COUNTERFACTUAL EVALUATION. CASE STUDY – ASSESSING THE NET IMPACT OF A PROJECT IMPLEMENTED WITH EXTERNAL FUNDING
Octavia-Andreea ADAM, PhD Student | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Bucharest, Romania | firstname.lastname@example.org
Impact evaluation using the counterfactual method is one of the most challenging and efficient evaluation methods. This paper demonstrates the importance, the benefits, the challenges and the frameworks (when should be used) of this method. For a better understanding of counterfactual method, the paper contains an example – a case study of a Norwegian project implemented with non-refundable funds. Compared with other evaluation types the impact evaluation based on the counterfactual method provides complete information on the issues that led either to a positive impact or to a negative impact of the project over the target group. Furthermore this is the best way to measure the net impact of a project or program when the framework provides for the possibility of identifying a control group to distinguish the differences, of course, if they exist, between the moment T0 (before factor interference) and T1 (after factor intervention).
Counterfactual evaluation; evaluation; impact evaluation; project
THE CHALLENGES OF ‘SITTING ON TWO CHAIRS’.
TESTING SERBIA’S NEUTRALITY POLICY IN THE UKRAINIAN CRISIS
Miruna BUTNARU-TRONCOTĂ, PhD | Department of International Relations and European Integration, SNSPA | Bucharest, Romania | email@example.com
Since 2007, Serbia is considered to promote a model of foreign policy based on maintaining an equal distance between Brussels and Moscow. This strategy became more evident after the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, when on the one hand Serbia supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and on the other hand it abstained from voting the UN resolution which was meant to reaffirm the territorial integrity of Ukraine and did not impose sanctions on Russia. These contradictory decisions were followed by numerous other political events that required Serbia’s clear-cut positioning in the Ukrainian conflict in 2015 and 2016. The paper assesses the impact of the conflict in Ukraine to be found in the main discourses around Serbia’s foreign policy of ‘sitting on two chairs’ between its European perspective and maintaining its close ties with Russia, as viewed by elites in the period between 2014 and 2016. First, the paper explores the various meanings attached to Serbia’s military neutrality in scholarly and policy debates. Next, it looks at how those meanings have been enacted in discourses and practices along the first three years of the Ukrainian crisis. The conclusions discuss the paradoxes of Serbia’s positions, pointing towards the ‘politics’ of the neutrality policy as revealed in the discourses that surrounded the Ukrainian crisis and various East-West divides that it triggered.
Keywords: EU, Europeanization, foreign policy, neutrality, Russia, Serbia
MIGRATION FROM THE MIDDLE EAST TO THE EUROPEAN UNION. A COMPLEX PHENOMENON
Ahmet DAȘTAN | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Bucharest/Romania | firstname.lastname@example.org
This article aims at reflecting the complexity of factors that determine the migratory flux that connects two of the most important geopolitical actors of today’s world stage: the European Union and the countries of the Middle East. Through an analysis of relevant academic sources and statistical data provided by institutions and organizations like the World Bank, Eurostat or the U.S. Department of State, a detailed analysis of the phenomenon of immigration from the Middle East to the EU territory will be made and several conclusions regarding the main factors that determine this phenomenon will be identified.
The first part of the article consists of a short analysis of the key concepts that form the basis of the more complex argumentation regarding the main factors that determine directly or indirectly the ample phenomenon of migration from the Middle East to the European Union and that will be made in the second part of the paper. These key concepts refer to the geographic boundaries of the two regions that are in the center of the analysis (the European Union and the Middle East) and the geopolitical context that characterize the situation of the two entities. After this theoretical foundation is set, a more detailed analysis of the migratory flux to the European Union in general and of the migratory flux from the Middle East region in particular is made. The results of the analysis show that there is a complex of determinant factors that explain the migration flows between the two regions, but only a couple of factors can be considered as being essential: the continuous state of armed conflicts in the Middle East and the differences in economic development between the countries that form the Middle East region and the EU Member States.
The European Union; the Middle East; migration
DEVELOPMENTAL EVALUATION. CASE STUDY: THE EVALUATION OF THE ‘ROMANIA’S YOUTH CAPITAL’ NATIONAL PROGRAMME
Delia – Simina DĂNILĂ, PhD Student | National School of Political Science and Public Administration | Bucharest/Romania | email@example.com
This paper is an invitation to the reader to rethink the role of the evaluator in our days. Should the evaluator be an expert that determines the success of an intervention based on an external view or may be even someone from the implementation team that can determine the value of his/hers own activity? My evaluation on the ‘Romania’s Youth Capital’ National Programme is both an analysis of the results of the apllied measures and an introductive training for the members of the management team on developing their own evaluation competences. The case study emphasizes the innovative process in which the role of the external evaluator is replaced by one that is an integrated part of the programme. By the empowerment component of the evaluation, this approach proved to be beneficial in the given case helping the initiators of the programme to acknowledge the status of their activities and the need of perspective for the future. It is expected this study to be a positive example of how to use the developmental evaluation and its outcomes.
