The War of the Worlds: Macro-societies in Battle Against Micro-organisms

The War of the Worlds: Macro-societies in Battle Against Micro-organisms An ongoing chronicle of a contagious era

The following set of short pieces is an updatable selection, amid the myriad of collections that can be assembled, of “corona-readings” that, hopefully, have the property of keeping us sealed off from hasty worries and making reasonable arguments “viral”.  More

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    Pandemic: Of Words, Beasts, and the Gates of Peace

    Pandemic: Of Words, Beasts, and the Gates of Peace

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The world is facing a pandemic. People are looking for ways in which to minimize its effects and defeat the virus. Some are taking all the necessary precautions. Some are treating the situation lightly. Some are panicking. And some… are.... More



    On the Self-Testability of the Minimum Wage

    On the Self-Testability of the Minimum WageEconomy Near Us (XXVII)

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    As I have shown, in a previous intervention, in which I explained the conceptual difference between the minimum salary (the actual minimum wage, with the particularity that is generated by the market, rigorously called “minimum nominal salary”).... More



    Corona-Economy: From Crisis to Rebuilding Trust

    Corona-Economy: From Crisis to Rebuilding Trust

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The Corona-Economy is already the grand economic challenge of the year 2020, but also of the political establishment. The latest developments are very serious, quite worrying for many sectors, which demand a coordinated response in terms of.... More



    The Race to The Bottom in Oil

    The Race to the Bottom in Oil

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    With the developed world in transition towards a short and medium-term economic self-flagellation as a means of reducing the impact of the SARS-COV-2 virus spread, there is little room for economic news that is not related to markets tumbling.... More



    Will the Coronavirus Amplify the Role of the Government in the Economy?

    Will the Coronavirus Amplify the Role of the Government in the Economy?

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    A defining phenomenon for virtually the last hundred years is the expansion of state influence in all areas. The extreme was reached in the communist and fascist countries, where, under dictatorship, all freedoms were altered. In Western.... More



    Brâncuși’s Endlessness and the Scarcity of Some Means

    Brâncuși’s Endlessness and the Scarcity of Some MeansTo whom does his work belong?

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The public subscription for Brâncuși’s “The Wisdom of the Earth”, to get it from private hands “back” to the Romanian state, failed not so long ago. In markets, big money is paid for his works, more than “all” Romanians managed to gather. The moral? Art.... More



    COVID-19: Counting the Cost

    COVID-19: Counting the Cost

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    Fighting epidemics, or stopping them from spreading, has a cost. The direct costs of the COVID-19 pandemic are, of course, deaths and the sickness that prevents people from working. However, the indirect effect or Economic Cost include the labor.... More



    How the Evolution of ITC Shaped the Field of Diplomacy

    How the Evolution of ITC Shaped the Field of Diplomacy

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    When looking at the historical evolution of diplomacy and foreign policy, for centuries they have ended up relying on the traditional establishment of delegations or ambassadors, formalizing bilateral and multilateral agreements regarding various.... More



    The CoVID-19 Pandemic – Changing the Paradigm

    The COVID-19 Pandemic – Changing the ParadigmSir William Osler: “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and the art of probability”

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    For almost three months now the entire world is in the midst of a very aggressive and rapidly evolving outbreak with new Coronavirus, that today is known as COVID-19. The origin of the outbreak is in China, the province of Hubei (Wuhan) and.... More



    A Strategy of Subversion

    A Strategy of Subversion

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    Half a century ago the German sociologist Helmut Schelsky succinctly dissected the political strategy of left-wing radicals in West Germany and the West generally. His essay, “The New Strategy of Revolution,” remains one of the best.... More



    (Corpo)Rational Person(ality)

    (Corpo)Rational Person(ality)

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    It is perhaps characteristic of modern times to gather large groups of people who share the same perpetual quest for what is called freedom of expression and action within a free world, to make use of it with every single opportunity they might.... More



    Interstellar Rights

    Interstellar RightsProviding more legal support to companies to explore outer space brings benefits to all mankind

