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Publicat în 16 iulie 2014, 15:32 / 622 elite & idei

Laurențiu Ștefan: SCOPE 2014 – Beyond expectations!

Laurențiu Ștefan: SCOPE 2014 – Beyond expectations!

by Laurențiu Ștefan

I congratulate all of those who decided to carry on their shoulders the burden of organizing a conference of such a SCOPE (easy pun!). It was a great academic event, set at the very high standards. I have been there the whole day of Saturday – how could I miss the privilege of listening to Donatella della Porta and to the old friend of our Faculty, Jean Michel de Waele (below with Ionela Baluta and on the right of the picture Leonardo Morlino).

I was especially keen in hearing about methodological pluralism from Donatella della Porta, something I preach to my students as well. Explanation or understanding? For me, who spent years in reading about hermeneutics (Adrian Marino “reading” Mircea Eliade), there is no doubt: understanding “the meaning” (why?). But this is in the skies, on the earth we have explanations, or at least answers to the “what (may have) caused” question.

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Micro analysis and back to the individualist (vs. holist) approach. Note that we should take into account not only the rationality of the agents, but also their emotions. This is how we slide into psychology (should we recall that one of the major works by one of the founders of modern political science Harold D. Lasswell, was called Psychopathology and Politics?) And now we understand better that methodological pluralism is more than triangulation…

I also enjoyed the papers in Claudiu Tufis’ panel. I liked the boldness of my good old friend Florin Fesnic (whom I have not seen in years) who tries to explain the divergent democratic paths of Poland and Hungary through the content and substance of the civic education in the two countries. I admired Maria-Sophie Thuerk and Corinna Kroeber who dared to question the open electorate of the ethnic minorities in Romania. They think this is the cause for the lack of responsiveness of the 18 representatives in the Romanian Parliament of the ethnic minorities. They have to streamline the argument and maybe to refocus, but this would be eventually an interesting paper.

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Back in the 19th century Romania with Constanta Vintila-Ghitulescu, Raluca Alexandrescu and Silvia Marton. What I was doing there – one may ask? It was not necessary my admiration for my free distinguished colleagues, but a trip in time almost twenty years, when I was drafting my graduation thesis on the process of modernization in XIXth century Romania (yes, in French!). I did work on, and study intensly  the first decades on that “awakening” century, especially the fourth decade. I was especially tuned to Silvia’s profile of MPs and followed with ears wide open the discussion on professionalization of legislators at the end of the 19th century. I was not surprised when she addressed me directly to join forces to do a systematic study of MPs of that period. I am excited about this idea, especially since this is a failed followed-up project to Romania’s contribution to the Parliamentary Representatives in Europe 1848-2000 Legislative Recruitment and Careers in Eleven European CountriesEURELITE project. All the Western countries included in Best and Cotta’s 2000 volume (see below) cover a century and a half (since 1848). Are we able to do the same? We will see.

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