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AD 2017 is Anno Donald 1

AD 2017 is Anno Donald 1

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

The advent of Donald J. Trump hardly resembles the prologue to some great national redemption, for it is not clear what kind of greatness he has in mind for his beloved America. As for the international landscape, his “twilightenment” reigns supreme, for it is not clear who are the (real) alien friends and foes of the “archetypal”/“average” (yet so imaginary) US citizen. Trump’s moral code is literally undecipherable, his logic is humoral, his values are untraceable, while his value is a secret formula of his capitalist net worth and democratic trustworthiness. What is common to any of Trump’s portraits is his basic uncommonness: he serves a Union whose domestic polarization he embodies, while his foreign policy seems foreign to any present day routine. But if we want to capture the essence of his discourse (or at least of the perceptions of others regarding it), there are two basic concepts that in no case should be ignored: anti-political correctness and populismMore

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    The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

    The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

    No. 7, Sep.-Oct. 2017

    The political crisis in the relations between Germany and Turkey deepens as the tensions grow and bellicose statements and mutual accusations envelop more dimensions of the bilateral agenda. Millions of Turks are living and working in... More



    Most wanted employers’ top and employees’ salary expectations in 2017

    Most wanted employers’ top and employees’ salary expectations in 2017

    No. 6, Jul.-Aug. 2017

    Inspire Group unveils for the first time the results of the 2017 edition of Romania’s Favorite Employers external employer branding survey. The information obtained represents a landmark for the greatest companies’ HR departments... More



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

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

    No. 6, Jul.-Aug. 2017

    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... More



    Culture and Property Rights

    Culture and Property RightsMarkets, hierarchies and shared values

    No. 5, May.-Jun. 2017

    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... More



    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

    No. 5, May.-Jun. 2017

    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... More



    Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East

    Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East Strategy and response to the Arab Spring

    No. 5, May.-Jun. 2017

    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... More



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    The Long Slide towards Autocracy

    The Long Slide towards Autocracy The price for freedom being eternal vigilance – János Kornai interviewed by Zoltán Farkas – 

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    There are, broadly speaking, two great societal (politico-economic) systems: coordinated power of men over nature and coercive power of men over men. Human civilization bears witness to several cultural hypostases of this fundamental dichotomy, whereas market freedom and democracy are considered (despite their cunning polysemy) the best combination from the possible worlds. Their adoption or rejection in various societies in history were the work of wisdom vs. ignorance, that were “discounted” / “enhanced” by the use and abuse of blunt force. More

    Eclecticism in Economic Theory is Just another Name for State Intervention: The Case of Virgil Madgearu

    Eclecticism in Economic Theory is Just another Name for State Intervention: The Case of Virgil Madgearu

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Romanian economic historiography on Virgil N. Madgearu (1887-1940), economist and ideologue of the National Peasants’ Party, lacks of a coherent perspective on the ideas and theories underlying the great historical scene, despite its insights and factual information.The present study pays tribute to a classical liberal interpretation of economic history and economic ideas. It reconstructs the portrait of Madgearu, under the banner of “what would a classical liberal economist would have to say about him?” Was he closer to a laissez-faire approach, as understood by the French and British schools of thought, or to various other schools who support state intervention? More

    An Entity without Identity:  The Collapse of Football Fandom in Romania

    An Entity without Identity:
    The Collapse of Football Fandom in Romania

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Can it really go deeper than that? Officially, 218 people have watched the Liga 1 (Romanian National football league) game between FC Steaua Bucharest and ASU Poli Timișoara at the largest venue of the country – Arena Națională (with an all-seated capacity of 55634). That accounts for less than 0.4% of tickets sold. Say 300 people by adding to the headcount the stewards, police forces and the guests who did not have to buy a ticket. And this still comes no more than a couple of weeks after the same home side, at the same arena, gathered around 500 football lovers for the match against Pandurii Tg. Jiu, a visiting side that also had some of its own ‘records’: 34 in attendance against FC Voluntari, 50 against FC Botoșani, 200 against Astra Giurgiu (the reigning champions) at a stadium of 20054 seats. More

    Trumponomics

    Trumponomics A New New Deal for the American people?

