Resistance to change: Romania’s debate over territorial reforms
This paper examines the evolution of debates
about territorial reforms in Romania in the first
two decades after the fall of Communism. It suggests
that the debate was shaped mainly by the choices
made by political elites in positioning their
parties in relation to ‘post-Communism’ and the
‘Hungarian issue’. Critically, territorial reform
rapidly ceased to be a tradable political asset in
coalition building for the Democratic Union of
Hungarians (UDMR). In recent years debate about
territorial reforms has been influenced more heavily
by exogenous factors (notably the desire to gain
accession to the EU).
Keywords: territorial reforms, inter-ethnic
In the summer of 2010 events combined to re-ignite a fierce debate about the governance of the Harghita/Covasna region in central Romania. The wider population was suffering the effects of a sharp downturn in earnings and employment following the international economic crisis. The national government was destabilised by the same issue. The international court in The Hague ruled on Kosovan independence. And the desire for autonomy was given voice by one of the great symbols of the 1989 revolutions against Communism – Laszlo Tokes – who, to compound the issue, was able to speak from platforms as a vice-president of the European Parliament.1
Tokes’ demands achieved such resonance because of the environment in which they were made: conflating, in the minds of his opponents, concerns about the economic and political independence of Romania from international forces that were beyond its control. Despite the storm, like so many calls for reform in the past, these soon faded from view as the political class in Bucharest returned to ‘business as usual’. Although reform returned to the agenda the following year (with proposals from the state president), the summer of 2010 illustrated why territorial reform proposals have so often foundered in Romania. This paper seeks to explore those reasons.
This paper suggests that the transition from Communism to liberal democracy shaped the structure and attitudes of both majority and minority nationalists (the two polar opposites in the autonomy debate). The choices made by the political representatives of the ethnic Hungarian community meant that autonomy ceased to be a tradable political asset of any significant value. As a result, there was little incentive for territorial reform. Politicians in the centre of the political spectrum and on Romanian nationalists also appear to have been influenced by more deeply rooted ideological norms that may have been reinforced by feedback from the electorate (in the form of occasional strong election performances by Romanian nationalists). Ultimately, external pressure from the European Union seems to have prompted what little reforms have been delivered.
Nation, dictatorship and democracy:
the forging of modern Romania
An independent Romanian state emerged through a series of steps in the second half of the nineteenth century. It is formed in part from former provinces of the Ottoman Empire but to the north and west of the Carpathian crescent lays Transylvania which for a long period was part of the Hungarian lands of the Hapsburg Empire.
National – or at least political - consciousness in the young state was dominated by attitudes to and relationships with its three imperial neighbours: the Hapsburg, Russian and Ottoman empires. Indeed, it is arguable that the legacy of that situation retains an influence today.2
Transylvania became the focus of nationalist aspirations once the Romanian state was formed. The ethnic heterogeneity of the region and the fact that its absorption into the Romanian state was not secured until after the second world war combined to keep it at the heart of Romanian national sentiments.3
In addition to these earlier influences, the state and politics of democratic Romania inevitably still bears some imprint from the Communist era which ran from August 1944 to December 1989. The regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, who led Romania from 1965 to his violent overthrow in December 1989, has frequently been noted as among the most authoritarian and also one of the most nationalistic Communist regimes in Central & Eastern Europe.4
The regime began to assimilate national myths from history and rehabilitate significant figures from the past, co-opting them into the Communist narrative of history.5 The government also developed distinctive policies towards Romania’s ethnic minorities: Jewish and Saxon citizens were permitted to leave in large numbers as visas were sold to Israel and Germany, generating a source of hard currency for the regime.6 The larger Hungarian community felt itself discriminated against in terms of its access to economic and political resources, the way in which Hungarian graduates were routinely placed in employment away from their home towns and the perception that the ‘Systematisation’ project – the re-settlement of communities into agro-industrial centres - was directed against their community.7
Following the collapse of Europe’s Communist regimes there was much talk of the re-ignition of ‘frozen conflicts’ and inter-ethnic disputes. In Romania, sensitivity about the integrity of the state’s borders regained a powerful resonance. The collapse of Communism in Romania came relatively late in the day but when it finally came the cataclysm was sudden and spectacularly violent.
