Romania’s Neighbourhoods:An Exercise of Critical Thinking

Romania’s Neighbourhoods:
An Exercise of Critical Thinking

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

At the township level, the “community spirit” is a function of knowledge, and proper action, about / towards people – as persons – and their places – or properties, either private or public. A community is defined equally by bonds and bounds, wisely informed and duly enforced, so that a neighbourly peace, not necessarily a heavenly harmony, will emerge and endure. In Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” there is a famous line – “Good fences make good neighbours” – suggesting the common sense truth that order among humans requires, much sooner than empathy or sympathy, an order “in rem”, with respect to their belongings, which are part and parcel of their personal universes – teleological prolongations of their beings. “The Bible tells us to love our neighbours and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people”, said once G.K. Chesterton. This might be the most pessimistic view of a neighbourhood, which we are advised to treat with utmost kindness. If love is too much to ask, then the next line of defence is to understand, not understate, things. More

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    Deciphering Timelessness through Ephemeral Numbers

    Deciphering Timelessness through Ephemeral NumbersIn memory of Professor Cezar Mereuță (1936-2021)

    No. 29, May.-Jun. 2021

    I first made the acquaintance of Professor Cezar Mereuță in the most natural way a young novice economist can meet a master of the profession: as a name on a textbook. In the Professor’s case, his exposure to “the market for ideas” has always been.... More



    IP, Fire, and Other Dangerous Things

    IP, Fire, and Other Dangerous Things

    No. 29, May.-Jun. 2021

    Why is there more money being invested in the development of (video) games than in research of new drugs and medicine? Well, the claim underlying the question may be overblown. But there is evidence for the gaming industry being larger than the.... More



    Romania’s Loss of Competitiveness Compared to Hungary and Poland

    Romania’s Loss of Competitiveness Compared to Hungary and PolandThe real effective exchange rate – a critical indicator

    No. 29, May.-Jun. 2021

    Romania has improved its competitiveness compared to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria at the regional level in recent years but lost ground compared to Croatia, Poland and Hungary, according to data released by Eurostat. With an index.... More



    The Advantages of an Adequate Minimum Wage

    The Advantages of an Adequate Minimum WageEconomy Near Us (XXXX)

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    We find today, in the specialty literature, analyses and studies that focus on the quality of life, and these frame the concept of wellbeing as concerning the individual and referring to a state. In these works, the semantic features of the concept of.... More



    Seven Things the Suez Canal Incident Taught Us about Globalization

    Seven Things the Suez Canal Incident Taught Us about Globalization

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    The recently resolved Suez Canal incident was the second high profile crisis in global logistics since the beginning of the pandemic. It underscored the significant vulnerabilities of an interdependent world in which supply and production.... More



    Professor Cezar Mereuță’s Paretian Odyssey Continues

    Professor Cezar Mereuță’s Paretian Odyssey ContinuesThe unexpected results of a research that analyzes two parallel worlds, the economy and the pandemic: 10% of the countries of the world generate 80% of the world GDP, but also 80% of the total COVID-19 contagions

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    A paradox confirmed by statistical data: the nodal analysis, used in economics to show that the strongest 10% of the players in a market generate 80% of the total sales in that market, also applies in the field of... the pandemic. This is revealed.... More



    Public Schools, a Rival for Racism and Xenophobia

    Public Schools, a Rival for Racism and Xenophobia

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    Some believe that we live in a world that is advanced and effortlessly evolving in so many different ways, yet it is also stuck and old-fashioned in other ways. Paradoxically, the modern world that we live in is still exposed to racial conflicts.... More



    The Long-Lasting Effects of Colonial Policies

    The Long-Lasting Effects of Colonial PoliciesWhy some post-colonial nations succeed while others do not

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    Whenever we talk about Canada, New Zealand, Libya or Indonesia, we need to bring up the colonial empires which dominated much of the modern world up until the beginning of the Cold War. The periods under colonial rule differ, with.... More



    The 2020 GDP of Romania

    The 2020 GDP of RomaniaEqual to the 2019 GDP in nominal terms and the 2018 one in real terms

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    The National Institute of Statistics confirmed the signal result of the economic growth for 2020 at the level of -3.9%, in the first preliminary version made public. The nominal value resulting from the overall calculation for the last year was RON.... More



    A Few Considerations about the Gender Gap in the COVID-19 Impact on the Labour Market

    A Few Considerations about the Gender Gap in the COVID-19 Impact on the Labour MarketEconomy Near Us (XXXIX)

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    March marks one year since Romania entered a state of emergency and remained on alert due to the pandemic. The Romanian state, like all of the states of Europe and the world, is still looking for solutions to limit its spread. The priority.... More



    A Reactionary Response to a Likewise Football

    A Reactionary Response to a Likewise FootballFrom Conference League to Super League

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    Context: TheChampions League (CL) is the greatest inter-club football competition in Europe and the entire world. Organised every year, it includes the best 32 European football club teams: 26 qualified in advance, while six of them have to go.... More



    The Evolving Identity of the Firm. Cognitive Peculiarities and Idiosyncratic Perceptions

    The Evolving Identity of the Firm. Cognitive Peculiarities and Idiosyncratic Perceptions

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    Research into the theory of the firm began with the publication of “The Nature of the Firm” (Coase, 1937), which led to the appearance of four essential questions about the nature of the firm. Why do firms exist? Why are these organized the.... More



    The Intersection of Religion and Economic Behaviour

    The Intersection of Religion and Economic Behaviour

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    The World Bank published two years ago a study conducted by two Bulgarian economists, Simeon Djankov and Elena Nikolova, which shows major differences in attitudes toward state authority and the adoption of new ideas between Orthodox, on.... More



    The Road to a Free Economy

    The Road to a Free EconomyOnce upon a time in 1989. And the journey is on going

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    János Kornai needs no introduction to our readers. He is an intellectual force to be reckoned with in the service of liberty. The following pages are an extract from his memoirs specifically selected from a time of great change in Hungary, to.... More



    Binding Leviathan: The Case for Institutional Liberty

    Binding Leviathan: The Case for Institutional Liberty

    No. 28, Mar.-Apr. 2021

    In political theory, as in any inquiry, a question must begin with a perception or a premise. The question is this: How can the identity and integrity of a self-governing institution – whether a church, business, school, even a family – be maintained.... More



    Realities and Perspectives of a New Social Paradigm

    Realities and Perspectives of a New Social ParadigmEconomy Near Us (XXXVIII)

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    Society is currently undergoing a series of transformations, as a result of the effects of the global pandemic, with consequences in all areas of our existence. Approaching from a conceptual point of view the present reality, the concept of entropy returns.... More



    Pablo Neruda – Poetry, Polities, Peace

    Pablo Neruda – Poetry, Polities, PeaceMasters of Diplomacy (III)

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    One of the greatest poets that have ever lived in the Latin America was none other than the Chilean Pablo Neruda (photo: right) born under the name Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto. He was born in Parral, Chile on July 12, 1904.... More



