The December 2021 issue of the Romanian Journal of Society and Politics includes an article analysing the political regulation of care in post-socialist Romania in order to reveal how it is conceived and delimited as a political concern, as well as in order to inquiry the extent to which care has been politicised (or not) after the fall of the former political regime (Dohotariu & Băluță); a study of the democratisation of the intelligence sector in post-communist Europe, with a focus on the experience and lessons that can be learned from the case of Romania (Ioniță); a research from the Critical Security Studies perspective on cybersecurity, with a case study of the WannaCry cyberattack (Codreanu). Additionally, the issue presents to its readers a book review of “The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty” by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson (Surdea-Hernea).
Given the time of the publication of this issue (April 2022), the editors decided to include a Guest Commentary analysing the “denazification” goal of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, proving that support from the world for actions of Putin's Russia comes from neo-Nazi organizations.
Guest commentary: Russism – New Nazism. Denazifying denazifier: Neo-Nazis as the only international support for Putin's aggression on Ukraine
Denazification, as one of the proclaimed goals of Russian aggression against Ukraine, stems from the concept of “Russian world”, the ideological basis on which Russia's internal social model is built, and especially its position in relation to its environment and the world. This model has many similarities with the system established by the National Socialist Party in Germany in the 1930s and many parallels can be drawn between Nazi Germany and today's Russia, as aggressive and imperial powers. Civilisational superiority, national homogenisation, leadership cults, militarism, opposition to the values of Western liberal democracy, return of “historical territories” – these are some of the similarities between these two systems. Russia's aggression against Ukraine has received support exclusively from neo-Nazi groups in Eastern Europe and the US, among others. This support is the result of years of Russia investing huge amounts of resources in discrediting liberal democracies, undermining the unity of Western integration and reshaping the narrative in which Russia, as one of the victors over Nazism in World War II, feels it has enough credit to turn into the opposite against which it fought and won 80 years ago.
■ Russia ■ Ukraine ■ Russian world ■ Neo-Nazism ■ Extremism ■ Imperialism ■ Aggression ■ Eastern Europe ■ Balkans
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Care in post-socialist Romania: Between gendered regulations, silencing and political concerns
Anca DOHOTARIU; Ionela BĂLUȚĂ
Care is a multi-layered concept that includes not only formal/informal aspects and public/private significations and effects, but also inherent political and gendered dimensions. Starting from the perspective according to which care is political by definition, this article takes a closer look at the political regulation of care in post-socialist Romania in order to reveal how it is conceived and delimited as a political concern, as well as in order to inquiry the extent to which care has been politicised (or not) after the fall of the former political regime. When and how does it become part of the strategic political plans as main political-administrative documents? And to what extent does the national political discourse encompass care as a real political problem? Seeking to address these questions, this article has a twofold structure. The first part of the article is dedicated to an overview of existing scholarship regarding care as a political concern. This analysis is indispensable for an in-depth understanding of the ways in which this issue has been tackled and theorized so far. Second, the article consists of a documentary analysis of the main governmental plans and political strategies elaborated between 1992 and 2020 in order to analyse the hegemonic political approach to the topic of care in post-socialist Romania
■ Childcare ■ Politics of care ■ Care policies ■ Gendered regulations ■ Gender equality
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Intelligence sector reform in Romania. The impact of international cooperation
Emilian Alexandru IONIȚĂ
The purpose of this article is to contribute to the relatively scarce scholarly literature regarding the democratisation of the intelligence sector in post-communist Europe, with a focus on the experience and lessons that can be learned from the case of Romania. Essentially, the article addresses the impact of external pressure (derived from international cooperation, both at the national and agency level) on the reforms undertaken by Romania after 1989 and in preparation for its accession to NATO and the EU. I build upon literature in intelligence studies and civil-military relations and I analyse the two waves of legislative and institutional changes reflected in official documents, legislation, and public interviews by prominent members of the intelligence community. I also highlight the importance as well as the limits of international cooperation of Romanian agencies with their Western counterparts (NATO/EU institutions as well as agencies in member states) as a factor of democratization.
■ Intelligence ■ Democratization ■ Romania ■ NATO ■ EU ■ SIE ■ SRI
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Exploring the need for human-centred cybersecurity. The WannaCry Cyberattack
Claudiu Mihai CODREANU
Cyber operations, especially cyberattacks, have emerged to become one of the most significant security threats for state actors in the last decade or so, but they have also become increasingly disruptive for individuals. Moreover, one path generally taken by governments, authoritarian and democratic alike, is trying to enhance cybersecurity at the expense of privacy and anonymity of individuals and groups, begging the question whether cybersecurity and cyberattacks can be studied from a less state-centric perspective, focusing on people. The literature on cybersecurity from the perspective of Critical Security Studies is still rather scarce, and there is a need of more research, a gap which I aim to fill through this paper. Critical International Relations theory emphasizes the societal factors and individuals, looking further than the state. Moreover, Critical Security Studies focus on the security of people, proposing a human-centred approach to security. For this research, I shall start by describing the role of the state in cybersecurity and how Critical Security Studies can relate to cybersecurity. Furthermore, I shall explore the possibility of designing a human-centred cybersecurity endeavour. There is a growing need for changing the focus to the individual, especially because of the nature of current cyberattacks and governments’ responses. Following this, I shall focus the discussion on the relationship between Critical Security Studies and cybersecurity around the WannaCry global ransomware attack, which is regarded as one of the most disruptive cyberattacks in history.
■ Critical Security Studies ■ Cyberattacks ■ Cybersecurity ■ Human-centred cybersecurity ■ WannaCry cyberattack
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Book review: The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty. By Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. London: Penguin Press, 2019. 576p. $13.55 cloth.
Read the book review here
Read the full December 2021 issue