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Central and Eastern Europe as a Double Periphery?

Volume of proceedings from the 11th CEE Forum Conference in Bratislava,

by Tomáš Gábriš (Volume editor) Ján Sombati (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 220 Pages

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Foreword
  • I. Central and Eastern Europe and double peripherality: Key notions
  • Being Central European, or some reflections on law, double peripherality and the political in times of transformation1
  • II. Migrating legal concepts?
  • The regional migration of a constitutional idea: Qualified laws as instruments for the protection of fundamental rights in Central Europe
  • Proportionality and balancing in the practice of the Constitutional Court of Croatia from the theoretical framework of Robert Alexy
  • III. Freedom, respect and reason in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Towards deliberative democracy: Bivalence and trivalence in a new paradigm of Republicanism
  • On perception of freedom in post-socialist Central Europe
  • ‘Free Church in a free State’? When the public knowledge limits the practice of the faith
  • IV. Social policy: The showcase of the CEE region?
  • Public care for children in need of help and protection in Slovakia since the end of the 19th century until the mid-20th century
  • Sovietization of Czechoslovakia illustrated by the example of social security1
  • V. Darker legacies of the CEE region
  • State-managed parallel economy in the socialist economic system: Evidence and conceptualisation from recently disclosed historical records
  • Show trials – Law between ideological-political ends and legal values1
  • Series index

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List of Contributors

Enrico Arona

University of Genoa (Italy), Faculty of Law

Marin Keršić

University of Split (Croatia), Faculty of Law

Andrea Kluknavská

Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia), Faculty of Law

Miriam Laclavíková

Trnava University in Trnava (Slovakia), Faculty of Law

Rafał Mańko

University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Faculty of Law, Amsterdam Centre for Transformative Private Law (ACT)

Marica Mišić

University of Niš (Serbia), Faculty of Law

Ladislav Mrklas

CEVRO Institute, Prague (Czech Republic), Department of Political Science and International Relations

Rado Pezdir

University of Primorska (Slovenia); International School for Social and Business Studies; RE-FORMA, Research and Development, Ltd.

Josef Šíma

CEVRO Institute, Prague (Czech Republic), Department of Economics

Janez Šušteršič

RE-FORMA, Research and Development, Ltd. (Slovenia)

Adriana Švecová

Trnava University in Trnava (Slovakia), Faculty of Law

Boldizsár Szentgáli-Tóth

Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary), Institute of Legal Studies; Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), Constitutional Law Department

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Foreword

The 2019 Central and Eastern European (CEE) Forum conference was hosted by the Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Law, Department of Theory of Law and Social Sciences. The University, founded in 1919, is one of the leading research centres in Slovakia, with a broad array of international contacts and cooperation both in the field of natural sciences as well as in social sciences and humanities. The host institution thus offered an ideal venue for an interdisciplinary event of young legal, political and social theorists.

In the most general terms, the agenda of the 11th CEE Forum Conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, held on 25–26 April 2019 was focused on the reassessment of the CEE position in Europe and in the world, seeking for the specificities of this region, being often perceived as a double periphery – of the West and of the East. Since thirty years have passed since the disintegration of the bipolar world, the time has come for a critical reconsideration of the earlier scholarly findings or commonplaces and the formulation of more nuanced and refined conclusions.

Special emphasis was to be put on the following sub-topics, while expecting a thorough theoretical analysis of these:

(1) Colonialism, postcolonialism and neocolonialism – that is positioning and reconsidering the CEE in terms of province/periphery versus centre, dominance/hegemony versus subordination/subaltern status, power versus weakness, globalisation, Europeanisation and Americanisation.

(2) CEE on the Map of Europe – focusing on the continuities and discontinuities in constitutional terms and constitutional, political and economic transitions.

(3) States versus Nations/People – reassessing the Rule of Law, role of the Constitutions, sovereignty of the People and legal and political problems with nations and nationalism in the CEE region.

(4) CEE Legal Culture – attempting at identification of common features of legal systems in the CEE region, with emphasis on the role of ←9 | 10→migrating legal concepts – legal transplants, legal imports and exports and legal multiculturalism.

(5) A Bridge or a Battlefield between the Worlds? – reconsidering the situation of civil society and free media in the CEE region and the position of the ‘Other’ in the CEE region.

