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A Comparative Approach A Possible Solution to Uncertainty The French Revolution had its impact upon Romanian politics and stimulated the new intellectuals to draw reform projects, to make their demands known and debated on international level.

The Romanians travelled abroad more and more and these contacts brought about economic, social and cultural changes and also gave birth to new intellectual elite that would fight in the European spirit for the formation of the Romanian nation. Thus the Romanians fought in the Revolution, they united the two principalities, Moldavia and Wallachia under the name of Romania, gained their Independence and started organizing their institutions according to European models.

The strong connections between France and the Romanians are only too well known, less is known about the influence England had upon them during the 19th century. This influence manifested itself at political, economic, social, cultural, educational level. Romanian politicians, writers, diplomats, students started traveling to England in order to study their way of living, working, organizing the institutions and brought back new knowledge to enlighten those at home.

They wrote their impressions in letters and articles and published them in newspapers, wrote short stories, travel journals in which they described what they saw with the aim to change life at home. Keywords: work, culture, influence, model, 19th century The end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th was strongly marked by powerful changes in the historical background of South Eastern Europe. France joins Russia against the Ottoman Empire while England sustains the Ottomans thus being interested in the fate of the principalities.

The political atmosphere of the 19th century began with a rising in the claims of the two principalities, thus their fate reached the international debate after which they were granted certain privileges. E-mail: danapantea yahoo. The 19th century brought about radical changes in the lives of people in Transylvania Wallachia and Moldavia. The more and more frequent contacts with the Occident lead to economic, social and cultural changes, to the birth of the intellectual elite that was to fight in the European spirit for the Romanian nation.

All these profound transformations as well as the militant spirit drawn towards the forming of the nation fell into the specific atmosphere of South East Europe where there was a continuous fight for the assertion of the nation. The modernization of all political, economic, social, judicial structures, the gaining of the independence brought along changes in terms of culture: new, modern, national institutions were established, old cultural values and historical traditions were revived with the aim to sustain the national being.

This is the background against which Western cultural models left their marks: the French model left its print both in Romania and Transylvania, the German cultural model influenced Transylvania, moreover the English model, in spite of the great geographical distance left certain important marks in terms of culture.

Furthermore these models together with Romanticism formed the basis of the modern culture which was able to sustain the crucial historical moments of the 19th century such as political confrontations and the Revolution in Theodorescu, The cultural relations between England and the three Romanian provinces had been quite scarce up to the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th when we can notice the first literary contacts.

The first English writings entered the Romanian culture first through translations from Greek and Serbian intermediaries and later through French and German ones. The very moment they entered the Romanian culture they highlighted the level and needs of the Romanian collective mentality at that time. At the beginning this contact was made by means of travelling, people travelled because by doing so, they could broaden their horizon, it made them think, learn and change themselves and so, they could change others.

The result of these travels can be found in the image of the Other, expressed in letters, notes, articles, short stories, diplomatic documents. This image is usually provided by means of a comparative approach which helps project the self image upon the Other who is the foreigner, thus different from us. When the historian himself studies a past reality he cannot in fact look upon it as it really was, but what he analyses is a representation of the reality.

By studying an image we try to live again a historical event, to interpret it, to understand it, to explain the way in which a collective identity has generated certain ideas and attitudes such as the concepts of fatherland, nation. This is the perspective through which national images formed as a result of the contact between two cultures should be looked upon Mitu, When defining national images we must take into account the human presence with all the characteristics involved: moral and physical features, cultural references, way of living, nutrition, and clothing.

This image of alterity, of the Other, and the self image coexist in a fundamental relationship and help the researcher define the identity. It was only at the beginning of the 19th century that the Romanians from the three provinces started travelling throughout Europe.

Some of them had to go in exile while others were driven either by the wish to discover new places, to study or had to take care of their health. Few things are known about them, but, as we progress in the 19th century, people began to record, to send letters, to write in order to make another world known to the oppressed ones at home, they started to write their memories and travel journals, or mere and simple to write literature through which to convey their thoughts, impressions and suggestions.

Travel literature, a genre often criticized, even forgotten on the shelves or in the drawers is a rich source which helps us understand the collective mentality of a certain people, the stereotypes that dominated its psychology, its evolution. One of the images that can be found in different articles, notes travel journals and letters is that of the work and the way English people work in different fields of activity.

One of the first observations refers to the way the English Customs is organized and how people work there. The image presented by Petrache Poenaru is the one seen through the eyes of an engineer and mathematician. He decided to go to England in order to take advantage of the precious information regarding the development of industry. His stay in England was financed by the government of Walachia and his assignment was to study metallurgy and mining. In he sent a letter to Zamfirache Pop in which he pointed out technical detailes in organizing metallurgy, spinning mills and building railways.

He was the first Romanian to travel by train and he also expressed his hope that soon the Romanians would be able to travel from Sibiu to London in three days. Taylor whom he considered the best mining engineer. When visiting London he could but admire the magnificent, imposing bridges, the architecture of the houses the beautiful gardens and streets Filitti, A well known Romanian writer, Alexandru Odobescu made a trip to England together with his brother and two friends in August and he wrote his impressions in a travel journal.

Owing to his literary craftsmanship the Romanian reader will enjoy both a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere and pertinent observations while reading this journal. A scholar educated in the classical spirit, Odobescu visited White Hall, Westminster Abbey, museums, art galleries and concluded that for an art and beauty lover, one can see a lot in England.