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Western political culture is adept at communication through soundbites and sloganizing. Adding suffixes (-nomics, -care, -ism) to names of politicians is one way of supposedly distinguishing their brand of ideology from that of another – Reaganomics, Thatcherism, Clintonomics, Romneycare, Obamacare. Echoing Bill Clinton’s famous campaign war cry, “it’s the economy, stupid!”, Trumponomics is possibly the most important component of President Donald Trump’s “greatness agenda” that won him a previously unthinkable electoral victory. His detractors have lambasted his views as being both heretical to current orthodoxies, as well as overly simplistic, which is another way of bemoaning Trump’s effectiveness as a political communicator and the current electoral revolt against the tyranny of the expert class consensus. However, Trumponomics is being shaped by dissident thinkers[i] encouraged by Trump’s anti-establishment ethos as a valuable and timely critique of past and current policies and how they have affected America itself, not just in the sense of abstract figures like GDP. While it may be a sign of the Trumpmania that swept stock markets in the period leading up to the inauguration, Deutsche Bank[ii] has already announced that Trumponomics will double yearly US growth and add another 0.5 percentage point to global growth by the end of his term, ending the worst economic recovery since The Great Depression:   More

    Quo Vaditis, Civitates Foederatae Americae?

    Quo Vaditis, Civitates Foederatae Americae? An Analysis of the Significance of Donald Trump’s Victory in the US Presidential Elections

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The morning of November 9, 2016 bore witness to what most media trusts from the US and abroad, and many observers from around the world, from ordinary citizens to Hollywood celebrities and politicians at the highest level, thought possible only in an alternate dimension where logic, reason and probably nature itself obey principles completely alien to our own: famous businessman, media personality and Republican Party nominee Donald J. Trump won the US Presidential Elections, garnering more electoral votes than his more politically experienced opponent, Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party, wife of former US President Bill Clinton. More

    Blurred Lines: Good vs. Good, Evil vs. Evil

    Blurred Lines: Good vs. Good, Evil vs. Evil

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The fundamental political changes of 2016 are shocking and depressing for some, while being heartening and refreshing for others. It marks the beginning of an era where the old ideological lines between the West and the East are blurring, not necessarily as a consequence of a new wave of politicians manipulating their way through the electorate, but rather due to a new wave of thought in citizens across the Western world. Once again, they are challenging the status quo and saying that the establishment and globalization need to go. More

    Between Continuity and Change: What a Trump Presidency Will Mean to Europe and the Transatlantic Link

    Between Continuity and Change: What a Trump Presidency Will Mean to Europe and the Transatlantic Link

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    President Trump’s rise to power will remain controversial for a long period of time. His path to the White House has been too unconventional and marked by the breach of most of the implicit rules of the US Presidential campaigns. Like most of the radicals entering the political arena, he made his way up into the headlines resorting to an unprecedentedly provocative kind of communication. He played his game asymmetrically, turning his opponents’ best qualities, such as experience and balance, into their worst vulnerability, and assigning to social media, and particularly Twitter, the task of mobilizing support. More

    Trump and the New NATO Paradigm

    Trump and the New NATO Paradigm

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    A specter is haunting NATO while Moscow dreams sweetly. Both are consequence of the new Republican President’s latest statements. This could lead us to believe that NATO might be under threat, not from the outside as one might expect, not from terrorism or from a resurgent Russia’s expansionist policy, but from the inside. This threat comes from the policy and perspectives that the US Administration seems to adopt regarding the essence of the Euro-Atlantic relation that NATO represents and its decisive role in defending and preserving its Members’ interests. More

    Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and the BRICS of Contention

    Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and the BRICS of Contention

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Anyone looking for this “couple” on the internet will find almost 30 million articles indexed on Google [1], which means that interest in the relationship between the leaders of the big A-bomb powers is huge. This number grows every day and will surpass one billion by the end of 2020. We can distinguish between three types of analyses about the relations between those leaders. More

    What Does the Trump and Putin Relationship Mean for Asia?

    What Does the Trump and Putin Relationship Mean for Asia?

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The US vote in favour of President-elect Donald Trump was a shock for Russian leaders, though a delightful one. According to public opinion surveys, Russia was the only country in the world that preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton. Post-election, the Kremlin argued that Trump and Putin’s views on major issues were very close and expressed cautious optimism that Russia–US relations could improve. In turn, Trump has repeatedly said that he would like “to get along with Russia”. More

    The Kissinger Era Consensus on China is Gone with the Wind!