Of course, not all the topics were indeed discussed in detail and even in case of those discussed, the final word has definitely not yet been spoken. Nevertheless, the topics offered a food for thought and incited long-lasting debates both during the conference as well as within the unofficial parts of the program.

As in the previous CEE Forum meetings, the target audience was the community of young theorists either working in CEE or studying topics with CEE dimensions, including young academics affiliated to the universities or research institutes outside the CEE region, with Central or Eastern European research interests. The selection of chapters offered by the organizers in this volume thus provides an up-to-date view of the CEE region and issues and problems shared by the CEE countries, 30 years after the 1989 changes. The views and perspectives offered thereby include both those of insiders as well as those from outside the CEE region – whereby even those from the outside clearly have an important message to convey for the current situation in CEE.

About the contributions

Our starting point in this book is what Rafał Mańko in his contribution calls a peripheral status of the CEE countries. He claims this region is marked by relatively short traditions of a national legal system and national legal culture, and the dominance of legal transfers – being two factors common for all CEE countries. And one may certainly add the authoritarian and bureaucratic traditions on top of that. Only the period of actually existing socialism might be considered as a period of advancement of some original ideas, with numerous attempts at modernising the region of CEE through free education and healthcare, and of the economy through planned industrialisation However, what was left from this period in legal terms was generally rejected and considered inferior in comparison with the West, the socialist heritage being aligned with the well-known ←10 | 11→phenomenon of ultraformalism or hyperpositivism in law. Nevertheless, the author claims that currently, after the failed attempts at imitating the Western world in the past decades, the older traditions are being revived once again – the CEE region is now witnessing a start of its another transformation, leaving behind the unfulfilled ideals of liberal democracy.

A number of arguments suggested by Rafał Mańko are echoed in other chapters within this volume, his chapter hence providing uniting leitmotivs for the whole volume. For example, concerning legal transfers, Boldizsár Szentgáli-Tóth’s chapter proves that the CEE region is strongly influenced by legal borrowings – he shows this on the example of ‘qualified laws’, being close to Western organic laws and to ‘laws with constitutional force’. The author thereby reconsiders the role and importance of this type of legislation during the transition period after 1989, claiming to having identified their task in guaranteeing the protection of fundamental rights in this region. Still, he also points to the fact that the evolution in individual CEE countries was not uniform, and each country has undergone specific development with regard to this type of legislation.

Similarly, Marin Keršić in his chapter explains the ‘migration’ of the idea of proportionality and balancing of principles as suggested by Robert Alexy, from Germany into the case law of Croatian Constitutional Court. The author is doing that on the analysis on selected cases where the Constitutional Court of Croatia explained the ideas of proportionality and balancing, based also on Article 16 of the Croatian Constitution, being a so-called balancing regulating norm.

The following section of the book dwells on an underlying idea of relationship between freedom and unfreedom in the CEE region. First of all, Enrico Arona reconsiders the idea of political freedom in analytical terms of freedom, unfreedom and not-freedom, claiming that there is a middle category, tertium datur, between the two extremes, himself being thus a representative of a trivalent theory of freedom – maybe reflecting the experience of the CEE region in political terms of yesterday and of tomorrow.

Building on the previous chapter, Josef Šíma and Ladislav Mrklas reassess the importance of freedom and unfreedom specifically in the Visegrad countries, whereby they explain that different historical experience is often the reason for current differences among the CEE countries in terms of ←11 | 12→their approach to liberal democracy and to liberalism and libertarianism in broader terms.

Summary

The agenda of the 11th CEE Forum Conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, held on 25-26 April 2019 was focused on the reassessment of the Central and Eastern European position in Europe and in the world, seeking for the specificities of this region, being often perceived as a double periphery – of the West and of the East. Since thirty years have passed since the disintegration of the bipolar world, the time has come for a critical reconsideration of the earlier scholarly findings or commonplaces and the formulation of more nuanced and refined conclusions. The selection of papers offered by the organizers in this volume provides an up-to-date view of the CEE region and issues and problems shared by the CEE countries

Biographical notes

Tomáš Gábriš (Volume editor) Ján Sombati (Volume editor)

Ján Sombati works at the Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), Faculty of Law. He focuses on the regional and comparative legal history. Tomáš Gábriš is employed at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of State and Law, specialising in theory, philosophy and history of law.

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Title: Central and Eastern Europe as a Double Periphery?