A wood of masts, mountains of sacks and parcels, crowd of people shouting at each other in different ways — this is what the docks show, a really wonderful image of commerce. One can wonder how serious business can be run in this crowd, how thousands of pounds are not lost, how mere interest can rule.

The typology of the Englishman is very well presented in the travel journal, the writer himself noted that he studied the Englishman as an industrialist, the English businessman, the Englishman as the keeper of old traditions, proud of his past, living his present in dignity. Another writer, a naval officer too, who wrote about England and the English was Jean Bart. He told real stories from his journeys on the sea, thus it is only but natural to find in them observations about the English.

The English were proud because they succeeded in eradicating the rabies because of strict customs control. Besides the funny moments, the story highlights the professionalism of the English society that even for dogs, has documents, knows the genealogy and evolution of a certain breed and does everything in a very responsible way Bart, The same order can be found in any place the English go even in a foreign country, and Jean Bart gives as an example the English side of Gibraltar and the hotels occupied by the English which are clean and organized just like at home.

A gifted narrator, a writer and a politician at the same time, Ion Ghica wrote letters to his friend Vasile Alecsandri revealing his capacity of rendering portraits, events, the local colour. Thus he created a vivid picture of England, the country in which he spent a lot of time, even as a plenipotentiary minister.

A topic that covers a large part of the letters is economy. Ion Ghica dedicated many pages to the cooperative stores, he gave a detailed description of their history how they were settled and organized, he wrote about people employed, prices, quality of the merchandise, benefits Ghica, He even mentioned the number of cooperative stores in , namely The specific pragmatism determined the English to settle building societies so that the workers might have good, comfortable and healthy houses Ghica, At the same time the English were all the time preoccupied to have a high quality education for their children.

This way of thinking and working was taken to the colonies where they formed and civilized nations. It is only in London that the number of those in need exceeds The picture of the society is not only a happy one, expressing admiration, but it is also a sad one, depicting the sufferings of the English people. Thus we can observe that the image of the Other, in our case the English, has changed in accordance with the creator of the image who, this time is more prepared to make a deeper analysis of the alterity.

Towards the end of the 19th century the information about England and the English became more diversified and coulnd be read not only in letters but also in textbooks and different articles in newspapers. Stamatescu for high school pupils. Having been under foreign oppression for long periods of time, the Romanians were lacking in a good organization in all fields of economy. This was the reason that determined Virgil Madgearu to write a study about the situation of the Romanian economy and about the labour exchange in England as an example of reducing unemployment.

He makes a deep analysis of the principles, organization and activity of the Labour Exchange, of the law and the method used to apply it and recommends it as a valuable example for many other countries Madgearu, An important factor in all the achievements of the English people is their educational system. Along the 19th century many Romanian travelers, writers, diplomats, intellectuals, observed and later on tried to implement at home the good things they saw.

An extensive presentation of the English educational system and its benefits and way of organization is done by Tereza Stratilescu. She made a trip to England with the aim to study the educational system in order to bring her contribution to the development of the Romanian one. She published her articles in Convorbiri literare in , and From the very beginning she observed that in England they learn a lot, but a great importance is given to drawing and physical drills.

Tereza Stratilescu motivates her deep interest in presenting the sports activities: to awaken the interest of those at home in organizing the school activities. In order to understand the functioning of the educational system the author goes to schools, high schools, universities, attends both classes and meetings of the boards of directors, admires the initiative of University Extension which gives the opportunity of getting educated both for rich and poor.

She analyses the curricula of all the universities she visits, she is also interested in technical institutions and in the way teachers, mostly women, are formed and evaluated to obtain the best results. The emancipation of women was considered an important subject to be discussed and many examples from the English society were given in newspapers and magazines. Out of them 22 live in London, 16 in other cities, 17 in India, the others travel from one place to the other.

All articles, letters, short stories, studies prove a permanent interest in the economy, in the development of the English society, in the inventions, scientific discoveries but all these were strongly connected with the idea of work, with a certain behavior of the English worker, his professionalism, his qualities which were set as examples for any nation.

As England has been a powerful country along centuries and because the industrial revolution started there it has also become a model, an effective example especially for a country such as Romania, where modernization was imperative. If at the very beginning of the contacts with England the aim was mainly political, to ask for support in order to obtain the throne, the interests changed according to the personality who visited England.

For example Petrache Poenaru was interested in industry, manufactures, technical problems, comminication; Vasile Alecsandri and Jean Bart, both writers, left in their books the image of the most civilized country. Vasile Alecsandri, who was also a diplomat, together with Ion Ghica drew their attention upon the problems of the Union and Independence. There are many notes, articles private and diplomatic letters which give us a great picture of England wherefrom we find out the details of British everyday life, the social life of different classes, the traditions, religion, the educational system, the parliament system.

The Romanians went to England not only to ask for politcal support, but also to observe, to learn and to bring back all this knowledge and disseminate it at home so that the Romanians could live a better life. The travellers and the diplomats admired the bicameral English Parliament, and the constitutional monarchy, models which finally they succeeded to implement in their country.

They also admired the English woman who was so independent and emancipated as compared to the Romanian one. The educational system in England was also a model for establishing new schools in the three provinces. Many times it has been said that the Romaninans have a special philia for the French people who influenced the formation and development of our culture and society. But the modern spirituality of the Romanian people was formed not only under the French influence, but also the English spirit penetrates the Romanian collective mentality, thus the English culture becomes a model for the Romanian culture this including the idea of work and worker.