    Beneath It All in Hungary Is Political Corruption

    Beneath It All in Hungary Is Political Corruption

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    Hungary is the black sheep of the European Union. Its contrarian agenda offends the common opinion of other Member States. Just recently, the Hungarian government not only threatened to veto the EU recovery budget but also voiced its.... More



    Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit – Casting a Flood of Light on India

    Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit – Casting a Flood of Light on IndiaMasters of Diplomacy (II)

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    What does it take to fight for the freedom of your country? Some may say it takes courage, strength of character or faith. Some may say you need to be a hero, but The Great Daughter of India, as Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (photo: right) was often called.... More



    Long-Term Interest Rate Fell Below 3%

    Long-Term Interest Rate Fell Below 3%A courageous change of economic vision would be required

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    Long-term interest rates for Romania fell by almost one percentage point in just two months, according to data released by Eurostat. After increasing up to 4.83% in April 2020, at the end of June it reached a level below the threshold of four.... More



    Vespasian V. Pella – A Peace Fighter

    Vespasian V. Pella – A Peace FighterMasters of Diplomacy (I)

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    It is indisputably mandatory, Vespasian Pella (photo: second from the right, sitting at the table) asserted, to have the following in order to prevent and combat the state “collective crime” – a recognition of the war’s criminal nature, alongside the.... More



    Automatic Stabilizers as Publicly-Oriented Predictors

    Automatic Stabilizers as Publicly-Oriented PredictorsEconomy Near Us (XXXVII)

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    In the economic process, the volatility of macroeconomic variables is not the true problem, but its unpredictability. In fact, this conclusion is equally valid for microeconomics. For example, under the EMH – Efficient Market Hypothesis – a.... More



    When the Appetite for Entertainment Scores Goals

    When the Appetite for Entertainment Scores Goals

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    Romania is attacking on the left side of the pitch, Răzvan Marin and Florin Tănase have a short exchange of passes in the corner of the penalty box, which opens some wide spaces for the latter to penetrate and make a decisive pass for Eric Bicfalvi.... More



    The Pandemic Recession and Government Stimulus

    The Pandemic Recession and Government Stimulus

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    Never before has the global economy been deliberately put into an induced coma. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are struggling to break even and unemployment is soaring high. The sudden shock called for a speedy and.... More



    Romanian National Culture Day and the New Normal

    Romanian National Culture Day and the New Normal

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    Do not worry: this is going to be short and… bitter. Bitter is good. In drinks, according to personal taste, and in real life, because it prompts reflection.Therefore, here is what I want to reflect upon today – once again on the National Culture Day of us.... More



    The Effect of Brexit on Romanian Foreign Trade

    The Effect of Brexit on Romanian Foreign Trade

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    Over the last few years, the United Kingdom has been Romania’s most important foreign trade partner with whom we have managed to record a significant trade surplus. The island economy’s exit from the community bloc and the.... More



    Will Lithuania Reclaim Its Own Business Tax Model?

    Will Lithuania Reclaim Its Own Business Tax Model?

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    The recent parliamentary elections in Lithuania have sparked hope that after 18 years the country will revisit its decision to give up a zero-tax rate on reinvested profits, a regime that gave an immense impetus to the country’s investment and.... More



    Piloting Through the 2020 Corona-World:

    Piloting Through the 2020 Corona-World:•An objectively subjective selection•

    No. 27, Jan.-Feb. 2021

    The much-lauded Chinese curse of living in interesting times has certainly applied to 2020. The year saw many disruptions, but also the fulfilment of key trends related to inter-state and intra-state conflict. While no one will mourn its end, we may be right.... More



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

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

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    As the lockdown has been relaxed (in Romania, the homeland of TMFI), yet social distancing is still a sacrosanct recommendation, we release the second episode from our collection of editorial products, this time from our in-house harvest. We hope.... More



    The Economists Need Skin in The Game

    The Economists Need Skin in The GameEconomy Near Us (XXXVI)

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The concept of economic crisis encompasses quite different situations (from either a causal perspective or a consequentialist one), from a conjunctural transient state all the way to a real blockage of the economic system. For this article, we.... More



    The Crisis of Our Age: A Retrospective Glance

    The Crisis of Our Age: A Retrospective Glance

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    As a political philosophy and system of governance, liberalism is a product of Western Christian civilization. Yet some of its roots are decidedly illiberal. Thomas Hobbes offered an intellectual framework for our burgeoning Provider State.... More



    A Pragmatic Approach to Higher Education – University 4.0

    A Pragmatic Approach to Higher Education – University 4.0

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The 4th Industrial Revolution has changed the industrial practices of manufacturing and production, now transformed by digitization and automation and supported by advanced technologies and techniques. The adjustment process of.... More



    Europe’s Paradigmatic Dilemmas amidst Pandemic Woes: How the Covid-19 Crisis May Reshape EU’s Geostrategy

    Europe’s Paradigmatic Dilemmas amidst Pandemic Woes: How the Covid-19 Crisis May Reshape EU’s Geostrategy

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The much-awaited vaccine has recently been announced and reignited hope that the coronavirus pandemic that has kept the planet in a tight grip for about a year now is about to end. Though the vaccine itself is not beyond suspicion as some.... More



    The New Geopolitics of South Caucasus

    The New Geopolitics of South Caucasus

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The 2020 peace agreement in Nagorno Karabakh is not just redrawing the security relationship between Yerevan and Baku, but, at the same time, it reshapes the regional geopolitics.First of all, the OSCE Minsk Group played an insignificant role.... More



    November Revealed the Highest Number of New Cases Worldwide Since the Start of the New Coronavirus Pandemic

    November Revealed the Highest Number of New Cases Worldwide Since the Start of the New Coronavirus Pandemic

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The most powerful 19 countries in the world had different evolutions regarding the number of new cases in the third quarter of the pandemic.November 30 marked 9 months since March 1, considered the beginning of pandemic with the.... More



    Kurt Lewin’s 3-Phase Change Model in the Covid-19 Pandemic

    Kurt Lewin’s 3-Phase Change Model in the Covid-19 Pandemic

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    Throughout 2020, the question of how the world would look like after the Coronavirus pandemic has been constantly repeated. The “status quo” has been challenged: our usual lives have been suddenly torn apart and life during Covid-19 has been... More



    Remarks on the 2020 Romanian GDP Estimate – Reduced for the 3rd Time in the Official Forecast

    Remarks on the 2020 Romanian GDP Estimate – Reduced for the 3rd Time in the Official Forecast

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The GDP 2020 estimate has been reduced for the third time in a row in the so-called Preliminary Autumn Forecast for the budget amendment published by the specialty National Commission. From an economic result of RON 1,141.4 billion according... More



    About the “Fair” Sharing of Economic Value Added

    About the “Fair” Sharing of Economic Value AddedEconomy Near Us (XXXV)

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    Periodically, economists put on the table a remarkably interesting (and disputable, as well) topic, that of model for sharing the value added between labour and capital. The subject is present both on the work table of theoretical scientists and on that of... More



