International Studies. Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal 2024-02-13T14:05:27+01:00 Jolanta Dybała Open Journal Systems <div style="text-align: justify;"> <p><em>International Studies.</em> <em>Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal</em>, is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal devoted to political and cultural studies in the international context. It is one of the first journals of this kind, not only in Poland. but in Central and Eastern Europe. Its scope, however, is not limited to the region; on the contrary, we aim to bring our readers the most interesting perspectives and voices of opinion about current global issues and the most topical and innovative research in the area of international, cultural and political studies. To this end, <em>IS</em> publishes essays that vary in focus and methodology. In pursuit of the goal of continued excellence, we have inevitably been dependent on the contributions of our colleagues working in other disciplines, such as philosophy, communication and media, literature and anthropology.</p> </div> Foreword 2024-01-16T09:10:17+01:00 Daniel Silander 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 The interview on Today’s Ukraine with Professor Dmytro Drozdovskyi conducted by Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney on 28th of March, 2022 2024-01-16T14:02:11+01:00 Dmytro Drozdovskyi Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Cultural Orientations of the Politics of Education in Ukraine (2010–2013): Ideology Strikes Back 2024-02-13T14:05:16+01:00 Dmytro Drozdovskyi <p>In this article, the author has analysed educational reforms and educational policy in general, which was implemented in Ukraine during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. A few political cases were analysed, in particular the opposition of the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” to the educational trends implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine under the leadership of Dmytro Tabachnyk. The manifestations of colonial policy in Ukrainian education, which were aimed at the rapprochement of Ukraine and Russia and the positioning of Ukraine as a colonial part of the imperial body, have been outlined. It has been discussed in what implicit way the colonial strategy was implemented in the educational reforms in Ukraine, in particular in the aspect of teaching humanitarian disciplines, e.g. Ukrainian literature. Forms of possible resistance to colonial strategies in the educational field, the principles of overcoming imperial pressure and intensifying the narrative of resistance, which made it possible to avoid further splitting of the Ukrainian identity in the imperial body, have been analysed. The legislative activity, which was focused on strengthening the status of the Russian language as a regional language, has been outlined. Linguistic colonial approaches at the level of legislative initiatives in language policy have been spotlighted, in particular in the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko Law.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 The Democratisation Failure in the Middle East: Causes and Prospects 2024-02-13T14:05:27+01:00 Sirvan Karimi <p>It has almost become conventional wisdom among analysts and experts on Middle Eastern politics to relate the fate of the democratisation process and its failure in the region to the foreign policy platforms of the USA and its Western allies. Contrary to the prevailing interpretations of democratisation failure in the Middle East, it will be argued that the historical proclivity of leftist organisations and parties to conflate anti-imperialism with fostering hostility towards liberal values, the limited scope of industrialisation, and culturally and religiously ingrained competing loyalties are factors that have cumulatively made a significant contribution to the cultivation of a socio-political environment that is not receptive to democracy.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 The Geopolitical Context of Migrant Routes and Its Impact on Organised Crime in the Republic of North Macedonia 2024-02-13T14:05:21+01:00 Toni Mileski Daniela Pacemska <p>As a country with a specific geopolitical and geostrategic position, North Macedonia, positioned in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, is subject to illegal migration and is located at the crossroads of migrant routes leading from Asia and Africa to Central and Western Europe. Therefore, the article makes an effort to answer two related questions. The first question refers to the geopolitical context of migrant routes and their impact on the increase in migrant smuggling, while the second one is the focus of migrant smuggling within organised crime groups. In terms of time, the research covers the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The methodology of this paper is based on an analysis of policy documents from open sources. Also, the authors surveyed more than one hundred Macedonian police officers who work directly on the borders and engage in the suppression of smuggling migrants, and an in-depth interview with the head of the National Unit for Combating Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in North Macedonia.