The process was a natural one, the majority of universities adopting European Studies programs in the previous years of their adhesion to the European Union. Jean Monnet Action was the European program which most stimulated the dissemination of European Studies and the development of specializations. E-mail: buda igri. Le professeur Zbigniew B. Jean Monnet: Projets exemplaires. I argue that the persistence of the phenomenon of maintaining old institutional arrangements is due to institutional memory, which unlike other countries of the former USSR, is virtually non-existent for processes specific to the modern or interwar period when the foundations were laid for institutional arrangements based on the principle of academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

The analysis uses some comparative situations which occurred in the Baltic States as examples which offer a number of demonstrative references like what would have happened if the institutional memory of institutional forms and arrangements in the interwar period were more consistently retained over time.

Keywords: institutional change, incremental change, path dependency, governance in higher education The evolution of higher education in the Republic of Moldova is a little explored subject in literature, which is characterized by a reduced number of deep analyses and by the fact that relatively few specific aspects are known. Also, very little is known about the evolution of higher education in this Eastern European state in the European and international external space, the Republic of Moldova thus missing from the international research agenda on the dynamics of the internal system of higher education.

Being a relatively young system, it failed to form its own tradition based on one of the models of governance in higher education. Thus, for two decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the higher education system in Moldova is drifting in its process of identifying and adopting a style of governance, according to current models of Western systems. Thus, the field of higher education in this country still remains dominated by institutional arrangements established in the post-war period and marginally modified during subsequent decades.

What is more, in the last two decades very little was researched and written about the consequences of the institutions which emerged and developed during the existence of the USSR on the current education system in the Republic of Moldova. Consequently, both decision makers and practitioners in the field of educational policies, particularly higher education policies, have developed a legitimizing rhetoric regarding the steps which are necessary in order to achieze in structural and even systemic change in education.

From a comparative perspective, the recent historical evolution shows that some state entities which resulted from the dissolution of the Soviet Union managed to establish or restore new systems of education, based on democratic values, principles and institutional arrangements. The higher education system in the Republic of Moldova does not have such a long history1 and the lack of tradition in this respect has influenced both the initial training as well as the governance of the system in general and of higher education institutions in particular.

Because of this, a local culture of system governance based on the logic of academic freedom and institutional autonomy could not be generated. However, as I describe in the following pages, in the early years of the transition period, after exhausting the national revival impulses, the arrangements which were institutionalized and strengthened in Soviet times proved to be more solid and lasting, leading until now to their persistence, as well as to the failure of the expected institutional changes.

Consequently, the reforms initiated after actually promoted an incremental state specific to the Soviet model of education, a model which by December no longer corresponds to its particular system, but lies in undismantled principles, norms and behaviours. During the transition period, the Soviet institutional arrangements in higher education in the Republic of Moldova were in fact strengthened due to the appeal to the stability and effectiveness they have demonstrated in over six decades of application.

The failure in changing institutional arrangements can be explained by the fact that institutional memory regarding the institutional arrangements specific to the interwar period was not quite as substantial as it was in the Baltic States. But, theoretically, the failure in changing institutional arrangements can be analysed through the path dependence approach.

In the last two decades the neo-institutional studies and analyses focused, besides many other topics of interest, on explaining the phenomena and processes of institutional change. It is commendable that many of them refer to the paradigm of incremental changes, and that the promoters of the new institutionalism aspire to provide more precise analyses Meyer and Rowan, 9. Mainly, the neo-institutional authors 1 From the point of view of the existence of a sui-generis organizational system created and developed on the constitutional territory of the current Republic of Moldova it totals eight decades.

This recent approach provides a basis for substantial empirical studies related to policy implementation, organizational continuity and their incremental change, as well as the redefinition of the symbolic and relational systems in modelling the regulatory, normative and cultural-cognitive relationships between actors Greener, Institutional memory in this context is understood as a physiological institutional capacity to transfer and undertake temporal parallels.

And, in this context, path dependence provides the records needed to assess the success or failure of policies along the temporal and procedural trajectories, highlighting the chaining between the causes and effects related to these processes, as well as other complementary phenomena or processes.

In this context, the role of institutional memory is to select and store the most effective and relevant arrangements, both positive and negative, so that over time, in the context of critical junctures, it can recourse to some of them. Therefore, institutional memory is often a major and determinant factor in shaping and promoting institutional change, especially of those of incremental type. Thus, in the opinion of neo-institutional researchers, path dependence has become the conceptual linchpin in analysing and explaining political processes and policy processes Peters, The theoretical and methodological substantiation of the path dependence approach was achieved by inspiration and analogy from other fields of study, such as technological development, economic history and theory of organizations rather than from the traditional approaches of political sciences.

Following this transfer process which was undertaken, the concepts and methods had to be adapted to the contexts and nuances specific to political sciences. As a result, the current explanations that use the path dependence approach encompass a certain interdisciplinary maturity in providing a deeper understanding of the processes of institutionalization, change and organizational and institutional transformation in a longitudinal evolution.