    Sustainable Development – Excerpts from a New Lodestar in the Field

    Sustainable Development – Excerpts from a New Lodestar in the FieldIon Pohoață, Delia-Elena Diaconașu and Vladimir-Mihai Crupenschi revisit the discourse of the founders

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    Sustainable development has been making the rounds since 1987 as a buzzword to be employed in the rarefied heights of policy discourse on economics, industrialization and much more. Unlike other fashionable concepts, it at least aspires to validity... More



    Central Asia: The World’s Next Powder Keg

    Central Asia: The World’s Next Powder Keg

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    Firstly, we shall explain the geographic and historic situation background of Central Asia. The name is self-explanatory when referring to the location of the region but what stands out is the climate, history and demographics. The land is mostly... More



    The Romanian Leu, Koruna, Zloty and Forint in Pandemic: A Comparison in Terms of Stability and Its Effects

    The Romanian Leu, Koruna, Zloty and Forint in Pandemic: A Comparison in Terms of Stability and Its Effects

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The Romanian leu was much more stable during the pandemic than the currencies of Central European countries with a similar exchange rate regime – the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. Data published by the National Bank of Romania shows a... More



    Democracy at Play – or at Risk – in America

    Democracy at Play – or at Risk – in America

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    In democratic societies, elections are determined by the vote of the people. The democratic process in the United States elected President Trump in 2016. Four years later, after all legal votes are counted and verified, the same process may require... More



    2020 Gaudeamus Book Fair, featuring the Bucharest University of Economic Studies

    2020 Gaudeamus Book Fair, Featuring the Bucharest University of Economic StudiesTreatise launch: International Economic Relations: Theories, Strategies, Policies, Tools and Case Studies / Gheorghe Hurduzeu, Luminiţa Nicolescu (eds.)

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The 27th edition of the Gaudeamus Radio Romania Book Fair took place between November 16-22, 2020. The fair was held exclusively online this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The most popular book fair, staged by the most-listened-to... More



    Owning Now, Owing Then. Culturally Sustainable Development Is about Material Property as Much as It Is about Spiritual Legacy

    Owning Now, Owing Then. Culturally Sustainable Development Is about Material Property as Much as It Is about Spiritual LegacyKeynote speech delivered at Social Science and Humanities Research Association’s (SSHRA) XXV International Conference on Business, Economics, Law, Language & Psychology (ICBELLP), 18-19 November 2020, London, UK

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    Social Science and Humanities Research Association (SSHRA) is an international community of researchers, practitioners, students and educationists that is devoted to the development and the spread of ideas in the field of social sciences... More



    The Effects of the Coronavirus on the Labor Markets in the EU

    The Effects of the Coronavirus on the Labor Markets in the EURomania among the least affected countries in Q2, 2020

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    Romania was among the least affected EU Member States in Q2 2020 in terms of temporary layoffs, reduced working hours or job losses, according to the analysis published by Eurostat. The consequences of Covid19 pandemic varied significantly... More



    Accelerating University 4.0 by Technology Shifts and Pandemic Drifts

    Accelerating University 4.0 by Technology Shifts and Pandemic Drifts

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    The intersection between the technological and the pandemic shock became a real paradox to be managed by the higher education institutions. It all started in March 2020 with the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching activities and... More



    Annotating the Paris Agreement

    Annotating the Paris Agreement

    No. 26, Nov.-Dec. 2020

    This article explains in broad strokes the content of the Paris Agreement and the Decision by which it was adopted. It, then, annotates them and complements the annotations by asking further questions. This article serves as institutional... More



    Economy Near Us (XXXIV)

    The Impact of Social Justice Measures on Unemployment During the PandemicEconomy Near Us (XXXIV)

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    Currently, one of the worst employment crises is in full swing, as a result of the health crisis, with consequences for increasing poverty and therefore economic and social inequality. Just a few of the effects on the labour market include:... More



    Romania’s Recovery According to the World Bank

    Romania’s Recovery According to the World Bank2021 forecast compared to the start of the pandemic

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    The data included in the autumn report of the World Bank, “COVID-19 and Human Capital”, which brings the forecast for Europe and Central Asia countries up to date shows the skepticism of this institution’s specialists regarding a... More



    The Fight for the US Supreme Court and Its Political Ramifications

    The Fight for the US Supreme Court and Its Political Ramifications

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    Impartiality is crucial to any judicial system, even more so when constitutional and supreme courts have to adjudicate conflicts between different state authorities, political actors, or certify election results in democratic polities. This impartiality... More



    The Neighbourhood and Its Meanings

    The Neighbourhood and Its MeaningsSome colourful shades of grey

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    In order to know the Romanian society as it is today more intimately, it is preferable that we analyse it from the inside to the outside, for the general characteristics and conclusions that might be traced from this “outside” (such as national... More



    The Rise of Islam and American Policy in South Asia

    The Rise of Islam and American Policy in South Asia

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    The challenge of Empire to traditional constitutional order occurs when the first response to acts of terror increases the powers of the State. The Patriot Act and the attack on Iraq by the Bush Administration empowered a "war faction" in the America... More



    Romania’s Public Debt Relative to GDP – Implications

    Romania’s Public Debt Relative to GDP – Implications

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    The public debt officially measured by the Romanian Ministry of Finance based on the European methodology advanced, in July 2020 alone, almost as much as in the whole second quarter, when Romania was caught in the middle of the... More



    Engines of Liberty: American Experiment in Self-Government

    Engines of Liberty: American Experiment in Self-Government

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    Brague’s Challenge. In an American Spectator blog post, “Sin No More,” dated May 1, 2008, Rémi Brague stated a thesis worth exploring: “What cultures that were influenced by the Jewish and Christian religions made of the ideal of liberty that I have... More



    The 2008 and 2020 Global Crises – Differences and Similarities

    The 2008 and 2020 Global Crises – Differences and SimilaritiesEconomy Near Us (XXXIII)

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    The years 2008 and 2020 saw two global crises with important similarities, which evoked numerous comparisons. I shall briefly sketch differences and similarities between these two global crises and the European Union response. This... More



    Rebuilding Economics

    Rebuilding EconomicsSeries of articles excerpted from the printed edition [#1]

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    In the last decades, the economic discipline in its hypostasis of Economics (i.e. positive economic theory) was, and also currently is, subject to radical and massive criticism not only from the non-economists (including physicists!), but also from... More



    The World’s 19 Most Powerful Countries Account for 71% of the World’s New Coronavirus Cases

    The World’s 19 Most Powerful Countries Account for 71% of the World’s New Coronavirus Cases

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    On August 31st this year, 6 months have passed since the current pandemic forcefully started, on March 1st. It is an important opportunity to examine how the world’s great powers have developed effective government programs to reduce the... More



    MIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s)

    MIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s)A media campaign of junior reporting on INNOVATIVE / INDUSTRIOUS / INSPIRING, free-market, barrier-breaking, world-spreading, LIBERATING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    The Market for Ideas initiated an editorial project in which “international business and economics” students, besides being consumers of quality information, become (co)producers of this “good”. The concept aims for a quadruple gap-filler... More