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The exploration of space is now shifting the paradigm as recent innovations put in light incredible discoveries. The space economy is undoubtedly the most captivating industry of the future. As it develops, dependence on satellite-based.... More



    From Energetics to Economics

    From Energetics to EconomicsStarting from the nodal analysis concept, engineer Cezar Mereuță opens up a new domain of inter-disciplinary research for economists

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The fine connoisseurs say that statistics are perfectly comparable with the beach attire of an attractive young woman: reveals what everyone is allowed to see, but hides from the public eye the most appealing details. Because statistics is a science.... More



    The Efficient Wage and Its Challenges

    The Efficient Wage and Its ChallengesEconomy Near Us (XXVI)

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The standard Economics states that the gross nominal wage which is consistent (that is, non-contradictory) with the criterion of economic behaviour of the employer – the gross profit maximization – must be at most at the level of monetary.... More



    Technology and Ethics: Of Man and Wisdom

    Technology and Ethics: Of Man and Wisdom

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    In Isaac Asimov’s Bicentennial Man, the fictional robot character of Andrew Martin spends centuries suffering many modifications in order to be accepted by humanity as one of their own.The story shows Andrew, whose name comes from the Greek.... More



    Romania: A New Energy Power

    Romania: A New Energy PowerAfter a slowly diminishing status, brighter days to come?

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    While contemporary interest in energy questions focus on the Middle East, Romania has an impressive record in petroleum production which can be traced to 1517. Romania has a history of more than 150 years in oil extraction and in 1838 became.... More



    A Leaflet for Economics?

    A Leaflet for Economics?

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    It may be rightfully supposed that the first few months of higher education represent a turning point for most people. It is undoubtedly of a great importance that people take the decision of wholeheartedly stepping into a new environment and.... More



    Europe after Brexit: Isolating the Continent

    Europe after Brexit: Isolating the Continent

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union remains undoubtedly the event of the year 2020. From a technical, procedural and institutional point of view, it was an impeccable, flawless process, according to the provisions... More



    With Regards to Government Charity for the Private Sector

    With Regards to Government Charity for the Private SectorEconomy Near Us (XXV)

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    In a market economy, which is also presumed to function within a free society, generally, the goods and services needed for individuals are acquired through economic transactions (regularly through work and the processes around it – saving... More



    Relations with East Asia – A View from Romania

    Relations with East Asia – A View from Romania

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The situation of the world today makes it difficult to even agree on whether we, as humanity, are going towards the right or the wrong direction. This is indeed a time of increasing fluidity, fake news, rapidly rising populism, which all makes vision and... More



    The Future of Cars: Reinventing Transportation

    The Future of Cars: Reinventing Transportation

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The automobile industry’s cycle-race to embrace electric and autonomous vehicles did not include all its factories and workers. Neither did softening global auto sales help the market situation. And a change in the downward slope of the number of... More



    On Brexit and Other Exits

    On Brexit and Other Exits(Praxeo)Logical insights regarding economic and political integration

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The United Kingdom has just spent its first days out of the European Union. The exit, completed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson (the third British PM in a row, since Brexit began, four years ago) together with his political counterparts from... More



    A Perspective by and for the Youth

    A Perspective by and for the Youth

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    To most of us, it goes without saying that today’s youth will be tomorrow’s helmsmen amidst the tumultuous sea that life is. For “the little ones had become big, and the big ones had become almost men during the two years they were adrift in the... More



    My Mauser Is Bigger than Yours

    My Mauser Is Bigger than YoursThe arms race in the South Caucasus

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The arrival of four recently acquired Russian Su-30SM heavy multifunctional jet fighters in Armenia is far from being defined as ‘turning the chessboard on one’s opponent’, but it definitely triggers a new stage in the arms race between Armenia... More