Over time, institutional arrangements as well as the organizational ones undergo a self-strengthening process in order to take full advantage of the set of opportunities provided. The process is called by researchers in the field a framework to ensure increasing profits increasing returns , indicating that this framework ensures the stability of the respective arrangements in time. After a brief presentation of the analysis approach it should be emphasized that changes in institutional arrangements specific to higher education governance provide a barometer of the state of the entire spectrum of society, not only of the administrative system.

What is more, accepting certain changes, even the ones which remove the old path dependence and create a new path dependence indicates the economic, social, political and cultural availability in assessing, raising the awareness and establishing new arrangements, which are much more efficient than previous ones. Here it must be noted that in the last two decades there was a tendency to replace the Soviet administrative culture in the administrative system of the Republic of Moldova with different administrative cultures more or less in line with internal political and social specificity.

However, the persistence of an administrative culture of helplessness was highlighted, culture at the same time patriarchal, centralized and fully hybridized, arrangements that are not significantly different from the former Soviet arrangements which were institutionalized and strengthened in Soviet times.

A similar process occurred in the case of the higher education system, whose governance has experienced significant variations over recent decades, but the Soviet-style founding arrangements are still commonly used, meaning that path dependence has not yet been removed. In some ways, higher education institutions have even surpassed authorities and administrative structures in their efforts of self-change. By appealing to practices specific to the mimetic isomorphism, the system and its components were able to withstand pretty harsh political and economic Institutional memory Exogenous Symbolic and relational systems, routines and artefacts pressures Invremental variations Incremental variations System Critical Path closure split correction juncture Path dependency in t Path dependency in Setting up a new path interwar period soviet period dependency Fig.

However, in most cases, the interventions which were undertaken did not lead to a better governance, but to the spread of unilateral and arbitrary relations of obedience. In the following paragraphs I argue why this change was doomed to failure and which are the determinants of this result. After the dissolution of the USSR, the former Soviet republics had to manage their administrative, political, economic, social aspects, etc. In other words, we are talking about the creation of new states in which the regulatory relations specific to the former regime continued to be used as key fundamentals in the context of new states.

Thus, until the old institutions are dismantled and replaced with new institutions, we can consider these states to be intermediate, transition-type states. The functioning of new states should represent the result of the initiation and implementation of systemic changes of regulatory, normative and cultural-cognitive relations in a shorter or longer period of time.

The major difference between the status of intermediate state and new state is that, in a new state, path dependencies in different public sectors are fully dismantled and replaced with new functional ones, which present more or less different arrangements. Therefore, in a new state, the new arrangements produce increasing profits by the fact that they continue, more or less, to meet social, economic, political and cultural requirements, while generating economic performance.

Figure 1 shows the process of removing an old path dependence and creation of a new path dependence for some of the former Soviet states, including the Republic of Moldova. A key element of the transition period is that during the change of path dependence, old and new relations coexist.

Institutional memory plays a key role in the process of dismantling and setting up a new path dependence. Its role is to guide the trajectory of change, stabilization and preservation of new arrangements. If during the transition considerations like restoring the arrangements of the previous state prevail, the institutional memory holds the position of "bridge over time" offering the opportunity to recourse to the old institutional arrangements, including the meanings of institutional myths Meyer and Rowan, Thus, based on artificial repositories of memory, institutional memory transfers relationships from past to the present.

According to Herbert Simon, organizations need artificial memories far more than individuals, that would lead in time to further perpetuate habits, routines, common understandings, etc. Simon, Old relations, maintained through institutional agents are refitted in a process of re- updating and adaptation to the new economic and social context Zucker, The refitted relations, together with other new relationships, form the range of options available for setting up a new path dependence.

Institutional memory is more prominent in higher education institutions, due to the fact that universities are "historic" agents with relative continuity Dobbins and Knill, Such institutional memory forms the foundations of system governance in which interested agents contribute either to accelerating the change process and then to reducing its scale, or just to reducing the scale of change. Even some foreign models characterized by high performance and quality are repelled by resistance and institutional inertia, if they intend to change the dominant institutional arrangements within the limits of the path dependence.

In this sense, the incremental change undertaken in order to adapt to a new context depends to a great extent on the dynamics of exogenous pressures and on the endogenous structural-institutional inertia. A characteristic of the higher education institutions in the Central and Eastern Europe area is the dichotomy between institutional patience and the isomorphic repetition of the same institutional changes Dobbins and Knill, These circumstances of change and transnational convergence provide not only an impetus for the revival of previous models and particular domestic strategies, but also a context of dispersion for the policy patterns propagated through transnational processes of communication and information exchange.

The Baltic States provide an example of institutional memory usage in the transition period. The spirit of denial and repudiation of the Soviet educational control elements which were imposed arbitrarily, stimulated the initiation and completion of the process of restoring institutions, instruments and academic values specific to secular universities Tomusk, , such as: University of Vilnius founded in , University of Tartu f.

In the preliminary stages of the dissolution of the USSR, during the years , the arrangements specific to the internal governance of higher education institutions were gradually restored to value. Appealing to traditional values through institutional memory facilitated the process of initiating and continuing changes in higher education in those countries. Thus, shortly after the proclamation of sovereignty, the old path dependence in higher education has been replaced by another path dependence in which the relationships specific to the Soviet system of higher education were dismantled and replaced by a series of relationships specific to the interwar period, and also with a set of new arrangements resulting from the new economic and social context.

