so far

Dear All,

This is how the class looks from this side so far:

Please note that even if at this point you only see your individual contributions (presentation / discussion), it will be the team average that will be taken into account for your grade. Do your best so that your team works in fact as a team, otherwise your individual effort may be wasted. Btw, in a few cases I do not seem to know which team you belong to; enlighten me.

Bonus points will be added to your individual final grades. Exceptional presentations and discussions (the latter should be taken much more seriously in January!) and relevant questions/comments in class and on this blog will result in bonus points.

I will start reading the materials you published as soon as possible. Especially for people who wrote RPs on the same films – I suggest you look at what your colleagues have done and maybe comment.

Happy holidays, joyeuses fêtes, ¡felices fiestas!, sărbători fericite!

Why We Fight

Why We Fight is a documentary directed by Eugene Jarecki, which emphasizes that US foreign policy is dominated by military supremacy and show how, specially after 9/11, american citizens are manipulated to think that in the name of freedom and democracy, US needs to intervene and even dispense military forces if they consider it, everywhere in the World. Jarecki also underlined how deeply infiltrate army is in every sector of US life and activity.

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HOME – Reaction Paper

Carmen Teohari MPE I


HOME is a documentary released in 2009, directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. It shows how the diversity of human life affects and threatens the ecological balance on Earth, and how humankind actions lead to devastating effects on the environment and many living beings. In order to cover as many stages as possible, the documentary was filmed during more that eighteen months and it is mainly composed by aerial scenes caught from a small helicopter that flew over fifty countries.

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China reloaded

China and the U.S. share responsibility for major global issues. Both countries share so many interests – in a stable global economy, in free and open sea lanes for transit of raw materials and manufactures, in maintaining peace in the Asia-Pacific region, and in coping with global environmental threats. All APEC forum discussions, agreements and China’s actions explain better their outcome: that of a new global leader. These are the main reasons of why I’ve chosen the articles listed below.

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Lampedusa shipwreck: “globalization of indifference”

                 Lampedusa shipwreck: “globalization of indifference”

                                       Portfolio – Oana Trifan, MPE 1

Last year, Europe witnessed the Lampedusa tragedy, an accident where more than 300 illegal African immigrants died after their ship sank off of the Italian island of Lampedusa. The tragic event has sparked a wave of criticism and attacks from the press throughout Europe against the absence of a common immigration policy.

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The “Military Industrial Complex” in Why We Fight

The documentary “Why We Fight” presents one perspective regarding the intentions and motives behind US s invasions and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the documentary, the wars started  by the US in the last 60 years were, in fact, acts of power, which had as main goal to show its influence across the world. War, in the case of the US did not only strengthen its power but also helped in the developing of what is known as the “Military Industrial Complex”. This term was coined by former president Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961, and it has been used to designate a conglomeration of American private armaments manufacturers, contractors and high level of US government. Some questions remain after seeing the documentary. One of them is if the Military Industrial Complex is one of the moving forces behind the expansion desire that had been seen in the case of the US.

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Portfolio: Pakistan’s view on terrorism

The following portfolio of articles has the objective to debate Pakistan’s view on terrorism. The interest in covering this subject stands in the proximity of Pakistan to the Afghan border and the fact that Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, has been found and killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011. There are three articles presented: a coverage of the Pakistani militant strikes in Kashmir from 5th  of December 2015, one coverage of the Peshawar attack from 16th  of December, 2015 and one debating Pakistan’s view on terrorism.

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5 years of conflict captured by “5 broken cameras”


Five broken cameras is a documentary dealing with the non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a small Palestinian village partly occupied by Israeli armed forces. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is seen through the lens of five cameras used by Emad Burnat, a Palestinian farmer who wants to show how the relationship between the two parts evolves over five years.

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Why we fight?- Reaction Paper

The film takes its title from Frank Capra (Mr. Jarecki borrowed the title “Why We Fight” from a series of films made by Frank Capra for the military during World War II, and it’s after that war that the story of the military-industrial complex begins)and its starting point is President Eisenhower’s prescient warning when he left office in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex” ( witch comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces and the army industry that supports them) and the danger of it turning into a “permanent defence industry of vast proportions”.

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Home – Reaction Paper

The Earth is the engine of our existence , offering us the necessary resources to live, breath , eat and enjoy every day of our lives . But how were all these resources created , what is the impact of men on the natural environment and how can the humankind change the way it treats now all the gifts that the Earth is offering to it unconditionally?

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No shortcuts. No excuses. No more…”Waiting for ‘Superman'”

The purpose of this reaction paper is to discuss the issue of poor American education system in the public sector that can be compared at an international level, thus becoming a matter of globalization, since the phenomenon is also known as “Americanization.” The basis of the present paper is the documentary film “Waiting For ‘Superman’,” which depicts the American public education system of the 21st century, and given its impact at the international level, this issue can be related to in the European sphere also, turning it into a matter of globalization. In the first part of this reaction paper I shall summarize the main ideas presented in the documentary film, while in the second I shall insist upon the subject of charter schools, as a main concept discussed in the documentary.