    Zombified Finance and the Walking Dead Economy

    Zombified Finance and the Walking Dead Economy

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    The financial crisis of 2007 was the result of a constant accumulation of risks facilitated by the gradual lowering of interest rates. This decrease allowed the emergence of an allocation of resources incongruous with the economic... More



    “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree”… I Forgot My History

    “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree”… I Forgot My History

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    It is strange for any of us who live in relatively free societies to picture oppression. It is probably why most of us have an insatiable desire for dystopian television productions. The hair raising, mind and heart stimulating stories take us to a... More



    Bracing for Hurricane Democracy

    Bracing for Hurricane Democracy

    No. 25, Sep.-Oct. 2020

    With the conclusion of the two ceremonial national conventions of the two US parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, one may say that the presidential race has begun in earnest. The current election will be unique in modern American... More



    Rights, Constraints, and Offsets in Handling the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Rights, Constraints, and Offsets in Handling the COVID-19 PandemicEconomy Near Us (XXXII)

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, among other things, that the development of human knowledge can entail a series of risks that can endanger both the existence of the individual and of the society in which we live. In this time of crisis, an important... More



    The COVID State

    The COVID State

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    In 1976, an ABC movie entitled “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” recounted the tragic story of a child suffering from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Although the child died when he was twelve, doctors have since found a cure for this... More



    The Inconsistency of Biological Analogies in Economics

    The Inconsistency of Biological Analogies in Economics

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    I often tend to use biological analogies either as a simple heuristic or an explanatory model in an analysis, or as a purely illustrative model in support of certain ideas by constructing argumentative structures. For instance, in an attempt to understand how... More



    The Sustainable University: Concept and Conception

    The Sustainable University: Concept and Conception

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    “Sustainable University” is a kind of phrase to emanate a semantic scent with connotations – traced back to an ages-old polarity, yet always at great fashion in social affairs – seemingly both conservative and progressive. Really? Can we so... More



    Charter Cities: Vernian Fantasy or Human Reality?

    Charter Cities: Vernian Fantasy or Human Reality?

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    In 1895, the French novelist Jules Verne launched one of his many visionary ideas that either became reality or something future next generations are expected to achieve. Propeller Island follows the story of four musicians whose services are demanded... More



    Corona-blues: A Brief Reflection on the Challenges of Managing the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Corona-blues: A Brief Reflection on the Challenges of Managing the Coronavirus Pandemic

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    That the new coronavirus has taken the world by storm is no longer a surprise, causing significant casualties worldwide as well as civil unrest and disrupting economies, with ever grimmer prognoses. Much has been said about both the... More



    Defined Contribution Pensions, But Not Really

    Defined Contribution Pensions, But Not ReallyEconomy Near Us (XXXI)

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    From a theoretical (and philosophical) point of view, the (defined contribution) pension in a pay-as-you-go system is an impersonal, non-coexistent, inter-generational, and mandatory quid pro quo. The referee which must assure that the quid pro quo is... More



    International Digital Conference on Multidisciplinary Research and Perspectives for Innovative Higher Education 2020

    International Digital Conference on Multidisciplinary Research and Perspectives for Innovative Higher Education 2020

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    University of South Asia, Lahore, Pakistan, presents the International Digital Conference 2020 on Multidisciplinary Research and Perspectives for Innovative Higher Education on July 24-25th, 2020. The main topics include: Artificial.... More



    The Pandemic and the Standard of Living

    The Pandemic and the Standard of Living

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    A recent report was issued by the Research Institute for Quality of Life of the Romanian Academy, titled The pandemic and the standard of living. Social policies. Its authors were Daniel Arpinte, Sorin Cace, Simona Mihaiu, Iulian Stanescu, Simona... More



    Stealing into Power by Opposition to Power

    Stealing into Power by Opposition to Power

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    Two acute observers of the American system and its decentralized character were Alexis de Tocqueville, who with his friend Gustave de Beaumont traveled through America for around nine months while studying America’s prisons... More



    Twelve Countries Cumulate 80% of the Pandemic Deaths

    Twelve Countries Cumulate 80% of the Pandemic Deaths

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    The “parallel world” of the pandemic has two main coordinates: contagion cases and deaths, accompanied by the very important indicator of fatality rate relative to contagion cases (Rc/d).In our previous interventions, we demonstrated that the... More



    Placing the Central Asia Region in the Equation of Neo-Colonialism Promoted by Russia

    Placing the Central Asia Region in the Equation of Neo-Colonialism Promoted by Russia

    No. 24, Jul.-Aug. 2020

    The reconsideration of Russia’s foreign policy was made under the condition that, as a result of the steep increase in international prices for crude oil and natural gas, considerable financial resources flooded into the state treasury. With... More



    The Absorption of Uncertainty and Exiting from the Pandemic

    The Absorption of Uncertainty and Exiting from the PandemicEconomy Near Us (XXX)

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The individuals (and, to some extent, the groups) make decisions based on their perception regarding the future, rather than on a rigorous calculus based on accurate models of rationality (such a conclusion has long been reached by the researchers... More



    A New Silk Road – Russia’s position

    A New Silk Road – Russia’s Position

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The first version of the Silk Road is placed by analysts at the beginning of the westward expansion of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). Chinese products (silk, porcelain, spices or other goods) that were highly prized began to be delivered to Europe... More



    NASA & SpaceX Launch – A New Milestone in Space Exploration

    NASA & SpaceX Launch – A New Milestone in Space Exploration

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Over the years, space has proven to be one of the few topics that captivated people from all around the world to follow the same TV programming or online event at the same time. Individuals with different backgrounds, ethnicities, races... More



    Reading Between the Lines

    Reading Between the Lines

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The macroeconomic situation of Romania is a subject of considerable debate inside the country. The important development of the country is, nevertheless, marred by imbalances and underwhelming reforms, constantly... More



    Conservatism and Spiritual and Social Recovery

    Conservatism and Spiritual and Social Recovery

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    As I read newspapers, popular magazines, listen to National Public Radio, watch cable television, attend Catholic Mass, and work with American academics at the deracinated institutions called colleges, I am conscious that American secular... More



    Revolt of the Disdained: Sovereignty or Submission

    Revolt of the Disdained: Sovereignty or Submission

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The 2016 presidential election hinged on the return of overlooked or marginalized middle-class and working-class Democrats and independents – many of whom had earlier supported Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan – to reinvigorate traditional... More



    Some Thoughts on COVID-19 Pandemic Shock

    Some Thoughts on COVID-19 Pandemic ShockEconomy Near Us (XXIX)

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    On the nature of COVID-19 pandemic shockWe think the COVID-19 pandemic shock “verifies” the following features:the shock is atypical: it has the particularity that it bypasses the standard “path” – that is, it does not affect the nominal flows... More



    Coco & Chanel: Creating Herself and a Whole Universe, from Croquis to Couture

    Coco & Chanel: Creating Herself and a Whole Universe, from Croquis to CoutureMIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [XVI]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Imagine the epitome of an elegant, stylish woman of modern times. Is she sporting chic suit pants and a matching blazer, or maybe a timeless black dress? Is her jewellery exquisite without overbearing opulence, perfectly assorted to her handbag... More



    Will We 3D-Print Medicine at Home?