Expanding international communication and cooperation, legislative changes, institutional democratization were much easier to attain because of the appeal to university values inherited from the modern past Kroos, Turning to the landmarks of academic heritage also contributed to the democratization and strengthening of the new political regime. For example, in the case of Estonia, the change of educational paradigm was an inevitable option to democratize and liberalize the state.

Thus, in Estonia, in , a reform of the whole education system was undertaken that changed the philosophy of education, the relationship with the state funding, authorization and evaluation , the relationship with the profit and non-profit sectors, etc. In this way, the entire educational system was cleared of the Soviet organization, operation and management elements. In a distinct law regarding the activity of universities came into effect, which essentially changed the system governance Aaviksoo, , thus setting a new path dependence.

Also, by appealing to institutional memory and setting new path dependencies it was much easier to apply the methods and tools specific to the approach of the new public management, although the institutionalization path was quite sinuous Leisyte and Kizniene, It is noteworthy that removing the old path dependence and setting the new one required a period of about five years.

In comparison to some countries of the former USSR it can be said that the change was done in a relatively short time. As noted above, changing the governance of higher education system in the Republic of Moldova was circumscribed to changes required in all public sectors. Even from the beginnings of its stand-alone existence, in a country undergoing a process of decomposition and in a future independent country, the higher education system had to seek its own path through the breaches of socialism.

The proclamation of sovereignty had to represent the distinct moment at the beginning of the removal of old path dependence and the setting of a new one. There were real prerequisites to initiate major changes of a split. However, the lack of a national-ideological project, similar to the interwar period, as well as the lack of external assistance contributed to limiting the process only to the aspect of system correction, carried out mainly through exogenous pressures.

The remaining relationships that produced an effect, some of them having a decentralized nature due to the implementation of the provisions of the reform generated during , were considered satisficient for the new political and social context. In the same context the lack of a political doctrine on education was noted in the new political context.

The provisions were centred rather on issues such as increasing wages, the number of scholarships and enrolment. Still, no party has elaborated a strategy for the structural change of the entire educational field. A first attempt of this kind took place only in , when a new political party assumed a wider program of interventions, sketching systemic change tactics, but without perfecting its own doctrine in education.

Therefore, the absence of a competitive framework of political doctrines on education led to a lack of implementation strategies for long-term changes. This feature is currently maintained in present days. Also, for approximately one quarter of the respondents, this factor has the strongest negative impact on the change of the domestic higher education.

The questionnaire aimed to identify the opinions of decision-makers in the system and of management factors in the higher education system about the changes that have to be made for the system to become competitive both internally and internationally. A total of questionnaires were applied, corresponding to 6 institutions of higher education, as the most representative, and to some authorities and decisional structures in the field of higher education system governance.

The possible existence of an institutional memory would have allowed the establishment of a series of competing political doctrines concerning the new educational paradigm and the new model of higher education governance in the first moments of the new state. By not having a foundation of tradition and personal experience in the development of higher education, the system came adrift: it did not have a clear stake.

The relations specific to democratic centralism produced and continue to produce effects that are contrary to the goal of improving quality, performance and competitiveness in this sector. Therefore, the lack of an institutional memory characteristic of the interwar period contributed to the slowdown of change processes in higher education, even though the actors were motivated to make changes similar to those in the Baltic States.

In order to compensate for the lack of landmarks, in the first years there was an enhanced cooperation with higher education institutions in Romania. Thus, the call for institutional memory has been replaced by the transfer of symbolic and relational systems, routines and artefacts specific to Romanian higher education, which was in turn partially restored with the help of institutional memory. From this point of view, the concept of institutional memory usage, indicated by the arrow in Figure 1, does not apply in full for the Republic of Moldova.

The institutional memory usage has been done in an improper and indirect manner. From that moment on, Romanian universities have developed a key role in the changing the governance of the higher education system in the Republic of Moldova. Due to a lack of essential landmarks for the democratic foundation of higher education, there was a state of helplessness in terms of changing the system.

This unfavourable conjuncture was rounded by the succession of economic crises and turbulent political changes. Therefore, the context was not favourable to the change of system management immediately after the disappearance of the USSR, even though there was an obvious social pressure related to increasing access to higher education programs.

Thus, policymakers opted for a two-step approach: first they wanted the implementation of a system repair - mechanisms of de-ideologization of the system and of the practices related to institutional and system management - and only afterwards bringing about a gradual structural change.

The idea of systemic change was abandoned right in the first year after gaining independence. Therefore, the process of dismantling the old institutional relations was limited to system de-ideologization and to the creation and consolidation of new axiological landmarks. Thus, during the transition, old relations coexisted and continue to coexist with new relationships, without a critical juncture to establish new path dependence.

In essence, the old path dependence works along with the relations transferred from the Romanian higher education system. Underlining its intention of establishing and enhancing relationships with various Western countries and regional organizational structures, both European and international, the Republic of Moldova had to adapt on the fly to the new administrative and economic circumstances. A first problematic element refers to the incompatibility of administrative practices.

On the one hand, the internal administrative system derives from the administrative system of the USSR - taking as such the relations introduced and developed over more than 45 years from the full incorporation of the territory between Prut and Dniester in the USSR. In this situation, most of the administrative and political contingent wanted to maintain the practices that proved convenient to the internal context, through political, economic, social, cultural and military cooperation in the Commonwealth of Independent States CIS.