From Communism to democracy
The exact nature of the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime is an enduring political enigma. By Christmas 1989, though, the nucleus of a new government – the National Salvation Front - had been formed. Initially it appeared to command wide public support but its most visible leadership was provided by dissident members of the Communist apparatus. This, and the Front’s decision to transform itself into a political party, taken in mid-January 1990, gave rise to a civic opposition movement and a rapid solidifying of political divisions over the legitimacy of the new regime. Party-based opposition to the Front was led by the re-born pre-Communist Parties (notably the National Liberal Party and the National Peasant Party). The re-emergence of these ‘historic parties’ and their leading role in the early transition had an important impact on the evolution of political contestation. Their leaders were drawn from among pre-Communist era party personnel and the parties’ ideological positioning reflected the preoccupations of those cadres.8
Those associated with the Front adopted broadly leftist policies with one group eventually transforming themselves into the Social Democratic Party. Opponents of the Front accused its leadership of staging an internal Communist Party coup and of planning to retain Communist power structures. But the political division between the government and the opposition also acquired a racial tone. The Hungarian Democratic Union (UDMR) had been formed by ethnic Hungarian intellectuals on Christmas Day, 1989. The formation rapidly gained a near monopoly position in relation to the political allegiance of the ethnic Hungarian community.9
Inter-communal violence in the ethnically mixed Transylvanian city of Targu Mures broke out in March 1990.10 The events in the city and its aftermath marked another step in the radicalisation of the political discourse. The notion that, in the wake of Targu Mures, radical Romanian nationalists were bolstered by support from the state rapidly gained currency among commentators and the opposition.11 The government certainly adopted rhetoric that fuelled fears about Hungarian irredentism, creating the political space for radical right actors and pushing the democratic opposition closer together in the run-up to the first democratic elections in May 1990.12 In return, the opposition gained willing allies in the form of the newly emerging representatives of the Hungarian community who felt a shared sense of persecution under Communism and who feared that the Front represented a continuation of the regime in a different form.13
The National Salvation Front won a stunning victory in elections held in May 1990. It prompted opposition leaders to pursue co-operation as its main strategy. And since the co-operation project stretched across the ethnic divide and was formed primarily as an anti-Communist vehicle, its main focus was on de-Communisation.
At the end of 1991 a new constitution was adopted. Despite the obvious potential for division, given the country’s heavily contested exit from Communism and the presence of a significant ethnic minority population, there has been relatively little dispute over the constitutional settlement until the constitutional conflict sparked by attempts to impeach President Traian Basescu.14 A number of seats in the lower house of parliament are reserved for parties representing ethnic minorities and the electoral system is drawn in such a way as to assist the UDMR in retaining representation in its own right.
The Hungarian Democratic Union 1990-1996
As mentioned, the Hungarian Democratic Union established and maintained a near monopoly on the votes of Romania’s ethnic Hungarian community. Brubaker indicated that for the ethnic Hungarian community in Cluj, voting for the UDMR was the equivalent of participation in a national census – turnout was thus maximised and for most it was simply inconceivable to vote for any other party.15
A further explanation for its sustained success may lie in the formation’s organisational structure. It was not constituted as a political party in the ordinary sense but as an alliance of political and civic society groups representing the Hungarian minority in Romania. By May 1991 it was reporting a membership of 533,000, around one third of the ethnic Hungarian population.16 In effect, the formation offered the community a shadow governing structure: the president is elected for a four year term and he is supported by an executive president whose functions are designed to mirror those of a prime minister. The links between the Union’s political structure and its allies in civil society – e.g. businesses and the Church, keep the formation rooted in the parochial concerns of the community and one ethnic-Hungarian politician suggests that the social homogeneity of the village-based Hungarian community also aids the Democratic Union in retaining its political monopoly.17
Whatever the full explanation as to why the Hungarian Democratic Union so quickly established a monopoly of support among the ethnic-Hungarian community in Romania, the results are clear. The politics of ethnicity were radicalised; some political actors in the majority ethnic community responded by setting up movements of their own; the narrative of politics became, if not dominated by, at least suffused with the language of nationalist conflict. The areas with a predominantly ethnic-Hungarian population were rapidly lost to all the ‘Romanian’ parties, and they have stayed lost ever since. Nor was there any likely benefit for alternative structures to try to compete for votes within the community.
