seejps-1-3

Coordinated by Gheorghe STOICA

 The Democratic Domination in Romania: NGOs, Procedural Politics and Anti-communism

Antoine HEEMERYCK

“Spiru Haret” University

Abstract: The aim of the present article is to consider the viewpoint that the dominant NGOs in the field of democratisation are ideological actors working in harmony with the relations of domination on global scale and that, paradoxically, their objective is to emancipate from a peripheral position. To support this idea, I shall take the example of the largest NGO in the field of democratisation in Romania without limiting the analysis solely to this organism. In the first instance I shall describe its profile and sketch a few articulations with his immediate social and political environment. Then I shall make a review of its activities. I shall focus on the discourses and representations that legitimise its actions and position in the Romanian society. The political foundations of technology used by NGOs and their political enterprise will emerge thereafter more clearly. I intend to show that democratisation reproduces the pattern of a symbolic integration in the world.

Keywords: globalisation, NGO, democracy, anti-communism, political domination, Romania.

 

Since the fall of communism, the countries of Eastern Europe are the subject of an intense campaign of democratisation. The European Union and the member States, as well as the USA, monitor acutely both the road oftransition” to democracy and the market economy. We can identify in this concern an injunction to follow those patterns of society established in the Western world. The desire to impose a political framework under the guise of exporting democracy, which is perhaps more easily identifiable in the case of the post-communist countries of Europe, is a manifestation of the most important changes occurred in the relations of domination in the world. Post-communist countries are actually captive of the redeployment of power relations in the wake of the end of the Cold War. NATO’s and EU’s enlargement clearly illustrates this trend. The exported model of governmentality, in the sense forged by Michel Foucault[1], takes place in this dynamics of changes. It assumes an inequality between institutions exporting a model of “development” and dependent nation-States, which are supposed to assimilate these models.

Among the standards that shape the balance of power, democracy and human rights have become an operator of hierarchy between societies through a virtual worldwide projection. The breakthrough comes as a corollary to the end of the doctrine of state sovereignty in favour of other political actors, such as multilateral institutions, regions, cities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), transnational networks and other private corporations[2]. Thus, democracy and human rights are now more than the mere representation of a set of practices and political systems. Here, by standard I mean the dominant theoretical framework and the “right” management of the “good” society that respects more or less the internationally promoted ideological forms of governance. The standard policy goes hand in hand with other norms such as market economy, transparency, respect for minority rights, children’s and women’s rights, etc. On this matter, any society which does not meet the contours of this pattern is considered to be marginal or even pathologic. This point is confirmed, for example, by the recurrent use of the terms of “shock therapy” and “transition”. These standards are also instruments of coercion. Their use and validity are closely linked to the fact that states and their economies are heavily dependent on Western donors (multilateral donors included). Furthermore, these standards are also validated locally, because of the existence of a horizon of plural expectations. For the population, the fall of communism has represented a breath of fresh air generating disproportionate expectations in the future.

In this engineering, NGOs occupy a prominent place[3]. They are responsible for ensuring the incorporation of the standards of democracy and the rule of law. They are considered instruments of the extraction of pathology and societal deviance. They also serve as an indicator of “good governance” and their function is to monitor public institutions and expose their abuses – to the multilateral institutions and the media. A priori, a reflection on these organisations is pertinent to the study of new forms of (political and social) commitment and collective action in the sphere of democratisation, citizenship and human rights. After the fall of the communist regime which had banned and suppressed all forms of collective mobilisation and political pluralism, we could anticipate and expect effervescence in this field.

In this context, Romania has a very interesting sociological profile. Romania is regarded as a marginal region of Europe. Very often this society is severely criticised in the discourses of Western diplomats. And at the same time, her citizens who emigrated in the West play the role of actual foreign threat. Under these circumstances, local NGOs are situated in between the aspirations of the indigenous population and an obligation of compliance vis-à-vis their Western donors – two political trends that may becontradictory.

