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Democratization and securitization [electronic resource] : the case of Romania /
by Adina Marina Stefan.
imprint
Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2009.
description
xvii, 335 p. : map ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9004177396 (hardback : alk. paper), 9789004177390 (hardback : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2009.
isbn
9004177396 (hardback : alk. paper)
9789004177390 (hardback : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
11664938
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Introduction or Preface
FOREWORD1999 was a critical year for Romania. For almost three weeks in January, a miners' riot which had all the characteristics of a coup d'├ętat endangered the existence of the weak Romanian democratic institutions. Every day the miners reassessed their determination to march to Bucharest unless they had seen their demands fulfilled. Every day the media announced an imminent assault of the miners on the capital. Images of angry faces and violent clashes with the police forces invaded the TV news shows and tabloids. No barricade or obstacle was able to stop them. The miners were marching in disciplined rows and had organised patrols to observe the movements of the gendarmes. It seems that only God, by letting it snow, can put an end to their well-organized move remarked a reporter. That something like this could happen ten years after the collapse of communism, astonished everybody. Politicians and media analysts busily debated the new international security challenges and predicaments, but nobody seemed to pay attention to internal security threats. This is how I realised that the disruptive potential of domestic vulnerabilities is sometimes underestimated in favour of external threats.When I started to write this book I was interested in security matters and securitization in Romania and in the role of defence structures in these processes. While doing my research, I came to the conclusion that I would have to expand my subject. The more I read about securitization and the circumstances that create a favourable environment for it, the more I realised that these were all elements typical of a democratic society. In Romania, in many cases, these elements were clearly in an embryonic stage, which rose questions about the possibility to identify elements particular to the securitization logic. As securitization cannot take place without public consent, it became obvious that the first investigation phase of my book would have to focus on the formation of a participatory political culture, that is, the emergence and development of a democratic system. In the absence of a democratic society it would be futile to search for securitization attempts.Moreover, not only defence structures play a role in these processes but also other political and non-political actors, leading me back, again, to participation and implicitly to democratization. Finally, while analysing securitization movements in Romania, many outcomes proved relevant to the development of a democratic culture in general, giving new significance to the link between democratization and securitization. None of the processes, namely, could register progress in the absence of the other. Consequently, the topic of my book had to include both democratization and securitization.In dealing with the Romanian case, I sometimes use very detailed examples. My intention is to offer readers the possibility to draw their own conclusions besides the ones presented by the author. Moreover, as the specialised literature referring to Romanian society is not very abundant, I aim at contributing to all those interested in Romania's recent history and transformation. Another interesting point in this book refers to Romania's integration in the European Union. The pre-accession phase was marked by very vibrant activity especially among politicians. EU conditionality worked remarkably before 2007 (on 1 January 2007 Romania became a EU member) while it had almost no noticeable results afterwards. Moreover, the fight against high-level corruption and judiciary reform have even made few steps back. Romania is not an isolated case in this sense, other examples are Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, but this could mean that, in order to induce further sustainable and irreversible progress of the newcomers, the EU has to find other means of ensuring them (clearly, the safeguard clauses have not made enough impression on the local political class).Still, a great deal of progress has been registered in the last few years despite a tense and quarrelsome governing coalition. The independence of the judicial power, the fight against high-level corruption and the reform of the political class can be attributed to a strong political will that put things in motion, and to the maturation of non-governmental organizations that play their mediating role in society. Hence, my vision is that Romania is going through a constructive transformation that will eventually lead to a consolidated democracy.Adina StefanBucharest, December 2008 Amsterdam, January 2009
First Chapter
FOREWORD 1999 was a critical year for Romania. For almost three weeks in January, a miners’ riot which had all the characteristics of a coup d’état endangered the existence of the weak Romanian democratic institutions. Every day the miners reassessed their determination to march to Bucharest unless they had seen their demands fulfilled. Every day the media announced an imminent assault of the miners on the capital. Images of angry faces and violent clashes with the police forces invaded the TV news shows and tabloids. No barricade or obstacle was able to stop them. The miners were marching in disciplined rows and had organised patrols to observe the movements of the gendarmes. It seems that only God, by letting it snow, can put an end to their well-organized move remarked a reporter. That something like this could happen ten years after the collapse of communism, astonished everybody. Politicians and media analysts busily debated the new international security challenges and predicaments, but nobody