The Hungarian Democratic Union was a founder member of the Democratic Convention, the opposition umbrella organisation formed in response to the heavy defeat of 1990.
For the 1992 elections the Democratic Convention manifesto called for greater decentralisation of powers to local administrations and for those to be free of interference from the organs of the central state (Democratic Convention, 1992).18 These messages were subordinate to the Convention’s strident anti-Communism but they were, in any event, barely tested in public debate which focused on other aspects of the Convention’s prospectus and more generalised messages (from the left) about threats to the integrity of the nation state.
Following the Convention’s defeat in 1992, the radicalism of some ethnic-Hungarian politicians was a regular source of tension within the Democratic Convention throughout the years in opposition.
Early in 1993 Laszlo Tokes made a series of controversial statements about the treatment of the Hungarian minority in Romania while on a lecture tour of the United States. His comments attracted criticism from government and opposition politicians in Romania and tensions remained high between the UDMR and other Convention members throughout the rest of the year. The wider political environment was heavily charged with inter-ethnic tension – the government was supported by radical nationalist parties which were keen to talk up the threats to Romanian territorial integrity posed by Hungarian recidivism.
The formation of a special council of ethnic-Hungarian local government officials led to the Hungarian Democratic Union being threatened with expulsion from the Convention at the end of 1994 – the issue went to the heart of the dispute over the status of Harghita and Covasna Counties which had overwhelmingly Hungarian populations and which the Democratic Union had been pressing to be given a degree of autonomy from the Romanian state. This was followed by the publication, in January 1995, of the UDMR’s Programme for Autonomy. This defined ‘community autonomy’ as self-government for minority groups at three levels: personal autonomy; local autonomy; and regional autonomy.19
This was too much for the other parties in the Convention and on February 16th 1995, faced with an ultimatum from the Convention leadership, the UDMR withdrew from the Convention.
Renewed transition: the centre right (and the UDMR) enter government
The elections of November 1996 marked a watershed for Romania. Emil Constantinescu won the presidential election in a run-off ballot and a coalition government led by the Democratic Convention was installed. It was the first wholly peaceful transfer of power in Romania since the 1920s. It was greeted with enthusiasm in the West as well as domestically.
The inclusion of the UDMR in the government was a major step. The statement announcing the Democratic Union’s withdrawal from the Convention in 1995 had confirmed its continued support for the formation’s basic objectives and the experience of that crisis seemed to lead to a moderation of behaviour on both sides. Despite being outside the formal structures of the Convention, the UDMR backed Constantinescu in the 1996 presidential run-off. It signed a secret ‘protocol’ with the parties of the Democratic Convention between the first and second ballots of the presidential election. The formations agreed to co-operate in the new parliament with the Hungarian Democratic Union joining the new government.
The UDMR’s entry into government is an important indicator of the formation’s own accommodation with the Romanian state. Its rejection of a radical anti-state approach (which happened at a very early stage) meant that it had participated fully in the operation of local government in those areas where its support was concentrated. It thus appears to have been able to build up a client base within those communities.
This situation is important because it begins to indicate what the UDMR viewed as tradable currency in coalition negotiations. The formation was secure in its monopoly position within its community. Control of state resources appeared to be gaining in importance. The question of autonomy for the Ardeal region did not feature in a significant way in coalition negotiations. Instead, the issue of minority language education became the key policy issue around which the UDMR sought to rally.
In 1998 the education issue threatened to force the formation out of government. The creation of a Hungarian-language university at Cluj had been a long-term aim and the government’s education law stopped short of delivering on this policy – the government’s reforming education minister could only offer Hungarian language classes within a structure where Romanian remained the dominant language.20 The debate went on for a number of months and only concluded in October when the UDMR’s Council of Representatives voted narrowly to remain in the coalition.
The coalition was already facing substantial political difficulties by this time but the Hungarian Democratic Union opted to remain loyal to the government even though it had failed to secure one of its key political objectives. The indication is that the UDMR was confident that it could achieve other policy objectives by remaining in government. The lower cost option of withdrawing from the Convention was no longer available (since the formation already sat outside the Convention) and the cost of complete withdrawal from the government would have been too high because they would have lost all influence over policy making. Indeed, it is possible to argue that simply by being in government the Democratic Union had secured the key political objective of demonstrating its future coalitionability to other parties, including the Social Democrats. This opened the door to future co-operation with the Social Democrats with the Hungarian Democratic Union secure in the knowledge that they did not risk a major loss of electoral support if such a coalition came about.
