247. Romania's Return to its Western Identity: Internal Reforms and International Security ContributionJul 07, 2011
February 2002- Geographically, Romania lays in Central Europe, equidistant between the Atlantic and Urals Mountains. Our Latin language and cultural heritage - connected to the Mediterranean civilization, with ancient Greece and Rome - are part of Europe. Our political and intellectual elite, educated in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Paris, Berlin, Vienna or Rome, always defined their identity with reference to the values, ideas and developments of Western Europe.
55. National Identity and Cultural Self Definition: Modern and Postmodern Romanian Artistic ExpressionJul 07, 2011
The scope of this analysis is to discuss the extent of change of post-communist Romania’s cultural society in its self-definition, with its reclaimed national independence and its greater exposure to Western ideas, as well as the extent to which it parallels inter-war national identity developments. Some of the issues addressed include the following: How have globalization and modernization affected Romanian artistic expression in the post-1989 period? To what extent is contemporary Romanian artistic expression using the language of modernity to perpetuate old symbols of national identity?
January 2001- The results of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Romania in November- December 2000 came as a surprise to those unaware of the sharp decline in popularity of both President Emil Constantinescu and the Democratic Convention (CDR), the coalition that swept him into office in the November 1996 elections.
In this paper, the author examines the case of the Romanian Communist Party (RCP) and its most recent leader. Until the violent upheaval of December 1989, the RCP epitomized adamant anti-reformism. Its complete collapse cannot be explained without reference to its Obstinate refusal to engage in de-Stalinization.
A defining moment during my two-year stay in Romania, struggling with the archives there, occurred when an American history doctoral student, who was in Romania on a Fulbright grant, turned to me one day and earnestly asked why on earth I would ever pick Ana Pauker as a subject for a biography. He evidently failed to see the irony in his question, since he was writing a biography of Ion Antonescu, the wartime dictator of Romania.
December 1997 - Since the early 1990s, much of Romania's cultural politics has revolved around two crucial questions that have divided political and cultural elites in the region for much of this century. First, what does it mean to be Romanian in an ethnic or national sense? And second, how do non-Romanians fit into the politics of a country that is defined in the first sentence of its constitution as a "national and unitary" state? In other words, how does "Romanianness" relate to the boundaries of the Romanian state? Nowhere are these issues as strikingly revealed as in the politics of language. Many of these questions have equal importance in the "other" Romanian state, the Republic of Moldova, although the Moldovan case provides some instructive contrasts.
September 2001- The tragedy of the Jews of Banat and Southern Transylvania was different from that of the Jews of the Old Kingdom of Romania. The dictatorial regimes of King Carol II and Marshall Ion Antonescu did not recognize the civil rights granted by the 1923 Constitution. The Jews were discriminated against on the basis of the historical regions in which they lived. The pretexts of the authorities were that: the Jews of Transylvania did not participate in the Romanian War of Independence (deliberately ignoring the fact that in 1877 they were citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire); did not fight in the Balkan Wars of 1912- 1913; did not take part in the unionist propaganda; did not integrate into Romanian culture; and, many of them used Hungarian as a language of communication and culture.
From the moment the megalomaniac "Great Leader" Nicolae Ceausescu, who turned his onetime maverick country into the new basket case of Europe, was overthrown, Romania became a special case again. It has opted for neither the gradual transformation chosen by Poland and Hungary nor the "velvet" revolutions of Czechoslovakia and the now defunct German Democratic Republic; even in Bulgaria, the coup that toppled Todor Zhivkov was not violent. But in Romania, the popular uprising that led to Ceausescu's overthrow on 22 December 1989 cost 1,033 lives, inflicted heavy suffering to a further 2,198 people, and damaged buildings, some of them historically significant. This paper analyzes the role disillusionment, credibility, revisionist history, and legitimacy play in the unstable result of an unfinished revolution.
June 2004 - As eight post-communist countries entered the EU last May, Romania was among the few applicant countries that did not manage to implement the accession criteria. Like the other applicant countries, Romania has been aggressively lobbying to enter Western institutions and it has been successful in arguing for its geostrategic importance in Europe, as is reflected by the fact that it was admitted to NATO last June. Yet, despite the strides it has taken and its commitment to recreating the western ideal at home, Romania is still far behind most of its neighbors in its transition from communism to liberal democracy. Here, I will attempt to address the major obstacles to Romania's progress and the country's prospects for stepping up the pace of reforms in the near future.
April 1998 - Prior to the revolution of December 1989, communist-controlled Romanian Radio and Television was the country's only broadcasting station. The government's incessant quest to save energy limited TV programming to two hours a day, from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. Day in and day out, the program began with a newscast on the activities of Nicolae Ceausescu, the president of Romania, and his wife, Elena. Had he done something important, this would be the only news that day. The first item to be sacrificed in this case was the international news. Sometimes the entire newscast or even the entire program was dedicated to Ceausescu's "extraordinary deeds and brilliant speeches."