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Farewell, Camil!

Farewell, Camil!

I met Camil Aurelian Petrescu as if in a revelation: it was not only the scent of the novels and plays of his well-known father, which I had read long time ago, that hit me then; it was not only the scent of freedom that he brought back home from his beloved America to his beloved Romania that I inhaled then; it was simply the scent of a vividly beautiful mind and of a imperturbably good soul. More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


À la recherche de l’identité perdue

À la recherche de l’identité perdue

In most contexts, the name Catalonia is typically associated with the world of culture, arts, architecture and sports. It evokes the splendour of the Sagrada Familia, the distinctive styles of Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali, the venerable Montserrat Caballé and, of course, the famous Barcelona FC. Yet, in the aftermath of the declaration of independence passed by the Autonomous Community’s Parliament on October 27, 2017, the name is now also associated with the increasingly prominent trend towards fragmentation that has defined socio-political dynamics in the Western world in recent years, in particular Europe. More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


The Future of Economics Is Human

The Future of Economics Is Human

Private actors have long embraced behavioral economics as a way to boost sales and profits yet, until recently, the line of study had not been endowed with a front row seat in the hall of economic policy development. This year’s recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (called the Nobel Prize for Economics), Richard H. Thaler, increases the proportion of behavioral economists upon whom the prestigious award has been bestowed to 6%. His work offers a glimpse into a particular type of libertarianism: coined as “libertarian paternalism” by this year’s Nobel Prize recipient and the co-author of his bestselling book “Nudge”, Cass Sunstein, the pair argues for guiding people in their choices under specific conditions. Libertarian paternalism would prevent losses resulting from neglecting to act upon lucrative propositions such as signing up for a savings plan where the employer matches one’s contribution up to a certain percent of one’s income and reasons in favor of providing as default options for policy implementation the best alternative for the individual or society as a whole (such as automatic enrollment in said savings program) in order to assist fallible or inexperienced individuals with key decisions. Thaler tries to match the two seemingly conflicting interests of the individual and the group (to him, choices need not be a zero-sum game) by minimizing the cost of externalities through defaults that are beneficial to one party while interfering minimally with respect to the other (a widespread example is that of favoring opt-out policies rather than opt-in, on the one hand to increase the number of participants and, on the other, to bank on people’s inertia). More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


Models of Globalization

Models of Globalization

By the end of June 2017, when the seminar on “Marxist mathematical economics” was wrapping up, I announced a plan to organize a scientific seminar on “Models of globalization”, dealing in its basic themes. It extends the economic study from the national to the supranational (of international organizations) and global levels, as was the obvious progression of inquiries. In September, after consulting with potential participants and especially professor Emil Dinga (director of the Seminary “N. Georgescu-Roegen”, of Logic and Methodology of Economics), a plan of organization and a list of reviewers and reports were established. Hence, on the 28th of September 2017, I was able to publish online the purpose, the organization and the program of the seminar, which was described as “interdisciplinary”. Latter on, under the approval of the participants, it was named “Octav Onicescu”, because he was an important promoter of interdisciplinary studies and the seminar was housed by the Institute for Mathematical Statistics and Applied Mathematics, of the Romanian Academy, which bears his name. I also managed for the seminars (together the discussions) to be recorded and published on youtube,com and to be broadcast live, through Skype. More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


Austria Shouldn't Support Weakened Patent Protections

Austria Shouldn't Support Weakened Patent Protections

Austria has become a major producer and exporter of medicines. Today, Austria's pharmaceutical industry is the 12th largest in Europe. It adds an estimated €9.6 billion to our economy and supports more than 60,000 jobs. Unfortunately, a United Nations panel recently proposed several policies that would undermine Austria's drug industry, thereby harming the economy and decreasing access to medications across Europe and the developing world. The Austrian government ought to speak out against the panel's foolhardy recommendations. Its silence seems like tacit support.  More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Romanian Academy discussing National Sovereignty with Prof. Stephen Bowers

