FAES publishes number 36 of its journal <i>Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político</i>

10/10/2012

FAES publishes number 36 of its journal Cuadernos de Pensamiento Pol?tico Tom?s Ram?n Fern?ndez argues in favour of the need to reform the regional model and demarcate the limits Sir John H. Elliott: "Transatlantic dialogue becomes increasingly important in a globalized world" In Ricardo Montoro"s opinion, "critical periods are a chance to reinforce open societies" O"Sullivan presents a view of the "Occupy" movement and maintains that what it proposes not be rejected out of hand" Madrid, 10/10/12.- The FAES Foundation has published issued number 36 of the magazine _Cuadernos de Pensamiento Pol?tico_ (Journal of Political Ideas), which is directed by its General Secretary, Javier Zarzalejos. This issue brings together a number of articles on the Spanish territorial model, the transatlantic connection, the extent of the crisis affecting institutions and values, and the worldwide "Occupy" movement, among other topics. Contributors to this issue include writers such as professor of administrative law, Tom?s Ram?n Fern?ndez, historian Sir John H. Elliott, sociology professors Ricardo Montoro Romero and Julio Iglesias de Ussel, and former president of the Navarre Regional Government, Jaime Ignacio del Burgo. In the article entitled _The reform of the territorial model_, professor of administrative law Tom?s Ram?n Fern?ndez endorses and makes plain the need for reform of the regional model that came into being with the Transition and to clearly set limits on and define the powers of the autonomous regions. Fern?ndez charts a course from the optimism and hope with which the model was received thirty years ago to the inefficiencies it exhibits today. Fern?ndez says in his article that "the problems arising from the lack of a project beforehand, from a model of State thoughtfully brought in by the Constitution itself, have only become worse since then, to the point where they have made the resulting institutional structure not only dysfunctional, but also ungovernable". He also adds that "strictly speaking, more than a State in the true sense, what we have today are seventeen "statelets" thrown together". As a result, the writer says that "matters have gone too far, the State of many different regional autonomies has got out of control, and with this the international credibility which a transition to democracy gave us that was generally considered to be exemplary has become increasingly volatile." The article reproduces the speech which Fern?ndez gave at the Campus FAES 2012 and advocates cutting down the number of regional autonomies and municipalities, establishing the bases for the State Treasury and autonomic treasuries, and pushing through reform of electoral law to provide the State with greater functionality and governability. BRIDGES BETWEEN EUROPE AND AMERICA Meanwhile, the prestigious British Hispanist Sir John H. Elliott analyses the transatlantic relations between the Spanish empire and its colonies between the 15th and 19th centuries in his article _Spain and the transatlantic world, present and future_. The Pr?ncipe de Asturias prize-winner for Social Sciences makes the point that "transatlantic dialogue becomes increasingly important in a world as globalized as the one we now live in," and says that "I have always regarded Great Britain and Spain as two nations whose geographical location and historical role have given them an unparalleled opportunity to serve as bridges between Europe and the Americas". Furthermore, and coinciding with the bicentenary of the 1812 Cadiz Constitution, the writer highlights "the importance of this in efforts to transform an authoritarian regime into a constitutional system on both sides of the Atlantic according to liberal principles." "Through legislating both for America and for Spain, the Cadiz Constitution may be considered as a genuine Atlantic constitution uniting the mother country and its possessions into a single country with a single legislative body," Elliott stresses in his article, an edited version of his speech at Campus FAES 2012. On this point the writer also says that "Even though Spain's transatlantic past helps Europe interpret the countries in the new world and vice-versa, it should also be acknowledged that the old transatlantic ties make the process of interpreting history more risky and difficult." In his opinion the problem lies in "avoiding a resurgence of old resentment, which is not at all easy if a Spanish company gives the impression of being overly powerful or if the country is open to demagogical criticisms of a nationalistic nature." STRENGTHENING THE FREE SYSTEM In _On the crisis and its limitations_, professor of Sociology Ricardo Montoro Romero looks at the current political and economic scene, where more than a few voices are critical of the system, and examines issues which are common knowledge and in the media: the crisis affecting institutions and values, the so called 15-M movement and its thirst for change, political leadership and in times of crisis, and three fundamental questions concerning the Spanish system, such as the welfare state, the electoral system and the Spain that comprises various regional autonomies. Montoro Romero says that "critical periods seem to entail a drastic loss of values and destruction itself, yet, when there is the flexibility that is characteristic of open societies, as is the case now in Spain, they actually represent a great opportunity to reinforce them and confirm them, to change what is wrong and emerge in time as a much better society than the one before". The sociologist's contention is that, given such an outlook, the most sensible response should be none other than to rely on the free and open system which we have created over such a long time and with such a huge effort and figure out how to adapt ourselves to present reality. It is at such times when the solidity of our institutions is needed more than ever and, starting with the relevant reforms, we should build a base that helps us face the future with greater guarantees. "GLOBAL MAY MANIFESTO" Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Singapore Luke O"Sullivan presents in his _Democrats or "demo-crazies"? A critical examination of the 2012 "Global May Manifesto"_ a critical appraisal of the "Occupy" movement, and maintains that its "proposition of offering a coherent vision of a new order is a manifest failure which should, even so, not be rejected out of hand". The writer says that "although one could make a long list of its shortcomings, not all of the demands in the "Global May Manifesto" are incoherent or lacking in sense," as "they exhibit a genuine desire for liberty and offer some plausible suggestions for reform." O"Sullivan asserts, however, that "even if it is completely incoherent, the anger which engendered it should not be ignored from a pragmatic point of view." "It is a symbol of instability and the current turmoil which the Western world in general is going through, and which politicians can only ignore at their own peril," he says. Together with these articles, issue _36 of Cuadernos de Pensamiento Pol?tico_ includes the following: _Crisis in transatlantic relations?_ by Juan Tovar Ruiz; _the limits of laicism_ by Jonathan Sacks; _Culture without "politics" or "the end of cultural politics"_ by Fernando Villalonga Campos; _When the Basques of yesteryear conquered the kingdom of Navarre_ (1512), by Jaime Ignacio del Burgo; _Manuel Fraga, sociologist_, by Julio Iglesias de Ussel; and _Bases for formulating social discourse_, by Jorge Mart?n Fr?as.