    Political and Economic Fallacies: A Tribute to Sir Roger Scruton

    Political and Economic Fallacies: A Tribute to Sir Roger Scruton

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Adam Smith’s invisible hand, Frederic Bastiat’s essay “What Is Seen and What Is Unseen,” Michael Polanyi’s Tacit Dimension, Friedrich Hayek’s “spontaneous order,” and the Christian doctrines of subsidiarity and sphere sovereignty – these... More



    Leadership à la CEE: Values & Approaches

    Leadership à la CEE: Values & Approaches

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Another book review? Of yet another leadership book? There are and continue to appear so many books on leadership from so many angles, including innovation, creativity and artificial intelligence. And yet, what makes this particular book... More



    Russia’s Trump Card against China and Reshaping Power Dynamics

    Russia’s Trump Card against China and Reshaping Power DynamicsWhat Russia stands to gain from the US - China rivalry

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    On 18 December 2019, Donald Trump, the current President of the United States of America, was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee following allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the third US President to be... More



    Russian Relations with North Korea

    Russian Relations with North Korea

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The changing relationship between Russia and North Korea has its beginnings when the Soviet Union and China became rivals for influence within the Communist world. In the contemporary context, there is a triangle of complicated relations... More



    The Market Liberalization of Space Odysseys

    The Market Liberalization of Space Odysseys

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Towards the end of 2019, a software issue during launch meant that Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft was unable to perform its first mission to supply the International Space Station as intended. It might by counted as merely one of the many problems... More



    The Anthropocene-Fallacy: Learning from Wrong Ideas

    The Anthropocene-Fallacy: Learning from Wrong Ideas

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The Anthropocene is a proposed geological epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change. While it is not an... More



    The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding Thoughtfulness

    The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding ThoughtfulnessRuminations that inspired the creation, three years ago, of a wilfully free-speech and free-access, hopefully critical and creative, magazine

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    It has been three years since our project – The Market for Ideas – took shape. We have tried to present our readers with interesting ideas from a wide variety of fields and penned by a wide variety of others. To the best of our abilities, we have tried not to... More



    Crossroad Years

    Crossroad YearsSensing 2019, with a tint of 1989 and a glow of 2020+

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Human beings are obsessed with identifying trends and motifs in the passage of historical ages and to personalize, even deify, their geographical cradles. From the very sages of cultures and civilization(s) to the common folk, it seems that every turn... More



    MORE ARTICLES

    Cyber-Cerberus and Hackers’ Hades

    Cyber-Cerberus and Hackers’ Hades How to make home(land)s cyber-safer places

    The creation of cyberspace may be perceived either as a benign addendum to the biblical Book of Genesis or as man’s fatal conceit making a virtual world mimicking the inherited one. Is it a smarter cover for the physical world – with its old-days and more predictable social life, economic cooperation, and power politics – or a digital hallucination – leaving us disturbed? The godfather of cyberspace is considered William Gibson. He invented the word, using it in his SciFi Burning Chrome story and Neuromancer novel. You do not have to be full-time scientific-fantasist to get the side effects of an avatar-world. An avatar-world will accordingly develop goods and bads that will transcend it and trespass it. Its goods will enhance the source realms, its bads will strike back in it, as happened in the world of www, Facebook, Wikileaks and US presidential campaign interfered by maleficent descendants of the “dark-side” soviets. More

    On the Nature of the Concept of Tolerance

    On the Nature of the Concept of Tolerance Essay on three conferences delivered by Andrei Plesu, Mircea Dumitru and Horia-Roman Patapievici

    I would like to discuss the following issues related to the concept of tolerance (the concept of intolerance can be derived, relatively un-problematically, from that of tolerance): the nature (source) of the concept of tolerance. More

    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

    In Pursuit of the West

    In Pursuit of the West

    There is a ceaseless notion going on about the rearwardness of Eastern European states and their inability to build lastingness. Ideas uninterruptedly flow about a retrograde existence that keeps the East away from competing with the West; that the hiatus seems to enlarge day after day. Alignment with the West is one of the biggest endeavours of the East. Many efforts are put into an attempt of modernization which gives the impression of being beyond comprehension and realization. Arraying in the same clothes as the big brother looks to have become a mantra of the East, with an ubiquitous hope of a finest hour that will come when differences will no longer exist. Odd enough, the East sets its hopes in an ideal it has never managed to obtain for centuries, but which is now seen as an end goal. More

