Stelian Tănase (born February 17, 1952) is a Romanian writer, historian, journalist, political analyst, and talk show host. Having briefly engaged in politics during the early 1990s, after the fall of the Communist regime, he has remained a leading figure of the Romanian civil society.
A founding member of both the Group for Social Dialogue and the Civic Alliance, he was the latter's vice-president between 1991 and 1993. In 1990, Tănase co-founded the political magazine 22, and, in 1992, he founded Sfera Politicii; he is a managing editor of both, as well as a regular contributor to various Romanian newspapers. Over the years, he was the host of several talk shows (2 plus 1 and Orient express for Antena 1; Maşina de tocat for TVR 1; Zece şi un sfert, Zece fix, Tănase şi Dinescu, and 3 X 3 for Realitatea TV).
Tănase is also vocal in the campaign to declassify all files kept in Securitate archives; in March 2002, he invited on his talk show a discussion his best friend, after it was revealed that the latter had been a Securitate informant who regularly furnished information on Tănase himself. Since 2014 he is the president of TVR.
Tănase became a public figure soon after the Romanian Revolution of 1989: in 1990, he took part in the Golaniad, the protest movement against former members of the Romanian Communist Party who had gained power during the Revolution.
After July 1991, Tănase sided with the group inside the Civic Alliance that called for the organization's transformation into a political party. As a member of the newly created Civic Alliance Party inside the opposition alliance (the Romanian Democratic Convention), he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the 1992-1996 legislature, representing the city of Bucharest. He was vice-president of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs (until April 1995) and member of the Special Committee for the Advancing a Legislative Proposal Regarding the Functioning of Political Parties.
In 2006, he was chosen member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania by its president, Vladimir Tismăneanu. The Commission was founded by President Traian Băsescu in order to provide for an official and academic basis for condemning the Romanian communist regime. This took place on December 18, 2006, when the President presented the Commission's 660 pages report to Parliament, making Romania the first Eastern Bloc country to officially condemn its communist regime.
In 1996, he was granted a Ph.D. in political sociology by the University of Bucharest. A visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles Sociology Department in 1997, he currently teaches at the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Political Sciences.
Tănase was the recipient of several fellowships: he was Visiting Short-Term Fellow (1993) and Visiting Scholar (1994) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, granted a Visiting Short Term Collaborative research project at the University of California, Los Angeles (with Gail Kligman in 1996); a Fulbright scholar, post-Ph.D. grant, The New School for Social Research (1997); Visiting Short Term Scholar at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. (1998).
He has held conferences in Rome, Paris, Oslo, Vienna, Budapest, Washington, D.C., and also at prestigious American universities: the University of California, Los Angeles, Berkeley University, Stanford University, New York University, Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and The New School for Social Research.
- 1982 - Luxul melancoliei ("The Luxury of Melancholy"); 2 nd ed. 1993
- 1990 - Corpuri de iluminat ("Lighting Bodies"), written 1985-1987; 2 nd ed. 1998, 3 rd ed. 2004
- 1995 - Playback; 2 nd ed. 2004
- 2008 - Maestro
Studies and essays
- 1993 - Şocuri şi crize ("Shocks and Crises"), collected political articles
- 1995 - Ora oficială de iarnă ("Official Winter Time"), diary 1986-1990
- 1996 - Sfidarea memoriei. Convorbiri cu Alexandru Paleologu ("Defying Memory. Conversations with Alexandru Paleologu")
- 1996 - Revoluţia ca eşec. Elite şi societate ("Revolution as Failure. Elites and Society"), political studies
- 1997 - Anatomia mistificării. Procesul Noica-Pillat ("Anatomy of Mystification. The Noica-Pillat Trial")
- 1998 - LA vs NY. Jurnal american ("LA vs NY. American Diary")
- 1998 - Elite şi societate. Guvernarea Gheorghiu-Dej (1948–1965) ("Elites and Society. The Gheorghiu-Dej Government")
- 1999 - Miracolul revoluţiei. O istorie politică a căderii regimurilor comuniste ("The Miracle of Revolution. A Political History of the Fall of Communist Regimes")
- 2002 - Acasă se vorbeşte în şoaptă, Dosar & jurnal din anii târzii ai dictaturii ("At Home There is Only Speaking in a Whisper: File and Diary Recording in the Late Years of the Romanian Dictatorship"); contains excerpts from his file at the political police Securitate
- 2004 - Zei şi semizei la început de secol ("Gods and Demigods at the Dawn of the Century")
- 2005 - Clienţii lu' tanti Varvara. Poveşti clandestine ("Aunt Varvara's Clients. Clandestine Stories")
- 1991 - Piaţa Univesităţii - România ("University Square - Romania"), documentary
- 1999 - Asaltul cerului ("The Siege of the Sky"), documentary for Antena 1; 6 episodes
- 2000 - Struma, documentary for Antena 1
- 2004 - Vizionarii ("The Foreseers"), portraits of 19th and 20th century Romanian politicians (Mihail Kogălniceanu, Ion Brătianu, Nicolae Iorga, Nicolae Titulescu, Iuliu Maniu), documentary for Realitatea TV; 5 episodes
- 2004 - Istoria alegerilor în România secolului XX ("The History of Elections in 20th century Romania"), documentary for Realitatea TV; 6 episodes
- 2006 - Dinastia ("The Dynasty"), portraits of the four kings of the Romanians, documentary for the Romanian Television Company; 21 episodes
- "George Damian, "Un securist la Guvern"" (in Romanian). Ziua. 2006-11-09. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- (Romanian) Biography at the Romanian Chamber of Deputies site
- "Romania condemns its communist past". EuroNews. 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2006-12-19.[dead link]
- "Romanian president, in a first for the nation, condemns its Communist dictatorship". International Herald Tribune. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- Smith, Craig S. (2006-12-19). "Romanian Leader Condemns Communist Rule". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- The Renegade Istrati, excerpt from Aunt Varvara's Clients, translated by Alistair Ian Blyth
- (Romanian) Biography at the Polirom site
- (Romanian)Sfera politicii
- (Romanian) Interview in Cariere magazine