Developmental evaluation; NGO sector; youth policies
SPACES, TIMES AND ROLES IN THE SOCIAL CONTROL OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Óscar FERNÁNDEZ-ÁLVAREZ | University of León | León /Spain | firstname.lastname@example.org
Social dynamics since the late seventeenth century have incorporated a series of discursive systems that are the fruit of the process of constituting power and control over public morals and safeguarding traditional religious values. The Church, as a repressive agent and shaper of consciences, has exercised multiple forms of control and surveillance that have been justified within the regime of daily life so that control could be effective. It has additionally implemented a system of domination. The general objective here is to describe and analyse the daily conduct within the convent as a total institution. We do so via a reconstruction that is based on descriptions of daily life and the tensions between rules and lived experiences and between the given conditions, as well as the way in which these appropriated the aforementioned descriptions. We analyse the collected data from the perspectives of anthropology and sociology, focusing primarily on Erving Goffman’s symbolic interactionism, as well as from aspects of Foucault’s work in the form of his consideration of the body as a social and cultural product and of the repertoire of inquiries that he undertakes on social practices of regulation and domination of bodies that have led to a significant imbalance in perceptions of control over our bodies and our sexuality. Our findings show that obedience is a basic requirement in the construction of and domination over the other, since it is inscribed in a discourse of power.
Anthropology; institution; social control; symbolic interaction
Recognizing the Other as a Test of Europeanness
The Value-based Foundations of Individual
Reflexivity in the era of Late Modernity
Zoltan GRUNHUT | Centre for Economic and Regional Studies | Budapest, Hungary | email@example.com
The paper both theoretically and empirically examines the interrelationship between the act of othering (i.e. self-identification via distantiation from the ‘Other’) and the attachment to Europe, while it also addresses the value-based ontological foundations of these epistemologically relevant and praxis-related features. Late Modernity is proposed as a general framework that can hold together these components conceptually. The empirical findings are about 18 EU member states; data were obtained from the European Social Survey (2018). As a general conclusion the paper stresses that people who prefer the relative importance of values about diversity and self-transcendence, they are more open towards the ‘Other’, while they are more attached to Europe as well.
Europeanness; European Social Survey; late Modernity; othering; Shalom H. Schwartz; values
GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRATIC INNOVATION AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS, AT THE END OF THE MODERN STATE
Cutberto HERNANDEZ-LEGORRETA | La Salle University/ Mexico | firstname.lastname@example.org
The exercise of politics among its actors vindicates the citizen role of the population in today’s societies and it gives the ability to participate politically within the State. From the perspective of international financial agents —as financial organizations or banking entities— such participation is settled since some systems, such as governance, are adopted, and it implies attention and solution to social and political demands. Governance involves running politics on behalf of a better government, re-signifying the concept of democracy from and for the market economy perspective, through democratic innovation practices.
For its part, the civil society organization (CSO), in terms of governance, is understood as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It implies being incorporated into the dynamics of the administration of political work in an apparent horizontality within its actors, where its mechanisms operate equally by government, business and civil society. This participation scheme seeks to justify it from liberal democracy, by creating mechanisms and institutionalizing it.
Methodologically it allows to understand its dynamics within the governance space. Its existence and need to take control of the policy is reviewed by pushing it into a new representation by incorporating concepts such as horizontal governance and good governance, used to legitimize this new way of administering political work. This process is legitimized by creating the conditions to justify new mechanisms of control through the institutionalization of democracy with concepts that strengthen it such is the case of democratic innovation in which its first form is precisely governance.
Horizontal governance; good governance; civil society organizations; democratic innovation; policy administration.
