Abstracts № 1, 2022

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Political Theories

I. A.Inshakov

Modernity as a Time for Utopia

Keywords: utopia, Modernity, time regime, Enlightenment, progressivism

The article is devoted to the question of the relationship between Modernity and utopia. Modernity is viewed as a special time regime (i.e., a set of socially significant forms of perception of time by people and social groups), which constitutes a number of conditions that open up opportunities and create obstacles for the utopian thinking and the policies it directs, struggle practices, etc. The author identifies three important from the perspective for the existence of utopia conditions. The first condition is the tension between the openness of Modernity to qualitative changes and its desire for self-closure and reduction towards one of its features (rationalization, global capitalism, etc.). The possibilities of utopian thinking in a particular historical situation depend on the predominance of one of these impulses. The second condition is the problematization of any specific utopia against the background of the general process of reflexive self-renewal of modern societies, the appropriation of criticism to oneself and its recoding into the elements of routine management. The third condition is the colonization of time due to the subjectively perceived acceleration of time and loss of control over time, which complicates any thinking outside the everyday facts, including utopian thinking. According to the author’s conclusion, these three conditions are interrelated: it is the openness of Modernity to change that causes both the problematization of a specific utopia and the colonization of accelerating time, every moment of which should be spent on changes for the better. In its turn, the colonization of time undermines the possibility of “stopping” it, transferring it into the so-called “messianic time”, a time of eventfulness and concreteness.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-7-23

Pages: 7-23

V. S. Martianov, V. N.Rudenko

The Magic of the White Progressor: From Global Cargo Cult to a New Political Normality

Keywords: mainstream, West, democracy, market, new normality, inequality, universal basic income

The value and institutional core, which legitimized the historical rise and global domination of the West, is increasingly becoming the object of criticism. The initial coordinates of the liberal consensus, which promised humanity a constant rise in the living standards and opportunities thanks to the universality of the models of self-regulating markets and liberal democracies, find themselves under a revision. The background global trends, including those that unfolded in the Western societies, demonstrate the opposite — stagnation or shrinking of the resource base of the majority of the population against the background of the radicalization of economic inequali ty, corporate game that includes “shorting” the cost of labor (global uberization), the formation of elite democracies with limited access that ignore the principles of equality and interests of the majority. As a result, values, practices and institutions that were previously viewed as pathological deviations, institutional traps and something archaic (backwardness), consistently transform into a new global normality. Thus, theories that describe the contours of the global future mainly in non-market, and sometimes in illiberal categories, are gai ning momentum. These theories document new formats for the distribution of public resources, which are not based on markets and democracy, but rather on rent mechanisms, redistributive political regulation and differentiated value for the state of different social groups.

The authors argue that, from the economic standpoint, the emerging new normality is associated with the unfolding consensus that citizens are entitled to the basic political rent or other forms of differentiated access to resources that can provide them with decent existence in the face of the gro wing inefficiency of market communications. From the political standpoint, the new normality manifests itself in the potential communitarian turn, based on a set of left-wing, nationalist and populist discourses, united by the resentment idea of returning to the state (which distributes resources) a key role in regula ting radical inequalities in the interests of the majority.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-24-49

Pages: 24-49

Paradigms of Social Development

V. V. Ustyuzhanin, L. E. Grinin, I. A. Medvedev, A. V.Korotayev

Education and Revolutions (Why Do Some Revolutions Take up Arms while Others Do Not?)

Keywords: education, human capital, armed revolutions, unarmed revolutions, destabilization

Despite the existence of numerous hypotheses about what factors influence protesters’ choice of armed vs. unarmed struggle tactics, today there is a dearth of global, quantitative cross-national studies aimed at identifying the reasons why revolutions take a violent vs. a non-violent form. The article attempts to fill one of the gaps existing here by conducting a crossnational analysis of the relationship between education and the type of revolutionary action.

Based on the existing literature, the authors document several mechanisms that nudge educated people to choose unarmed forms of protest. In particular, education makes people more receptive to liberal-democratic valu es (including recognition and respect for the rights of others), promotes the development of tolerance and a culture of peaceful discussion, as well as increases human capital, which, on the one hand, makes it possible to successfully use non-violent instruments to defend one’s interests, and, on the other hand, increases the relative costs of participating in armed uprisings. Hence, the authors put forward a hypothesis, according to which in countries with a higher percentage of the population with formal education, the likelihood of armed revolutionary uprisings will decrease.