    Will We 3D-Print Medicine at Home?MIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [XV]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    It is around 7 AM, little Jim has just been woken up by his mom. He can distinguish clatter of softly gyrating gears from rain taping at his windowsill. There was no reason to focus more on those everyday sounds especially because he heard the same... More



    Three Paradoxes of the Territorial Distributions of Contaminations with COVID-19

    Three Paradoxes of the Territorial Distributions of Contaminations with COVID-19

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    A month ago, in the first episode regarding the pandemic, we identified the fact that the structural distribution of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus throughout the countries and autonomous territories of the world fulfils all the standards of the... More



    Power Through Play: Thinking Energy Outside the Box

    Power Through Play: Thinking Energy Outside the BoxMIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [XIV]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    According to the World Bank (2019), roughly 1 billion people have no access to electricity whatsoever, but a Nigerian-American entrepreneur thinks football might be the solution. How is it possible? The story begins with Harvard graduate Jessica... More



    The Million Dollar Pixels: How a Student’s Idea Changed the Internet for the Better

    The Million Dollar Pixels: How a Student’s Idea Changed the Internet for the BetterMIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [XIII]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The internet. A place where (almost) everybody can see (almost) everything (almost) for free. An incredible technological asset of humanity as a whole. But how can we find everything? Do we pay these people? How many people would agree to make the... More



    Bringing Lasting Positive Change for Women

    Bringing Lasting Positive Change for Women

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Any change brings both positive and negative consequences. Therefore, a development planner should respect various principles to promote change that minimizes negative effects. Also, certain priorities or values should be reflected. This... More



    Making History While Snacking: Microwave Meets Marketplace

    Making History While Snacking: Microwave Meets MarketplaceMIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [XII]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    World War II, going on between 1939 and 1945, was one of the bloodiest confrontations in the world. It cannot be overstated how much this conflict changed the course of history, for better (if anything good can be related to wars) or worse. For... More



    Think Fast: Interactive Filmmaking Puts Consumers in the Spotlight (Or Is It Just an Illusion?)

    Think Fast: Interactive Filmmaking Puts Consumers in the Spotlight (Or Is It Just an Illusion?)MIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [XI]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    In 1967, the cinephiles attending that year’s edition of Expo Montreal were left with the experience of a lifetime, having been submerged into a new dimension of film-making. Radúz Činčera’s vision brought the audiences a new perspective, as his... More



    The Risk of Poverty by Age-Groups in Romania

    The Risk of Poverty by Age-Groups in RomaniaHistory, on the verge of repeating itself after ten years

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The risk of poverty recorded in Romania for the entire population was higher in 2019 than in 2008, according to data published by Eurostat. Almost one in four Romanians (23.8%) had an equivalent level of disposable income less than 60%... More



    Centuries of “Concrete”-Solid Discoveries of the Humankind: From Building the Roman Empire Towards Contemporary Buildings

    Centuries of “Concrete”-Solid Discoveries of the Humankind: From Building the Roman Empire Towards Contemporary BuildingsMIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [X]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Have you ever questioned what lies at the basis of the so-called highly-developed cities, at the foundation of the tallest buildings worldwide or how the infrastructure came to life? The answer is directed towards… concrete. It built the modern world... More



    WaitSafe in the Pandemic: How to Fluently Reconcile Social Distancing with Personal Mobility

    WaitSafe in the Pandemic: How to Fluently Reconcile Social Distancing with Personal MobilityMIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s) [IX]

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The easing of the lockdown ignited with the advent of COVID-19 pandemic is still subject to strict conditions, as communities need to accommodate sanitary safety concerns with solutions for the freedom of movement for individuals, as the latter is a... More



    The Press – Social “Mediator” or “Instigator”?

    The Press – Social “Mediator” or “Instigator”?

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    On the 3rd of May we celebrate World Press Freedom Day. The power of the Press (hereinafter deliberately written with capital P, in speaking precisely of its societal vocation) and its impact on the average citizen and on the wider masses of the people is... More



    More than a Fifth of Romanians Are Employed by Multinationals

    More than a Fifth of Romanians Are Employed by MultinationalsFrance Took over from Germany

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Germany (16.6%), France (12.4%) and Italy (9.2%) are the countries that hold the largest share in the Romanian economy by the number of employees operating in 80,591 groups of enterprises, according to the data processed and... More



    COVID-19’s Distributions and Balances of Power

    COVID-19’s Distributions and Balances of PowerProfessor CEZAR MEREUȚĂ: “Understanding this is the new challenge the most powerful leaders in the world have to face”

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Who would have thought that precisely the most powerful countries on the planet, which invested the most in their health systems, registered the most cases of contamination with the new coronavirus? Well, an analysis by Professor Cezar... More



    The Romanian Government’s Underwhelming Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

    The Romanian Government’s Underwhelming Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The Romanian Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has nothing exceptional, no original idea, no single individualized policy, no special or particular focus. If Sweden, no matter how controversial, dared to pursue an individualized strategy... More



    European (Dis)Integration During Pandemics

    European (Dis)Integration During PandemicsLessons for EU members about the convergence of interests

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    The big aspirations of “Unity in diversity” within European speeches seem to fade, as the supranational gathering around connection and cooperation is now, in the context of the pandemic, an ideal with less commitment than before... More



    Romania – the Fourth EU Economy in the Share of Foreign Capital Enterprises

    Romania – the Fourth EU Economy in the Share of Foreign Capital EnterprisesAnd an Interesting Paradox

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Romania ranks fourth among EU Member States in terms of the share in gross value added (GVA) of enterprises with foreign capital (controlled from abroad) – FCE –, according to a study published by Eurostat, based on data from 2017... More



    Pandemic: How to Avoid What Is Worse

    Pandemic: How to Avoid What Is Worse

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    In addition to major health issues, COVID-19 creates major economic problems. The risk of a deep global recession is very high. It is a shock that reduces supply, especially through the shock on the labour force, through illness or social... More



    A Primer on Political Economy

    A Primer on Political Economy

    No. 23, May.-Jun. 2020

    Economist Walter E. Williams learned a principle of success by missing lunch. “At 13, I was a typical barbarian growing up in the slums of Philadelphia”, he recalls. “My mother supported us by working as a maid. Frivolous consumption often meant... More



    MORE ARTICLES

    Shakespeare & Eminescu – Measure for Measure

    Shakespeare & Eminescu – Measure for Measure

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Eminescu – widely celebrated by Romanians worldwide – may well be the most unknown great national poet to the English-speaking world.Without a doubt, Shakespeare is the most universally celebrated national poet. Eminescu, widely celebrated in Romania and by Romanians the world over, may well be the most unknown great national poet to the English speaking world.While excellent and varied renditions of the Bard’s plays in Romanian abound, Eminescu translations into English are not only scarce, but, to a large extent, unconvincing. Language competency plays its part, since Romanian translators have traditionally been scholars with a thorough understanding of the English language, literature and Shakespeare. Conversely, one can hardly find a native English translator with more than a superficial understanding of ‘folkloric’ Romanian. More