    The Kissinger Era Consensus on China is Gone with the Wind!

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    In 2016, the global situation was characterized by chaos, changes of the international order through conventional warfare and through a new type of war – the hybrid war – while, for the first time in its history, the EU block’s survival was being openly discussed. Nevertheless, what was most frightening in the EU is the fact that, with far-right, anti-EU politicians in France and the Netherlands riding high in the polls ahead of elections in 2017, there is widespread speculation that Britain’s departure may be the start of a great unraveling of the European Union. There was also the added pressure of a resurgent Russia against former soviet countries and against the EU unity. The process of quantitative change seems to have reached the critical point, proceeding into the stage of qualitative change, and the Trump phenomenon is one of them. More

    Trump and Erdogan: Will It Be a Short Honeymoon?

    Trump and Erdogan: Will It Be a Short Honeymoon?

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Trump’s electoral victory was viewed with cautious enthusiasm in Ankara, which looks forward to a reset of the United States – Tukey axis, after the policies of the previous Obama Administration contradicted several of the interests of the current Turkish political leadership.Even now, with the entire roster of Donald Trump’s cabinet known, the particulars of his foreign policy remain unpredictable, especially with regards to a region he is likely unfamiliar with and whose specificities he is likely to misunderstand. Many of Trump’s speeches on the campaign trail have been self-contradictory with regards to the region. For instance, he supported working with Iran to address the Daesh menace and then followed up on this with hints that he wished to renegotiate or even suspend the nuclear deal. More

    The Trump Administration’ Policies towards Iran

    The Trump Administration’ Policies towards Iran

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The United States of America’s foreign policy is undergoing a significant overhaul since President Donald Trump entered office. Especially with regards to the Middle Eastern affairs, many aspects should be considered before a new policy is adopted since, after several unsuccessful interventions in the region, the implications of such expeditions should finally be assessed and used to inform future policies. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 under the Bush Administration unleashed chaos in the broader Middle East, which was notably accelerated by the Arab revolts of 2011 – the so-called Arab Spring. There were two major trends: the dismantling or near collapse of the Arab republics (Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen) and a more visible sectarian rhetoric that deepened the gap between Iran (the Shiite powerhouse) and the Arab monarchies of the Gulf (with Saudi Arabia at the forefront, as the Sunni powerhouse). Such events reinforced the sectarian tensions and fueled the extremism that plagues the whole Middle East. More

    From Urbi to Orbi and Back Again

    From Urbi to Orbi and Back Again

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The presidential elections in the US have become a global political spectacle, watched with bated breath by German executives, Chinese billionaires, the Pope in Rome, Wall Street traders, NATO allies and Russian journalists. The stakes are high for everybody. Donald Trump’s victory and uneventful transition into the White House may give people a chance to resettle their nerves and take stock of where they are politically in this “brave new world”. More

    Trump’s Approach to Sub-Saharan Africa

    Trump’s Approach to Sub-Saharan Africa

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    With the State of The Union address, the 45th US President will jumpstart his administration in full throttle. Pundits will take to speculating on the major directions of domestic and foreign policy to be followed by the Republican head of state. While China, Russia and the Middle East take the center stage, other geopolitical areas seem to fall under the President’s radar. More

    Security Risks for Eastern Europe in the Trump Era

    Security Risks for Eastern Europe in the Trump Era

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Many Eastern European (EE) countries consider themselves insecure, stemming from Russian assertiveness, the possibility of a US-Russian “plot” and the inability of Europe to defend itself in the military sphere. These feelings are simultaneously both rational and irrational.Surely, the situation which had been developing in and around Ukraine since 2014 has destabilized the whole European security architecture. The war is taking place not far away from European borders but directly at the EU’s doorstep. The deepening mistrust in relations between Russia and the West spilled over into their structural contradictions on such issues as conflict management in Syria, military activities in the Baltic Sea, US anti-missile defense etc. Europe is suffering now from an absence of predictability, which was not the case after the demise of the Soviet Union and even during the Cold War with its neorealist strategic culture. More