The analysis of 387 revolutionary events that took place in the world from 1950 to 2019 conducted via cross-tabulation, correlation and regression methods, fully confirms the hypothesis: high level of education is indeed a strong and significant predictor of the unarmed nature of revolutionary upheavals. The correlation is especially high between the proportion of revolutionary events and the average number of years of schooling (in the logged form), which approaches the level of functional depen dence. Therefore, the factor of education has the maximum influence on the nature of revolutionary uprisings precisely in the early stages of modernization.


DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-50-71

Pages: 50-71

Russian Polity

Ye. A. Ivanov, K. V. Melnikov, N. V.Petrov

Informal Structure of the Elite Space in Russia (Evidence from Network Analysis)

Keywords: Russian elite, informal network, patron-client relationships, network analysis

This paper aims to examine the elite structure in Russia. Given the widely recognized dominance of personal relations over formal institutions in the political and economic spheres in Russia, to explore this question, the authors turn to the concept of the informal network and Social Network Analysis (SNA).

Modelling an informal network requires operationalization of two elements: nodes and edges. The nodes are represented by the individuals who occupied top 50 positions in the “100 Most Influential Politicians of Russia” ranking in March-April, 2020. In contrast to the majority of the researchers who employ network approach to study elites, when deciding on edges (links) of the network, the authors take into account not only politicians’ ties that were formed during their previous career steps, but also other sources of their personal connections (outside work), and assess the relevance of the established connections in politicians’ biographies.

The resulting informal network highlights the peculiarities of the organization of the Russian elite, which are quite curious in their multidirectionality. On the one hand, its structure has an obvious center in the person of Vladimir Putin, who is far superior to other players in terms of the number of connections, degree of closeness to all elite actors, and his intermediary role. On the other hand, the level of centralization of the network is rather moderate. The reason is the variety of horizontal ties between the rest of the elite. On the one hand, there are several clearly identifiable communities in the network. On the other hand, there are more connections between such communities than within them. Almost all representatives of law enforcement agencies belong to the same network community. However, there are practically no horizontal ties within the law enforcement network community. In general, the informal network of the Russian elite demonstrates a high level of coherence, with the dominance of complex, multicomponent ties that manifest themselves in different formats of personal relationships. This level of integration can play a significant role in minimizing intra-elite divisions — the “Achilles heel” of authoritarian regimes.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-72-91

Pages: 72-91

I. S. Grigoriev

Helpers of the Court: Russian Constitutional Court and Ombudsman

Keywords: judicial review, constitutional court, ombudsman

In most countries, the main task of the constitutional court is to review compliance with the constitution. The basic method to perform this task is the elimination of violations upon an external request: after the court receives from applicants information about such violations in the form of claims or requests, it assesses the validity of such claim/requests and makes a decision on the particular issue that was brought up by an applicant, thereby restoring the constitutional order within the legal sphere in question. It is clear that one properly functioning court does not suffice for the successful realization of such a review model. One needs the coherent ecosystem of court helpers, who would collect relevant information about violations and supply it to judges — practically like raw materials, without which judicial control is impossible.

The article analyzes the relationship of the Russian Constitutional Court with a specific type of such helpers — the Ombudsman. Based on the quantitative analysis of the database of the decisions of the Constitutional Court, the author traces the evolution of these relations over the time period from 1999 to the present day and attempts to identify the reasons why, despite the growing “friendliness” of the Constitutional Court towards the Ombudsman, the role of the latter in the judicial review is declining.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-92-109

Pages: 92-109

Foreign Polities

M. H. Muntasser

State-building and Ethnic Pluralism in Iraq after 2003

Keywords: state-building, ethnic pluralism, Iraq after 2003, political system, identity politics

The research article deals with the process of building or rebuilding the state in Iraq after 2003 in its various dimensions, in light of the vision and foundational procedures that were developed and supervised by the United States in cooperation with the new leaders of Iraq based on the mechanism of sectarianethnic representation, and diagnosing the imbalances that arose out of that vision and the accompanying procedures, which led to the emergence of new variables in the political process, especially in the post-ISIS* phase, which produced important challenges to the political system and the Iraqi state.

The political dynamics and balances emerging after ISIS* represented at the same time opportunities and risks in the process of building the Iraqi state, as opportunities arose to transcend the identity policies adopted by the political system, and address the failures of the political process, and thus strengthen the path of state building, but the risks of those transformations seeking reform may push towards more state fragility, given the weakness of the political administration of the system in the face of the complexities of the political environment and its effects that were rooted in the p olitical system.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-110-130

Pages: 110-130

Historical Retrospective: Contemplations and Hypotheses

L. E.Bliakher, M. L.Bliakher

A City in the Shadow of Empires: Life, Death and Afterlife of the Imperial City of Harbin