The aim of this article is to consider the viewpoint that the dominant NGOs in the field of democratisation are ideological actors working in harmony with the relations of domination on global scale and that, paradoxically, their objective is to emancipate from a peripheral position. To support this idea, I shall take the example of the largest NGO in the field of democratisation in Romania without limiting the analysis to this singular enterprise[4]. In the first instance I shall describe its profile and sketch a few articulations with its immediate social and political environment. Then I shall make a review of its activities. I shall focus on the discourses and representations that legitimise its actions and position in the Romanian society. The political foundations of technology used by NGOs and their political enterprise will emerge thereafter more clearly. I intended to show that democratisation reproduces the pattern of a symbolic integration in the world.

To treat this matter as part of an article implies to deliberately ignore a significant number of minor differences between the various players in the field of democratisation fostered by NGOs and between different countries. However, the NGO’s programs are almost invariable because its donors are the same all over the ex-USSR and Central and Eastern Europe.

 

1. THE NGOs IN THE DEMOCRATIC DOXA 

Civil society is not homogeneous. Au contraire. In mass-media, civil society is composed at most of a dozen NGOs which speak in the name of the whole civil society. In this perspective, civil society is a fiction, unified and moulded with the aid of mass-media. In reality, this is a fringe of NGOs, those that have implemented long term media strategies term and have had the possibility to strengthen these relationships. They are in fact at the top of the hierarchy of NGOs and civil society. In this small group, which also covers interpersonal social networks, the NGOs specialised in democratisation and the protection of human rights are the most prevalent. Let us mention just some of the most notable: the Pro-Democracy Association (PDA), the Romanian Association for the Defence of Human Rights-Helsinki Committee, the Academic Society ofRomania, Freedom House Romania, Transparency International Romania and the Open Society Foundation (OSF-Soros). PDA has the largest structure in terms of logistics. The association has thirty branches covering the entire territory of Romania.

PDA was founded in August 1990 by university professors from the city of Brasov at the instigation of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) after that institution had supervised the first elections in post-communist Romania. NDI represents with the IRI (International Republican Institute) one of the “four pillars” of U.S. foreign policy[5]. The internal organisation of PDA and its modes of action, like those of other NGOs, champions of democratisation, are closely inspired by the above-mentioned institute[6]. The organisation was created to ensure the correctness of the electoral processes in a context of civil violence and political uncertainty. Today it is the largest organisation in the field of democratisation in Romania. On an international and transnational scale, it is part of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organization (ENEMO[7]) that acts both in Eastern Europe and in Central Asian countries and which in recent years played a very important role in all the revolutions, from Ukraine to Central Asia[8].

Officially, the targets of its actions are the laws, the constitution, public institutions, political parties and the citizens. In this respect, PDA meets perfectly the principles of intervention advocated by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which has a response plan including: citizen participation, democratic governance, elections, local government, the development of political parties, etc. NDI does not have a very different perspective from the other institutions such as USAID or NED, which are the two big platforms delivering aid for the development of democracy and civil society. If these programs seem rather abstract and flexible, the fact remains that they reduce the space of possibilities in terms of collective action and instil a structure of changes with its thinkable and its unthought-of. The philosophy of its forms of action is rooted in a conception of constitutional transition to democracy. Obviously,anydemocracyneeds stronginstitutions. However, this is not a condition for democracy, but a part of the democratisation process.

The whole action of PDA is based on this vision of societal change. Several causes can be expounded as to explain this internalisation. First of all, the NGO is entirely founded by European donors and (above all) an American one. To obtain these funds, the organisation must conform to the assumptions of its donors or it risks being deprived of funding. This organisation, like all the other important organisations in this area, is financially dependent and ideologically subordinated. The uncritical adoption of these programs is due to fact that the members of the organisation had no other methods when the organisation had been founded. Even if there were questions about how to manage their actions, they were quickly forgotten. Also, the relationship of domination does not encourage the members who have internalised the stigma of belonging to communism to challenge the engineering of democracy promotion. Democracy, as political model and “global commodity” to export[9], needs no justification. If you are against or do call into question democracy promotion then you are a populist or a defender of dictatorship. This is one of the characteristics of the democratic (norm) domination.

Considering some examples of programs run by PDA should lead us to a better understanding of the particular perspective of this representative organisation and show that its work is conceived and organised according to the philosophy of its donors.