Return to the West?
In 2000 the centre-right government suffered a spectacular defeat in the presidential and parliamentary elections. In the west the elections were chiefly noted for the impressive performance of the Romanian nationalists. The Greater Romania Party became the second largest party in parliament and its leader made it through to the presidential run-off ballot. What could have heralded a step back to a more isolated past was, though, rejected by the Social Democrats. Instead of exploring coalition options with the Greater Romania Party they formed a minority government. Furthermore they negotiated an agreement with the UDMR whereby the Hungarian formation offered support in confidence motions.
Acceleration of Romania’s application for membership of the EU was a key plank of the Social Democrats’ policy platform. The slow process of catch-up that Romania was playing had begun towards the end of the previous Social Democrat government when bi-lateral relations with Hungary were finally normalised. The issue of territorial reform played a part in this evolving political story but only at the margins.
Preda and Soare assert that the notion of regional development in Romania was practically ignored from 1990-96 because of the politics of nationalism. They claim it was only the entry of Romania into the PHARE programme which brought the issue to light, with the legislative basis for regional structures coming into force in 1998.21
Changes made in 1998 reduced the reliance of local government on transfers from the central state budget.22 But the regional structures that were set up in 1998 were little more than ‘loose associations of regional stakeholders’ which ‘lacked political clout and popular legitimacy which could transform them into significant players in the policy making process.’23
Further legislative changes were introduced by the Social Democrat-led government of 2000 – 2004 as the accession process gathered pace. These changes were intended to decentralise decision making and to increase administrative co-operation within the regions as a means of easing the operation of EU regional development programmes. They did not seek to give the regions themselves a greater political legitimacy within Romania by giving them directly elected governance, for example.24
In 2004, reformers on the left pressed for a further modernisation of the Social Democrats. Their manifesto called for ‘long overdue reforms of local administration’. The reforms should not be understood, though, in terms of ‘absolute independence... from the centre’ but rather the means to make local government more responsive to the needs of the local population.’ Addressing regionalisation, the document explicitly referred to the influence of the European Union. It called for a more pragmatic approach which moved on from the ‘doctrinaire debates’ of the past.25
The elections of that year ushered in a new centre-right government which included the UDMR and saw the election of a new President, the mercurial figure of Traian Basescu. Basescu led the Truth and Justice Alliance, an electoral alliance between his Democrat Party (which had emerged as a political vehicle for reform-minded supporters of the National Salvation Front when that formation split in 1992) and the National Liberal Party.
The first political programme of the Truth and Justice Alliance gave a low profile to the reform of local administration. It promised to ‘evaluate and redefine the objectives and functions of central and local public authorities on the principle of subsidiarity.’26 Once again, though, in practice little visible progress was made in the reform of local government.
By 2008, Basescu had formed a new party – the Democrat Liberals – who narrowly won the parliamentary contest. The Democrat Liberals produced a detailed manifesto which promised a ‘different method of government’. Prominent within it was a commitment to decentralisation of public administration and the transfer or decision making to local communities. Chapter 13, though, which dealt with regional development, did not offer constitutional or structural changes beyond the encouragement of co-operation as a means of achieving the goal of reducing inter-regional disparities in wealth. Chapter 19, dealing with the reform of public administration promised decentralisation of decision making in various spheres but was silent on the issue of boundary reform.
In 2008 the Social Democrats proposed ‘real and effective decentralisation’ of public services. Elsewhere in their manifesto they promised support for the ‘cultural identity’ of minorities and for minority language education but, almost two years on from EU accession, they made no mention of territorial reforms.
Analysis suggested that the UDMR played a mediating role in that election, positioning itself as potential coalition partners for whichever party emerged as the winner. So the issue of territorial reform had effectively reached a stalemate. The majority nationalists were removed from the picture (the Greater Romania Party lost its parliamentary representation in the 2008 elections). The dominant parties on the centre left and the centre right had adopted similar positions in their manifestos, without either displaying evidence of a real commitment to follow through on their pledges. And the UDMR had occupied a position where the language of autonomy was used solely in dialogue with its own (ultra-loyal) electorate without any expectation that it would be brought to bear on political negotiations on the national stage.
