More than six decades had passed after the Soviet Army brutally crashed the Hungarian Revolution yet its significance does not seem to diminish. Besides being a turning point of Hungarian history, its direct and indirect international influence was the same significant as the responses were, given by different countries to the euphoric, then to the tragic facets of the uprising.
The source of hope for many Hungarians during the Revolution and afterwards was the international community, as Hungary joined the United Nations in 1955. However the Charter was adopted by the Stalinist leaders while the concrete operations in New York were executed by the secret police. During the critical days the UN failed to deal with the Hungarian “problem" (in their terminology) politically, yet the organization assisted in solving the humanitarian crises both inside Hungary and outside (as 200.000 refugees left the country). While the actions and inactions of the UN became transparent based on recently declassified documents, it seems to be evident that several acts of sabotage avoided any kind of political solution.
The variety of responses given by the UN member states was also significant. Beyond the concentric rings of the Central and Eastern European socialist countries, which responded differently to the “counter-revolution" as they defined the events of 1956 (from Poland to Rumania) the Yugoslav reaction was crucial and fatal, Belgrade being also one of the leaders of the non-aligned nations’ movement, opening larger concentric rings of the “third world" countries.
Newly accessible documents also demonstrate the Hungarian Revolution’s influence from a global perspective, as the UN’s machinery demanded several nations’ representatives to join the “Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary" (Denmark, Ceylon, Australia, Tunisia and Uruguay), while in the years to come a politician from Thailand and later one from New Zealand represented Hungary at the UN General Assembly. All these helped to establish a global discourse on the Hungarian events that can be revealed by the lately accessible documents. All these help to understand the tragically complex situation that concluded in the abandonment of Hungary by the UN yet clearly referred to the dynamics of international decision making that has serious consequences even until today.
This lecture is concerned with the current affairs of international integration, which is considered as a complex and multi-dimensional process. The paper proposes a more comprehensive, extended and organic version of integration theory than that suggested by mainstream schools. The main components of integration are the global and interstate regional integrations (e.g., EU and ASEAN); however, company-level, urban or national-level integrations also need to be taken into account. Integrated communities such as families, religions and most recently civil and other informal organisations also play a significant role in the process.
International integration is only but a torso, deep in crisis. It is burdened with deficiencies and deficits that require immediate action, especially in terms of the overall reform and renewal of the EU and the global integration framework. Particular attention will be devoted here to the future of the European Union. I will also attempt to make a few modest proposals, each buttressed with a short analysis, hopefully encouraging future discussions on these issues.
A theory-based, complex and structural approach can extend the perspectives and dimensions of analysis
I define integration as a process of creation, development, reproduction and transformation of communities, which leads to the rise of socio-economic, political, cultural, spiritual, or any type of social association or organisation. Integration, as a state of affairs, qualitatively represents evolving/emerging socio-economic organisms of expanding potentials that structurally and functionally become increasingly complex, and which provide services, security, efficiency and welfare. Integration does make sense, if advantages (benefits) exceed disadvantages (costs).
Integration is understood as a historical process. The history of integration started many thousands of years ago, with the very first families that lived in tribes, later in villages and cities, eventually becoming part of nations or - more recently - even global society.
Due to the complexity of the issue, I propose to define these components, primarily along the dimensions of social structures or formations:
1. Intensity of cooperation, communication, division of labour, interconnectedness and interdependence;
2. Techno-structures, technical bases, infrastructure of integration;
3. Patterns of social and power relations and socio-economic stratification;
4. Institutional and regulatory frameworks, system of governance;
5. Socio-economic, cultural or emotional (spiritual) cohesion and solidarity;
6. Identity or identification, devotion or loyalty to the given community;
7. Culture of the community (rules, norms, values, symbols).
Integration is a highly structured process. In general, the formation of different communities or sets of organisms is a multi-layered, multi-levelled, multi-functional and multi-dimensional process. In other words, integration as community-formation covers a great number of integrating communities converging into a unified whole. These communities are in the process of continuous integration (re-integration); nevertheless, they also co-exist with one another. They are overlapping, interacting and interdependent. In every society, there is a great variety of such communities, but their number and complexity tends to grow in parallel with socio-economic development. They cannot be separated; the process, performance or success of integration is dependent on all of its components.
Main chapters of the paper:
The emergence and nature of international integration
History and development of national integration
Global cities: the urban dimensions of integration processes
EU urban policy dimensions
The crisis of EU integration and some possible answers
· The pattern of techno-structures: the energy crisis
· The diversity of socio-economic models and regulatory frameworks
· Socio-economic and cultural cohesion
· Identification and devotion to given communities
Great expectations preceded Barack Obama’s presidency. He seemed to endorse a realist approach to international relations in opposition to the liberal and noeconservative democracy export or nation building. He endeavored to harmonize the means and ends of the U.S. foreign and security policy in contrast to the previous administration’s willingness to assume a number of new responsibilities. The presentation wishes to concentrate on the following three areas: the relations with Russia after the "reset"; the "Arab Spring", and the Obama Administration’s policies in the greater Middle East; as well as the Asia-Pacific region in the context of the "pivot" or "rebalance." Finally, it would like to answer the question whether the position of the U.S. in the world changed or not during Barack Obama’s presidency.