The article deals with theoretical questions concerning alliances, the reason of their rise (above all to satisfy the interests of states or to provide predictable behavior of partners) and their qualification. The key problem of alliances according the author is their stability.
After the explanation of the opening theoretical questions the article is focused on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), its origin and development and politics toward the Czech Republic. Although the Czech Republic is preeminently interested in entering NATO (for geopolitical and historical reasons), plenty of obstacles must be overcomed - for example the negative attitude of Russia. Despite the author’s statement that according to the general theory of alliances the Czech Republic is unlikely to enter NATO, but with regards on historical, geopolitical and cultural context we can expect the Czech Republic to be the member of NATO soon.
The author deals with definitions of the concept of democracy drawn from various sources e.g. Aristotle, Madison, Schumpeter, Hayek and particularly R. Dahl (theory of polyarchy). He contrasts these to totalitarian as distinguished from authoritarian regimes (K. Loewenstein). Democratic society needs two principles to pursue its goals and functions, formal (procedural) consensus and institutional limitation of political alternatives.
In the following section of the paper he examines individual forms of democratic decision-making (majority principles, lottery, consensus, concordance). The aim of democratic decision-making is to achieve legitimacy of institutions and decision - making itself.
The weaknesses and risks of democracy emerging from excessive equality in the mass society, oligarchic power institutions and the low ability of the public to make political decisions are mentioned in the final section “Optimism or scepticism?”. But these risks do not mean that democracy is doubted as whole.
This paper examines the rhetorical schema of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. It is argued the infamous apotheosis of the Queen of France and panegyric to chivalry contained in that work should not be viewed as romantic anachronisms, but as complex expressions of Burke’s theory of a modern, commercial order based on the stability of property relations and social manners. Burke’s effort to reconcile commerce and tradition through the production of “superadded ideas” draws upon his understanding of aesthetic experience, in particular, the power of theatre to promote moral sentiment.
Edmund Burke, reflections, revolution in France, queen of france
The article is focused on the historical aspects of preparation and implementation of the so called Benes Decrees at the end of the World War II. First the author enumerates the individual decrees, adopted to punish the Nazi crimes, confiscate property etc. and then explains the circumstances of their adoption and consequences for real life.
The author doesn’t evade portraying excesses and abuses made by the Czech nation and especially by the Communist Party, but after all he takes the view that any legislative doubt as to the validity of the degrees is impossible. He takes the same attitude to settlement of the problem of the Sudeten German transfer using international treaties and domestic law that were violated by the Czechs. E. Benes is indicated to be one of the main initiators, but it would be a mistake to blame him for the negative consequences of the transfer.
Beneš Decrees, Sudeten Germans, transfer, history, world war II
The beginning the paper deals with characteristics of the term “sovereignity”. A further part is dedicated to its application. The author insists it is a mistake to mix “the sovereignty of the people” with “the sovereignty of law”. “Sovereignty of the people” means the origin of the power and at the same time its limitation. Sovereignty of law on the contrary refers to the formal pasitivistic conception of rule of law over the material conception. The principle sovereignty of the people is evident in the natural law character of human rights and in the right of resistance (Article 23 Charter on Fundamental Rights and Liberties). The conception of material rule of law is shown with examples drawn from European constitutions.
Sovereignty of the people, term, sovereignty, human rights
The author tries to illustrate two main streams of the Western quantitative political science in the form of the critical review of two publications: Bueno de Mesquita/F.Stokman, European Community Decision Making, Yale University Press, 1944, and P. Dekker/P. Ester, Social and Political Attitudes in Dutch Society, Social and cultural planning office, Rijswijck, 1993. The first applies expected utility model construction and the construction of social exchange (logrolling) models to the decision making of the European Community. Ten issues are taken, out of which the models correctly predict nine (the tenth, the problem of the integration into monetary union, displays features of lacking stability, at present).
The second utilizes the results of bi-annual surveys of attitudes and norms by the above mentioned office to discuss the position and mutual perception of age-groups towards the salient issues. It also contains studies in authoritarian attitudes, as directed against the AIDS-patients and the ethnic groups. The Dutch contribution the the International Social Survey Project (ISSP) also is discussed.
In his criticism, the author points out the lack of references (and knowledge?) of the new scaling methods developed by the Dutch scholars hi the field (Mokken, Molenaar, Van Schuur), the lack of statistical testing (or use of loglinear models), as well as the rejection of hypotheses without the confirmation (formulation!) of alternative theoretical conjectures.
Western political science, quantitative, Mesquita, Stokman, Dekker, Ester