Adrian-Ioan Damoc
Adrian-Ioan Damoc
Economist, Ph.D., the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, interested in international relations and economic diplomacy
Sicut in Caelo, Et in Terra

Sicut in Caelo, Et in Terra

When Pope John Paul II visited Romania in 1999, he achieved a historical landmark as it was the first time the head of the Catholic Church visited a primarily Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054. While his papacy did not escape criticism and controversy, John Paul II was arguably one of the most charismatic and well-liked popes in recent times, having received recognition for several breakthroughs: he is widely credited for his role in motivating political movements that led to the collapse of Communist regimes and of the Duvalier rule in Haiti; he publicly addressed apologies in the name of the Catholic Church to those individuals and groups who had suffered because of it, for instance the Galileo affair, the actions of the Inquisition or the Church’s underwhelming response to the Holocaust. Another key feature of his tenure was the efforts he invested to establish and sustain dialogue among the Abrahamic faiths. Although, from a theological viewpoint, he is considered to have been a conservative, he came under criticism from both progressives and traditionalists for issues such as failing to adequately handle the sex abuse of children by Catholic prelates, his stances against artificial birth control methods or his support of religious freedom. More


No Laughing Matter: What the Presidential Elections in Ukraine Have to Teach Us about Politics

No Laughing Matter: What the Presidential Elections in Ukraine Have to Teach Us about Politics

When the possibility arose that Ukrainian actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky could run for President of Ukraine and actually win, it might well have elicited a few amused chuckles and raised eyebrows, but it was no longer a laughing matter when he came to dominate opinion polls and eventually confirmed his approval ratings by winning the elections by a landslide, garnering over 73% of the votes. Zelensky soundly defeated incumbent Petro Poroshenko against the backdrop of the ongoing war in the Donbass region between anti-Russian and pro-Russian factions.  More


Russia’s Trump Card Against China and Reshaping Power Dynamics

Russia’s Trump Card Against China and Reshaping Power Dynamics

On 18 December 2019, Donald Trump, the current President of the United States of America, was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee following allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the third US President to be impeached after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton (while Richard Nixon stepped down before a vote could be cast on his impeachment). The charges brought against Trump were attempting to coerce Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky into helping him win the upcoming 2020 elections by launching an investigation against Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter regarding pressure by Biden, as Obama’s VP, to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the energy firm employing his son. Trump apparently sought to ensure Ukraine’s help by withholding American military and diplomatic support for Ukraine.  More


Fortress Europe under Siege: The Ongoing Refugee Crisis

Fortress Europe under Siege: The Ongoing Refugee Crisis

The term “Fortress Europe” was used during World War II to denote European territories occupied by Nazi forces, as well as military operations conducted by the British military against mainland targets in Germany. It was also used by Britain’s enemy, Nazi Germany, to refer to its goal of conquering the entirety of Europe so as to create an impenetrable powerbase. After the war ended, the term was used in the context of the European Union’s policies on immigration, border control and trade matters, with positive connotations for conservative factions opposing migration and negative for the more open factions.  More


South-Asian Standoff: The Broader Implications of Russian Involvement in the South China Sea

South-Asian Standoff: The Broader Implications of Russian Involvement in the South China Sea

Sino-Russian relations are never easy to categorise neatly. Marked in equal measures by common interests and a mutual distrust, by a tendency to cooperate as well as the pressure of the competition that their geopolitical profiles consign them to, China and Russia have not had any significant clashes since the end of the Cold War, when a Sino-American alliance was forged as part of the US strategy to contain the USSR. Over the years, there have been various efforts on both camps to capitalise on their mutual interests and solidify their collaboration. Both countries are part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and China has resumed importing Russian military gear following a European Union-enforced arms embargo in the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests. The NATO presence in Central Asia and the Middle East has also driven Russia and China to seek common ground in order to avert the expansion of American influence in the region. Moreover, in 2014, China and Russia signed a 30-year deal to sell energy to China and to build the ambitiously named Power of Siberia, a pipeline which would transport Russian gas to the Far East. More


Robots and Empire(s)

Robots and Empire(s)

Few concepts have ever been as tightly related to the notion of technological advancement and the future in general as that of artificial intelligence. The idea of highly intelligent, even sentient robots permeating various facets of human activity and society has been a staple of science fiction since the past century. Though the term “robot” itself was introduced to the English language and the world by Czech playwright Karel Capek in 1920 (“robot” meaning “work” in Czech), robots and artificial intelligence were developed most prominently through the works of such authors as Isaac Asimov (one of whose novels lent its title to this article), Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick, while Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has also been viewed as another example of artificial beings appearing in fiction. The concept has been heavily featured in several blockbuster science fiction films and TV series as well, either as the main theme or as part of the technologically advanced future. Prominent examples include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Aliens, Star Wars, Terminator, The Matrix and more recently, Interstellar and Ex Machina. More


The Triangle of Terror

The Triangle of Terror

A lorry crashes into a crowd of people gathered at the Berlin Christmas fair, killing 12 and injuring 56. At an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov is shot dead by a young police officer who shouts Allah’s name and vindictive slogans against military actions in Syria before being gunned down himself by the Turkish police. More


Quo Vaditis, Civitates Foederatae Americae?

Quo Vaditis, Civitates Foederatae Americae?

The morning of November 9, 2016 bore witness to what most media trusts from the US and abroad, and many observers from around the world, from ordinary citizens to Hollywood celebrities and politicians at the highest level, thought possible only in an alternate dimension where logic, reason and probably nature itself obey principles completely alien to our own: famous businessman, media personality and Republican Party nominee Donald J. Trump won the US Presidential Elections, garnering more electoral votes than his more politically experienced opponent, Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party, wife of former US President Bill Clinton. More


Is World War Three Upon Us?

Is World War Three Upon Us?

It will not take more than a brief Google search to notice that this topic is the subject of a debate among analysts and journalists alike. Entering “is World War 3 coming” in the search bar will yield a plethora of authors and their diverse opinions. There is no shortage of modern-day Cassandras prophesizing Armageddon itself, as well as naysayers to dismiss such claims as unrealistic fear-mongering. More


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016