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A Romanian Perspective on the Three Seas Initiative

A Romanian Perspective on the Three Seas Initiative

The Three Seas Initiative is a recent formula describing an older concept. Romania is a reflexive supporter of regional cooperation initiatives, but it is paying special attention to this initiative, as it encompasses a geopolitically significant area with relevance to long-term Romanian interests. This paper argues that this valuable initiative has a latent geopolitical subtext with regards to the two powers flanking the region which is perceived as such, if not commonly articulated, by the countries of the initiative. At the same time, the Black Sea will be a main deciding factor for the success and failure of the Initiatives, owing to several underlying conditions, as well as potential complicating factors. Any sort of Three Seas Initiative development will have to keep this in mind or else risk a concentration of vulnerabilities in the middle portion of the Initiative’s geographical space. The Three Seas Initiative must also be regarded from the perspective of synergies with Chinese initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the 16+1 cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Orient and Occident – Perceptual and Complementary Macro-Regions

Orient and Occident – Perceptual and Complementary Macro-Regions

The Occident (The West) is a term that is borrowed from Latin (occidens) and translates as "sunset". From an etymological and semantic point of view, it refers to features of a geographic nature. The sunset, seen from the perspective of a fix point, means the west. Anyone at any point in the world can see that the sun always rises from the east and sets in the west. It follows that the West is located somewhere, where the sun sets. Examples of names that include terms such as occident and occidental (the West and western) are numerous, both in the western and eastern hemispheres: the Western Sahara or Occidental Sahara (the West African geographical region administered by Morocco), the Western Carpathians (Carpaţii Occidentali in Romanian; a Western Carpathian subdivision), Occidental Grand Erg (the area covered with sand dunes in the West of the Sahara desert), the Sierra Madre Occidental (mountains in western part of Mexico) or Negros Occidental (an administrative sub-region located in the western part of the Negros Island of the Philippines). More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Water – the Ultimate Geostrategic Resource

Water – the Ultimate Geostrategic Resource

Water resources are a vital substrate and precondition of life and human development has increased this importance, by introducing considerations of agriculture, economics, industry (especially metallurgy) and energy extraction. Where there is a shortage of water, competition for limited supplies may cause nations to consider access to water as a matter of national security and act accordingly. History is abundant in examples of competitions and disputes over cross-border freshwater resources, which in John Waterbury's (1979) vision is called hydropolitics. More

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


Cultural Diversity: Same Question, but a Different Answer. The Story of Azerbaijani Multiculturalism

Cultural Diversity: Same Question, but a Different Answer. The Story of Azerbaijani Multiculturalism

We live in a world where people are sacrificed for being a minority. They are sacrificed for being different, although the very notion of ‘different’ is a purely subjective one. More than 70 years ago, anti-Semitism culminated with the killing of millions in Europe. Yet nowadays, the US president announces his intention to build a wall at the Mexican border. On the Asian continent, the armed forced of Myanmar are supposedly seeking the repression of the country’s Muslim minority. Africa is plagued by numerous conflicts, most of them stemming from ethnic and religious reasons, such as the rampages of the group previously known as Boko Haram in Nigeria. And Europe is facing a rise of nationalism and anti-immigrant attitudes, displayed through episodes such as Brexit or the popularity of the far-right in the French presidential elections. While the scope and the approach changed, and its roots also vary, the general attitude of rejection towards those who share a different culture, ethnicity, or religion still persists.   More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The 21st Century’s Search for Equilibrium: Isms, Phobias and the Culture of Labels

The 21st Century’s Search for Equilibrium: Isms, Phobias and the Culture of Labels

There is much to be said on the subject of today’s world, even though events happen much in the same way as they have been happening since the dawn of human history. There is violence, war, famine, disease, empty political discourse, yet there are also festivals, scientific developments, and a higher standard of living than ever before in many parts of the world. In short, humankind moves forward through time, if I may be allowed this perhaps scientifically inaccurate expression, in much the same way it has always done. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The Banks in the Economy

The Banks in the Economy

The recent legislative initiative, called “Resolution Agency Law”, gave rise to intense discussions, which have not lacked in demagoguery and populist, anti-capitalist and anti-Western overtones. Beyond the latent dangers posed by the underlying substance of these tendencies, the major problem is that the project “may generate a systemic risk in the banking sector, inducing risks and endangering the financial sector stability with implications for the entire economy” (EC, Romania Country Report 2016, Brussels, 26.2.2016, p. 2-3). More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016