The author carries out the retrospective analysis of the Russian history identifying its three cycles. The article is focused on the transition periods between these cycles characterized by the times of troubles. A. Zubov qualifies the XX-th century in the Russian history as the end of another big national cycle and the transition through the time of troubles. According to the author the restoration period has only begun and it is going with much difficulty. By analogy with the previous times of troubles it will take at least as much time to eradicate the third time of troubles as it lasted (75 years) which means it will be over by 2050-2080.
The author believes that in a certain sense Russian history including of the XX-th century may be viewed as a chain of fluctuations within the two poles – the Troubles and the Order. In her second article dedicated to the analysis of this rhythm of the national history I. Glebova follows it from “Stalin order” to the upheavals of the 90-ies. According to the author the time of troubles as a totality of anti-system movements traditionally starts with the discontent in the power. The political events of 1989-1991 and 1993 was in fact the form of social economic upheaval meaning the transfer from the shadow and the confirmation of mechanisms, processes and links shaped in the shadow sphere as socio-dominant. The public policy of the 90-ies which formalized this transfer became the factor of the prevention of the civil war for the distribution and redistribution of resources.
The authors doubt a wide-spread opinion that a regime is just a number of formal power institutions. In their opinion in the transition period institutions in themselves are not only and not that much a framework for cooperation and the system of generally accepted legitimate rules but also the subject of agreements, trade and struggle. The interaction between the ruling class and the society as well as inside the ruling class is based on informal institutions. Using modern Ukraine as an example the authors address the problem of the power legitimacy and government under regimes where the “grey zone” has in a certain sense received its legal regulations.
The article addresses factors determining Ukrainian foreign policy, first of all its relationships with Russia. The author emphasizes the fact that Ukraine can easily fit into the geostrategic triangle Russia – European Union – USA. Besides, it is necessary to take into account the inner differentiation of the elements of this structure meaning influential political forces and blocks having different political preferences. A. Gutsul also reviewed the level of Ukrainian involvement into the world and regional integration processes, the correlation between rational and irrational factors in the Ukrainian politics. He states that the research of integration processes practically does not cover possible negative consequences of the civilizational reformatization which the society will have to fulfill according to Brussels instructions (if it comes to the full scale accession to the European Union.)
Two all Russian polls conducted in 2005 served the empiric basis of the analytical report. The first one revealed the attitude to the state bureaucracy on the side of the general public the second one on the side of the experts. The research raised the problem whether the state bureaucracy coped with the role of the mouthpiece of national and public interests, the reasons of the negative perception of the officialdom by the society were addressed. The researchers also focused on the problems of corruption, the level of the bureaucracy’s influence on Russian economic and political life, the efficiency of the administrative reform.
At the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences a project covering the analysis of modern political thought and consequently its liberal conservative and left components is being implemented under the leadership of Professor Galkin. This publication is based on the papers of the round table discussion held in spring 2006 and dedicated to the left idea, its obvious crisis and the search of getting out of it and the evaluation of its supporters’ attempts to respond to radically changing reality. Left wing processes related to the attempts to work out an adequate response to modern challenges are studied using Germany, UK, France, Austria, Ireland and Poland as examples.
Religion and Politics
According to the author in Western science the role of Christianity in the development of European democratic institutions was thoroughly studied. While in Russia understanding of the role and place of the religious factor in transformational processes has only begun. The author poses such questions as “What are relationships between the Orthodoxy and Democracy?” “Does Russian Orthodox Church accept liberal democratic values emerged within Western European civilization?” A. Sitnikov reviews the traditions of the national political culture, the role of the Orthodoxy in the legitimization of power in the historical retrospective. It is stated in the article that the modernization of the Russian society took place without any influence of the religious factor and in many ways against it.
The article addresses the phenomenon of politics and its understanding. The author says that the notion of politics has been discussed for centuries. However, the experience of many centuries did not give answers to all the principal questions in this area. The intellectual search resulted in a number of quite sustainable tendencies, which are interpreted by A. Soloviev in the article. The author gives his own definition of politics attempting to create the general line of its evolution. Besides, A.Soloviev emphasizes that politics will always be an evasive phenomenon for humanity and its meanings will be dynamically changing depending on human interests and possibilities of cognition, abilities to use power for attaining key public resources and statuses.
The author turns to the Greek and Roman sources of the political science in particular reviewing the definition of its most important problems in works by Aristotle and Plato. I. Andrushkevich analyzes the early ideas of political stability prerequisites. He focuses on such concepts as “la democrazia exasperada.” The author considers factors enabling to keep the optimum democratic order for a long period of time to be most important.
In the traditional for magazine “Politeia” chronicle the main events in the life of Russian political parties in spring 2006 are presented. As usual this review is accompanied by the analysis of the disposition of Russian political forces in this period of time. In particular the author focuses on the situation at the both wings of the Russian politics - the liberal and the left radical. Special attention is paid to the continuing attempts of the power to replace current Russian political parties by puppet pseudo parties. According to Yo. Korgunyuk this does not concern only the spectrum loyal to the power but the opposition as well.