    On the “Awakening of Civic Consciousness”

    On the “Awakening of Civic Consciousness”

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    “A few revolutionists walk from house to house and knock at each door: “everybody in the street / it is outrageous to stay in the house!” And every conscience, the gimp, the blind, the crippled went to the market; none of them remained in the house! For half a century they ravaged, wailing and fighting. At home is misery, poverty and disorder, but the master is not interested in this. He went to the market to save his people – and this is easier and much more exciting that the unpleasant work from home.” More

    A Colchoneric Tragedy

    A Colchoneric Tragedy

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Santiago Roncagliolo did not do anything out of the usual. A young Peruvian writer, playwright, producer and journalist – a man of arts and letter, in a nutshell – emigrated to Spain at the turn of the century in search for a better life, in search of a career that he seemed to have been banned from in native Lima. This is the sort of brain-drain you get all over the world, sourced mainly underdeveloped countries. Santiago was only 27 when he settled in Madrid, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of García Márquez and Vargas Llosa, the ‘corps d’elite’ of Latin American erudite triumph on European soil. Full of ardor, he descended to Barajas ready to mesmerize with pen on paper. More

    Ethnogenesis in Davos

    Ethnogenesis in Davos

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The Davos World Economic Forum, established in 1971, is emblematic of our era for its courtship of notoriety, as opposed to the old Bilderberg Group’s more discrete operation, along with a calculated transparency regarding the power of those attending and the topics of high interest on a global level that are discussed (among some trivial diversions). If you are rich and affluent, then you will be present at Davos, and if you are present at Davos, then it is confirmed that you are rich and affluent. The fact that Davos is a phenomenon in itself, which transcends its components, is confirmed by the emergence of numerous events that imitate the Davos style or that take place simultaneously, just three streets away, in the ghetto of the millionaires in the alpine resort, so that the striving classes can also experience a counterfeit Davos for signalling their social status. When the famous Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington were silently confronting each other, the former with the theory of “the end of history” and the latter arguing for “an end of the beginning” (in Winston Churchill’s words) through the clash of civilizations, Huntington was the one proven right by history, not only through the rise of militant Islamism, but also after inventing the atavistic formula of the “Davos Man”. This subspecies of Homo sapiens sapiens has no national loyalties; he is able to consider himself a citizen of the world and to be inclined towards thinking globally and acting in this direction. More

    Opportunities for Romania

    Opportunities for Romania

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Just a couple of months ago, after I met an old friend, I came across a paper called ”100 opportunities for Finland and the World”; since then, after reading the pragmatic document, I began promoting it, hoping it would go viral and underscore that Romania has a similar need to the one the Finnish document addresses.. More

    Changing for Success

    Changing for Success

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Changes in business can either simply occur, or it can be implemented by people through knowledge, resources and strategy. Waiting for the “perfect” knowledge to make decisions might lead to missing opportunities, as there is no such thing as flawlessness. For each and every instance, one should assess what can be done best and make a decision to empower fellow colleagues or the project team to deal with a particular issue. More

    Striving Towards a Consensus

    Striving Towards a Consensus

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Almost a century ago today, Winston Churchill said that the Balkans produce more history than they can consume. It seems like this has remained unchanged over the years and Albania is no exception. Along with political events and conflicts in Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia, recent and momentous political developments are taking place in one of the most important countries for the stability of the Western Balkans. More

    Bulgaria – Geopolitical Near Future Outlook

    Bulgaria – Geopolitical Near Future Outlook

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Rapid progress in today’s modern world is also generating a significant speed-up of the rate with which social and technological challenges rise up to hinder the peoples of the 21st century. Bulgaria, through its position on the crossroads of the Balkans, has a rather complex geopolitical profile, influenced by neighbouring countries, by EU and NATO and by global and regional powers like Russia, the USA and Turkey. In this context, a multicriteria approach has to be outlined for social, economic and security facets, in order to achieve a more concrete future analysis. More

    The Big Misunderstanding with Bulgaria. Why Not Cross The Danube?

    The Big Misunderstanding with Bulgaria. Why Not Cross The Danube?

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    It seemed that this motto would best reflect the attitude of many Romanians, diplomats, experts, politicians, regarding the bilateral relations of Romania with her neighbour from across the Danube. For the Romanians, Bulgaria, located so closely, remains a distant land, a great unknown and a mysterious and even exotic place. Regardless, our stake in Bulgaria might turn out to be at least as important for Romania as the bilateral, trilateral, quadrilateral, multilateral formats, strategies, initiatives and partnerships that have been hatched for years in Bucharest by policymakers.  More

    The Hungarian Government’s Chase of “Foreign Agents”: The Orgy of Hypocrisy

    The Hungarian Government’s Chase of “Foreign Agents”: The Orgy of Hypocrisy

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Last month, Hungary made headlines in the international press again by making further steps towards Viktor Orbán’s illiberal dream, which was highlighted three years ago at an event in Băile Tușnad in Romania. Viktor Orbán’s government recently passed a law that enables the authorities to shut down the Central European University – the university established by George Soros, and operating in Hungary for more than two and a half decades. More

    Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Eurasian Economic Union: A Risky Game or an Opportunity?

    Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Eurasian Economic Union: A Risky Game or an Opportunity?

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The regional economic integration within the globalized world has been recognized as an important driver for economic growth and job creation. Hence, free trade is one of the essential points for future regional economic development that would lead to a more productive and competitive economic structure. In this respect, the Eurasian Economic Union, which came into force in 2015, aims to establish a single regional market with the elimination of all customs barriers between its Member States. Even though a number of Post-Soviet countries have already become members of the EEU, Azerbaijan has managed to maintain its neutral position in this regard.  More

    Iran in the South Caucasus – A Keystone to Nagorno-Karabakh?

    Iran in the South Caucasus – A Keystone to Nagorno-Karabakh?

