The President's Message
Over the last two decades, Romania has dreamt to be reborn, like a Phoenix bird, from its own ashes. After all these dreams arisen from the tension of experiencing truly historic events, it is natural that Romanians should awake to reality and begin to
build a project for their country: a projected suited to the age in which we live, adequate to the circumstances in which they find themselves, proper for nation which would like to be recognised as European, but not entirely prepared for this course of action. Thus started the “incredible adventure” of Romanian democracy.
On its way towards European integration, under the constant pressure of international institutions, Romania was forced to go down the road to reforms, and the concept of “reform” itself has become, for many Romanians, a true myth, a veritable obsession. But the process has proven to be slow and precarious while its results have been relatively modest, at least up to now. Without any doubt, the conditions imposed to Romania by the European Union have been a catalyst for the reform of its internal structures. Yet, on this occasion, there also became apparent the insufficient institutional and administrative capacities of Romanian democratic structures.
This is why, in this complex context, the manner in which decision-makers got involved in the “shaping” of the Romanian society as a whole is a major theme of study for specialists and a disquieting topic for the watchful sector of the civil society.
Consolidating democracy, implementing good government practices, developing justice and anti-corruption systems in underdeveloped or developing countries have absorbed billions of dollars and Euros, and consistent support (both financial and technical) has come from abroad. External support forced the participants to adopt, implement, and internalise the values of liberal democracy; yet, the changes made differ from one country to another, both in what regards the speed at which they are implemented and their quality.
It is clear that the passage from “hybrid” regimes to “high quality” democracies is not a simple process, with a uniform and predictable evolution. Therefore, within the conceptual framework imposed by the need for a careful analysis of reforms comparative study plays a major role. This approach leads in a univocal manner to the conclusion that the application of the “rule of law” is a compulsory part in a series of ample and intricate processes; it presupposes the existence of major changes at the level if political morals, and the law is always called upon to protect political and civil liberties as decisive factors in the strengthening of the premises that guarantee the citizens’ rights in their relationship with the state. On the other hand, if a government is “ruled by law” this means that there is enough political will for the phenomenon of corruption to be drastically limited. The enforcement of the “rule of law” needs for the institutions of justice to be honest competent and efficient as they are called upon to guarantee citizen rights, that is, the essence of democracy, a goal which requires institutions that function solely according to laws and whose origin is in the system of law itself.
Bearing in mind Marc Bloch’s warning (“let’s not make the word politics a synonym of superficial”) CARJPS aims to encourage researchers as well as practitioners to study the concept of “rule of law”, the dynamics of political life, and politics’ major impact on the social. Therefore, the sociology of the state, of citizenship, as well as of political behaviours is also within the Centre’s scope of interest. And this is all the more so as approaching these fields – with rigour and strictly scientific objectivity – allows us to find answers to the acute questions of our time.
Anca Untu Dumitrescu
President of CARJPS