However, until the completion of this article, the changes are minor and do not lead to a critical juncture related to the closure of the old path dependencies and implementation of a new path dependence, similar to the process in Georgia in On the other hand, in the pre and post de jure dissolution of the USSR the intention to establish and enhance relations with Western countries and international organizations crystallized as the Republic of Moldova sought to assert itself as a sovereign and independent state on the international arena.

Thus, some of the factors of persuasion have argued for a complete detachment from CIS, as was the case of the Baltic States and for the establishment of major structural changes by rallying external assistance. For this reason, the pressure of external actors began to grow exponentially. Even though in the first decade of the new state specific steps were taken to remove the Soviet residues of governance arrangements for higher education, it should be noted that they were not completely eliminated like in some ex-Soviet republics, but at certain times in 3 It is important to note that some of the policy makers of that time recognize and accurately describe the situation.

For example, these details can be found in the published memoirs of former presidents of the Republic of Moldova, Mircea Snegur and Petru Lucinschi as well as Mircea Druc, Prime Minister of Moldova from May - June ; 4 For example, as a counterweight to the Bologna Process, in the years following the creation of the CIS, there has been developed the idea of a common educational space of member states. Gradually, the idea became the strategic objective of CIS and acquired juridical and normative legitimacy on January 17th by signing the Cooperation Agreement between Member States about the creation of a single common educational space.

In this context, during the last decade, there was a lack of structural desire based on chaining vision, goals, actions, results and effects over time. In other words, the conceptual vision of the mission and purpose of national higher education in the context of the participation in the EHEA did not exist. The existence of a conceptual vision would have generated the development and adoption of an educational pact, causing policy makers and decision-makers to comply with an integrated route of policies, strategies and actions to change higher education governance arrangements in the context of an active participation within the EHEA.

Thus, we can conclude that the institutional change designed in the mid of the last decade has failed. An efficient institutional change would mean ensuring the functioning of institutional arrangements in higher education in an efficient and effective manner, accessible to all stakeholders and generating institutional transparency.

Moreover, successful institutional change would have meant that the system had the ability to respond directly and promptly to the social and economic needs of direct and indirect beneficiaries by providing diversified, personalized and high quality education and research programs. Or, in the last chapter I have showed that today, higher education in the Republic of Moldova does not meet either social or economic needs.

Following the logic that policies transform or expand state capacity and that changes in the state can cause substantial changes at societal level, it can be concluded that the Republic of Moldova did not make structural and system changes in the sectors and public areas that would have had a major impact on the change of institutional arrangements in higher education system governance. To conclude, in the case of the higher education system in the Republic of Moldova, their lack of institutional memory proved to be a decisive negative factor for the failure in institutional change, a change that would have meant dismantling the old path dependence and establishing a new one.

The path dependence of the Soviet model of higher education continues to be used due to the fact that it still provides a series of increasing profits for some agents, such as political parties, leading factors, some authorities in the system etc. Instead, the compensatory call for an institutional memory specific to the Romanian higher education system has contributed to some isomorphic incremental changes so that systems become comparable and convergent to some extent.

By developing a national project claimed from the dynastic tradition, strongly affected in its internal logic by the universalistic manifestations from the Maoist period, China has handled the associational revolution generated, according to sinologists, by the so-called open door policy promoted by Xiaoping in a way in which the control of masses to be continued as a key- element of state politics; by implementing institutional networks of audit and sponsorship, the state intended precisely to limit the association movement of individuals likely to nurture subversive tendencies.

Keywords: Chinese society, NGOs, legislation, political reforms, social capital 1. The definitional dynamics of civil society In order to define civil society in a Chinese context, one has first to proceed to the disambiguation of the definitional area, a defective implying of the concept often constituting an impasse in correctly analyzing the situation in China.

Civil society is that part of the society where «the organisation is voluntary, spontaneous, financially independent and autonomous in relation with the state, built upon a law or a set of unanimously accepted rules» L. The Dialectics of Democracy in a Communist State 39 development of non-governmental sector proves the re-activation of the Chinese affirmative civic forces and accurately informs with regard to the level of convergence of individual representations concerning the necessity of a socio-political transformation.

As Yin-Hong Shi put it, a typical developed civil society presents six major characteristics: independence and autonomy, immunity from excessive state interference or control, an identity self-consciousness and a set of values clearly defined and insubordinate , the presence of a strong and economically powerful middle class, alienation from the state's belief system or ideology, rationality and civility Ying-Hong, We should point out the fact that, in the modern political context, the concept of civil society involves a certain dualism not only in regard to the implementation procedures but mostly when attaching a particular goal to its creation; in an already established democratic context, the civil society is prone to become a simple analytical instrument whereas in a transitional society the existence of an active civil society gives the right incentives for the people engaged in a democratization process.

In so doing, the existence of civil society becomes a goal per se. Precisely a defective social order is what Chinese society is facing right now and the coercive measures imposed by the Chinese government only aggravated the situation; it is estimated that the total number of the non-registered NGOs is approximately 10 times higher than that of the registered ones Xu, Zhao, i. This constitutes, by itself, the rationale for which the civil society analysis in China often exceeds the rules of objectivity and claims a certain positioning in relation to the political regime and the idealization of the democratic associative initiative.

The Legal Framework The non-governmental organizations in China have been subjected to new legislation several times; they have been legally framed first in when the transition to a new regime was taking place , then in as a consequence of the democratic movement from Beijing and then again in when the documents are revisited and completed.