 

2. THE DEMOCRATIC TECHNOLOGY

The first aim of the NGO we are dealing with was to monitor the electoral processes. In 1990, its network structure allowed it to be present in all the major cities of Romania. Since then, evidence of frauds, dysfunctions and failures were numerous and repetitive. They provide PDA with legitimacy without which it would be difficult for this association to enforce its actions and its high level of professionalism. These true accusations were widely appreciated by the donors that clearly support the NGO; it does not hesitate to instrument these relations as leverage on political institutions. The activists involved in the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine, as well as those of Central Asia and the Caucasus[10] were trained by members of PDA. The results of Ukraine, as well as those obtained in Romania showed that the normalisation of the electoral process was not only a normalisation: elections have a tendency to be exploited to justify interference from the West in the national political processes. At the local level, politics, media and NGOs know how to use the fears of manipulation in an attempt to direct the votes of citizens. During the presidential and legislative elections of 2004, PDA continued to shake the trappings of the coup (by the Social Democratic Party, an opponent of the “Justice and Truth” alliance) to secure legislative changes. PDA even threatened to withdraw from monitoring the elections, which spurred the mobilisation of Western diplomats and local political parties. The recounting and checking of the ballots proved that the electoral frauds were rather insignificant. Nevertheless, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Adrian Nastase, was largely disadvantaged by the slogans of the NGO, even if the SDP had shown little consideration for the respect of human rights and freedom of speech during the 2000-2004 mandates.

Pursuing this election monitoring, PDA has been trying to promote a transformation of the electoral systems in Romania. The organisation tries to impose a compensatory mixed member voting system. It shares this project with several political parties (recommended initially by the IRI[11]) which, however, could not bring the reform to an end. To do this, the association led several petition campaigns. These projects have resulted in the establishment of a parliamentary committee in 2000 that finally refused to go through this draft legislation, despite having harvested about 100,000 signatures. The commission received the expertise of the President of the Academic Society ofRomania (which is also a NGO) to support a projection of election results. She argued, in contradiction with the president of PDA – a professor of political sciences –, that the political opposition could no longer enter the parliament if the reform of the voting system were to be adopted. In 2007, after a long series of attempts to take over this project, a variant of the uninominal voting system was submitted by the President of Romania, Traian Basescu (Democratic Liberal Party – right-wing), to an unsuccessful referendum[12]. Shortly after, The National Liberal Party (NLP – right-wing) auspiciously introduced another variant by single-member parliamentary, despite the lack of legitimacy of the polls. The municipal and departmental elections took place a few months later: dozens of mayors involved in corruption were re-elected in the first round (June 16, 2008).

To put it briefly, for the NGOs, to change society means to modify the political voting system and do that in the absence of the citizens’ consent. This is the first clue that indicates the proximity of public institutions and policies and a little disrespect for citizens concerned about a reform that does not seem to reflect a real social issue. There seems to be a gap or distance between political parties and NGOs and society.

PDA is also an active member of the “Coalition for a Clean Parliament”[13], which was created at the initiative of the Academic Society ofRomania, led by a political journalist, professor, former correspondent for Le Monde, trainee at National Endowment for Democracy and finally invited to Harvard University. The coalition’s objective is to eliminate the political field agents who do not meet four strict criteria: 1 - No business relationship allowed with public institutions while the candidate held an influential position in a public institution, a clause extending even to his/her family members, 2 - The non-migration from a political party to another during the same mandate, 3 - The absence of coherency between the personal patrimonies reported by the candidate and his/her real personal patrimonial assets. To be quite specific, let’s say that in Romania the law constrains elected officials to declare their patrimonial assets. This does not guarantee the veracity of this statement, usually falsified through various tricks[14]. The sanctions applied for the violations of this law are scarce. 4 - Finally, the candidate who worked for the former Securitate (the former political police) and/or was member of the Romanian Communist Party ought to be banned from party lists. This is what is locally called the deconspirare (literally: “dis-conspiracy”) of the Securitate and the lustration of the former members of the communist party.

