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Rediscovering The Roots Of Romanian Political Culture

3244 words - 13 pages

Communism is gone. And with it, the whole programme of "climbing on the upper stairs of history" (by political, economic and cultural transformations) failed, too. Interestingly enough, it could be asserted that, during the 1989 changes, we have all witnessed the failure of, not one type of communism, but to that of more. By this statement, I am referring to the fact that these total transformations - as the main declaratory purpose of the communist regimes - have been pursued in societies with some of the most diverse historical and cultural traditions (leading to what can be labeled as the nationalizations of communism).In his book, "Politics in Eastern Europe"(1) , Schopflin argues in a very limitative way that "the pre[communism]-existing systems had been destroyed and nothing lasting was put in their place". He however does not take into consideration the exact point mentioned earlier and the fact that, when talking about a political community, there can be no such discourse about a political culture vacuum. No matter whether the exponents of a traditionalist-type political culture or a civic culture (2) one, people will always have some interiorized values, beliefs, emotions, representations about the political life in general and will always develop behavioral responses accordingly. Regime and society have a continuous and systematic impact on one another as structure and culture could and will "be viewed as establishing mutual, though not necessarily equal limits for one another" (3) .This paper tries to answer (in a very modest way, both in what concerns its extent and its scientific instruments - mainly inferential) to one of Archie Brown's challenges, namely the analysis of the relationship between political culture and political change (4) applied to the Romanian case. More precisely, it is concerned to answer to a few questions related to one another: How did communism influence the political culture of Romanians? Did it succeed in its attempt of transforming the official political culture into a dominant (5) one, meaning the total changing of the society and its political culture? Are the present arguments that the main flaws of the Romanian society's political culture are to be found in the communist rule legitimated?This is, actually, the reason that explains the subject of the paper: the discourses, which sustain that Romanian political culture was perverted (exclusively) by the communist regime, are simple stereotypes and should be abandoned in favor of a more sensitive to a large diversity of arguments approach.Political culture variables are subject to the continuity and change interpretation. This paper is trying to uncover mainly the continuities in Romanian political culture by an analysis at the community level, ignoring thus both the regime and the elite political cultures as conceptualized by Jowitt (6). However, an explanatory note is to be made - the legacy of backwardness, which will be detailed latter on, acted in...

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