The current volume (8, issue 2 of 2016) of Revista Română pentru Studii Baltice şi Nordice / The Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies (RRSBN) publishes mostly the papers presented at the Seventh International Conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania, Good governance in Romania and the Nordic and Baltic countries, hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies and Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, București, 24-25 November, 2016, with the support of the embassies of Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway, the Consulate of Latvia to Bucharest and sponsored by Niro Investment Group.
The meeting focused on good governance in Romania and the Nordic and Baltic countries as seen from a variety of angles and from the perspective of various disciplines, institutions and practices related to accountability, transparency, the rule of law, responsibility, equity, inclusiveness, participation, efficiency, human rights protection, tangible, intangible and natural heritage conservation, etc. The conference tackled concepts, issues and good practices in terms of good governance, accountability, welfare, efficiency, gender equality in the public and private sectors in Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Romania as well as the institutions called upon to fight against corruption in these countries. Historical examples of good versus bad governance were also brought forth.
In this issue we included two articles looking at good governance from a historical perspective. Costel Coroban investigates a key source of High Medieval Iceland, the Íslendingabók, in order to capture the images that mirror the ideology of power. The author contrasts the Icelandic and Norwegian sources and finds out that in Iceland the rulers customarily tried to legitimate their power position or to illustrate their weak situation in competition with larger and stronger neighbors. Much had changed in the intermediate six centuries separating the Icelandic stories and the Estonian ones, but the situation of a weaker fellow subdued by a stronger nation remained. Kari Alenius brings a fresh air in the debate concerning good governance by showing that even during foreign occupations and dramatic historical events such as world wars people still need to enjoy some kind of welfare, attention to their needs, competence. Alenius discovers from the primary sources he uses that leadership cannot be offered without cultivating mutual trust and communication between the governing and the governed.
Peace and security have been chosen to illustrate the conceptual approaches of Nordic states and their contribution to global stability, which is, of course, still more of a desire than a state of affairs. Security, stability, peace are, naturally, core aspects of good governance and safety of human being. Luiza-Maria Filimon tackles the Copenhagen School’s securitization theory, its conceptual strengths and applications while Mihai Sebastian Chihaia blends peace and security to the Nordic states’ endeavor to develop the security environment at European level and beyond.
The situation of minorities in a given country offers a hint to the level of democracy and welfare that state grants to its citizens. The capacity to integrate people of various personal histories, cultures, languages, religions, preferences who are locals or incomers cultivates openness and enlarges the prospects of development and general welfare. Adél Furu tackles this issue in a comparative study of Finland’s policy towards the Sami population and Turkey’s policy with regard to the Kurdish minority.
The journal ends with a speech of Former Ambassador of Lithuania to Bucharest, who recollects the time of Russian withdrawal of occupational troops from Lithuania and the responsibility of the Russian Federation as the heir of the Soviet state in respect to the occupation regime imposed upon Lithuania in 1940 and 1944. Historical memory is the arch which governs the architecture of Vladimir Jarmolenko’s essay.
The journal will continue to integrate aspects of good governance in its future issues, as it is a need, a desire, a right and an obligation of our modern world to grant and guarantee that it is offered and spread.