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Les Nouveaux Chiens de Garde/The New Watchdogs (2012)

In this 2012 documentary, Gilles Balbastre and Yannick Kergoat take up a quite controversial topic: the supposedly neutral and objective French media and its ties with the political and economic players in France. The documentary is based on an essay with the same title written by Serge Hallimi, which was first published in 1997 and then reedited in 2005. The title of the documentary and the essay it is based on follow a previous attempt denouncing a similar issue: in 1935, Paul Nizan published Les Chiens de Garde/The Watchdogs, criticizing his fellow writers and philosophers for claiming to be neutral while upholding and promoting the political and social statu-quo.

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Why we fight? – Reaction Paper

Why we fight is a documentary directed by Eugene Jarecki in 2005 and it was inspired from a series of films produced shortly after the US got involved in WWII where the director, Frank Capra, tries to convince American troops of the righteousness of the war. These series have been regarded as war propaganda, and in the new documentary, E. Jarecki wants to emphasize the change in public opinion over the years, and to show that today, most Americans don’t have a certain answer to the question “Why do we go to war? Why do we fight?”

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Malala Yousafzai the youngest winner of the Peace Nobel Prize

The Peace Nobel Prize 2014 was awarded in October 2014 to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. An important detail about this year Peace Nobel Prize is the fact that Malala Yousafzai is the youngest winner of this prize in the history; she is only 17 years old. This was related about media and below are 3 articles from 3 well known newspapers and what they emphasized with this occasion.

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Reaction Paper: Food Inc.

Gilnette Marten
Project Management
Reaction paper: Food Inc.

Food is sold with this wholesome idea of nice lush fields, the cute farmhouse and a couple of farm animals. This fantasy is mend to encourage you to buy the ‘all natural’ or ‘farm fresh’ products. But to which extend can this be true? How would a traditional farmer be able to provide for the modern American supermarket with on average 47000 products for sale? Or be able to provide seasonal fruits and vegetables for sale year round. The documentary Food Inc. explores where the American food actually comes from, how it’s produced and the influence of the industry behind it.

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Russia’s black Tuesday

A new global problem is the head of international newspapers this week: Russia’s black Tuesday. The Economist suggests that this crisis “has been a long time in coming” due to several factors. I chose to find some articles that emphasis this factors, and also the point of view of the Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin exposed on a press conference yesterday.

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The Globalization of Fast-Food

The aim of this paper is to analyze the issue of fast-food from the perspective of globalization. My primary source is the documentary film “Super Size Me”, which explores the idea that fast-food industry has a major influence across the American society, and across other parts of the world, too, as a consequence of the globalization.

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Waiting for Superman


     Waiting for “Superman” is a 2010 documentary film, through which the filmmaker Davis Guggenheim emphasized the situation of education system, using the interview method. This movie represents a social campaign addressed to the American society  made up of parents, teachers, political leaders, business people and ordinary citizens. The goal is to cause a change in the public educational system through awareness of existing problems by stimulating the active involvement of all relevant actors. Continue reading

Japan’s General Elections 2014 – Preview and Conclusions

On the 14th of December, general elections for the House of Representatives were held in Japan. These were early elections, in the context of the dissolution of the Parliament and the proposed “masked” referendum on economic policy. The global implications of these elections are straight-forward enough: Japan is the 3rd economic power in the world and any changes in the political and economic policies can affect the global market.

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Waiting for “Superman”

My reaction paper is based on the documentary Waiting for ‘Superman’, directed by Davis Guggenheim. The film appeared in 2010 and deals with the issue of public education and the school system in the US. This documentary addresses the flaws in the education system and its inability to overcome its problems in order for all children to receive an equal and proper education. It is a documentary which has raised awareness and has encouraged fruitful debates as the documentary shows scenes of candidates to the US presidency who have used in their campaigns the issue of education promising improvement through a number of reforms, laws, and projects but somehow have not managed to bring any improvement to the education system. Continue reading


The crisis in Ukraine started last year when Russia seized and annexed Ukraine’s Russian majority Crimea region. It has been a tumultuous year for Ukraine and it seems that the crisis doesn’t have an ending. It dominates the media, public interest and its institutions. The ongoing crisis is an issue which frequently generates a lively debate on the question: Who is to blame for the crisis in Ukraine: Russia or the United States and Europe?