The Romanian Academy discussing National Sovereignty with Prof. Stephen Bowers

On October 19th of 2017, the Romanian Academy, through its Institute for World Economics, hosted Prof. Dr. Stephen Bowers, who teaches Government at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA and leads the Center for Security and Science. Prof. Bowers has an extensive background in the Armed Forces and working within the intelligence community and has emerged as an authority on Eastern Europe and low intensity conflicts. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Future of the EU Looks Rather Bleak

The Future of the EU Looks Rather Bleak

The last meeting of the European Council, from October 2017, indirectly pulled the plug on Turkey’s negotiations for EU accession. The EU heads of state and government have indirectly expressed their disinterest for the continuation of Ankara’s dialogue with Brussels in this particular regard. The public formula was that of redirecting EU funds for Turkey’s negotiations process to other purposes across the EU. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The 2017 Austrian Elections

The 2017 Austrian Elections

Since October 2006, Austria has been governed by a “big coalition” between the two major parties, the Conservative People’s Party ÖVP and the Social Democratic Party SPÖ. Years which, in the eyes of most, have been dominated by intergovernmental conflict and bipartisan obstruction. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


Escaping the Middle-Income Trap

Escaping the Middle-Income Trap

The Romanian Academy hosted on October 26th, 2017, a conference held by the well-known economist, Aurelian Dochia. The event was organized by the Academy’s Institute for World Economy, as part of the activity of its internal reflection group “GLOBAL 3G - Repositioning the Economic Agents in Globalization, the Geostrategic and Geopolitics' Impact”. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Anathema of Secession

The Anathema of Secession

Talking about secession in the house of the modern state is, depending on the tastes and the actual situation of the speaker, either something absolutely hilarious (if not even dangerous), or something absolutely legitimate (if not even necessary). It is a historical fact that the current world, in its settlement as state-centred reality, of cohabiting territorial monopolies of legitimate use of force, was built on a foundation which, in the meantime, became a geopolitical quasi-taboo: the principle of self-determination. This self-determination, in its pure form, does not involve something that should mandatorily be seen as insidious, but a natural prolongation of human liberty and personal property – two civilizational benchmarks which, we must admit, are still treated as indigest on certain lands, in certain times. And if the state is portrayed and perceived as a social contract, then it can only be accepted as valid if closed between free men, within the limits of their legitimate patrimony, including their territorial possessions, under a strictly consented jurisdictional framework. (Or not quite so?)  More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Transposition of the World

The Transposition of the World

In his paper, Ideology, Religion and Politics: Evolution of a Concept (Ideologia, religia și politica: evoluția unui concept), Associate Professor of Comparative Government and Politics Jeffrey Evan Key said: “Ideology, religion and politics all shape people's attitudes about the way that governments are organized and operate and the roles of rulers and citizens. Though they are related concepts, this relationship has evolved over time. Ideology, religion and politics have varied in their relative importance and sometimes become intertwined. Early in the 21st century, the ties between them are once again in a state of flux. Understanding this complex relationship is important to comprehend such issues as the recurrence of terrorist attacks in the Western world and the new political values ​​espoused during the US Presidential elections in 2016 and beyond. In this, I refer you to a recent article written by Dani Rodrik, a Harvard University professor, titled The Future of Europe remains uncertain (Viitorul Europei rămâne nesigur), published by the World Economic Forum More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Saudi Shake-up

The Saudi Shake-up

News of the ongoing purge of numerous high-level officials and Saudi Royal Family members by the Saudi government has rattled global markets and raised further doubts regarding the stability of the Kingdom. What some are calling a counter-coup is presented as an anti-corruption move that saw over 1,200 bank accounts frozen and numerous assets being seized. Two Saudi princes have also died, one in an as yet unexplained helicopter crash near the Yemeni border and the other, the youngest son of King Fahd who ruled Saudi Arabia until 2005, died in a shoot-out between his security detail and government forces. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016