terms of cultural diplomacy, he represented a nation-based way of thinking. In times of a lost war and national isolation, he wanted to establish educational relations which could contribute to creating a realistic Hungarian image, while at the same time, enriching the Hungarian and universal culture. He stood for a critical approach to the nation’s past and expected the same from neighbouring nations, considered a Danube Basin cooperation to be the guarantee of further development. He claimed that the world only could be reached by reconciliation of the neighbouring nations of the Carpathian Basin.