THE ROOTS OF ISLAMOPHOBIA IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPE. THE RESULTS OF AN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
Osman KOMURCU | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Bucharest/Romania | email@example.com
Multiculturalism is a term that encompasses the variety of policy responses promoted by democratic governments all over the world in order to address one of the main issues derived from a phenomenon that has characterized the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century: globalization. This phenomenon has had many secondary effects, the increased migratory trends being the effect addressed by multiculturalist policies. The larger number of migrants who have taken advantage of the faster and cheaper transportation available to the average citizen has put pressure on the host societies, which had to find solutions in order to accommodate the large migratory influxes. Multiculturalism has proven to be a successful policy in several countries, but in the past three decades the efficiency of multiculturalist policies has been questioned with the rise of currents that deny diversity (xenophobia, racism or Islamophobia). Being the newest current that opposes multiculturalism, Islamophobia is a concept that is placed in the center of this article, an article that not only tries to define the new tendencies represented by Islamophobic views, but also to identify how these tendencies are reflected in the European Union. A semi-structured interview and a questionnaire were the instruments used in order to collect the data needed for identifying how multiculturalism and Islamophobia manifest themselves, the results showing that most of the EU countries foster integration of Muslim immigrants. However, some countries have a much larger Muslim community than others, which, in turn, generates more problems like ghettoization or the higher intensity of Islamophobic tendencies. These results allow in the end of the article the drawing of several conclusions regarding the way multiculturalism and Islamophobia manifest in the EU and the proposal of several policy recommendations that could be implemented by authorities in order to combat the rising issues generated by the Islamophobia current.
Diversity; Islamophobia; multiculturalism; public policies
WORK CONDITIONS IN AGROINDUSTRY. INDIGENOUS FEMALE FARMWORKERS IN NORTHWEST MEXICO
María DE LOURDES CAMARENA OJINAGA | Universidad Autónoma de Baja California | Ensenada/Baja California/ Mexico | firstname.lastname@example.org
Guadalupe CONCEPCIÓN MARTÍNEZ VALDÉS | Universidad Autónoma de Baja California | Ensenada/ Baja California/ México | email@example.com
María EVARISTA ARELLANO GARCÍA | Universidad Autónoma de Baja California | Ensenada/Baja California/ Mexico | firstname.lastname@example.org
This article presents results from research conducted among migrant indigenous female farmworkers. We analyse social inequality by focusing on the work conditions imposed by agroindustries. Seen as a process, labour conditions articulate several factors, such as hiring practices and forms of payment linked to the restructuring of horticultural production, and fluctuations in demand from the North American market for these export products. Structural determinants regarding employment, precarious labour conditions and increased poverty, linked to the little value given to the labour of farmworkers, have resulted in the violation of labor rights on the basis of class, gender and ethnicity. The place of study was an agricultural valley in the state of Baja California, located 300 kilometres south of the Mexico-United States border. For over forty years this region experienced considerable growth and the establishment of export agroindustries becoming consequently a pole of attraction for migrant farmworkers from southern Mexico. A qualitative methodology was utilized. Group interviews were conducted with sixty women. Our findings allow us to make evident the unequal social relations and practices that intensify the vulnerability of these women, placing them in marked disadvantage with respect to other social groups.
Agricultural labour; indigenous female farmworkers; labour rights; policy and business interest; precarious labour conditions
MAKING THE MOST OF THE EU INTERNAL MOBILITY – ROMANIAN CITIZENS’ MIGRATION TO THE UK IN THE CONTEXT OF BREXIT, A RACE AGAINST TIME
Andrada Maria PETRACHE | “Spiru Haret” Researcher and PhD Candidate at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration | Bucharest/ Romania | email@example.com
This exploratory study looks at the post-Brexit Referendum Romanian migration to the UK and analyses it as an outstanding case, in contrast to its overall umbrella EU27 migration, which is declining. It tries to offer in-depth explanations for why the Romanian migration is increasing in an apparent disregard for the uncertainty around Brexit and post-Brexit citizens’ rights, which are yet to be agreed as the fourth deadline of 31 January 2020 approaches. It starts by considering the relevant literature and the latest statistical reports which highlight the economic reasons as the main determinants of this migration, then uses a qualitative analysis of interviews to offers more specific explanations for the individual decisions to migrate, even in the uncertain, post-Referendum context. It finds that the decision to migrate is best described as a race against time in relation to Brexit, with Romanians being determined to make the most of what the UK has to offer, while legal conditions still allow it. It also highlights that Romanians have less regard for Brexit-related challenges and more interest in the academic and economic opportunities in the UK.
Brexit; citizens’ rights; EU internal mobility; migration; Romanian diaspora
Mihai Murariu, 2017: Totality, Charisma, Authority: The Origins and Transformations of Totalist Movements, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, Germany, 325 pages, ISBN: 978-3-658-16322-8
Bahman KHODADADI | Doctoral Candidate in Law, Faculty of Law, Westfälische Wilhelms University of Münster | Münster/Germany | Bahmankhodadadee@yahoo.com