Founder Editor in Chief: Octavian-Dragomir Jora ISSN (print) 2537 - 2610
,
ISSN (online) 2558 - 8206
Contact Editorial Team RAFPEC The Idea
Walking and Writing Across Cultures:  Two Experiences

Walking and Writing Across Cultures:
Two Experiences

The Faculty of International Business and Economics (REI), together with The Romanian Institute for European-Asian Studies (IRSEA) has organized on the 8th of May, at 10:30 am, in the Aula Magna of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE), the “ASEAN Day” Conference dedicated to the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. The event benefited from the presence of their Excellencies, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in Romania, Diar Nurbintoro, the Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Tran Thanh Cong, and Dato Tajul Aman Mohammad, the Ambassador of Malaysia in Romania. The moderator of the event was Gheorghe Savuică, the former Ambassador of Romania in Indonesia and the current President of IRSEA. The conference was, firstly, dedicated to the students of the university, who were invited to find out more about the accomplishments of ASEAN as well as the challenges the Member States of ASEAN face in the complex international context. The event also appealed to specialists and other people interested in this part of the world, since they received interesting and valuable information from both the lectures and the discussions. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Trump’s First Quarter

Trump’s First Quarter

Donald Trump’s history as a real-estate tycoon and a TV star relied on and enhanced certain qualities which were on display during the presidential campaign, where he managed to confound his opponents and energize the people, thereby obtaining their votes. The main message of Trump’s campaign was and still is “America First” which, initially, was interpreted by onlookers as being a revival of the Monroe Doctrine and of the sentiments expressed in Washington’s farewell address, but then it morphed into a general reassessment of US foreign policy and trade: Russia, China, NATO, Germany, Japan, South Korea, NAFTA, TPP, the Mexican Wall. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Considerations on North Korea

Considerations on North Korea

The “hermit kingdom” of North Korea is back in the news, at the center of a new round of exchanges of bellicose declarations, underpinned by failed tests for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that, nevertheless, show the impressive progress of the country’s indigenous program. The missile capabilities are meant to provide a delivery device for the country’s nuclear weapons, the other great program beset by a string of failures and shoestring successes. Western observers are now attempting to “read the tea leaves” in order to predict when the country will have achieved the ability to threaten the continental United States, while the threat to its immediate neighbors, South Korea and Japan, remains real but uncertain. The weapon systems involved are complex and, as has been suggested of the recent failed test, prone to cyber-attacks and sabotage through the component supply chain. Rather, the immediate threat to a country like South Korea is all of the conventional artillery pointed at its capital, which would make flattening Seoul in a matter of hours a foregone proposition. With Donald Trump at the helm of the US and sending carrier groups in the vicinity, a man given to grand gestures as negotiating bids, the latest tensions with North Korea seem momentous, as if some form of denouement to the regime in Pyongyang is looming. The form it would take is critical to its neighbors, who fear both the ways in which the country can lash out violently, as well as the consequences of a collapse of power, such as millions of refugees trying to cross land borders or internecine warfare.  More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East

Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East

The Arab Spring, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, represents a series of protests that embraced the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), since the end of 2010, resulting in the collapse of certain authoritarian regimes in the region. In practice, the Arab Spring was externally regarded by Riyadh as a threat to its strategic security, potentially undermining its regional influence, as well as the Saudi alliances More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Culture and Property Rights

Culture and Property Rights

The International Book Fair Bookfest 2017 gave me the opportunity to exchange some thoughts, with quite exquisite and exigent readers, on my recent work – Spiritualitate, materialitate și proprietate. Cultura mea, cultura ta, cultura noastră, cultura lor (Editura ASE, 2016) [Spirituality, Materiality and Property. My Culture, Your Culture, Our Culture, Their Culture]. Addressed for now mainly to a Romanian readership (by its publication language) the book basically hosts a worldwide-relevant question, though not so frequently or explicitly asked (to say the least): “Is culture a public(ly enforceable) good or a private(ly producible) one?”. The question is being complicated by the fact that the culture deals with consensual, socializing, public values (we speak of preferences, traditions, beliefs, which, by definition, unite before they separate), as it is also true that the human person is the one who gives meaning to social aggregates (the methodological individualism, despite hasty amendments is crux in social sciences). Or speaking in “economics” (nota bene: the science of human action in a (praxeo)logical, commonsensical, un-sterilely-sophisticated expression): What makes a culture become a Culture? (Economic) freedom or (political) interventionism? More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


China Welcomes Representatives from over 100 Countries to the First Belt and Road Forum

China Welcomes Representatives from over 100 Countries to the First Belt and Road Forum