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Portfolios & RPs due Saturday, Dec. 20th

The following students volunteered for portfolios and reaction papers for this week:


  • Mihaela Mitrea (RP/?)
  • Ianula Gioga (RP/Super-Size Me)
  • Irina Miu (RP/?)
  • Andreea Rotaru (RP/?)
  • Cristian Georgescu (RP/?)
  • Andrei Baciu (portfolio)
  • Stefania Diaconu (portfolio)

I nominate the following to complete the list:

  • Portfolios: Ana Maria Borcos, Bianca Boricean, Madalina Chimigea
  • RP: Anda Gavrila


  • Anamaria Poenaru (RP/?)
  • Andreea Belu (RP/Home)
  • Carmen Teohari (RP/?)
  • Nicoleta Andrei/Dulgheru (RP/Why We Fight)
  • Cosmina Rotaru (RP/?)
  • Catalina Ioja (portfolio) – I can’t find your name on the list – change of last name?
  • Oana Trifan (portfolio)

I nominate the following to complete the list:

  • Portfolios: Claudia Alexandrescu, Ruxandra Balica, Valentin Brabete

The following people sent materials last week, have received/will receive comments,and should also publish their papers by Saturday (/comm means the paper already received comments):


  • Elena Dragolici (RP/comm)
  • Pauline Choitel (RP/comm)
  • Adela Sovoiala (RP)
  • Dania Neacsu (RP/comm)
  • Ioana Constantin (RP/comm)
  • Ana Maria Doroftei (RP/comm)
  • Cosmin Scinteie (portfolio/comm)
  • Ioana Toma (portfolio/comm)
  • Cristian Georgescu (portfolio)


  • Teona Aron (RP/comm)
  • Corina Neagu (RP)
  • Alexandru Lozonschi (RP/comm)
  • Gilnette Marten (RP/comm)
  • Evelyne Piscan (portfolio/comm)
  • Dragos Ardean (portfolio/comm)
  • Daniela Velica (portfolio/comm)
  • Laura Filip (portfolio/comm)
  • Alexandra Obreja (portfolio/comm)
  • Stefan Meluta (portfolio/comm)

Sterility or strategy? – „Bananas!”

The documentary „Bananas!” explains how people from underdeveloped countries are exposed to chemicals. That issue does not concern authorities or the multinational company Dole until they are sued. Although it is not made clear at the end of the documentary if Dole was to be blamed, the issue of using pesticides is one of its important issues discussed. The question then arises : „Was this trail simply a strategic move in order to jeopardize the pesticides company or was there an actual health issue?”.

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next week & volunteers for portfolios/RPs

Dear All,

On Monday and Tuesday we’ll meet together at 6pm – room #307 (Mon), #317 (Tue). I’ll let you know in due time about Wednesday.

Allow me to remind you about volunteering for publishing portfolios (5 people/MA program) and RPs (5 people/MA program) next week. The materials should be online by Friday. Please remind me to nominate people on Monday if volunteering fails.

I’ve recently caught on RFI an interview with the director of the documentary discussed below. It might be worth seeing (the film that is, I wouldn’t know about the director).
Khodorkovsky (2011) – review #1, review #2

presentation plans

Dear All,

Please publish on this website you presentation plans this evening. They should indicate at least who’s presenting what material next week, so that discussants can prepare. Let them know exactly which sections of the books or which papers you will present.

I suggest that teams are matched (presenting/discussing roles) in the following manner:

  • CGE: Ethics – Justice (whenever team ‘Ethics’ presents, team ‘Justice’ discusses – and the other way around) | EU – Culture
  • MPE: Economy – Environment | Power – History

presentation 12.10


Please do not forget to e-mail me updated presentation plans (include at least the materials to be presented next week). Also, next week 5 people from each group should publish portfolios, and 5 from each group RPs. These should not be the same people that already e-mailed me portfolios and RPs this week. E-mail me or I will nominate people myself.

Those of you who e-mailed me their materials this week should publish the reworked versions after they receive my comments. Those of them who also discussed their efforts in class will receive a .25 bonus for their final grade for breaking the ice.

presentation 12.09 & meeting tomorrow

Since we don’t have an adequate room for tomorrow (my apologies), I suggest that we work in two groups, at different times – CGE and MPE respectively. This is the best I can do for tomorrow. Given that there are fewer people in the CGE group, I suggest that they start class at 17.30, room #314. MPE will start at 19:15, same room. Please distribute this notice to your colleagues.

Next Monday we’ll meet together (CGE and MPE), room #307, at 17:45. I’ll let you know in advance about other changes.

And a note on portfolios – I won’t upload those that I have or will be commenting on, since I don’t want to impose on your colleagues. However, they should feel free to upload them with my comments, if they so wish. I’ll comment here on the final versions you will publish.

Crashing the dream

Growing in a poor neighbourhood, I found myself wondering: Is there a better place out there ? For many of my countryman, who obviously asked themselves the same question, this has become something of a Holy Grail endevour. Finding the „right” place, with the ”right„ income has become less than a dream and more like an obsession. I will try to show the reader some of the hard truths hidden beneath this dream of wealth and prosperity. As you may or may not agree with me, try to view my arguments with an open mind. Continue reading