This account has attempted to place the ‘autonomy issue’ in a wider setting within Romanian electoral politics. The perceived ‘threat’ from autonomy is symbolic: a proxy for external threats to Romanian territorial integrity. Yet it is difficult to substantiate in economic or even political terms: the ethnic Hungarian community has shrunk to less than 7% of the total population and just two of Romania’s 42 counties have an ethnic Hungarian majority population, neither of which shares a border with the Hungarian ‘motherland’.27 There are no other significant concentrations of ethnic minority population that would risk falling to a domino effect and there are no major economic resources at stake. Rather, the concerns are deeper, based more on sentiment and the willingness of elite actors to invoke the struggle for national unity and independence as a political motif, especially at times of instability and economic difficulty.
Within the electorate, the issue of autonomy has been closely associated with notions of Romanian national integrity on the one hand and an equally ill-defined desire for self-determination on the part of the ethnic Hungarian community.28
Alongside this, the key poles along which Romania’s parties aligned were the ‘national issue’ and attitudes to Communism. The latter was the key dividing line for the largest parties while competition over the national issue was pushed more to the margins of electoral competition.
Once these positions within the electorate were set, electoral calculations became less important than elite negotiations over alliance and coalition building.
The UDMR’s participation in successive national coalitions has given it a powerful position in relation to its potential clients within the community. This has contributed to its ability to ‘see off’ competition from more radical formations.29 The issue of autonomy, though, has been of little value as a trading currency because of the lack of potential support among the ethnic Romanian parties. As a result, the UDMR opted to use other bargaining chips in its negotiations.
External factors – notably accession to the EU – have had an influence on the debate over territorial reforms. But even this has not been strong enough to prompt meaningful change. Once accession was achieved there were even fewer incentives for political actors to initiate change. For the time being there seems to be few factors – domestic or external – drawing Romania towards a renewed debate on this issue.
ABRAHAM, Florin, Romania de la Comunism la Capitalism, Bucharest, Tritonic, 2006.
ADEVĂRUL, Romania Libera, 21 January 1991.
BRUBAKER, Rodgers, Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2006.
DELETANT, Dennis, Romania Under Communist Rule, Oxford, Centre for Romanian Studies, 1999.
Democratic Convention, Platforma-Program a Conventiei Democratice, Bucharest.
GALLAGHER, Tom, Theft of a Nation, London, Hurst & Co, 2005.
GALLAGHER, Tom, Romania: The Disputed Election of 1990, Parliamentary Affairs, volume 44, number 1 (1991), 79-93
GILLBERG, Trond, Nationalism and Communism in Romania, Boulder, Westview Press, 1990.
GOVRIN, Yosef, Israeli-Romanian relations at the end of the Ceausescu Era, Routledge, London, 2002.
Institut Ovidiu-Sincai, Towards Normality, a Modern Social Democratic Vision of Romania’s Future, Bucharest, 2005.
MAXFIELD, Edward, A New Right for a New Europe? Basescu, the Democrats and the Romanian Centre-Right, SEI Working Paper 106, 2008.
OPRESCU, Dan, UDMR in 2000, Sfera Politicii 79, (2000).
PAPADIMITROU, Dimitris and PHINNEMORE, David, Romania and the European Union, Abingdon, Routledge, 2008.
PAVEL, Dan, HUIU, Iulia, Nu Putem Reuşi Decât Împreună, Iaşi, Polirom, 2003.
PREDA, Cristian and SOARE, Sorin, Regimul, Partidele si Sistemul Politic din Romania, Bucharest, Nemira, 2008.
SOOS, Toka and Wright, The State of Local Democracy in Central Europe, Budapest, Open Society Institute, Budapest, 2002.
STAN, Lavinia, Leaders and Laggards: Governance, Civicness and Ethnicity in Post-Communist Romania, Boulder, Columbia University Press, 2003.
STEIN, Jonathan (ed), The Politics of National Minority Participation in Post Communist Europe, New York, East West Institute,1992.
TEODORESCU, Gheorghe (ed), Alegeri 2008, Iaşi, Polirom, 2009.
Truth and Justice Alliance, Programme for Government, Bucharest, 2003.
