While the interdisciplinary feature of the project speaks about its innovative character, this research is also relevant from a more pragmatic point of view.
First, the topic of international development in Romania, and indeed in former communist countries of the European Union is fairly recent, all of these countries having found themselves in the position of (re)becoming donors through their membership in the European Union (Arts, 2004, Bucar and Mrak, 2007, Carbone, 2004, Dauerstadt, 2002). In the context of the European Union being the largest donor of development assistance funds, citizens’ views on how this money is spent is of significance.
Second, this research is also relevant for Romania and other former communist countries because of its focus on the relationship between attitude towards democracy, politics and the political system at the country level – the locus classicus of democratic political culture - on the one hand, and attitudes towards the democratization of the international system, on the other. Thus, I seek to identify a typology of the European democratic citizen and I inquire whether this typology is similar in different countries.
Third, this project has policy relevance. Romania is constantly redefining and reconstructing its policy on official development assistance, and so it is important to know how much do Romanian citizens know about international development, how much public support there is, and how has it evolved across time. Furthermore, this research is relevant from the perspective of university education in international development in Romania. In 2010, four simultaneous master programs in international development began in Romania through the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and administered by UNDP Romania.
This research could become a significant resource for students and instructors alike involved in these programs, contributing with instructional materials which are grounded in local experiences.
Reconstructing Political Culture
About the Author
is lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Babes-Bolyai University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine and his MA in European politics and policy from the University of Manchester. His research interests center upon understanding the roles of political culture (political values, beliefs, attitudes and participatory behavior) in the process of democratic transition and consolidation, and also the its possible applications in the field of international relations and development.
Bogdan Mihai RADU