Political parties have used this operation to exclude some of their members who practiced extortion too visibly, thereby gaining some credibility easily. These criteria are in fact a symbolic framework of unification. Here, corruption and communism complete each other and overlook the principle of universal suffrage, acting as an additional attribute. It is also a continuation of the metaphysical anti-communist discourse of political parties on the right-wing of the political stage in which NGOs members and intellectuals have largely participated since the fall of Ceausescu. Democratisation, therefore, contains the idea of a trial of communism. It seems to be a legacy originating from the cold war period.

The aim of this program of the President of the Academic Society ofRomania is also to do propaganda in favour of the candidates who benefit of her preference. Didshenot declare: “We have nopolitical leader, it is boring when you are abroad (in the West) to always have to answer the following question: which candidate of the opposition should the West put its money on?”[15] Of course, this personal opinion is relevant, because it is representative of the political aspirations of upper middle class. Some compromising omissions on the part of the coalition have also been noticed by the media. They concerned only candidates of the right-wing parties.

The issue of political migration from one party to another can be addressed with certain pragmatism by a local elected representative even, if it is clear that municipalities are enterprises where you can get rich quickly by illegal practices. The local political powers must have often the support of the County Council for their projects and to obtain the necessary training to have access to the structural funds provided by the European Union. Let’s note that the Coalition carefully avoids the question of the significant migration of NGOs to political parties too. This could unveil a conflict of interests.

Transparency is another angle of action of these organisations. PDA seeks to monitor the implementation of a law concerning the transparency of public institutions (544/2001). This program has to be seen as a part of the necessity of adapting Romanian society to the global market and at the same time as a limitation of the corruption practiced by predatory elites[16]. Let’s remember that transparency is a prerequisite condition for the attractiveness of foreign investment and, as shown recently by history, has the property of being totally ineffective against financial crises.

The NGO has greatly facilitated the understanding of the law by public institutions after they have been tested. Locally, the law had remained unknown, while at the central level institutions have achieved remarkable rates of refusal. But in many cases, the ineffectiveness of such a measure has been proven since, for example, many contracts with private companies cannot be disclosed to the public because this comes under the public documentation (actually not public) and not under public information (public). In this case, the administrative and judicial procedures are lengthy and costly, and it is not certain that they guarantee a positive result. Generally, this public-private business information masks the grabbing of public or/and private resources that are not subject to prosecution, and it exhibits the fact that the justice system and the administration are also corruptible.

Some conclusions can now be drawn. We realise that programs, driven from the outside, are imposed on a social logic without fundamentally challenging it. In the end, it is perhaps the simplicity of programming, despite its technical formulation, that these examples show.

At last, the association is trying to promote theyouth” (law students, or students who study political sciences and humanities) in public institutions, through professional courses required in the university curriculum. These courses allow NGOs to find cheap labour. The presidents of these NGOs are mostly senior lecturers or professors who teach in various universities. This indicates a structural link between universities and NGOs. The association organises games, such as “youth parliament” where students are invited to play MPs surrounded by actual members who can make on this occasion their recruitment. Young people can also win a paid internship sometimes in a public institution. Most of these students see their investment in a NGO as an opportunity to find employment reasonably well paid and, for those who are more ambitious this represents a stage in their career. It is the idea of ​​purification of the political import of new blood that stands behind this action, because “young people” – playing a pivotal role in the idea of ​​volunteerism and solidarityare not supposed to have experienced communism or have experienced too little of it to have been deeply affected.

Yet from the perspective of students, it is quite often only a strategy to integrate themselves in the labour market. Anyway, this kind of attitude is not typical for a youth eager to help the others, on the contrary, it contradicts the image that the NGOs must maintain, but one facing the harsh reality of an unstructured labour market.

 

3. COMMUNIST ENEMIES AND OBSTACLES  ON THE ROAD TO EMANCIPATION

The programs of democratisation run by NGOs, illustrated herein by those of PDA, show a distinct internalisation of the donor’s requirements on a technical level, but also incorporate the position of subordinate actor played by Romania on a global level. These actors have appropriated the technology to make these political tools theirs. The presidents of NGOs are often senior lecturers or professors of sociology, journalism and political analysts. Their professional practices are adequate with the demands of the donors and fully meet the media formats.

