Abstract

Transitions after globalization

Tamás Szentes: Globalisation and Prospects of the World Society

The present system of the world economy and politics is heavily burdened by structural disequilibria, asymmetrical nature of interdependencies, deepening inequalities, inadequacy of institutions, anti-democratic practice of decision-making and disproportionate representation, concentration of power. While monetary, financial, and debt crises are cyclical, and even the present global crisis of the world economy may be overcome later or sooner, we live in an almost permanent crisis of the world society, which is multidimensional in nature, involving not only economic but also socio-psychological, behavioural, cultural, moral and political aspects. The world society urgently needs a new, really global, substantially reformed and democratised institutional system, which is based on the principle of proportionate representation, and is capable to regulate global economic activities and financial markets. There is an imperative need for a substantial shift in development patterns, economic policies and social culture all over the world, towards real human needs, protection of natural environment, cooperation and solidarity, as well as the organisation of the civil society on global scene. Moreover, the world society needs also a “New Enlightenment” and a “moral renaissance”.

Sergiu Gherghina: What Differs in Transition? – Triadic Political Relationships in Post-Communist Countries
Less than two decades passed from the breakdown of Communism and the disintegration of USSR and the countries behind the former iron Curtain display a variety of institutional features. The comparative analysis of 25 post-Communist countries from Central and Eastern Europe and Middle Asia reveals a triadic relationship between democratization (understood as civil liberties and political rights), separation of powers and the number of parties in the legislature. The empirical results identify strong positive correlations between the powers vested in legislatures, degree of democratization, and the number of political parties in Parliament. The persistent factor that underlies all these relationships is democratization, conceptualized quite general in this study, whereas the electoral system lacks relevance.

Máté Szabó: A Transnational Civil Society in Europe: from the point of view of the new post-communist EU-members
The new post-communist  EU member states mostly shared the experiences of totalitarian and authoritarian past where European  civil society become the source of hope for a better policy and civic life and the great moments of the democratic transition profiled their political culture. However, after EU accession neoliberal privatization and marketization and social and political problems of the new European realm caused tendencies of individualisation, lack of trust in institutions and political apathy weakening civic virtues. New forms of citizen’s involvement in policy processes as well as planning, implementation and evaluation needs new forms of governance on local, regional and European level as well as global participation of European actors. The process of Eastern enlargement imply the widening of civic networks into the new countries of EU and the transforming of the existing policy networks with civic participation framed by a new European polity based upon accession and constitution-making. After EU-accession, Hungarian Constitutional Court stressed the basic and universal character of the right of assembling, and dismissed the praxis of Hungarian police to reject demonstration proposals based upon the disproportional hindering of public traffic. Court praxis changed as well as not punishing participants o fan illegal demonstration because of their further presence after police announcement, but requiring special illegal activities for any form of punishment and fine.

Csaba Varga: In Want of New Balances in Transition: Lithuania Searching for Its Own Path
The credibility of so-called transitology comes questioned worldwide as the new unbalances originating from the hardly bridgeable gap between the imported patterns and the actualised realisations are to become visible. The Lithuanian jurisprudent Alfonsas Vaišvila’s Habilitationschrift on the Conception of the State Ruled by Law in Lithuania sets the law’s final ideal in getting balance on the terrain of both expectations and actualisations, including, in the field of law, the rights proportionately counterbalanced by duties as well. No open society can prevail where balances are not secured. Without balances, anything except to democracy can be the outcome. In response to the actual state in Lithuania with deficits accumulated, so called Legal Personalism is advanced as able to outline the basic axioms of the legal regime of a rightly schemed state-organised society. As a theory, the tenets of so called Legal Personalism can probably be justified. As a methodology of research and assessment, the whole theory launched calls in fact for local experience in laying the foundations of social theorisation.

Hungarian – Slovakian Tension: The scandal around the football match
A heated diplomatic battle of words has occurred between Hungary and Slovakia recently. Although the latest debate was sparked over police action at a football match in Slovakia, the tension between the two countries has in fact been constant since 2006, when the extremist Slovak National Party became member of the governing coalition in Bratislava.
Implications of the Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute
The year of 2009 started with a crisis of gas supply that was more serious than ever before. As of 6 January 2009 throughout almost two weeks Hungary did not see any of the average 37 million cubic meters of gas per day arriving at its territory. Not even the 2006 crisis produced such a precedent: at that time the worst fall-out did not exceed 57 percent. The situation thus created will hopefully prompt the European Union as well as the Hungarian Government to undertake genuine action both in the short and the long run. This crisis has revealed better than ever the unilateral import dependency of the new EU Member States, the total or partial absence of interconnections between the networks of certain countries and the lack or insufficient degree of appropriate crisis management mechanisms.

Lithuania: Conservative Government
The elections held on 26 October 2008 in Lithuania brought victory to the centre-right Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD).  The party led by Andrius Kubilius gained 45 mandates out of 141 parliamentary seats.  The list of government put together as a result of the coalition negotiations was approved by President Valdas Adamkus on 5 December, on the basis of which the parliament voted confidence in the new