VERDERY, Katherine, National Ideology Under Socialism, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1991.
Tokes had been elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2007 and became a vice president following the 2009 round of elections. As a parish priest in Timisoara, his resistance to the authorities in December 1989 sparked the popular uprising that ended the Communist regime.
As Gallagher noted: ‘Many, perhaps most Romanians who will not readily agree about politics manage to find common ground by acknowledging that it is the cycles of foreign domination which have prevented their country fulfilling its true potential
.’ Tom Gallagher, Theft of a Nation
, (London: Hurst & Co, 2005), 1.
The Transylvanian region was ethnically divided between Hungarians and Romanians with substantial German and Jewish populations too.
See for example, Dennis Deletant, Romania Under Communist Rule
, (Oxford: Centre for Romanian Studies, 1999).
Katherine Verdery, National Ideology Under Socialism
, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).
Yosef Govrin, Israeli-Romanian relations at the end of the Ceausescu Era
, Routledge, London, 2002.
As Gillberg points out, the reality of systematic discrimination may differ somewhat from the perception but what matters here (because of its role in shaping the views of the Hungarian minority) is the perception that the Communist state apparatus was employing deliberately discriminatory policies towards them. Trond Gillberg, Nationalism and Communism in Romania
, (Boulder: Westview Press), 1990.
Edward Maxfield, A New Right for a New Europe? Basescu, the Democrats and the Romanian Centre-Right
, SEI Working Paper 106, 2008.
Dan Oprescu, UDMR in 2000
, Sfera Politicii 79, (2000), 8-14.
Raportul Targu Mures Ascunde Adevarul, Romania Libera
, 21 January 1991, 1.
Tom Gallagher, Romania: The Disputed Election of 1990
, Parliamentary Affairs, volume 44, number 1 (1991), 79-93.
Dan Pavel and Iulia Huiu, Nu Putem Reusi Decat Impreuna
, (Iaşi: Polirom, 2003), 47 – 49.
Interview with Csaba Takacs, January 2009, Cluj. Tackacs was Executive President of the Democratic Union of Hungarians and was a member of the Romanian Parliament (Chamber of Deputies) from 1990 to 1994.
Edward Maxfield, New Right
Rodgers Brubaker, Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town
, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006).
Jonathan Stein (ed), The Politics of National Minority Participation in Post Communist Europe
, (New York: East West Institute), 104.
Interview with Csaba Sogor, former priest and current Euro MP representing the Hungarian Democratic Union, June 2008, Brussels.
Democratic Convention, Platforma-Program a Convenţiei Democratice,
Florin Abraham, Romania de la Comunism la Capitalism
(Bucharest: Tritonic, 2006), 406-7.
Interview with Andrei Marga, education minister, January 2009, Cluj.
Cristian Preda and Sorina Soare, Regimul, Partidele si Sistemul Politic din România,
(Bucharest: Nemira, 2008), 58.
Soos, Toka and Wright, The State of Local Democracy in Central Europe
, (Budapest: Open Society Institute, Budapest, 2002), 291.
Dimitris Papadimitrou and David Phinnemore, Romania and the European Union
, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2008), 121.
Cristian Preda and Sorina Soare, Regimul,
60 – 61.
Institutul Ovidiu-Sincai, Towards Normality, a Modern Social Democratic Vision of Romania’s Future,
Truth and Justice Alliance, Programme for Government
, Bucharest, 2003.
The 2002 census reported that 6.6% of the population of Romania was ethnic Hungarian, down from 7.1% at the time of the 1992 census. The counties of Harghita and Covasna have a majority Hungarian population. Neighbouring Mures county has the next largest concentration of ethnic Hungarian residents at 39%. Census figures quoted in Cristian Preda and Sorina Soare, Regimul,
, page 156.
Lavinia Stan, Leaders and Laggards: Governance, Civicness and Ethnicity in Post-Communist Romania
, (Boulder: Columbia University Press, 2003) .
Gheorghe Teodorescu (ed), Alegeri 2008
, (Iasi: Polirom, 2009), 116.
EDWARD MAXFIELD – Completed his Doctorate at Sussex University in the United Kingdom. His research interests focus on the political centre right in Central and Eastern Europe. Currently work for a member of the UK parliament.