    Man, Mansion, and Motion (II)

    Man, Mansion, and Motion (II) A Forward History of Homesteading and Horsepowering

    The last argument concluded by leaving an open door to the second facet of our topic: the duality of transport/mobility & house/stability. We set up the context of our discussion based on the relationship between action and movement, which has applicability in the analysed duality. We argued how the action axiom is the spine of the above dualism and we performed afterwards a short review of the history of transport from its roots to its forthcoming developments. Having taken care of transport, we will discuss in this article how humans acted with regard to the concept of homesteading. More

    Romania’s “Sonderweg” to Illiberal Democracy

    Romania’s “Sonderweg” to Illiberal Democracy

    In German historiography, there is a current of thought dating to the 19th century regarding a “special path” (Sonderweg) of political development in Germany or German settled areas. Its first incarnation was a positive one, underlying the German aptitude for social reform and development in the absence of dangerous pressures. After WW2, it became a way of explaining the rise of Nazism and retconning it as inevitable, thus making the leap from theory to tool for self-blame. This article argues that Romania is undergoing its own Sonderweg to illiberalism, based on local specificities of a political and structural nature. More

    “Unplugged Skills”: The Need to Live beyond Technology’s Limitations

    “Unplugged Skills”: The Need to Live beyond Technology’s Limitations

    It would seem as if there is an electrical outlet for everything from one’s toothbrush to their car now. Society is in continuous technological progress. Advances in scientific and technical knowledge have extended and improved our lives. Most of us live in comfort only afforded to kings a few centuries ago and with capabilities they could not have imagined. And with all the new technology come new skill sets, new job prospects, and exciting opportunities. We now have the freedom to work from home or from anywhere in the world, as long as we have a computer and a good internet connection. We can run a business online. We can shop online. We can keep in touch with people from thousands of miles away and deliver messages that reach them in seconds. Everything seems to herald in an exciting future. More

    Models of Globalization

    Models of Globalization The first four meetings of the Interdisciplinary Scientific Seminar “Octav Onicescu”

    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”, and I expoused 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

    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

    Pandora’s Botnet

    Pandora’s Botnet How the cyber visionaries are sticking us with the bill

    Cybersecurity is mentioned so often that it has become a cliché like climate change, with the other thing they have in common being a disagreement on what solutions are required, who is responsible for them and whether there is a responsibility in changing behaviour so as to minimize these risks. All of these difficult questions are left unanswered not just by the conceptual breadth and diversity of the issue at hand, but also by the ease with which dilettantes and people with agendas can spot facile solutions that obviate the need for difficult questions and answers. More

    PrestiDigital GeoPolitics

    PrestiDigital GeoPolitics Web Spatiality and Territoriality

    We, humans, live and act in the old physical space, though spatiality will never be the same after digits became the atoms of some “virtual matter”, in which our bodies and souls e-immersed. Cyberspace, equated reasonably with the Internet, allows for larger and better markets and fortunes, as well as more and fierce dangers to our security and liberty, to our homes and homelands. More

    The Grand (Binary) Chessboard: Security, Geopolitics and Geoeconomics in the Cyber-era

    The Grand (Binary) Chessboard: Security, Geopolitics and Geoeconomics in the Cyber-era

    For each age that we think to define, there are words that describe the aspects or characteristics that are thought to define it best. The mid-twentieth century was known as the ‘Atomic Age’, when the results of research into nuclear physics were brought to the forefront with the detonation of nuclear bombs. Shortly thereafter, it was succeeded by the Space Age, with the drive to explore outer space and the competition between the world’s superpowers to develop technology to that end. Somewhere from the 1970s, the Information Age is believed to have begun, sprung by the Digital Revolution, with information technology playing an increasingly greater role in human affairs on an ever-growing number of levels: the economy, society, culture, language and politics. Thus, geographic distance became less and less relevant in defining human interaction, and physical contact was no longer an imperative for relations between people. More