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The Republic of Azerbaijan occupies a key geostrategic position in the region of the South Caucasus. Lying at the geographical crossroads, this country is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea and controls large reserves of hydrocarbon energy resources in the basin. This geographic location and geoeconomic importance of the area not only creates opportunities, but also generates threats, or at least challenges. More

    Macedonia – The Sounds of War Drums Are Mass Auditory Hallucinations

    Macedonia – The Sounds of War Drums Are Mass Auditory Hallucinations

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    It has been 16 years since the last war on the Balkan Peninsula. The last time anything resembling a war occurred, hundreds died and the small country of Macedonia was left with a reorganized political system, a crushed economy and a convulsing system of social relations. These days, we hear the dogs of war begin their gruesome growls yet again as rule of law collapses in the Republic of Macedonia, but you would be a fool to believe your ears. So what has been going on in Macedonia?  More

    Politics in the Republic of Moldova – Strong Essences in Tiny Bottles

    Politics in the Republic of Moldova – Strong Essences in Tiny Bottles

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The Republic of Moldova is a post-Soviet geopolitical entity, underdeveloped and currently maintained by financial interests, domestic and abroad: because of its geostrategic position in Eastern Europe, it is being used as an interface between the Eastern and the Western financial markets, an enabler for transactions and other movements that would otherwise not take place or be more difficult, especially for Russian oligarchs. At the same time, under this cover, Russian operatives affiliated to SVR are maintaining clandestine operations within the Western hemisphere because they have in their possession a “launching pad” – Transnistria, the first “frozen conflict” and the 14th Russian Army base, which can be used as a “pressure point” in different negotiations. Through this “open window” to Europe, plus their tradecraft ability, they are able to penetrate and control large swathes of the Republic: Russian speaking minorities, mass-media organizations and different political parties through businesses and other actors. More

    How to Steal a Billion in the Wild East

    How to Steal a Billion in the Wild East

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The Republic of Moldova is a very small state in the East of Europe, very far from the rich core of the continent. As an economy, it is one of the smallest in Europe, being the 41st largest economy of the continent (in Purchasing Power Parity methodology) and the 144th largest economy of the world, with a GDP of about 18 billion USD. In nominal terms, the size of the GDP is somewhere over 6 billion (6.8 last year, according to its own statistics). Small is not beautiful here: as an image for its poverty, the trade deficit is over 2 billion US dollars, about 30% of the GDP, and one fifth of the public budget is made up of foreign aid. More

    The Russian Federation and the Implementation of the A2/AD System in the Black Sea: Risks and Threats to Romania

    The Russian Federation and the Implementation of the A2/AD System in the Black Sea: Risks and Threats to Romania

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The Crimean Peninsula was under Tatar control until the end of the eighteenth century when Catherine II announced the annexation of the region in 1783 to the Russian Empire. She established the main naval base of the Russian Empire on the Black Sea in the city of Sevastopol in 1785. It retained its importance until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and the peninsula became part of independent Ukraine since it had been offered to the Ukrainian SSR as a gift in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union at that time, celebrating 300 years of Russian-Ukrainian friendship. The breakup of the Soviet Union meant that its successor state, the Russian Federation, lost the strategic position and the freedom of maneuver which Crimea offered in the Black Sea region. However, Moscow would regain its position on May 28th 1997 when Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma signed the Treaty of Friendship Cooperation and Partnership in Kiev. Among other things, it created the division of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet in two parts and allowed the use by the Russian Federation of the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol and its territorial waters until 2017, for 98 million dollars per year.[5] More

    Germany-Russia: Normative Deadlock and Confrontation Fatigue

    Germany-Russia: Normative Deadlock and Confrontation Fatigue

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Due to the Ukrainian crisis, political relations between Russia and Germany, which used to call each other “strategic partners” at an earlier date, have hit rock bottom. The Germans were embarrassed by the fact that Russia had undermined, in their view, the foundations of European security architecture of which Germany self-identifies as a key advocate. It even became known that Angela Merkel allegedly said, after one of the rounds of negotiations on Ukraine, that Vladimir Putin “exists in another reality”, which demonstrated very well the deepening communication failure. As a result, Germany was one of the initiators of economic sanctions against Russia, working closely with the Obama Administration on a common policy towards Moscow, and broke off all possible bilateral negotiation formats at the highest level. Some symbolic “red lines” were crossed: for instance, Germany became the framework nation for NATO reassurance forces in Lithuania, so the German army again approached the Western borders of Russia. Both sides described the current state of relations as a complete loss of trust. More

    Serbia's Geopolitical Position and Challenges, According to Its Elites

    Serbia's Geopolitical Position and Challenges, According to Its Elites

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Serbia is a state in the Balkans whose foreign policy should be well balanced to be effective, given the heavy historical legacy of the region and its susceptibility to distortions of global politics. That is why Serbia’s elites should know the position of their country in international relations well, and act in accordance with this knowledge. The main problem with this is that most of these elites are predominantly driven by their group and personal interests, rather than the national one. More

    Serbia – A Blockage of Options

    Serbia – A Blockage of Options

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The European continent is the most balanced from a civilizational and cultural standpoint, having a common history dating back at least a thousand years and whose co-evolution has meant that concepts of good governance, rule of law, checks and balances and others are interpreted in the same way, even though their application and success differ from one country to another. Despite this, there are four countries currently undergoing a crisis of options. In three of these cases, we are discussing a blockage of geopolitics and psychology, while the fourth option stands to resolve itself in time, according to current trends, even as reactionary forces try to stem the inevitable. This last state is the Republic of Moldova, whose Western path is more difficult and fraught with danger than for other countries, but whose direction is set by economic realities that cannot be denied. More

    The turning point for Turkey

    The turning point for Turkey

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    2016 proved to be a critical year for the Turkish economy, witnessing enhanced risks of falling into a recession.The situation has been marked by three important events that took place both internally and externally. First of all, last summer’s failed coup d’état and the subsequent repressive measures undertaken by the regime (with more than 50,000 people detained and other 100,000 sacked) outlined the instability of Turkey’s internal politics. Within this context, the European Union bestowed heavy criticism upon the Turkish authorities, and the European Parliament consequently decided on November 24th, 2016 to freeze the accession negotiations, on the basis of severe violations of human rights. More

    The Clash of Realism and Liberalism: Understanding the Nature of Cooperation on Energy Security between Turkey-Azerbaijan and Georgia

    The Clash of Realism and Liberalism: Understanding the Nature of Cooperation on Energy Security between Turkey-Azerbaijan and Georgia

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The South Caucasus is home to both important reserves of hydrocarbon resources (oil and gas) and a crossroads of transport routes which connect East and West, as well as North and South. However, despite its geographic significance, as Amanda Paul stated, “the region is one of the most security-challenged and fragmented regions in the world”. It is particularly true that, since the end of the Cold War, the political map of South Caucasus has changed dramatically and the region became a focus point for conflict and competition on the international political agenda. More

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

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

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

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

    Worrying about Wetware

    Worrying about Wetware

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    There is a silent revolution taking place in robotics, and automation in general. It is related not just the capabilities, but also the accessibility and affordability of the new means of production. Greater productivity is one of the results and the one most robo-evangelists cling to. The other is uncertainty. Our entire social and economic systems are predicated on working for income. This affects not just the life rhythms which human redundancy purports to improve, but also social status, consumption capacity and self-esteem. We will have to see if the revolution actually delivers on its promises, but even a partial result could lead to a hair-raising social upheaval, regardless of whether the final result is a net positive or not. In discussing past industrial revolutions, we often gloss over decades of labor unrest, migrations, community destruction and uncertainty in a few lines, with an intellectual carelessness more appropriate to Communist rationalizing of the piles of dead than humanist interest in the general welfare. More

    Robots and Empire(s)

    Robots and Empire(s)

