The Modernization of Romania. A Dialogue Between Two Volumes: Romanian Modernity (L. Vlăsceanu and M.-G. Hâncean) and Running Away from Competition. An Institutional Perspective on the Romanian Society (A. Miroiu)

The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest – Social Science Division invites you to a debate on „The Modernization of Romania”, which will start from an examination of the main arguments of two recent volumes: Romanian Modernity, co-authored by Lazăr Vlăsceanu and Marian-Gabriel Hâncean (Paralela 45, Pitești, 2014) and Running from Competition. An Institutional Perspective on the Romanian Society, authored by Adrian Miroiu (Polirom, Iași, 2016).

The event will take place on the 30th of October 2017, at 5 p.m., Room 102, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Str. Panduri nr. 90, sector 5, Bucharest.

A question which is of significant concern to both academics in the social sciences and the Romanian population at large is why, at the turn of the 21st century, Romania’s economic, social and political development is at its current level, ahead of many other contemporary states but at the same time lagging behind almost all of our counterparts in the EU. Several works have explored variations of this question in the past few years, focusing either on economic history, such as Bogdan Murgescu’s Romania and Europe. The Accumulation of Economic Gaps (1500-2010) or Cornel Ban’s Dependency and Development, on history, such as Lucian Boia’s Why Is Romania Different?, or having a multidisciplinary nature, such as the collection of short essays gathered by Vintilă Mihăilescu in the volume Why Is Romania Like This? The Avatars of Romanian Exceptionalism.

The two books on which the discussion will be based make a fundamental contribution to this debate, exploring the question set out in the previous paragraph by using the theories, instruments and methods specific to modern sociological and political science research. The authors share many conclusions in common, as they find several traditional explanatory frameworks, such as the historical hypothesis, the geographical hypothesis or the cultural hypothesis unconvincing, ultimately favouring either an explanation based on rational choice institutionalism (A. Miroiu) or on a „dependency hypothesis”, which accounts for the difference between the formal institutional order and the genuine social practice order (L. Vlăsceanu and M.-G. Hâncean).

The Speakers of the event will be:

Welcome Address: Prof. Marian Zulean (Social Sciences Division Director, ICUB)

Moderator: Prof. Mircea Dumitru (Rector of the University of Bucharest)

Speakers:

Prof. Em. Lazăr Vlăsceanu (University of Bucharest)

Prof. Adrian Miroiu (SNSPA)

Prof. Mihai Păunescu (SNSPA)

Assoc. Prof. Marian-Gabriel Hâncean (ICUB GraphNets/University of Bucharest)

Assoc. Prof. Mihai Ungureanu (SNSPA)

Dr. Alexandru Volacu (ICUB/SNSPA)

AUTHOR BIOS

Mircea Dumitru teaches analytic philosophy of language and philosophical logic at the University of Bucharest. He was the Rector of the University of Bucharest between 2011 and 2015. He has been reelected as the Rector of the University of Bucharest for the period 2015-2019. He has been the Minister of Education and Scientific Research from July 2016 until January 2017. He received a PhD in Philosophy/Logic from Tulane University, New Orleans, USA, and a second PhD in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest, Romania. He was the President of the European Society of Analytic Philosophy (2011-2014). He is a member of the International Institute of Philosophy (Paris). In 2014 he has been elected a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy. He authored several books and many papers. Currently, he edits a book on The Philosophy of Kit Fine, which is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Marian-Gabriel Hâncean is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the International Review of Social Research (Walter DeGruyter, Berlin) and the Coordinator of the ICUB research group on graphs and social networks GraphNets. His main research interests: social network analysis and organizational analysis.

Adrian Miroiu is a Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, National University of Political Science and Public Administration (SNSPA). He previously served as President of SNSPA, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at SNSPA and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Bucharest, as well as President of CNFIS and Vice-President of ARACIS and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education. His main research interests lie in the fields of social choice theory, political theory and public policies.

Lazăr Vlăsceanu is an Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest. He previously served as Head of the Sociology Department at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Deputy-Director at the UNESCO European Centre for Higher Education, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education and Vice-Rector of the University of Bucharest. His main research interests lie in the fields of sociological methodology, development sociology and the sociology of education and culture.

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