FAES publishes the 38th issue of Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político

09/04/2013

    _ Zarzalejos reflects in this article on how, in the context of the current crisis, “populism provides nationalism with new possibilities of socialization”

    _ Alonso declares that the precedent of schisms in Northern Ireland’s terrorism constitutes an incentive to those who wish to perpetuate violence.

    _ Tellechea tackles the lack of growth and competitiveness of European societies in the face of economic globalization.

    _ Juaristi approaches the intellectual figure of Benedict XVI and explains his thought

FAES Foundation has published the 38 issue of its journal Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político. This edition includes several articles, prominent amongst which is Los desafíos del populismo y del nacionalismo radical (The challenges of populism and radical nationalism), written by Javier Zarzalejos, director of the magazine and secretary-general of FAES. In addition, this issue includes Terrorismo en Irlanda del Norte: evolución y análisis de situación (Terrorism in Northern Ireland: evolution and analysis of the situation), written by Rogelio Alonso, professor of Political Science. This article analyses the precedents of schisms as an incentive for those who wish to maintain the violence. On the other hand, Lawyer Iñigo Tellechea’s article Francia ante la crisis: reformar en democracia (France amidst the crisis: reforming Democracy) studies the lack of growth and competitiveness of European societies in the face of economic globalization. Jon Juaristi’s article, Benedicto XVI: una teología entre la nostalgia y la esperanza (Benedict XVI: a theology between nostalgia and hope), reminisces the intellectual figure of Joseph Ratzinger.

NATIONALISM AND POPULISM
Javier Zarzalejos, secretary-general of FAES, reflects in Los desafíos del populismo y del nacionalismo radical (The challenges of populism and radical nationalism), on how “populism provides nationalism with new possibilities of socialization”, during times of crises. The current situation of Europe, he explains, is the result of “a political and constitutional crisis, which only later was joined by an economic crisis that we are still ailing from”. According to Zarzalejos, “this portrays the political and institutional inadequacies of the Union”. In this context, he assures that “populism nurtures and allows it to address to a wide audience, to which it offers a chronicle of grievance that, in other circumstances, would not be credible, nor would have the same mobilizing force”

Throughout this text, Zarzalejos also stresses that “nationalisms that today aim to destabilize Europe nevertheless use Europe as an alibi”. In this sense he argues that “it’s typical of nationalism to make a dissociated discourse as the one that preaches the fracture of the national territory, whilst at the same time considering itself a champion of continental integration; as the one that demands bilateralism within the domestic realm, but declares its willingness to work in an imaginary European federal concert. In the same way that it’s typical of radical nationalism to demand rights outside in the name of democracy, whilst denying them inside in the name of identity".

Lastly, the secretary-general of FAES foundation warns that “radical nationalism is a structural threat to the process of European construction”, as it “presents itself as an alternative to the European Union, an alternative which seeks to deny integration”. As a result, Zarzalejos declares that “there are background values which must act as a guiding light in times of crisis, directing policies and defining new paradigms […] as pillars to build the foundations of our identity as Europeans”. “In times like these, it’s essential to have a political project which is able to rescue the best of the memory of the Europeans, update the meaning of the Union, and close the dividing gaps between them” he concluded.

DELEGITIMISING TERRORISM
In Terrorismo en Irlanda del Norte: evolución y análisis de situación (Terrorism in Northern Ireland: the evolution and analysis of the situation), Gregorio Alonso declares that the precedent of schisms in Northern Ireland’s terrorism constitutes an incentive to those who wish to perpetuate violence and recalls that “the fact that the political representatives of the IRA still justify today the use of violence in the past, presenting it as useful, necessary and effective, obstructs the delegitimisation of terrorism, which would tarnish the legitimacy of the ’dissidents’". “That absence of violence delegitimisation, provides them with arguments to justify its continuity in spite of the limited political and social support”. They can thus become heirs of a legacy which does not arise from the legitimacy of popular support, but on the historical legitimacy of the cause which they say to seek", he explains.

In this respect, Rogelio Alonso reflects on how “the threat of schisms has been an element of coercion, from which the political representatives of the IRA have benefited, mainly through the granting of concessions by the British and the Irish governments thinking that these would weaken the ‘dissidents’. However, this attitude shows the ‘dissidents’ that terrorism can yield profits". In words of the author, “this precedent is an incentive to those that want terrorism to remain, whether in the IRA or ETA, in spite of the factors that hinder the continuity of violence”.

The professor of Political Science also stresses throughout his text that “the terrorist efforts to try to remain active should be hindered by a firm counter-terrorist response that obstructs their moves and by an adverse political and social reaction, in addition to an intensification of police and military activities against them”.

REFORMS IN EUROPE
For his part, in Francia ante la crisis: reformar en democracia (France amidst a crisis: reforming Democracy), Iñigo Tellechea tackles the lack of growth and competitiveness of the European society in the face of economic globalization, and warns about the importance of undertaking, both in France and in the rest of Europe, a series of structural reforms, which, up to now, have been delayed due to the high degree of conflict that they pose. He points out that “Sarkozy addressed several technical reforms […], but avoided the most essential ones: policies of liberalization and for the downsizing of the public sector, its expenses and its debt”, and stresses that “when Sarkozy eluded the most conflictive reforms, he renounced to those that were the most significant”.

In this context, Tellechea reflects on the necessity to “synthesise freedom and values in a project promoted by a strong and organized civil society". "Civil Society must mobilize and evolve from a democracy of just liberties to one of responsibilities, which is able to promote on its own the analysis and the debates needed to carry out reforms”. In order to do this, it’s crucial to create a "common identity, which may be plural and diverse, but that should always remain clear. A national vocation”. After rejecting the sense of Patriotism, considering it authoritarian, and its traditional moral values, because they renounce their religious origin, the Spain of today lacks ethical and social referents. And being unable to act against a more serious crisis, prefers to wait for Godot.

BENEDICT XVI
Jon Juaristi, writer and a processor of Spanish philology, approaches the figure of Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) in his capacity as a thinker and a theologian in the article Benedicto XVI: una teología entre la nostalgia y la esperanza (In Benedict XVI: a theology in between nostalgia and hope). The author explains the main distinction of his thought, which, marked by the duality of nostalgia and hope, seeks to distinguish between the essential and the accidental. In addition, Juaristi also traces the Pope’s dialogue with Judaism and other religions, his younger years as a traditional Catholic and the obligation to coexist with Nazism, his teachings in Regensburg, and his rational opposition to Marxism.

In addition to these articles, the 38th issue of Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político includes a conference delivered by the economist Arthur B Laffer at the 2010 FAES Campus, titled Un marco fiscal orientado al crecimiento económico (A Fiscal Framework oriented to economic growth), and the following studies: Controlando al Leviatán: corrupción, anticorrupción e islas de autoridad (Controlling the Leviathan: corruption, anticorruption and islands of authority) written by Martín Santiváñez Vivanco, Obama y la nueva ciudadanía (Obama and the new citizenship), by Jose María Marco and Rafael Rubio, Israel sitiado. Amenazas en Oriente Medio (Israel Besieged: Threats in the Middle East), by Jacob Israel Sananes; La segunda muerte de Menéndez Pelayo (The second death of Menédez Pelayo) by César Alonso de los Ríos; ‘Cuadernos para el diálogo’ en la distancia del medio siglo (‘Cuadernos para el diálogo’: a review after 50 years), by Javier Rupérez; and Las instituciones y su futuro en un tiempo de incertidumbre (The institutions and their future in times of uncertainty), by Mario Ramos Vera.