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Few concepts have ever been as tightly related to the notion of technological advancement and the future in general as that of artificial intelligence. The idea of highly intelligent, even sentient robots permeating various facets of human activity and society has been a staple of science fiction since the past century. Though the term “robot” itself was introduced to the English language and the world by Czech playwright Karel Capek in 1920 (“robot” meaning “work” in Czech), robots and artificial intelligence were developed most prominently through the works of such authors as Isaac Asimov (one of whose novels lent its title to this article), Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick, while Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has also been viewed as another example of artificial beings appearing in fiction. The concept has been heavily featured in several blockbuster science fiction films and TV series as well, either as the main theme or as part of the technologically advanced future. Prominent examples include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Aliens, Star Wars, Terminator, The Matrix and more recently, Interstellar and Ex Machina. More

    On taxing the robots

    On taxing the robots

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Bill Gates, a pioneer in computer innovation, recently opened the gates to a debate that will become mainstream in the coming decades. He suggested that taxing robots would be a perfectly acceptable policy to defray the losses stemming from automation.His assumption is based on the correct fear that the advancements of high-tech industry threatens a large number of low to medium skilled jobs, of mostly equivalent income. This would lead to a high rate of unemployment in areas where automation may replace human labour. One wonders which sector is safe from the replacement of its labour force and the substitution of human capabilities. This is accompanied by reassurances of increased labour demand in the “caring sector” or other interpersonal service jobs. There is a growing need for caregivers for older people, people with special needs, helping children in education. It is logical to focus on areas that manifest increases in needs to reorient employment and then rely on innovation and automation to create wealth and increase productivity wherever possible, but there are some underlying assumptions which are left unchallenged, with regards to ease of reemployment, quality of remuneration and so on. More

    State-Building and Breaking

    State-Building and Breaking

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    We live in a world beset by inequalities. The differences between the highest and the lowest are, in stark economic terms, the highest they have ever been. Moving closer to the middle of the pack, we also see the frustrating persistence of lesser differences, that are nonetheless significant for politics, migration and consumption. This is apparent in the EU and is also apparent in the United States. The differences between parts of an interlinked system create a flow, generating energy that, in the case of society, may translate into vibrancy, creativity and entrepreneurship, or tensions, recrimination and violence. The “what” and the “who” of the matter stare us in the face every day and sometimes rile us from the polls and the voting booths. The “how” and the “why” are still open to discussions, and true answers are not forthcoming because they will invariably reflect our preconceptions. More

    The Course of Empire

    The Course of Empire

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    We no longer cultivate an understanding of history and art. Western democracies are increasingly relentless in denying their ancestors. The present sneers at the past with a sense of superiority that comes from simply being the present, with the ancient dead having no recourse or appeal against judgment rooted in contemporary bias. No other kind of ignorance indulges in current Western levels of self-flattery. More

    Debating the EU's Fiscal Union

    Debating the EU's Fiscal Union

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    A common European fiscal policy? Sure, but not too soon. This would be a simple answer to a very generous topic of debate among economists and decision makers.After the recent global economic crisis, where governments took most of the blame for their excessive indebtedness and for the lack of in-depth structural reforms, European Union (EU) proponents have pushed for a deeper integration of the EMU - “The Economic and Monetary Union”. The EMU is fundamental for the functioning of the EU structure. Economic integration has been historically the main driver for the continuous European integration project. More

    System-Of-Systems to the Rescue? Solving Unsolvable Problems

    System-Of-Systems to the Rescue? Solving Unsolvable Problems

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    The term system-of-systems is increasingly used to describe systems operating under conditions of ambiguity, complexity, emergence, interdependence, and uncertainty. Although there is a good understanding of the kinds of systems that could be considered as systems-of-systems, a consensus on an exact definition of the term has yet to emerge --- bringing into question the nature of solutions to the problem space of system-of-systems. Terms, including large-scale systems, socio-technical systems, and cyber-physical systems are often used. Convergence in different nomenclature is: system-of-systems exhibit several specific characteristics, to various degrees. These characteristics are the subject of this article along with challenges associated with using system-of-systems as an approach to address modern worrisome issues. More

    Romania and the Belt and Road Initiative

    Romania and the Belt and Road Initiative

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Historically, Romanian territories have been frequently a key to the geopolitical ambitions of the rising players on the international arena due to their strategic geographic position, Romania being located at a crossroads between the East and West, between the CIS, Middle East and Western spheres of influence, on the Danube and the Black Sea’s shores, rich in natural resources and with one of the highest degrees of energy independence in Europe. Nowadays, an additional advantage comes from its human resources, its educated class standing out in essential niches like various branches of the IT sector. More

    A Social Alloying Model for Immigration

    A Social Alloying Model for Immigration

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    When discussing the question of nationalism, I am not alone in believing that the traditional and biblical understanding of a “nation” as being based off of shared culture, mores, and traditions is superior to the modernistic “genetics only” view based on shared ancestry held by some people, including most of those who would subscribe to white nationalism. White nationalism is a concept that is alien to Europe, with its long history of intra-European ethnic and sectarian rivalries. In the United States, where the proverbial “melting pot” has almost obliterated the former ethnic and group distinctions between the various waves of European migration, a generic European blended ethnicity (an ethnic American) could be contemplated for political and identitarian purposes, first informally (in the “us vs them” of politics and culture) and then formally, through overt politicization, affirmative action privileges and quotas and through self-identification on census forms in an increasingly (and visibly) diverse nation More

    Space Debris – Visualizing the Risk and Informing Stakeholders

    Space Debris – Visualizing the Risk and Informing Stakeholders

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Everybody in a reasonably advanced society (and many of the not so advanced ones) uses products and services that are dependent on satellites and their specific capabilities, many of which cannot be substituted for on Earth. You may use satellite communications and weather prediction services, and sometimes you may use GPS (for transport, tourism and for tagging your friends on Facebook), but you are also consuming space services through intermediaries. Your Amazon order arrived safely, cheaply and on time through a GPS dependent global distribution service. The gadget you bought was the result of a globalized production chain kept viable by global communications, global transport and global finance. Your online payments, bank transactions and stock market investments are time stamped by atomic clocks located in GPS satellites. One day, you may even receive medical services or even have a robot perform surgery on you through telemedicine. And, in a crisis and emergency situation, space services such as Earth Observation are invaluable for decision makers and responders. The list goes on and on. More

    Plato’s Cave, American Edition

    Plato’s Cave, American Edition

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017

    Plato’s cave is a place where people sit chained seeing the shadows cast on the wall by a fire and thinking that that is reality. Escaping the cave requires a rough ascent into sunlight to experience reality as it is. A weird and troubling phenomenon is taking place in the political battles surrounding Donald Trump’s Presidency that will reverberate beyond this embattled term, as it sets a new low of public discourse which future political leaders and scandalmongers will find it easier to match. While there is a necessity for strategic ambiguity in politics, it has become impossible to distinguish reality from theater, especially since the media has decided to become a player and not an arbiter. More

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

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

    No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 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, which evaluate the employer branding strategy’s long term objectives. In order to successfully accomplish this project, Inspire Group, with the help of MKOR Consulting, analyzed 211 companies from 20 industries. The survey was conducted on all ages and professional positions from Romania, thus providing an realistic analysis of the labor market.  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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