Nonetheless, the technical dimension crosses a line of separation, using history, collective identity and international standards, between the (former) communists and democrats. To become a democracy means, in this perspective, to root out communism from the community, as if you were removing a tumour from a diseased body. The means for doing that are simple: by cleansing politics of corrupt officials and communism. The optic is oriented to institutions and especially to political parties, the deliberative institutions of the government and legislation. It is important to understand that there are in Romania practices of corruption reaching surprisingly high levels. In this regard, the NGO does not need to make enemies. Evidence of lack of credibility of public institutions (e.g. parliament) and of the political class on the whole given by the polls is extremely negative and constant[17], even though it is surely not the only cause of this disrepute. Let us also remember this truism: a large proportion of the agents engaged in the political field is made up of former members of the Communist Party. All or nearly all have been trained in the institutions of the state party during the communist period. Hence the charge of collaboration with the former communist government is anchored in the political arena (including in civil society). The academics who govern NGOs were also trained in the same schools. This highlights the instrumental dimension underlying the anti-communist sanction.

Itshould be noted thatsome of the rulespromoted byNGOsare notapplied tointernational aidinstitutionsand corruptioncan beperfectly legalor legalised even in thelargest democracies of theworld.In the Western world,the collusion betweenthe businessowningthe mediaand politiciansfor example is a very sensitive problemincludingthe financingof election campaigns,the orientations ofpolitical programsand the submissionof the mediaconsensus.

In other words,the democratisation ofthe worldis not necessarily and completely a matter of democracy.These NGOsare for the most partunable to takethis dimension into account and to adapt their strategy. Moreover, these organisations are unable to understandthe continuity of theprocessof privatisation of the state bypredatoryelitesotherwise than by arepeatedaccusationof belonging tocommunism. Additionally, they are incapable of understanding thebreak in thepatterns ofaccumulation of wealthresulting from the privatisation of thestateand policyreformspromoted byinternational institutions. Anyquestioning of thedonor’s programswouldplace theorganisationin the camp ofpopulists”, “traditionalists” or “communists” sincedemocratisation isdemocratic, anything that challenges theseprogramscan only becorrupted byamore or lessacutedespoticspirit andwould endangerits survival. Moreover, corruption in Romaniais notthe domainof the elites; in elites it’s just where it is the mostvisible.The rule of law, and specifically the labour law, is asemi-fictional reality.

On amore general level,these fightsare extensionsof political strugglesin the field ofNGOs.The proximity betweenthe political andintellectual circlesis a fact which cannot be denied.The presidentsof the largestNGOsare in factthe first totake the pathleading to political parties, and reformsaresignificant financialandsymbolicissues for theseorganisations.Becausethe Social Democratic Partyis consideredthe main heirof communism,providingtacit or explicit supportto political partiesopposedto itor integrating themmay be regarded asan act ofdemocratisation.It is an actofmorality”that fits intothe binomialvictim/executionerof communism.In thisrespect, being anti-SDP is being on the same sidewith the victimsagainst their formerexecutioners.For example, manymembers of NGOshave supported and have been part ofthe Democratic Convention, which won theparliamentary and presidential electionsin 1996against theSDP.Thepolitical involvementof NGOsshowsthe gap betweenthe aspirations of the members of NGOs, their teachingof democracyand citizenswho do not voteall the timeas they should[18]. This shows that NGOs are far from being politically neutral organisations.

The metaphysical anti-communism, central amongNGOsof democratisation,is also a way to own relations of domination.Romaniais indeed one member of the formerevil empire” (according to the words of RonaldReagan)nowincorporated into thefirst world”. Democratisationtakesthis viewas acompliance meant to get rid of the communist pastembeddeddeep within thecollective self. However,oneobstaclestandsin the wayof this liberation: the citizens.

NGOs consider the Romanian citizens as individuals unable to understand their actions. In particular, “the incapacity [of citizens] to make decisions” is denigrated, polls/confidence indicators weigh heavily in the representations of NGOs activists. NGOs are still among the less appreciated institutions in contrast with the Church and the army[19] which are the most respected by the people. All of them believe that the citizens have no confidence in NGOs and do not understand the meaning of their projects. These surveys operate in the manner of self-fulfilling prophecies: a reality that is more a belief in the survey instrument and its interpretations as rather rigorous analysis than reality. But this belief will lead or support a variety of representations of the imagined majority.

