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  • Author: Oscar G. Luengo, y Marcus Maurer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: The electoral results of last European elections in 2004, have produced a preoccupation and have raised a debate, not only in the political sphere but also in the academic realm, around a topic that has been enormously influential in the development of political science; the disengaged attitudes that citizens have been increasingly showing towards the political process. Grouping the 25 countries of the European Union in one category, less than half (45 percent) of the Europeans having the right to vote took part in the election. Electoral turnout ranged from about 90 percent in Belgium and Luxembourg (where voting is legally mandatory), to about 20 percent in Slovakia and Poland. These low turnout levels have revealed a trend of what has been labelled as political disaffection. Additionally, they show the same pattern which has been discovered several times in the past (e.g. Klingemann, 1999): when it comes to political disaffection, Europe is divided in three parts. In Western and Northern Europe, citizens are rather engaged, but not to the same extent as 20 years ago. In Southern Europe, citizens are traditionally rather dissafected, and in the new democracies in Eastern Europe only a minority is engaged in political life.
  • Topic: Democratization, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: José Miguel Alonso Trabanco
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Hasta hace pocas décadas, el Círculo Polar Ártico era considerado como una zona planetaria condenada a ser inhóspita e inaccesible a causa de su lejanía y sus glaciales temperaturas. Tal región ha despertado fascinación en los exploradores, como es el caso de Ivan Papanin, quien, en 1937, emplazó la bandera de la Unión Soviética en el Polo Norte (“Europe: Ships, subs and missiles; Russia's new assertiveness” 2007), lo que atestigua que la presencia rusa en la zona no es del todo reciente, aunque, más de 70 años después, el interés nacional ruso se extiende más allá de la esfera científica y sus implicaciones son más complejas.
  • Topic: International Relations, Energy Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Yanina Welp
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Spain facing the European referendum: or democracy and its weaknesses: One common criticism to the European integration process has been the deficit of democratic legitimacy. Direct consultation through referendum has been proposed as a mechanism to bridge this gap, however, there is a debate about the potentialities and risks of direct democracy. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this debate by analysing the Spanish experience of ratifying the European constitution (February 2005).
  • Topic: Democratization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Pablo Telman Sánchez Ramírez
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: En el presente artículo analizaremos el desenvolvimiento de las relaciones entre la Federación Rusa y los países europeos miembros de la Unión Europea (UE), haciendo hincapié en el análisis de las causas y escenarios que han provocado un auge en el clima de contradicciones y tensiones que se han registrado en los años más recientes. Asimismo, abordaremos el papel y la influencia que han ejercido los estados postsoviéticos europeos (Estados Bálticos, Ucrania, Georgia, Azerbaiyán) dentro del espectro de las relaciones bilaterales de Rusia con la UE, dada su importancia para la estabilidad y seguridad regional. Estos países ocupan un papel muy importante no solamente dentro del espectro de la política comunitaria de vecindad europea, sino también en la dinámica de los vínculos de Bruse¬las con Moscú. También analizaremos el papel que ha desempeñado el gobierno de Estados Unidos (EE.UU.), en el marco de las relaciones de la UE con Rusia, al colocar, tanto a la UE como a Rusia, en una posición de rehenes de los desacuerdos y fricciones mayores que se han suscitado entre Washington y Moscú durante los últimos dos años; expondremos, igualmente, las expectativas que se mantienen con la llegada del presidente Barack Obama a la Casa Blanca. Hasta el año 2008, Rusia se había fortalecido como potencia, fundamentalmente, a causa del aumento de los precios del petróleo, del gas y de recursos naturales, mientras que mantenía invariable su in ISSN tención de recuperar su posición como potencia regional y global, lo cual, incomodaba (e incomoda) a algunos gobiernos europeos, fundamentalmente a los países ex-socialistas. Para este año 2009, se pronostica un crecimiento de apenas un 3% a causa de la crisis mundial, que también los afecta.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Ricardo Zugasti
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Through content analyses focused on the political news on front pages and on the introduction of the democratic values in newspaper editorials, this article outlines the political role of the Spanish press during the principal stage of the transition to democracy, an exceptional journalistic period. This piece of research could be likewise considered as a contribution, through a particular case, to the role of the press in political transitions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Monica Judith Sánchez Flores
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: In this article I show that, in spite of essential differences between Habermas and Luhmann with respect to the philosophy of the subject, they both depend on the modern idea of the individual self to pose their theories of meaning (Habermas 1989 and 1990, Luhmann 1998). Habermas and Luhmann belong to divergent theoretical schools (critical and functionalist respectively) and yet they both use essential lessons about language from the German “sciences of the spirit” (Geisteswissenschaften); the phenomenological perspective and the sociology of knowledge. Even though their positions on the value of the modern individual self are opposed, the latter is an essential element in the theoretical perspectives of both sociologists: Habermas describes the individual subject as a linguistically competent, rational, and critical entity; while Luhmann rejects this anthropocentric conception outright and contemplates society as a set of systems oriented towards their own functionality. Luhmann produces a very useful sociological perspective, but rhetorically rejects the substantive aspect of the philosophy of the subject without recognizing that his perspective depends on the consciousness of the subject that he rejects at the same time. In the light of this dilemma I argue that it is necessary to remember essential lessons from Max Weber's methodology of the social sciences.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Education
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Óscar García Luengo
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: The demonstrations in Spain on March 13th, 2004 following the terrorist attacks in Madrid present an interesting challenge for political communication research. For the first time in the history of Spain, people employed communication technologies in order to create the dynamics of peaceful civil disobedience. Research on political communication has traditionally paid attention to the classic outlets in order to analyze the impact of media exposure on political affectation. Taking the cited framework as the main reference, this article compares the connection between political activism and the consumption of new and old media in European countries. Analyzing the use of these technologies is important because research on political communication has traditionally only focused on the classic media techniques to analyze the impact of media exposure on political disaffection. Therefore, using the March 13th demonstrations, this article compares the connection between political activism and the consumption of new and old media in European countries.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Alice Hamui Sutton
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: At the beginning of this third millennium, we are witnessing the end of an era marked by the hegemony of European Christianity and the globalization of a deterritorialized and decentered Christianity. Evangelical Pentecostalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renovation Movement are examples of this type of individual salvation spiritualism in Latin America. This article illustrates how these movements base their success on their ritual pragmatism with regard to personal crisis situations and the image of a near and accessible God. Moreover, the success of these movements is because of the adjustment to new conditions of the global market, the adaptation to the new processes of citizenship typical of modern democracies, and the satisfaction of spiritual and affective needs in a context of intense shifts trying to create new identities to reestablish the social framework of society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, South America, Latin America