THE AGE OF COMMUNITY SCHISM
On the uneasiness of togetherness: realms, religions, resources, and rivalries
Economic Goods and Political Gods: On Civilization’s Cultural Tectonics

Economic Goods and Political Gods: On Civilization’s Cultural Tectonics

In the hot peace after the “cold war”, a plethora of memories start haunting the minds of peoples awakened from blurry “isms” to old identities. Crosses, crescents, stars, tunes, tales, and togs, anything that can be symbol of the cultural self, start filling the new societal vacuum with the deep creed that nothing could be a better bond than the blood you are born with, flowing through your veins, and nothing could be a more poisoned tie than all the cunning ideologies, which are frivolous summer romances inclined to violent divorces. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


The Dissolution of the Communities

The Dissolution of the Communities

The “dissolution of the monasteries” took place in England during Henry the VIIIth and the dynastic woes that induced his religious estrangement from Rome, but was subsequently repeated many times throughout Europe, when monarchs and budding republics sought to marginalize the clergy’s political influence by neutralizing its wealth. Something similar comes to mind when analyzing the chaos in Western civil societies, manifesting as political polarization, individual social pathologies and collective disaggregation. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


The Science-Religion Dialogue within Economics

The Science-Religion Dialogue within Economics

Since more than a century and a half ago a separation of economics from theology has been accepted by most economists and not quite as many theologians. As a consequence, the importance of religion for economics is seldom recognized by contemporary economics. This state of things is simply an indication of a broad consensus within the field of economics that methods, norms, and even concerns construed to be related to religious belief have no place in the scientific study of economics. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


Bonding vs. Bondage

Bonding vs. Bondage

Since the end of the Second World War, the historical event that marked the zenith of “omnipotent government” (Mises, 2010), the world stage witnessed a boom in the number of independent countries. United Nations membership expanded from 51 original members in 1945, to 193 members in the present. This may lead one to the conclusion that the post-war world is characterized by political disintegration. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


Mainstreaming Nationalism?

Mainstreaming Nationalism?

Most of the political parties in Europe face significant existential crises in terms of their weakening organisations, the narrowing public policy space, and their electoral support. In contrast, resurging nationalist and extremist parties gather momentum across Europe, benefiting from the growing wave of Euroscepticism. A prominent example of this is the main right-wing political party in Poland — the Law and Justice Party (PiS). More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


Segregation and the Egalitarian Utopia

Segregation and the Egalitarian Utopia

We live in troubled and contradictory times. A seemingly commonplace affirmation, but not everyone can easily understand this first sentence. For most intellectuals, this idea seems triumphant, dramatic and perfectly appropriate for thought. For the rest of us, however, it is a simple fact. Why? Because the common man has other priorities. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


The Euro-Intifada

The Euro-Intifada

“God created man. Man created religion. Man destroyed God. Religion killed man”. For some reason, these words from Steven Spielberg’s first Jurassic Park film come to mind. The film was pure fiction, and it was about dinosaurs, but who would have guessed that such a simple paraphrase could sketch out the very real, non-fictitious scenario of a present time that churns out one blockbuster after another: Paris I, Paris II, Brussels I etc. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


When History Tags Along: Key Events That Shape Today’s Islamic Militancy

When History Tags Along: Key Events That Shape Today’s Islamic Militancy

Two decades ago I literally stumbled upon the only archeological discovery I have ever made. I was in southern Iraq, visiting the ruins of Ur, one of the earliest Sumerian cities and mythical birthplace of the Patriarch Abraham. Not far from the ancient ziggurat, I found, by chance, a mud-brick, identical to the ones that were used to build the ziggurat. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


Syria. In Situ

Syria. In Situ

Islamic State and terrorism, nearby coffee with cardamom, urban noise, social contrasts and “empowered” women – are just a few very known aspects concerning Syria and Middle East that the journalist Mircea Barbu revealed, both from theory and practical experience. The interview took place April 1st 2016 and published in Romanian on the website www.ir-report.ro. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


The Middle East in the Wake of the Arab Spring: The Battle for Yemen

The Middle East in the Wake of the Arab Spring: The Battle for Yemen

The severing of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, at the beginning of this year, has not come as much of a surprise. The two states have plunged into a cold war after the outbreak of the Arab Spring, with the competition between the two transforming the entire Middle East into a chessboard for geopolitical struggles. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


Is World War Three Upon Us?

Is World War Three Upon Us?

It will not take more than a brief Google search to notice that this topic is the subject of a debate among analysts and journalists alike. Entering “is World War 3 coming” in the search bar will yield a plethora of authors and their diverse opinions. There is no shortage of modern-day Cassandras prophesizing Armageddon itself, as well as naysayers to dismiss such claims as unrealistic fear-mongering. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


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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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