Abstracts Nr 2, 2015


Cristina Andreescu, “Missing men”: possible cultural causes of the higher mortality of boys and men

Abstract: Much has been made of the higher mortality rate of girls (relative to boys) in some Asian countries (China and India in particular); this has resulted in millions of “missing women”, to use a term coined by Amartya Sen, and is certainly a cause for serious concern. But few people seem to be concerned with the even higher mortality rate of boys (relative to girls) in developed countries. Moreover, the imbalance between the mortality of males and females becomes even stronger as they age. It is likely that the lack of interest in the high mortality of males stems from an implicit assumption that its causes must be biological. In this article I will try to show that culture is likely to also contribute to the differences between genders.

I look at the sex differentials in mortality rates of children under 5 years old, adults between 18 and 60 years old, and the elderly (over 65 years old) to see what the patterns in mortality rates can say about the influence of gender. For each age group I review results in the scientific literature that lend support to one particular cultural cause contributing to sex differentials in mortality. Hence I look at the differences in parenting, and in particular breastfeeding, of children under 5 and the association between mortality and parenting style (and breastfeeding); at sex differences in the interaction of adults with the health system and their association with morbidity and mortality; at the sex differences in the social networks of the elderly and the association between social network quality and life expectancy. Finally, I make some small suggestions of how public policy should take into account these gender differences.   

I think that these results prove that men, in spite of their position of dominance in society, constitute a vulnerable group from the point of view of health policy. Therefore, these finding should inform public policy and lead to policies more adapted to the different needs of men versus women.

Keywords: gender, mortality, health policy, cultural causes, missing men, breastfeeding, social networks, life expectancy.


Elena Laz─âr, The impact of Security Council’s resolutions in the jurisprudence of the ECHR

Abstract: This article aims to discuss the relationships between Security Council resolutions and the European Convention on Human Right mainly in the case law of the European Court. We tried to provide an answer to the following question: between the obligations imposed by the United Nations through the Security Council’s resolutions and the obligations deriving from the ECtHR regarding human rights, which ones prevail? In order to answer this question, we have made a short incursion into the jurisprudence of the ECtHR, which shows an evolution is taking place with regard to this aspect.

Keywords: human rights, Security Council, European Convention on Human Right, resolution, equivalent protection theory


Rita Popescu, The contribution of the activity of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities to the improvement of inter-ethnic relations in Romania 

Abstract: First the article summarizes the reasons for creating the institution of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), the responsibilities of the HCNM, the concepts of „early warning” and „early action”, and the recommendations of the HCNM during his visits to Romania. The main part of the research centers on the activity of the HCNM in Romania between 1993 and 2001, the most relevant period in terms of the evolution in inter-ethnic relations, and which coincides with the tenure of Max van der Stoel. My study of his visits and activity had to contend with a dearth of sources of information stemming from his inclination toward „quiet diplomacy”. Part of the research has involved following the covering of HCNM visits by the main six national newspapers for the entire period under investigation. I evaluated, to the extent possible, the contribution of the HCNM to the improvement of inter-ethnic relations in Romania. I highlighted Max van der Stoel’s personal contribution to shaping the role of the HCNM, given that at the time of his service the institutional practice was not governed by any official rules or guidelines. I showed that the pioneering activity of this first High Commissioner had involved a great deal of adaptation to the situation on the ground and to the characteristics of the particular inter-ethnic tensions. The success of the HCNM has demonstrated the usefulness of the „discrete diplomacy plus” strategy.

Keywords: High Commissioner on National Minorities, OSCE, Max van der Stoel, Romania, „early warning” and „early action”, quiet diplomacy