    Our Priority Is to Present Donald Trump with a Romanian Project

    Our Priority Is to Present Donald Trump with a Romanian Project

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The best answer to the question of how the complex relationship between Romania and the US will evolve during the term of the new President will be given either during the highly desirable state visit of the President of Romania to Washington DC, or during President Trump's possible visit to Bucharest. In order for the state visit of the Romanian president to become a realistic point on the Presidency’s Agenda at Cotroceni Palace, the Romanian diplomacy, starting from the current Foreign Minister and ending with the Romanian Ambassador to the US, should initiate a series of contacts overseas. They would impart the understanding, first to the State Department and then to the White House, that such contacts will have a significant echo on the Eastern border of NATO, where the Russian imperial pressure is constant and the Euro-Atlantic community is on the verge of implosion. More

    The Romanian Armed Forces’ Endowment Efforts – Better Times on the Horizon?

    The Romanian Armed Forces’ Endowment Efforts – Better Times on the Horizon?

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    2016 brought a new stirring to the Romanian political establishment, at least at declarative levels, regarding what may finally become a coherent and sustained effort towards equipping the Romanian Army with modern weapon systems and equipment. This sudden push comes at the eleventh hour, after three years of lethargy and, also, three years of conflict in neighboring Ukraine. More

    Not Too Big To Fail: The Story of the Rise and Fall of Marmorosch-Blank Bank

    Not Too Big To Fail: The Story of the Rise and Fall of Marmorosch-Blank Bank

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Playing a substantial role in the economic and financial progress of Romania in the 19th century, Marmorosch-Blank Bank proudly exemplifies a history of former glory and success and the legacy of a fallen empire which could not hold on to reality and collapsed under the weight of its own ambitions. When one’s national stage is too small, money is not sufficient to buy dreams and the only thing that results when ambition collides with delusion is a very dangerous form of moral hazard. More

    The Book of Time

    The Book of Time Who is the genius behind the mass-production of books?

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Time is a never-ending book. And each book is a time-keeper. Time itself is made of stories and each story is a chapter in the book of time. Still, the book is written and the stories go. Over and above, the story of the time has no clear start. Yet, the book had to reveal the tale with chapter number one. …let us give wings to truth that it may fly with the Word – Johannes Gutenberg  More

    Amfiteatru Economic, on the Market for Mainstream Scientific Journals

    Amfiteatru Economic, on the Market for Mainstream Scientific Journals

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The global market of science publications undergoes continuous restructuring, an aspect that is increasingly manifest in economics and its subordinate econo-disciplines as well. This market is characterised by several specific trends with a long-term impact on all publications. First, the market of econo-sciences is marked by a spectacular and irreversible thematic diversification, the author being often replaced by a multidisciplinary team that contributes to the conception and writing of a scientific paper. More

    Protectionism: “Fairness” Is the New “Freedom”

    Protectionism: “Fairness” Is the New “Freedom”

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Lately, the media and the Parliament have triggered debates on adopting protectionist measures: granting subsidies, “51% Romanian goods” quotas in supermarkets, restricting the selling of land to foreigners, closing large shops during the weekend, etc. The arguments rely on the need to support domestic capital, to secure food and/or energy, bailing out even loss making companies and avoiding unemployment. More

    Growth-at-All-Costs vs. Democracy – What Kind of Globalization?

    Growth-at-All-Costs vs. Democracy – What Kind of Globalization?

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    A few centuries ago, Teilhard de Chardin had spoken about the two sides of all matter: a “within” and a “without”. It has been proven many times that it is vital for the outer world and the inner world to move together at the highest level of harmony in order to achieve balance. One can say that a globalized society reaches to an overdeveloped “without” but, unfortunately, to an underdeveloped “within”. For others who speak about the crisis of meaning, it has become necessary to take into consideration that the world of matter, materiality, science, and technology, even though all of them are good in themselves, do not possess meaning in and of themselves, or none that can satisfy “man’s search for meaning”. They are tools, not ends in themselves. The year 2017 is one in which both scientists and decision makers must understand the difference between challenges and opportunities and to find optimal solutions to the first and the best use of the latter. As was proved during the debates in the framework of the World Economic Forum, the key words for every debate in the landscape of ideas and the actions are: uncertainty, opportunity, resilience, prosperity, democracy, populism.  More

