Keywords: political, sacred, charisma, Durkheim, structural functionalism, Shils
The article points out significant methodological difficulties that modern social sciences face referring to the categories of the sacred and the charismatic. According to the author, the reason for such problems lies in the refusal to take into account transcendental dimension of the sacred, in the a priori belief that the latter is immanent in the social, in the treatment of the phenomenon of the charismatic solely as a type of symbolic capital, which contradicts the initial meaning of the terms and is hardly consistent with the sum of empirical observations on the cooperation between the sacred and the social (especially, the sacred and the political). S.Kaspe finds a solution to this paradox of «non-divine charisma» in Shils' sociology showing that its reanimation might provide a key towards understanding a lot of acute political challenges.
Paradigms of social development
Keywords: single-party dominance, clientelism, patronage, party competition, privatization
Why do authoritarian dominant parties, once established, continue to win elections or lose power? Employing a time-series cross-national analysis of election outcomes and two country case studies, the author shows that dominant parties endure despite poor economic performance, voter demand for new parties, and sufficiently permissive electoral institutions. Instead, the author demonstrates that dominant parties continue to win when they can politicize public resources, and they fail when privatizations put the state’s fiscal power out of their reach. The argument has implications for the fate of dominant parties, transitions to democracy in competitive authoritarian regimes, and the study of incumbency advantages and electoral fairness in comparative politics.
Keywords: corruption, political stability, neoinstitutionalism
This paper investigates the relationship between political stability and corruption in weakly institutionalized polities – “weak states”. The main hypothesis is that there is a U-shaped relationship between political stability and corruption. The lower is the level of political stability the higher is the level of corruption, due to reduction of time horizon of politicians and bureaucrats. Yet the very high level of stability in “weak states” also leads to an increase in the level of corruption. The idea is that political elites use corruption as a mechanism for loyalty providing by rewarding supporters and controlling potential challengers, therefore corruption and political stability can be mutually reinforcing. The argument is grounded on the theory of inefficient institutions and simple game theoretical model of political process. The idea of non-linear relationship between political stability and corruption confirms with empirical findings from statistical analysis of the data from 122 developing countries.
Modernity and modernization
Keywords: modernization, feedback, public sphere, public interest, development, renewal, civil society, social systems
Having analyzed the specificity of the situation in the modern Russia, A.Galkin concludes that the country necessitates systemic modernization rather than techno-economic one with the former being impossible to implement without mobilizing if not the whole society, but at least its rather populous groups. According to his conclusions, in order to break the impasse and bring in motion the process of formation of the spiritual atmosphere in which modernization is perceived not only as possible, but also as desirable, in the first place it is necessary to improve and actively engage a set of mechanisms capable of stimulating public interest in modernization. This is the only case when modernizing impulses coming from above will be consistent with the aspiration towards modernization coming from below and will create necessary conditions for successful implementation of an urgent modernization breakthrough.
Keywords: identity, socio-cultural conflict, modernists, traditionalists
The Russian identity is still far from becoming an identity of the modern epoch, however, it has not been consolidated, or frozen in numbness, which can be judged not only by its volatility, but also by “mutual penetration” of its beliefs and values, the existence of quantitative as well as significant qualitative differences between modernists and traditionalists. Having emphasized lability of the modern Russian identity, K.Holodkovsky assumes that it might face new fluctuations under the influence of both objective and subjective conditions having undergone changes. He comes to the conclusion that although the cohort of the pure modernists retreats the fact that the opposing majority lost its coherence, and new values and attitudes penetrated into its body allows to talk about the gradual – fragile, errorful, being interrupted with backwards movement – formation of new identity that will be in demand during the next stage of the Russian reforms.
Keywords: social organizations, civil participation, civil initiatives, culture of solidarity, collective action
The article is devoted to the analysis of the “third sector” in the modern Russia and possible trajectories of its development in the mid-term. According to the authors’ conception, all the problems (or most of them) with the civil participation can be explained through the specificity of interaction of its main subjects i.e. civil activists and social organizations with different stakeholders – population (ordinary citizens), power and business. Having thoroughly reviewed the range of contradictions emerging during the interaction of various “social sectors”, the authors draw the conclusion that a lot of problems of the Russian civil society have their roots in its very structures, in their ability/inability to build relationships with other socio-political actors. The research paper is based on the material of the project Power and Society in Russia: Problems of Overcoming Mutual Alienation carried out by the group ZIRCON, January-March, 2010.
Keywords: nation-building, Jewish community, Yiddish, political nation, network connections, artistic culture
The article describes the processes of nation-building taking place in the Amur River Region in 1920–1930s that resulted in the emergence of the Jewish Autonomous Province. Having analyzed in details twists and turns of the struggle surrounding the idea of the “Jewish autonomy” and instruments employed for its formation, the authors demonstrate that in contrast to the conventional wisdom, “Project of Birobidjan” was not only the means of propagandistic influence over the international community or the way to attract investments from the international Jewish organizations. They conclude that it was a unique attempt to build a “secular” Jewish state based on such mechanisms as artistic culture, construction of history and commonality of fate created by immigration.
Keywords: elections, elite, social identification, territorial community, private space, masses
The author analyzes flaws in the functioning of the Russian political system caused by the transformation of the regional elites from being almost absolute principals exercising power over their territories into the agents of the federal power. He shows that with gubernators losing their roles as leaders of the local community the logic of “sovereign democracy” viewing democracy itself as a subject for manipulation and subordination also ceases working. The society being distanced from power strongly guards its space perceiving pressure exerted by power as an intrusion upon private sphere. Under such conditions as guided by the experience of Irkutsk’s elections 2010 the electoral procedure that seems to have already lost its political meaning is capable of becoming a channel for people’s protestant sentiments.
Second Gubernatorial Readings
Keywords: modernization, drivers of growth, institutional reconstruction, “democracy of trust”, Tumen region
The material published here is a report on the Second Gubernatorial Readings held in Tumen, January 26, 2011 under the framework of the joint project conducted by the journal Politeia and the administration of Tumen region with the topic of readings being Problems and Challenges of Russian Modernization and a lecturer being I.E.Diskin, PhD in Economics, Chairman of Commission on Development of Civil Society within the RF Public Chamber, Co-Chairman of Council on National Strategy, Professor of Higher School of Economics.
First Gubernatorial Readings
Keywords: economic modernization, technologies of broad application, innovations, oil & gas resources, Tumen region
The material published here is a report on the First Gubernatorial Readings held in Tumen, November 18, 2010 under the framework of the joint project conducted by the journal Politeia and the administration of Tumen region with the topic of readings being Strategy of Modernization of Russian Economy and a lecturer being V.M.Polterovich, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the laboratory of mathematical economics in the Central Economic Mathematical Institution within the Russian Academy of Sciences, Deputy Director of Moscow School of Economics.
Keywords: voting, pairwise comparison, criterion, sum of ranks
The article describes three procedures of voting elaborated by Ramon LLull, a distinguished medieval poet, philosopher and theologist. Having reviewed these procedures, V.Volsky demonstrated that it was LLull who actually invented the method of pairwise comparison of candidates and not Marquis de Condorcet as it is commonly considered.