This institutional ideology has the advantage that it enables organisations to build legitimacy by hiding the issue of representativeness that seems embedded in the unfortunate reputation of political agents. If we consider that citizens are incapable of behaving like citizens, then their poor education is justified. Therefore, the people must not be mature politically, so that the organisations might claim the status of intermediary institutions. The citizens can also be victims of communism and communists, today as yesterday. A victim is not a political actor in the full sense of the term. It is also a way of disempowering the citizens, of making this concept an empty envelope, of denying any ability to think and say what society should be and to enter politics.

The victim of communism, as well as the communist are the two sides of the same coin: the individual through the prism of representations of these NGOs. The instrumented accusation of being communist may extend almost to all the Romanian population as a whole. It is in the nature of totalitarian regimes to subdue the entire population by using the most violent or insidious ways. That is why people are always compromised, and heroes are rarely pure and perfect.

The actorsmanipulatetheindelible markof the communist past. From aforeign imposition, the standard ofdemocracy, as part of the issues oflustrationand memories,becomesan instrument thatis todiscreditthe people. NGOs willbe able to claimanuprightpositionand assumethe role ofguides, bringers of the democratic lights for the goodcitizens.

Becausethe denial of having belonged tothe dictatorshipis imperativein order tobuild the legitimacyof definingwhat democracy is,this operationis similar tothe designation of ascapegoat: the first beingan enemypolitical partiesthe second an obstaclethe people. Together, they represented “a field of adversity”  following Foucault’s expression[20]. Therefore, being close to the foreigner is primordial to these NGOs.

This closeness is a form of claim, but a manipulation of the objective dependence on the donor. The question is not in itself entirely new, but the context in which it is restated and reformulated is. Romania is a nation-state recently established (1848), which occupied a position near the peripheral parts of the great empires. The question about the sense of belonging to the West/East haunted the Romanian elite in their desire for independence and constitution of the nation. This issue was extremely acute under N. Ceausescu too.

In the new post-Cold War area, NGOs as well as the dominant intellectuals need to legitimate a position of “dominant subordinate” by getting symbolically close to the West. It is relevant in this respect the fact that the members of NGOs perceive symbolic retributions only insofar as they get recognition from Western institutions (EU - internship in the USA, etc.). The authority of the presidents of these organisations is based largely on this vision of the world. They have degrees and work experience spent in Paris, New-York, Washington, in short, in what really looks like centres of civilisation. They represent a link with the West. In this configuration, the members of these NGOs set themselves in a position to claim a membership in the imagined community of professionals of democracy by using of a virtual solidarity. The dilemma of belonging to the world and the desire to bridge the distance maintained by exogenous assignment are precariously overcome. But the mission of the NGO is legitimate and should be continued because of its frailty.

The stigma assigned to the peopleshould helpbuild aclose relationwith foreign countries (the “West”).Butthis mergeris destroyed bythe imagination ofthe receptionof these ideasin the population(such asvirtual entity). To createthis othernesswith other people labelled as Communists” is the precariousdevelopmentofa close relationshipwith foreign countries.The stigma istransposedand thesymbolic relationwith thedominantremains.Thisnegativeothernesscannot be fullymaterialisedand becomeruptured.To do sowould require the fracturing of the national community.Hence,it is something impossible to achieve. This horizonshould be overcome,but it isunsurpassable.

 

4. CONCLUSION

This analysisof democratisation viaNGOs, their polities andtheir representationdemonstratesthat the transformation of the relations of dominationon a global scaleis of prime importanceto understand the implicationsofstandardisation policiesat local level.These standardsare abstract and are the result ofpower relationsin the world.NGOs arein this configuration one of the most important playersin theprocess ofpolitical regulation. Whiletheir ability tochallengeand standardiseis obvious, they reproduceat their levelthe relations of dominationoftheglobaldemocratic idiom. Theyare in spiral logics because they adopted the thinkingof donorsand made itan objectof social distinctionand legitimacy.In this logic, wanting tofree itselfimpliesthe acceptance ofinferioritybased on apast membershipto the dictatorship. The subjectionisacceptedinsofar asit allowsto feedthe desire foremancipation.This is areinvestmentin the imaginary(using Gérard Althabe’s concept[21]).