    “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be”

    “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be” Idioms and idiosyncrasies in 2017

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Among other memorable utterances, American baseball legend Yogi Berra once said “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. I would counter this and say that there is nothing easier, since most predictions will be long forgotten by the time they should be checked to see if they have stood the test of time. It is for the best, since many experts would be anything but expert, should we make it a point to check their forecasts for accuracy.  More

    The More Things Change…

    The More Things Change…

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The future emerges from the interplay of countless factors. Any reasonable scenario will have a chance of happening, but some scenarios merit more advancement with regards to their likelihood of coming to pass. 2017 will be not only an extraordinary year but the beginning of an extraordinary period as compared to the last three decades. The key issues brought forth by the new political developments all over the world will be a return to the rhetoric of national interest. It will be a revival of bilateralism and realism, defined as power (or threat of power) politics.  More

    What Is Needed Is a “Stiff Upper Lip”

    What Is Needed Is a “Stiff Upper Lip”

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    We do live in interesting times, as the old saying goes. And no, this is not a blessing. Let us hope it is not going to be a curse either. If we look around us, 2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year for democracy and the Western world. 2015 and 2016 have not been very good either for Europe and particularly the European Union due to the terrorist attacks, the economic crisis in Greece and the waves of refugees coming from the Middle East and other areas damaged by war or sunk into the morass of poverty and dysfunction. All of these events have led to a rise in populism across Europe and many feel that this is the beginning of the end for the European Union. And we cannot forget that the EU is about to lose one of its key members, the UK, which chose to exit the European Union through a referendum. More

    Living the Change

    Living the Change

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Rohit Talwar, futurist, strategic advisor, author and editor of “Fast Future, Accelerating innovation”, and a personal acquaintance in whose opinion I put great stock, used to say: “The next 5-10 years could bring about a greater level of change for individuals, society, business and government than the last fifty”. Robert M. Goldman, World Chairman of the International Medical Commission, among others, also advanced a similar vision by saying that: “Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years”. More

    Musk v. Hawking

    Musk v. Hawking In 2017, the proponent of self-driving cars, Elon Musk, will square off against Stephen Hawking, who counsels for the ban of artificial intelligence in the military and heavy restrictions in the civil area

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    2017 will be a landmark year for discerning the direction for the Planet’s economies, politics, military strategies and its social and ecological paths.The United States has placed itself at the beginning of a new road which appears to be reconfiguring the international status-quo of the last decades on many levels. From an economic and financial perspective, we should not discount the strength that Washington’s new strategies will lend to the dollar. More

    A Crystal Ball and Some Econometrics

    A Crystal Ball and Some Econometrics

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The global economy decelerated to 3.1% growth in 2016, the slowest pace since 2009, according to the estimates published by the International Monetary Fund in January 2017.In the United States (the main economy in the world, with a contribution of around 25% to the global GDP), the economy increased by only 1.6% YoY in 2016, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. The worst performance since 2011 was mainly caused by the deterioration of the fixed investments, given the accumulated effect of several challenges. However, the investment climate stabilised at the end of 2016, an evolution influenced by the euphoria of the financial markets after Donald Trump won the Presidential election. More

    Present and Future Tense

    Present and Future Tense

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    According to “numerology”, 2017 announced itself as a “universal 1st year”, a year that marks a new beginning and a chance to plant the seeds of intention for the forthcoming cycle. It will definitely be a start, but what the start signifies bears closer scrutiny! A turning point for Europe. With elections in France, Germany, Italy and Netherlands and with Brexit trudging along, the EU will be a battlefield in 2017, where nationalist and populist discourse will provide opposition to dialogue regarding the protection of the liberties of minorities, tolerance, and compassion. More

    The Deep State behind the Democracy

    The Deep State behind the Democracy

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The results of the presidential elections in the US and the Brexit referendum in the UK are argument enough to read Peter Dale Scott’s books. Beyond the official media narrative, both of these events can be interpreted as a revolt against the crony capitalism that ties together technocrats from specialized institutions of the state (intelligence agencies, central banks, regulators etc.) and from transnational organizations (IMF, World Bank, European Commission etc.) who were not elected to their positions but named, and the private sector decision makers, from financial and banking institutions (Wall Street), Big Law, Big Oil and others. More