Last week in Beijing, leaders and officials from dozens of countries and international organizations participated in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Here, Chinese leader Xi Jinping reinforced the need for cooperation in order to achieve mutual benefits and push forward economic development in Eurasia. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the “project of the century”, as Xi Jinping called it, aims to develop infrastructure projects such as railways, ports, roads, linking China to Europe and all the countries along the way. This Initiative carries a great importance not only in terms of economic development, but also in terms of a new alternative economic order. China is also developing a new institutional framework for cooperation, with components such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund, which enhance the geopolitical role. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Rendez-vous in Paris: Trump vs. Macron, Round No. 4

Rendez-vous in Paris: Trump vs. Macron, Round No. 4

Paris sera toujours Paris, as the title of a famous song rightfully acknowledges: traditionally a land of grace and sophistication that inspired poets and artists for centuries, and the shiniest jewel in Europe’s crown, which, through its charme et charactere, can impress everyone who happens to be its guest, including world famous political leaders. Recently, it hosted one of the most important events on the current international relations agenda, namely a high-level meeting between the newly elected chef d'État of the French Republic, the young Emmanuel Macron, and the President of the United States, an already controversial figure, although relatively new in his position as well, Donald J. Trump. After their first three meetings at the NATO and G7 summits in May, and at the G20 summit in early July, during which each of them has been trying to tilt the balance of power, Macron invited Trump over on Bastille Day to celebrate and extend France’s thanks on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the US entry in the First World War. The anniversary was an excellent pretext for the two to get together and talk real politics, settle disagreements and figure out common approaches to the most important international problems, such as terrorism and climate change. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Always Betting on God

Always Betting on God

Forever interacting with a world where both he and the things around him are beyond his reach, man longs for infinity. Although his powers of action are limited by the constraints of time and space, man clings to his reason not only to order the reality of scarcity, but also to probe the mysteries of the beyond. He has only one life ahead to understand what awaits “beyond” and his only guilt is that of not being aware enough of the full importance of this “before”. We were endowed with reason from the very beginning and we use it to productively take part in the social metabolism, otherwise the animal instinct activated by implacable bio-physical-chemical laws would have sufficed. Reason is also the source for the understanding of the world as it is (to us) and of the world as it should be (to us). This assumption leads to the idea that reason is not only the best means to detect temptation but more often than not, the biggest temptation itself. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Genesis of a President and the Four Horsemen of the Establishment's Trumpocalypse

The Genesis of a President and the Four Horsemen of the Establishment's Trumpocalypse

Donald Trump’s stunning electoral upset presages a new political realignment within the United States’ two-party system. Hopefully, the end of such a process will be a more competitive system, in which the preferences of the large and increasingly heterogenous American population are better aggregated and reflected in the resulting public policies. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Triangle of Terror

The Triangle of Terror

A lorry crashes into a crowd of people gathered at the Berlin Christmas fair, killing 12 and injuring 56. At an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov is shot dead by a young police officer who shouts Allah’s name and vindictive slogans against military actions in Syria before being gunned down himself by the Turkish police. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Turkey – in a State of Emergency. What’s Next?

Turkey – in a State of Emergency. What’s Next?

A terrorist attack at the airport, a failed coup, the assassination of the Russian Ambassador in Ankara or the New Year’s Eve massacre, are just some of the events that marked a bloody 2016 for Turkey. At the same time, excluding Syria, Turkey is the state that has witnessed the most terrorist attacks coming from Daesh in the previous year. Moreover, due to the dynamics of regional geopolitical, tensions between Ankara and Washington are growing, the Turks being dissatisfied with the support of the USA for the Kurds in Syria, which has made Fikri Ișık, the defense minister in Ankara, to announce that his country could close the Incirlik Air Base. Obviously, these escalating tensions raise questions about Turkey's future relationship with the West. But beyond foreign policy, Turkey risks sinking internally into a socio-political crisis, coordinated with a possible recession and a possible retry for the army to orchestrate a coup whose effects would throw the country in total chaos. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Henderson’s Last Warning – in Victory, Possible Defeat

Henderson’s Last Warning – in Victory, Possible Defeat

The death of Dr. Donald Henderson in August 2016 went largely unremarked by the wider world. Instead of the evening news, I learned of it from an Economist obituary but, by rights, the event should have been a global opportunity to meditate on his life’s work, which involved saving at least a hundred million people from death by smallpox and another three hundred million from the disfiguring effects of infection. In 1966, the World Health Organization (WHO) was given the task of getting rid of smallpox. Donald Henderson had already been studying the disease in over 50 countries. By 1977, Henderson was observing the last natural recorded case of smallpox and, by 1980, the WHO had announced the success of the Smallpox Eradication Program (SEP), something previously thought unachievable. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


PRINT EDITION

SUBSCRIPTION

FOUNDATIONS
The Romanian-American Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture (RAFPEC)
THE NETWORK
WISEWIDEWEB
Amfiteatru Economic

OEconomica No. 1, 2016