    Essentials of Military Cyber Security Strategies

    Essentials of Military Cyber Security Strategies

    There are considerable, even astonishing, differences between the old and new versions of Department of Defense (DoD) cyber strategies. There is a four-year period between the two strategies and the new version explicitly states that the United States may take offensive actions against its persistent adversaries in cyber space. In this article, the major changes in the new strategy are shared with the reader. Secondly, cyber-attacks against the assets of the US in a four-year period have been summarized. Probably, these persistent attacks may be the primary reason for the offensive nature of the new strategy. This article also shares the essentials of a military cyber security strategy, which are in parallel with the evolution of the DoD cyber strategy.  More

    Cyber Conflict and International Law

    Cyber Conflict and International Law

    This article provides a brief overview of the international principles and standards applicable to cyber conflict. The main assumption is that globalization and technological development have changed the international order. These changes affect the nation states and principles and standards established to regulate their relations. The existing international law has limited applicability to regulate potential cyber conflict. Therefore, the International Community must take further steps to prevent these challenges.  More

    Cyber Diplomacy – Addressing the Gap in Strategic Cyber Policy

    Cyber Diplomacy – Addressing the Gap in Strategic Cyber Policy

    Although it is a new topic, cyber-diplomacy has already advanced in leaps and bounds worldwide in an attempt to define and to summarize the efforts constantly made to solve a new type of conflict, namely those taking place in cyberspace. The primary role of diplomacy is to generate common advantage through dialogue, thus the primary role of cyber diplomacy would be to generate advantage through dialogue on cyber security issues. More concrete, a simple assumption would be that cyber diplomacy uses diplomatic tools to solve the problems that emerge in cyberspace. Topics like internet governance, enforcement of law against cyber crime, response to malicious attacks arising in cyberspace, the protection of critical infrastructure, just to mention a few, are of utmost importance and require a dedicated agenda and concrete action. The last decade has seen emerging technologies impact national economic systems in virtual space. This has changed the diplomatic agenda, with cyber threats moving to the top and with many governments already acknowledging that ignoring cyber diplomacy is no longer an option for global dynamics. Both a confusion in terminology and a lack of common legislation when addressing the cyber diplomacy topic is observed, since beyond internet governance and cyber security, a range of topics, from military use of internet to economic growth, are also enclosed by cyber diplomacy.  More

    Terrorist Influence on Children in Cyberspace

    Terrorist Influence on Children in Cyberspace

    Terrorist groups are using cyberspace to propagandize ideological, political and religious concepts, for mutual communication and organization of activities, for planning attacks in the real world and for financing. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telegrams have contributed to radicalization and recruitment, primarily of children and young people who accept the principles of terrorists and join their ranks. Modern ways of communication have enabled terrorists to successfully increase membership and their ranks without direct, physical contact. More

    Terrorism Has No Echo without the Media

    Terrorism Has No Echo without the Media

    Terrorism can be seen as an act of communication. In order to transform an attack into a message, the media’s dissemination capabilities are needed, being a vital pawn in the game the terrorists are playing. Sending the perfect message in the way the terrorist desire is much more important that the act itself. The challenge in the relationship stated is the conflict of interests between the media having to broadcast unbiased information about the event, the social responsibility they carry and the prospect of giving sensational news that may alter the reality in order to have a wider audience.  More

    What Is Blockchain?