    Humours of an Election

    Humours of an Election William Hogarth on why we are governed no better than we deserve

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    One would think that, like Nostradamus, William Hogarth was given visions of the future which he could only portray through the filter of his culture and surroundings, in Oxfordshire, England, in the middle of the 18th century. His four paintings, collectively entitled “Humours of an Election”, read like an allegory of present day elections, whose wholesome exteriors are at odds with the vice often coursing underneath, erupting into sight either accidentally or at the instigation of rivals. The first three paintings (“An Election Entertainment”, “Canvassing for Votes” and “The Polling”) illustrate the endemic corruption during the election of a new Member of Parliament, supposedly from the 1754 elections. The last one, “Chairing the Candidate”, shows the Tory candidate victorious and celebrated by his supporters. The paintings are stunning for their detail and their intentional aesthetics of ugliness. Many threads are weaved simultaneously in the same painting. More

    The Juncker Commission Investment Plan and Its Potential Impact on the Romanian Economy

    The Juncker Commission Investment Plan and Its Potential Impact on the Romanian Economy

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    In 2016, the European Institute of Romania (EIR) released a study aimed at assessing the potential impact of the Juncker Commission Investment Plan upon the Romanian economy. Following a tradition of over 10 years in drafting strategy and policy studies (SPOS) in order to support the decision makers in formulating the necessary positions required by different European institutions, EIR has published in 2016 a series of 5 studies, relevant for Romania’s evolution in the European context. More

    The Business of Culture – Whose Enterprise?

    The Business of Culture – Whose Enterprise? Eminescu, Cervantes and Shakespeare Ink…orporated

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Each 15 January and 15 June I think of why Eminescu is not more visibly and publicly appreciated by we Romanians, and, therefore, better known internationally? If you think this is not a well-constructed question, please let me tell you that it is. I will do so in the next paragraphs. And the comparisons with Shakespeare come naturally to my mind, against my better judgement, and the many examples I have myself to answer my above question. More

    The Chinese Dream – an Exhortation to Achieve

    The Chinese Dream – an Exhortation to Achieve

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    35% of Chinese think that the USA is an ideal country, while 26% claim that China is the ideal country. Ten years from now, however, 42% of Chinese will claim that their country is the ideal one, while only 14% will say the same about the US. The figures come from a comparative analysis published in 2014 by the British advertising and communication group WPP, titled “The Power and Potential of the Chinese Dream”. More

    The 12 Labours of Narendra Modi: India’s Demonetisation Saga

    The 12 Labours of Narendra Modi: India’s Demonetisation Saga

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    On the 8th of November 2016, the same day in which a revolutionary election took place, empowering Donald J. Trump to become the next President of the United States of America, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced a radical decision for his country. In his address to the Nation, and in his endeavour to fight corruption and black money and to eradicate poverty and terrorism, Modi proclaimed that the five hundred and thousand rupee notes “will no longer be legal tender”, thus becoming “worthless pieces of paper”. More

    Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: From Proxy to Hybrid Warfare

    Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: From Proxy to Hybrid Warfare

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Formerly strategic partners, Saudi Arabia and Iran have transformed the entire Middle East in a geopolitical chessboard. The breach occurred in 1979 when, in the aftermath of large protests, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was forced to abandon Iran, allowing the regime led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to seize power in Tehran. More

    Youth Engagement for Development in the Danube Region

    Youth Engagement for Development in the Danube Region

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    The Danube river region has represented throughout history a cradle of civilization and of cultural, social and economic development. The choice for the motto of the European Union’s Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) was obvious and it transmitted an important message of hope in order to marshal people and resources in the region towards the direction of development: “Danube, the river of opportunities”. More

    Tears in the Land of Smiles

    Tears in the Land of Smiles What will Thailand do without its father?