seemed to pay attention to internal security threats. This is how I realised that the disruptive potential of domestic vulnerabilities is sometimes underestimated in favour of external threats. When I started to write this book I was interested in security matters and securitization in Romania and in the role of defence structures in these processes. While doing my research, I came to the conclusion that I would have to expand my subject. The more I read about securitization and the circumstances that create a favourable environment for it, the more I realised that these were all elements typical of a democratic society. In Romania, in many cases, these elements were clearly in an embryonic stage, which rose questions about the possibility to identify elements particular to the securitization logic. As securitization cannot take place without public consent, it became obvious that the first investigation phase of my book would have to focus on the formation of a participatory political culture, that is, the emergence and development of a democratic system. In the absence of a democratic society it would be futile to search for securitization attempts. Moreover, not only defence structures play a role in these processes but also other political and non-political actors, leading me back, again, to participation and – implicitly – to democratization. Finally, while analysing securitization movements in Romania, many outcomes proved relevant to the development of a democratic culture in general, giving new significance to the link between democratization and securitization. None of the processes, namely, could register progress in the absence of the other. Consequently, the topic of my book had to include both democratization and securitization. In dealing with the Romanian case, I sometimes use very detailed examples. My intention is to offer readers the possibility to draw their own conclusions besides the ones presented by the author. Moreover, as the specialised literature referring to Romanian society is not very abundant, I aim at contributing to all those interested in Romania’s recent history and transformation. Another interesting point in this book refers to Romania’s integration in the European Union. The pre-accession phase was marked by very vibrant activity especially among politicians. EU conditionality worked remarkably before 2007 (on 1 January 2007 Romania became a EU member) while it had almost no noticeable results afterwards. Moreover, the fight against high-level corruption and judiciary reform have even made few steps back. Romania is not an isolated case in this sense, other examples are Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, but this could mean that, in order to induce further sustainable and irreversible progress of the newcomers, the EU has to find other means of ensuring them (clearly, the safeguard clauses have not made enough impression on the local political class). Still, a great deal of progress has been registered in the last few years despite a tense and quarrelsome governing coalition. The independence of the judicial power, the fight against high-level corruption and the reform of the political class can be attributed to a strong political will that put things in motion, and to the maturation of non-governmental organizations that play their mediating role in society. Hence, my vision is that Romania is going through a constructive transformation that will eventually lead to a consolidated democracy. Adina Stefan Bucharest, December 2008 – Amsterdam, January 2009
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Reader
The academic world (professors/lecturers and students), political analysts and advisers, specialized journalists (democratization and security issues), non-governmental organizations (political and environmental researchers and experts), experts in ethnic issues, politicians.
Long Description
Securitization and Democratization reveals the mutual dependency between democratization and securitization, two processes that while evolving reinforce each other. The study of the democratic consolidation is complemented by the more complex and dynamic securitization elements that offer an in-depth view of the internal threats to be faced. Ms. Stefan's analysis creates an articulated and coherent concept underlying the close dependence between democracy and security. As a study case, Romania provides a wide scale of situations in several security sectors and contributes to building a model that is operational in any post-communist society.
Main Description
Focusing on the political, societal and environmental fields, Adina Stefan investigates in "Securitization and Democratization" the contribution of both political and civil society actors to the democratization and securitization processes in Romania after 1989.
Main Description
"Securitization and Democratization" reveals the mutual dependency between democratization and securitization, two processes that while evolving reinforce each other. The study of the democratic consolidation is complemented by the more complex and dynamic securitization elements that offer an in-depth view of the internal threats to be faced. Ms. Stefans analysis creates an articulated and coherent concept underlying the close dependence between democracy and security. As a study case, Romania provides a wide scale of situations in several security sectors and contributes to building a model that is operational in any post-communist society.
Main Description
Securitization and Democratizationreveals the mutual dependency between democratization and securitization, two processes that while evolving reinforce each other. The study of the democratic consolidation is complemented by the more complex and dynamic securitization elements that offer an in-depth view of the internal threats to be faced. Ms. Stefan's analysis creates an articulated and coherent concept underlying the close dependence between democracy and security. As a study case, Romania provides a wide scale of situations in several security sectors and contributes to building a model that is operational in any post-communist society.

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