Keywords: empire, mediated power, transmission of power impulse, imperial city, “Russian Harbin”, Chinese Eastern Railway, Manchuria

The article is devoted to the phenomenon of imperial cities — structures, the main function of which is to transmit power impul se from the imperial center to its adjacent periphery, linking the heterogeneous body of the empire. Such cities are not merely a result of natural agglome ration proces ses, but rather they represent political constructs that make it possible to hold the empire together and at the same time take into account its heterogeneity. Today, in the vast post-Soviet space, the imperial cities of the vanished empire of the USSR (capitals of the former Soviet republics, regional, economic and military centers) are undergoing a period of transformation, which is often described as the absorption of the city by its surrounding periphery. It is difficult to identify the main determinants of such transformation and build a stable model for predicting further changes, because even today this process is far from being complete, which makes it impossible for researchers to reveal all groups of factors that could impact the development of an imperial city outside the influence of the empi re that left it.

To solve this problem, the authors turn to the experience of the imperial city, which has already undergone a similar evolution, the so called “Russian Harbin”. The article describes the transformations of the external appearance of the city, daily household routines, power distribution in the urban space, which are considered to be markers of change in the meanings of the imperial signals. Along with the trends that are common to the imperial cities of the East of Russia (“Europe for Asia”), there are also trends that are specific to Harbin as an imperial city outside the empire. The article demonstrates that the structure of the imperial city, which was created to transmit power impulse, is capable of transmitting the meanings of another empire. The authors show that the disappearance of the “Russian Harbin” as a historical and cultural phenomenon does not mean the disappearance of the imperial city, which comes back to life every time the political center begins to produce meanings that need to be relayed to a heterogeneous territory.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-131-161

Pages: 131-161

I. I.Glebova

Literature and Dictatorship: Culture of the Beginning of the 20th Century in Search of Ideal Power (Essay)

Keywords: Modenity, theomachy, revolution, cult of Peter the Great, dictatorship, development, leaderism, creators, victims

The end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century is a watershed moment for Russia. It was the era of “theomachy”, or getting rid of the former gods (authorities, restrictions, coercion and control), in politics, economy, science and culture. In this sense, the motto “Down with the autocracy!” is the political equivalent of the poets’ slogan “Throw Pushkin off the ship of Modernity”. Poets, like politicians, wanted to break out of the past by removing its linchpin — the tsar, the old power. Some intended to reestablish it, others — to rethink it. Politicians sought their ideal in “geography” (the political structure of advanced, democratic Europe), poets — in culture. And they found it in Peter the Great — the revolutionary on the throne, the demiurge of St Petersburg’s Russia. That cult, which was seemingly organic for that culture, concealed the expectations that can be politically deciphered as “the dictatorship of development”. It was Peter’s model of transformation (radical upheaval, a step from the past into the future, with the leader heading the process) that was adopted by the Russian culture as a normative. The revolution and the new (“October”) world, with its eulogy of the future, dictatorship, and cult of the leader, have become the answer to the questions of the beginning of the century and their test.

The article views revolution precisely as an experience (which, for all its intensity and tragic nature, has received insufficient reflection) that failed to 

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-162-182

Pages: 162-182


V. S. Malakhov, K. Kascian

Citizenship Regimes in the EU Countries and the Inclusion of the Immigrant Population in the Political Community

Keywords: : citizenship regimes, migrants, European Union, jus soli, naturalization

The article is devoted to the analysis of differences in the approaches of European Union member states to the inclusion of migrants into the political community by granting them citizenship. These differences are operationalized through the category of “citizenship regimes”. The article distingui shes three types of citizenship regimes — liberal, restrictive, and mixed. Whether a particular regime can be categorized into one of these citizenship regime types is determined on the basis of three indicators: (1) application/nonapplication of birthright citizenship (jus soli), (2) the presence of the institution of dual (multiple) citizenship, and (3) the relative simplicity/complexity of the naturalization procedure. At the same time, due to the lack of the comprehensive statistical data, which would allow assessing all possible components of this procedure, in order to evaluate the degree of the simplicity/complexity of the procedure, the authors focus on such a parameter as the minimum time period of residence in the country required to apply for citizenship.

Having considered the evolution of the legal systems of the EU states, the authors reveal important differences in the approaches to the naturalization of migrants along the axis between the “old” countries of the European Union, on the one hand, and new members of the United Europe from the former socialist countries, on the other. While the “old” EU members tend to gradually liberalize citizenship regimes, the new ones are leaning towards a restrictive model, which manifests itself both in the difficult conditions of naturalization and rejection of the birthright citizenship law. The convergence of the positions of these two groups of countries on this issue is not visible.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-104-1-183-198

Pages: 183-198