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    For most of us, Thailand is synonymous with exotic beaches, wildlife safaris, and tropical fruit unheard of in our part of the world – a well-deserved, yet too narrow portrait. Less is known, to the international public, about its social fabric and political struggles, although there are important evolutions to observe and discuss in these areas. Long story short, Thailand is one of the very few countries currently governed by a military junta, following a successful overthrow of the elected civilian government in May 2014, the second episode of its kind in the last decade. In fact, this country carries a long history of abrupt regime changes, having survived 19 coups in the past century, out of which 12 successful ones. In its oscillations between military authoritarianism and constitutional democracy, Thailand represents an interesting, rare mixture of monarchy, military rulers and civil politicians, being open and modern, yet unique in Oriental specificity.  More

    To a Sustainable, Secure and Safe Space Environment

    To a Sustainable, Secure and Safe Space Environment Reflections about the Establishment of a Cyber-Security Policy

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Space-based systems play an important role in our daily lives and businesses. Telecommunications, weather forecasting, financial services, positioning applications and television are just a few of the thousands of services that heavily rely on space-based systems. As space-based systems are vulnerable to various threats, protecting these systems requires us to pay attention to (a) the space segment, (b) the ground, or control segment that is used to upload data to the satellites, to control the satellites’ orbit and performance and its associated ground communications network, and (c) the user segment that consists of any device allowing either to access services. This protection shall consider all phases of the overall mission lifecycle e.g. design, manufacturing, operations including launch phase and disposal phase. More

    A Window into the Future

    A Window into the Future The importance of understanding how elites are formed to deciphering a country’s future

    No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016

    Trying to figure out what America or some other important country will do is a cottage industry that keeps many analysts well fed and in the public eye. One analyzes country profiles, historical precedents, and the national culture and even performs biographical analysis on its decision makers. One area which this author feels is a useful weathervane for the evolution of America’s worldview and political options beyond the medium-term is to see how its elites will shift in the future. More

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    “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal

    The National Institute for Economic Research “Costin C. Kirițescu” of the Romanian Academy bestowed the “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal to the Rector of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Professor Nicolae Istudor, Ph.D., in recognition of his contributions to higher education and academic research and of his sustained efforts to promote the national culture and its values in the Wernerian sense of harmony and compatibility with the wider European civilization and its aspirations.

    The ceremony was occasioned by the 4th edition of the International Conference ESPERA 2016 on “Economic Scientific Research – Theoretical, Empirical and Practical Approaches”, which took place in Bucharest on December 15-16, 2016. Professor Nicolae Istudor’s keynote speech may be viewed here.

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    Geopolitics and the New Silk Road Geopolitics and the New Silk Road

    Professor Silviu Neguț, Ph.D., delivered a speech on the geopolitics of the New Silk Road and its Eurasian philosophical backdrop during a conference organized by the Black Sea University Foundation on the subject of “Oil and the New Silk Road”. The event took place on December 13, 2016, and brought together a host of noted Romanian specialists from academia, government and private sector. Among them were Vasile Iuga, Senior advisor at PwC Romania, Radu Dudău, the Energy Policy Group, and Liviu Mureșan, the EURISC Foundation. The discussions were moderated by Professor Dan Dungaciu, Ph.D., President of the Black Sea University Foundation and head of the Institute for World Economy, the Romanian Academy (details here).

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    NATO foreign ministers’ meeting NATO foreign ministers’ meeting

    Alexandru Georgescu was a participant, alongside Răzvan Munteanu, Iulian Popescu and Andrei Vlăsceanu, on the ZIUA Z (D Day) TV Show hosted by Col. (ret.) dr. Ion Petrescu on the subject of the latest meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. The TV Show aired live on December 8, 2016, on 6TV and can be viewed online here.

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    Romania’s EU Council Presidency Romania’s EU Council Presidency

    On November 28, 2016, dr. Octavian-Dragomir Jora declared for Agerpres: “Looking forward to Romania’s Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2019, our country has to employ wisdom and intelligence in mating two essential strains of modern governance by utilizing an appropriate political decision-making structure and an open and competent popular consultation. The first is going to be the often invoked ‘country project’. It does not have to represent a simple piece of ‘literature’, filled with the intellectual infatuation of the contributors and the documents’ custodians, but a two-directional educational exercise (between the decision-making and reflecting elites, on the one hand, and the public, on the other hand) and a sincere discovery of ‘national interest’. In my opinion, this is the best known ‘unknown’ of the domestic public discourse. It is a fixture in the national psyche post-accession, while remaining tantalizingly out of reach of both the public and the authorities and their advisors. The second one is this administrative exercise, which demands institutional maturity: the Presidency of EU Council. Addressed responsibly and rigorously, the course of managing the EU agenda represents a unique moment of opportunity and challenge which can have the benefit of improving Romania’s image as an exotic and erratic presence in the European picture”. (www.agerpres.ro)

