Sociology and politics. Anthony Giddens’ and Cătălin Zamfir’s answer.

Competent voices, like A. Giddens in UK (2006) and C. Zamfir in Romania (2009), claim that sociology, as an academic science, is declining in prestige, public  interest and significance of its researches. This paper argues that we face a social process whose causes are rooted in the changes that took place in the relationship between sociology (the scientific research of modern society) and politics. Sociology was significant as a science as much time as different groups of politicians confronted themselves on the issue of the best distribution system of social and economic resources of the society. In such conjunctures, alternative sociological paradigms developed in order to support the legitimacy of alternative distribution systems. The mechanism is as old as known political history, and it had its “ups”, when alternative political options for alternative distribution systems were competing, and “downs”, when a dominant distribution system was unchallenged by alternative political options. The last decades illustrate times when a politically unchallenged distribution system – the “free market capitalism” – dominated both the political action, and the academic and everyday ideology, via globalization and post communism. The present financial crises and the economic recession it produces, both in developed and in developing economies like Romania’s, are questioning the dominating distribution system, but sociology and sociologists are poor prepared for a debate and, thus, for renewal.

The index of sustainable development in Romania at district and regional level

This paper is an outline of a research project aimed to measuring sustainable development for Romanian regions and counties using a statistical software: the Dashboard of Sustainability. For this purpose a composite indicator of sustainability was created comprising of 19 indicators grouped into four main dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, institutional, economic and social, with a particular focus on the later.

Discrimination in Romania in comparison to the situation of neighbouring countries (Bulgaria and Hungary) and with the situation in the European Union

This study employs the secondary analysis of data from the 296 special Eurobarometer on “Discrimination in European Union: perceptions, experiences and attitudes”. We selected from the research report the data concerning the general state on discrimination in the European Union (EU) and used it to create a comparison frame for Romania’s case. Also, we present the data from the surveys done in Romania with the data from Bulgaria and Hungary, neighboring ex‐communist countries, current members of the EU.

About social innovation in French literature

In this article we are concerned about the social innovation concept (its multiple meanings, the difficulties of conceptualization, the standards and the obstacles in its working definition; it presents the definitions currently employed for this term by the Research Centre on Social Innovation in Quebec). Furthermore, the article briefly talks about the role of social innovation in social development and if its importance for different actors: researchers and research organisations, decision-makers and public authorities, European and non-European organisations, civil society organisations.

Reply to Faust as sociologist: nevertheless, is it possible for a sociologist to be happy?” (in Zamfir, 2009, A Subjective History in the Romanian Sociology. Beginning with 1944 until now)

Ștefan Buzarnescu replies to Cătălin Zamfir’s chapter in O istorie subiectivă  în sociologia românească. Din 1944 până  în prezent [A Subjective History in the Romanian Sociology. Beginning with 1944 until now] (Polirom, 2009), „Faust ca sociolog: poate totuși sociologul să  fie fericit” [„Faust as sociologist: nevertheless, is it possible for a sociologist to be happy?”].