We should note thatthe ideasof democratisation and NGOshave in common the attempt to delegitimisethe population. In these perceptions, the citizen is ahollowbody, apathetic andsubject of abstract rights. The role ofpolitical actoris denied to him. Thesame applies tothe issue ofparticipationthat is nevertaken into account, otherwise than in a logicin which itcomesnaturally”as a deductionfor a transformation ofinstitutions.Yet theseNGOsexist for thispopulation,at least in theory. Since he is notcapable ofdemocracy, the citizen cannotprovide the proof ofcitizenshipcompetencerequired bya democratic regime. This situation is similar toa socio-political impasse. The question still remains: istherea way out of this straitjacket?


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[1] Michel FOUCAULT, Sécurité, territoire, population, Cours au Collège de France 1977-1978, Gallimard-Seuil, Paris, 2004.

[2] Bertrand BADIE, La Fin des territoires, Fayard, Paris, 1995; Idem, Un monde sans souveraineté, Fayard, Paris, 1999.

[3] Antoine HEEMERYCK, “Idéologies et pratiques des ONG: pour une problématisation générale et comparative”, Romania Review of Political Sciences and International Relations, Vol. VII, No. 1, 2010, pp. 105-124.

[4] This articleis based onatwo-year researchfield. Idem, L’importation démocratique en Roumanie, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2010. 

[5] With the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO).

[6] Antoine HEEMERYCK, “La démocratisation de l’intérieur: l’exemple d’une ONG en Roumanie”, Le journal des anthropologues, No. 129, 2012, pp. 223-237.

[8] Bernard HOURS, “NGOs in the Service of Global Governance: the Case of Uzbekistan”, Economical and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIII, No. 28, 2008, pp. 67-73.

[9] Idem, “Les marchandises morales globales ou le blanchiment du capitalisme”, in Evelyne BAUMAN, Laurent BAZIN, Pépita OULD-AHMED, Pascale PHELINAS, Monique SELIM, Richard SOBEL (eds), Anthropologues et économistes face à la globalisation, L’Harmattan, Paris, pp. 77-86.

[10] which has never been one (this is clearly a normalisation of the electoral process)

[11] Thomas CAROTHERS, Assessing Democracy Assistance: The Case of Romania, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, 1996.

[12] 26.45% of the electorate showed up to vote, 21.51% of those present voted in favour of the reform (Source: Central Election Bureau). The rate of participation in the elections of the representatives in the European Parliament which took place the same day was of 29.46%.

[13] The coalition is composed of the Civic Alliance, the Association of Students of Political Sciences, Freedom House Romania, Transparency International Romania, the Centre for Independent Journalism, the Foundation for Open Society, the APADOR-CH, the Association of the Romanian Institute. The coalition is funded by the Balkan Trust Fund (25,000 dollars), the Soros Foundation for an Open Society (23,500 dollars) and Freedom House (13,000 dollars).

[14] Someuncles and auntsof politicalagentsbecamesuddenlyrich, sometimes unwittingly, following the adoption of this law, and even the childrenof certain politicianshave become the happy ownersof apartmentsin Bucharest.

[15]ProfessionallifeinRomaniais aperpetualconfusion”http://www.stiinte-politice.ro/pippidi.htm

[16] Antoine HEEMERYCK, “Gouvernance démocratique, État et ONG en Roumanie”, L’Homme et la société, No. 159, 2006, pp. 175-190.

[17] Open Society Foundation-Soros, Barometer of public opinion, Institute for Public Policy, Bucharest, 2005.

[18] Ion Iliescu (Social Democrat Party) was elected three times presidentof Romania (1990-1992, 1992-1996 and 2000-2004).

[19] Ibidem.

[20] Michel FOUCAULT, Naissance de la biopolitique: Cours au collège de France 1978-1979, Gallimard-Seuil, Paris, 2004.

[21] Gérard ALTHABE, Oppression et libération dans l’imaginaire. Les communautés villageoises de la côte orientale de Madagascar, Maspéro, Paris, 1969.