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    European challenges for Romania European challenges for Romania

    Europarliamentarian Laurențiu Rebega and the Foundation for the Europe of Nations and Freedom organized on the 26th of November, in Târgu Mureș, the Conference “The European Union and Economic Challenges for Romania”. The event took place in proximity to the impending anniversary of Romania’s accession to the EU, nearly ten years ago. The presentations discussed the pros and cons of accession and highlighted the risks, vulnerabilities and threats that our country will have to manage. Professor Dumitru Miron, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Octavian-Dragomir Jora, Ph.D., from the Faculty of International Business and Economics, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Professor Nicolae Băciuț, writer and publicist, and Cora Maria Muntean, President of the National Association of Romanian Merchants (ANCR), were among the speakers (details here).

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    CEECs and the geopolitical winter CEECs and the geopolitical winter

    Alexandru Georgescu was a participant, alongside Răzvan Munteanu and Iulian Popescu, on the Valori Euroatlantice (Euroatlantic Values) TV Show hosted by Col. (ret.) dr. Ion Petrescu on the subject of the Geopolitical Winter in Eastern Europe. The TV Show aired on November 20, 2016, on 6TV and can be viewed online here. Key quotes and comments can be found here.

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    Science and the metrics of visibility Science and the metrics of visibility

    Octavian-Dragomir Jora delivered a speech at Târgul de Carte Gaudeamus (the Gaudeamus Book Fair), on November 16, 2016, during the launch of an important book, “A concepe, a redacta și a publica un articol științific. O abordare în contextul cercetării economice” (“Conceiving, Writing and Publishing a Scientific Article. An Approach in the Context of Economic Research”), written by Vasile Dinu, Gheorghe Săvoiu and Dan-Cristian Dabija. Octavian-Dragomir Jora argues that the neglect of scientific dissemination in national journals is a result of a structure of perverse incentives for researchers, for whom a series of “minimalistic” criteria have been set with an exclusively external orientation and without an attempt to establish a reasonable set of coefficients for truthful comparison between internal and external publications. This leads to distortions of the Romanian landscape for reviewing, validating and disseminating scientific ideas, hindering their gradual entry into the worldwide scientific marketplace and maintaining an unproductive separation between national and global spaces (details here).

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    Riga 2016, China-CEECs meetings Riga 2016, China-CEECs meetings

    As a member of the EURISC Foundation, Alexandru Georgescu was the only Romanian attending the International Think Tank Forum of China and Central and Eastern European Countries held in Riga, Latvia, on November 4, 2016, in parallel with a series of other events related to 16+1 cooperation, including the Summit of the Heads of Government of 16+1, the launch of the Logistics and Transport Center for 16+1 in Riga, a business forum and a conference of sinologists. A short article in Romanian describing the event can be accessed here. A publication titled “Afterthoughts of the Riga 2016 China and Central and Eastern European Countries Think Tank Forum” can be accessed here, featuring also a contribution from Alexandru Georgescu.

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    16+1 and Belt and Road initiatives 16+1 and Belt and Road initiatives

    As a member of the EURISC Foundation, Alexandru Georgescu accompanied EURISC Foundation President dr. Liviu Mureșan to the International Conference on Synergies between 16+1 and the Belt and Road Initiative, organized by the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) on September 25-26, 2016, in Shanghai. A short article in Romanian describing the event can be accessed here.

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    EU, liberal or illiberal momentum EU, liberal or illiberal momentum

    The Center for Institutional Analysis and Development – Eleutheria (CADI), The Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FN), The Institute for Economic Studies – Europe (IES – Europe) and The Society for Individual Freedom (SoLib) organized The September School of Economics, Politics and Philosophy, September 20-25, 2016, at the Hotel Apollo Hermannstadt in Sibiu, Romania. This year’s theme was “Europe at the Crossroads: Illiberal Challenges, Liberal Alternatives”. On this occasion, Octavian-Dragomir Jora delivered a speech entitled “Brave New Europe: Technology, Democracy, Technocracy, Demagoguery” (details here).

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