    What Is Blockchain? An introduction for laymen

    During the age of the crusades, several knightly orders were formed out of international groups of feudal knights to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land. In the interludes between the various wars, the number of pilgrims would grow, seeking salvation and other personal benefits, such as the prestige of having performed the pilgrimage. The Templars were one of the groups approached by these medieval tourists and were asked for protection on the long road against robbers. The trend continued and there was a growing need for protection. Since the Templar Order had a limited number of members, they became overwhelmed and they came up with a solution. More

    Building the Future, One Blockchain at a Time

    Building the Future, One Blockchain at a Time

    The European Center for Excellence in Blockchain (ECEB) was founded in Bucharest in 2017 by the National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics (ICI), the Idea Factory Think Tank and Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Virginia, USA) as a as a promoter of the Blockchain issue and its link with the protection of Critical Infrastructures for state institutions and for the private sector (i.e. finance, energy, etc.), both nationally and internationally. It seeks to foster an understanding of blockchain issues on the part of decision makers and to encourage the development of key applications for use in governance, such as that of critical infrastructures. It will cooperate with both public authorities and private actors to facilitate a sustainable exploitation of blockchain potential. More

    Development Exposed

    Development Exposed Ian Goldin, The Pursuit of Development. Economic Growth, Social Change, and Ideas

    Ian Goldin’s book entitled The Pursuit of Development. Economic Growth, Social Change, and Ideas was originally published in English in 2016 by Oxford University Press and was translated in Romanian (În căutarea dezvoltării: creșterea economică, schimbările sociale și ideile) in 2017 by Comunicare.ro Publishing House (introduction: Paul Dobrescu; translation from English: Viorela Dima-coordinator, Raluca-Elena Hurduzeu and Elena Tălmăcian).  More

    Hyperborean Folklore – The Art of Symbols & Numbers

    Hyperborean Folklore – The Art of Symbols & Numbers

    The Art Gallery “Cecilia Cuțescu-Storck” at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies hosted the artistic photography exposition named “Hyperborean Folklore – The Art of Symbols & Numbers” which has the main theme of the reinterpretation of the ancestral and cultural symbolism found in the manufacturing of the national authentic Romanian dress, in a contemporary manner of fashion that brings to the present the artistic dowry that artists inherited from their Romanian origin. More

    A Community in Search of Unity, a Union in Search of Communion

    A Community in Search of Unity, a Union in Search of Communion

    The Faculty of International Business and Economics, from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, hosted on 16th-17th November 2017 the 8th edition of The Future of Europe International Conference, with the participation of distinguished speakers and generous auditorium from Academia, public administration, and business environment. More

    For a Privatization of Environmental Public Policies

    For a Privatization of Environmental Public Policies (Towards an intellectual climate change on sustainable development)

    Climate change and sustainable development are, somehow, like “love and marriage”, and they go together like “a horse and carriage”; and if you ask “the local [as well as global] gentry”, they will say that this is “elementary”. But despite a basic consensus, that something is happening to our earthly environment and something must rapidly be done, the problem is much more delicate scientifically and politically. More

    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

    Defence and Security: The UK and Romania after Brexit

    Defence and Security: The UK and Romania after Brexit

    We live in a better world than our parents or grandparents did. Romania’s GDP is a remarkable five times higher that it was at the turn of this millennium. More countries, like Romania, are more open, democratic and stable than they were a couple of generations ago. We are more tolerant, with more rights for religious, ethnic and sexual minorities. We have access to technologies that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. And even if we look outside the developed world, there is good news. In 1990, 1.9 billion human beings lived in extreme poverty. That number had, despite population growth, been cut in half by 2010. In 25 years, global mortality rate for children under 5 years of age declined by more than half. Many fewer people are contracting HIV/AIDS and more are living with it. More

    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

    The 2017 Austrian Elections

    The 2017 Austrian Elections A hint on the gap between contemporary Austrian politics and Austrian economics heritage

    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

    The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

    The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

    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 Germany, Germans, in their turn, traditionally make up to around fifteen percent of the country’s tourism arrivals. The bilateral trade volume is around 37 billion U.S. dollars p.a.. Relations between Germany and Turkey have always been subject to serious and long-term synergies. Both sides have much to lose, but this, however, is not a dampener on hostile rhetoric. More

    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

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    Amfiteatru Economic

    OEconomica No. 1, 2016
    IN THE AGORA
    Agora
    “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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