The first two legislative acts regulated the functioning and administration for a general category social organizations but maintained an ambiguous definition regarding the entities they addressed to this definitely helped a lot in refusing the right to operate to numerous suchlike organizations. Through the act of , the Chinese government has introduced new regulations concerning the registration and the management of NGOs, its exhaustive nature being in fact an answer to the need of control of all the categories previously omitted.

In so doing, the relation between the state and the NGOs is irremediably compromised, state's actions contributing to the creation of a hostile environment that totally excludes the idea of partnership. The first revising initiative of the regulations goes back to when Jiang Zemin than chairman of the CCP — Chinese Communist Party initiated the discussions regarding the necessity of reinforcing the NGOs management policies control. They were later supplemented by "Regulations on the Registration and Administration of Foundations", "Notice from Ministry of Civil Affairs on related problems of certain associations exempted from the registration of social associations" e.

Is there a Civil Society in China? The Dialectics of Democracy in a Communist State 41 regulations: the foundations ji jin hui and the branches of overseas foundations jin way ji jin hui dai biao ji gou Xu, Zhao, 4. A genuine aspect of the new regulations is the obligation for each NGO to register with the Ministry of Civil Affairs or any of its regional or local departments, the so-called "registration and management agencies".

The registration process relies on strict eligibility criteria which are being established in a manner that hampers more than facilitates the whole process. Basically, the legal right of interfering totally cancels the autonomous character of the organization, which may lead to the hypothesis that being outlawed may in fact be preferable to the official recognition.

Similar to NGOs, GONGOs are directly subordinated to the Government, operating as consultative research centres, foundations or philanthropic institutions on different governmental projects. The strong partnership between the communist authorities and GONGOs guarantees a massive allocation of funds and highly qualified human resources, these organizations often benefiting from an exceptional leadership emanated from the retired political class.

The lack of autonomy of this particular sort of organization is strikingly obvious, sometimes the privileges they enjoy not being enough to compensate the moral discomfort stemmed from the coercive forces of state apparatus. As the Chinese government is moving away from being the sole provider of social welfare, it is willing to give a larger role to the voluntary sector, registered or otherwise.

There's no factual difference between the registered NGOs and the GONGOs both benefiting from governmental support , the ambiguity this situation engenders perfectly explaining the reason why some people argue that there is no real NGO in China. The registered NGOs are usually established by influential individuals often enjoying a strong connection with the government or the party. The influential and charismatic character of the registered NGOs leaders may persuade one administration and management agency to take responsibility for it and offer the registration certificate, but it is not always the case.

The influential leaders may also hamper the dialogue between different units precisely because of NGOs reliance on their image and influence; in case of their departure, the NGO may as well cease its activity. In a report published by Chatham House, is stated the necessity for some NGOs management system to be perfected and the relational system and inter-organizational dialogue to be improved; based in a great extent upon the popularity of the leader, his charisma and his decisive force, the cooperation may be impeded from becoming operational if the leaders are to disagree or simply get stuck at roundtables without producing viable arrangements Civil Society and Environmental Governance in China, 3.

The non-registered NGOs are facing a difficult situation stemmed from their uncertain legal status; although they are allowed to operate through the courtesy of Chinese government , the non-registered NGOs are usually subject to multiple restrictions such as not being able to open a bank account or to enter into contractual relations.

Also their activities are often based on voluntary work because of the impossibility to pay or later to provide social services to their employees. Some NGOs are choosing to register as business enterprises or subsidiary organizations within different institutions just to be able to carry-on their activities; others are simply refusing to register and are deliberately accepting the informal character of their organization.

The Dialectics of Democracy in a Communist State 43 defined legal status, any action the establishing of an office or organizing a fund raise claims for a memorandum of understanding Edele, 17 meaning a negotiation session with the local authorities. An easier way of operating within the Chinese territory is by registering as a foreign enterprise, which claims a more transparent procedure and allows hiring Chinese employees for an in-depth analysis of the legal framework and NGOs typology in China see Edele, To what extent the occidental paradigm succeeded in accommodating the Chinese collective thinking and generating new patterns of civic behaviour, more or less evocative for a new intellectual tradition in post-Mao China?

By what means one can cancel the historical memory and the national ideology in order to produce new contexts of belonging quasi-antithetical to the current political and social habitat? I will try to answer these questions by taking into account what the history of modern China could offer us in terms of political and especially social activism. It has been stated that the Chinese associational system has its origins in the economic policies introduced in and the open-door7 actions from later on.

I think that a little more than a paradigm transfer is needed in order to fully understand the phenomenon of civil society. According to Amy E. Gadsen, the May earthquake was in fact the key-moment in the long process of acceptance of NGOs presence and prominent role in China; it was then when the international community along with many of the Chinese officials were notified in respect to the Chinese civil society's level of emergence: NGOs and 63 foundations offered their support to help the victims Gadsden, 1.

This seems at least paradoxical given the fact that the Chinese government defines itself as an institution capable of controlling all the information networks and, in general, all the activities undertaken by all units; nevertheless, there is no clear evidence regarding the total number NGOs, despite the territorial agencies' efforts in collecting all the data needed in order to get a clear image upon the phenomenon. Civil society, not only as an idea, but also as practice, has emerged in the Chinese context alongside the division lines between the new post-Mao intelligentsia and the government, being a whole cycle of experiences, individually and collectively shared, capable of giving the right sense for a re-born China.