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 The Political Economy of the Kafala Abolishment in Saudi Arabia 2024-02-13T14:05:24+01:00 Md. Mufassir Rashid <p>Saudi Arabia – an oil-rich rentier state, receives a large number of guest workers, and they were maintained under the controversial Kafala system. Recently, Saudi Arabia announced to abolish this system to come into effect in March 2021, but excluded domestic workers. Such observations show that there are political-economic incentives for the authority in abolishment apart from the humanitarian ground. Again, the current regime is willing to reduce its dependency on oil by diversifying its economy. Crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman announced massive reform plan – “Saudi Vision 2030” – to bolster FDIs and develop the public sector and service industries, where they need skilled labourers and experts to run their economy, where Kafala is not suitable. In this context, this paper would like to follow the political economy of migration policy as an analytical framework to provide a political-economic analysis of Kafala abolishment in Saudi Arabia by looking at the current transformation and Kafala abolishment.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Sport for Development and Peace in the United Nations: An Empirical Study on the Development of the Role of SDP in the UN in the Context of the Closure of the UNOSDP 2024-02-13T14:05:13+01:00 Laura Schreiner Valerie Kastrup Jochen Mayer <p>In 2017, it was decided that the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) is to be closed. This qualitative study aims to analyse the reasons for the closure as well as its effects on Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) in the United Nations. Against the background of the systems theory, we conducted interviews with participants from relevant organisations. It is shown that the way the UNOSDP worked underwent a change and that the new tasks as well as their fulfilment were viewed controversially. Additionally, broader changes in development policy set a new frame for SDP.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Europe 2020: The EU Commission and Political Entrepreneurship 2024-02-13T14:05:09+01:00 Daniel Silander <p>This study deals with the European Commission and Communication Europe 2020, which was a result of the global economic crisis of 2007–2008 and forward. Europe 2020 was an initiative to deal with the crisis by promoting smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. The Commission addressed the crisis as an existential threat to Europe, but also as a window of opportunity to build a new prosperous region. This study explores the political entrepreneurial efforts taken by the Commission as well as assesses the outcome of reforms implemented. The Commission has achieved many targets, although some challenges remain unsolved.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Several Remarks on Contemporary Ukrainian Lyrical Poetry under Fire Attacks 2024-01-16T14:21:47+01:00 Юрій Ковалів <p>In the paper, the author, referring to the real situation in the contemporary poetry during the new round of the Russian-Ukrainian war refutes the famous Cicero’s saying “<em>Inter arma, silent Musae</em>” (En. “When arms speak, Muses are silent”). After February 24<sup>th</sup>, a powerful rise of the mobile genre happened due to the emergence of the psychotype of the passionary, who, nourished by historical and ethnomental memory, motivates historically-justified resistance to the Moscow aggressor, defending his home, family, land, and human and national dignity. He became the main lyrical hero of the contemporary Ukrainian poetry, among the authors of which there are many soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukrainian, Territorial Defence troops, hospitallers, volunteers, as well as exiles and eyewitnesses of the national verge of life and death due to heroic actions and suffering. The primary importance is given to the resistive energy of the Word, which can be journalistically appealing and formulaically rhetorical. However, it is deeper and more important when it focuses on understanding the specific features of military reality, personally experienced by each author, which often acquire convincing generalisations, philosophical meditations, which in poetic form comprehend the passionate ontology of the inalienable Ukrainian people with the intention to eliminate the destructive forces of Moscow. The author states that it does not matter which verse forms are chosen – faceted quatrains or flexible verlibriums. In the paper, the author has highlighted the panorama of the contemporary Ukrainian poetry, analysing its specific genre and style features, clarifying the creative potential of the poetic word in the harsh circumstances of the war, a new thoroughly filled page of Ukrainian literature. The poetry in Ukraine in the situation of the Russian-Ukrainian war, refuting Cicero’s aphorism, acquired a new paradigm of senses and expectations. Immersed in the objective specifics of everyday life at the front, suffering, trials on the border of life and death, it testified to a new psychotype of the lyrical hero, analogous to his real prototype, who, defending his home, his family, his land, and human and national dignity, is motivated to resist the Moscow aggressor. The panorama of contemporary Ukrainian lyrics in its genre and stylistic diversity highlighted in the article gives reason to assert not only the inexhaustible creative potential of the most mobile genre-genre variety, but also a thoroughly filling new page of Ukrainian literature. The lyrical poetry on war discussed in this article is a part of the new cultural narrative of Ukraine that is oriented to re-think and reinforce the concepts of war and connected with this concept notions, e.g. pain, human catastrophe, human powers, dignity, human values, democracy, etc. The new narrative models and stylistic peculiarities of the contemporary Ukrainian lyrical texts have been analysed and systematised in this paper.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2024