According to Wang Yizhou, the emergence of civil society as element of discourse took place in the early s, at the junction of major global socio-transformative phenomena such as the dissolution of Soviet Union and the ending of the Cold War with the political and economic reform in China deeply rooted in the massacre of Tiananmen ; the Western public debates also fuelled, to a great extent, the civil society discussions Yizhou, 1 and created the context for the development of a new set of social expectations, built around the civic identity, but also around the idea of personal achievement.

From a historical point of view, the first modern civic association in China is considered to be Qiangxue Society8 - a reformist group founded by Kang Youwei in 7 Concerning mostly the economic field, the initiative had multiple ramifications, the strategic development policies from the beginning of the s creating a societal space capable of overcoming its former dysfunctionalities.

Although not a significant, politically or socially, initiative, its prohibition gave rise to a profound interest for such manifestations; according to statistics, in the first decade of the 20th century membership associations were established including 83 reformist groups, 65 revolutionary, commercial, educational, 65 academic, 50 diplomatic, 17 cultural and 83 other categories Shaoguang, Jianyu, Facing a short gap between and , stemmed from the ideological vacuum following Yuan Shikai's death, after the May Fourth Movement from the associational trend has gained an extraordinary force, the so-called organizations benefiting from the support of the two parties - the Nationalist Party KMT and the Communist Party, both engaged in fighting against the regional and local terrorist factions the warlords Shaoguang, Jianyu, Giving the context, we should say a couple of words regarding May Forth Movement; it is considered to be the first significant uprising in the history of modern China caused by the Chinese people disagreement, especially students, about the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles concerning the transfer to Japan and not China the legal beneficiary of Germany's rights and privileges in the province of Shandong.

Begun in Beijing May, 4th , the students' protest against Japan and the pro-Japanese ministers rapidly spread all around Chinese cities, benefiting also from the workers and merchants support; although more than demonstrators from Beijing were arrested, their protest put some pressure on the Chinese government which decided to release them in June 12, and dismiss all the pro-Japanese ministers.

The outcome of their protest stood for the influence the Chinese masses may have upon the politics producing an important historical benchmark for the associational activism in modern China for more information see Zhang, Part of the global "associational revolution", the Chinese state has dynamized its volunteering sector especially during the conflagrations between and the war against the Japanese invaders and the Civil War when Mao Zedong supported the cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and different mass organizations from the conflict areas, which have been asked to join the political structure in order to create a common front capable of dealing with the situation.

The entry into force of the Organic Outline for the Registration of Mass Organizations in constituted the first major step in edifying the civil society in China; the switch occurred in when the attitude of the party changed radically, the repudiation of the important role of civil society for the society as whole leading to the absorption of the pro-communist entities e.

China Democratic Alliance or 9. During the period of all the measures taken in regards to the NGOs not NGOs per se, but similar associations were to enhance the state control upon the society; hence, they were all institutionalized and became nothing but instruments of power and control. Since the middle s the Cultural Revolution included until the first decade of the s there was practically no activity for or from the civil society agents.

The Dialectics of Democracy in a Communist State 45 Only after the re-emergence of civil society occurred, following the reforms introduced by the new Chinese leadership. The ideological vacuum stemmed from the disparagement of Maoism lead to the "liberalization of economy" which was meant to change China's role within the international community; nevertheless, the situation proved itself to be hard to handle by the sole Government.

Concomitantly, the Chinese society suffered a profound transformative process, easily noticeable in the emergence of cultural salons and of a progressive press whose principles illustrated the propensity for the later democratic movements. Simultaneously, the decentralization created a new institutional framework and generated a moral quest for individual rights and liberties whose infringement became more visible as the Chinese society starts to unfold its irregularities. We are facing the crucial moment of , when the Chinese state is about to commit the most atrocious act against its own nation: the massacre from Tiananmen Square.

Publicly opposed to the conservative leadership this including Deng Xiaoping Hu Yaobang has been charged for promoting the "bourgeois liberalization" and forced to retire in His death, in , following a heart attack which occurred during a session of the Chinese Politburo from which he took part even after the exclusion from the decision making process triggered a wave of manifestations among intellectuals and Chinese students who have constituted themselves in the period between April 17th and June 4th when the martial law was implemented into an extraordinary force, mobilizing thousands of participants and millions of supporters, following the emergent need to change the actual regime into a democratic system and to send away the reactionaries from the Communist Party leadership for an in-depth analysis upon the events of see Zhang, Although for some the events of are nothing but a reproduction of the previous ones , , , they have, nevertheless, contributed to the illustration of a repressed reality from post-Mao China; the constant re-dimensioning of the phenomenon, not only by multiplication of the participants, but also by transcending the initial sphere — from simple students to intellectuals and later on to the whole society, proved the real significance of this movement.

Beside the well articulated objectives and aims, by publicly denouncing the Government errors or misconducts and its anti- democratic measures, their action served to raise political awareness and responsibility in each individual. Series ISSN : Edition Number : 1. Skip to main content. Search SpringerLink Search. Buying options eBook EUR Softcover Book EUR Learn about institutional subscriptions.

Table of contents papers Search within book Search. Page 1 Navigate to page number of 8. Front Matter. Salazar Pages Domingues, Renata M. Cysneiros Pages Shiblee, B. Chandra, P. Kalra Pages

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