From the Editor
The article is devoted to the specific characteristics of some political professions, like, for example, a politician, an administrator, a councillor, an independent expert, an ideologist, a party officer, a public figure, a journalist, an activist of a public movement, a political technologist, and finally - a lobbyist. The author draws a parallel between a relatively high level of political professions' development in Russia and the level of development of politics as a sphere of public activity.
POLITICAL CONSULTING IN MODERN POLITICS
Having analysed the main stages of the development of political consulting in Western countries on the example of France and the USA, and the specific characteristics of the professional activity of political consultants the author comes to the conclusion that regardless of all the differences between national models of political consulting, its introduction into the electoral process resulted in the formation of a new style of political life. The main characteristic features of this style are: (a) the leading role in the electoral campaigns no longer belongs to political leaders and party bosses, but to independent consultants and managers; (b) the political struggle became "personalised" and "deprogrammed"; (c) serious marketing research lay the basis for electoral campaigns; (d) the mass media potential, and in the first place, that of TV is widely used.
The analyses of the main tendencies of the development of political consulting in Russia brings the author to the conclusion that the gradual division of the market and the ever greater role of the ideological voting, it is the "internal" consulting that gradually becomes the most perspective form in our country. The author mentions that the Russian "external" consulting is now on the verge of its first serious crises, but argues that the complains about the "end of the political management" are at least untimely. The international experience shows that the fact that the consulting is no longer believed to be a miracle-working means of achieving the political success may be considered as a sign of a new development of the latter, rather than of its decay.
Based on Five Central Russian Newspapers. Using the results of the content-analysis of five central Russian newspapers ("Izvestiya", "Kommersant-Daily", "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" and "Segodnya") the author tries to define the attitude of the press to the centres of political consulting. The analysis has shown that the interest of the press to the political consulting centres is rather vague and can only be provoked by the events that give rise to a great public feedback. The low interest of the press to the centres of political consulting, according to the author, is partially explained by the fact that these centres themselves do not show serious interest in contacts with media. This neglecting attitude may result in a stable mass negative stereotype and bias against political consulting as such, which is already being formed in the mass consciousness.
POLITICAL CONSULTING AND ELECTORAL TECHNOLOGIES
Political and economic characteristics of the Rostov region are typical for Russian regions, and thus the on-going processes in the region can also be considered as characteristic for the Russian province. Having analysed the organisational and technological devices that had been used in the Rostov region in the period between the end of 1993 to 1998, the author singles out four types of campaigns: party campaigns (the accent is made on the ideological component and the technologies used are quite primitive), outsiders' campaigns (based on the exploitation of the protest attitudes; the charisma and a serious organisational efforts are their indispensable characteristics), bosses' campaigns (oriented on the administrative manipulation methods, directly supported by the power structures) and insiders' campaigns (partial support or favourable neutrality on behalf of the local authorities and the use of various technologies). These types of campaigns are also characteristic of the federal elections; thus, according to the author, G.Zyuganov is obviously oriented on the party campaign, A.Lebed - to the outsiders' campaign, Yu.Luzhkov - to the bosses' campaign and G.Yavlinsky - to the insiders' one. Each type of the campaign presupposes specific political resources and dictates a certain algorithm of the behaviour of the candidate and his team, and thus it is essential for the candidate to determine correctly his appropriate model and to choose the methods that would correspond to the selected type of the campaign.
The author thinks that it is not appropriate to assess the electoral technologies in moral categories or proceeding from their correspondence to the law, and argues that the only acceptable criteria is its impact on the public organism. The technologies that promote the destruction of the public organism, give rise to legal nihilism and political apathy are defined by the author as destructive ones. Having analysed in detail the most typical forms of destructive technologies, such as political graffiti, the disorganisation of the competitor's meeting with the electorate, telephone technologies, bribing the electors, organisation of mass protest actions, etc., the author formulates a few general principles, showing how to oppose these technologies. He argues that any destructive technology is a double-wedged weapon and the task is to turn it against those who try to make use of it.
In Bulgaria, in spite of its rich electoral history and the ever more active use of electoral technologies in the campaigns, there are still no specialised centres of political consulting. Such areas as public relations, and image-making are in the worst position. Bulgarian politicians still have a very vague understanding that their image, words, phrases, the fact of presence in the appropriate places are not less important factors of the political game than the knowledge of public, political or economic situation.
RUSSIAN CENTRES OF POLITICAL CONSULTING
RUSSIAN CENTRES OF POLITICAL CONSULTING
The rubric gives information on the leading Russian centres of political consulting, such as the Agency of Applied and Regional Policy, Association of Psychological Consulting - Association of Young Psychologists of St.-Petersburg, the INDEM Centre, the "Politica" Foundation, the Foundation for Efficient Policy, the Centre of Political Technologies, the Centre for Political Consulting "Niccolo M", the Centre for Political Conjuncture of Russia.
The rubric contains the interviews with the leaders of the biggest Russian centres of political consulting:
I.Bunin (the Centre of Political Technologies),
I.Zadorin (the CIRCON Research Group).
I.Mintusov (the Centre for Political Consulting "Niccolo M").
V.Nikonov (the "Politica" Foundation).
G.Satarov (the INDEM Foundation).
V.Khomyakov (the Agency of Applied and Regional Policy).
A.Tchesnakov (the Centre for Political Conjuncture of Russia).
A.Shustov (Association of Psychological Consulting – Association of Young Psychologists of St.-Petersburg).
Answering the questions by the "Politeia" the leading political consultants of Russia speak about the activities of their centres, share their views on problems and perspectives of the Russian PR market, discuss the specific characteristics and possible results of the forthcoming electoral campaigns of 1999 and 2000, give recommendations to potential customers about the criteria of selecting a consulting company.
The review gives a thorough analysis of the cycle of seminars of the "Russian Public Policy Centre" Foundation (RPPC), devoted to electoral campaigns and to the attendant processes. Analysing the history and the evolution of the RPPC based seminars, the list of their participants, specific subjects discussed etc., the author comes to the conclusion that this discussion site is a unique chance to summarise the professional experience ( both positive and negative ) accumulated in course of transformation of the Russian political system in general and in course of national and regional electoral campaigns, in particular.
The exposition "Consulting. PR. Electoral Technologies" took place in Moscow on March 2-5, 1999. There were presented more than 40 companies - informational, informational-analytical, consulting, marketing, publishing and educational. The principle result of the exposition was the fact that the attention of the public was attracted to the activities of organisations engaged in political consulting, in PR, as well as in preparing and conducting electoral campaigns. The exposition promoted the formation of political consulting and PR as a single whole and positioning of the acting organisations in accordance with their appropriate subjects.
The article analyses the political situation in Russia six months ahead of the elections to the State Duma, describes the balance of political forces of parties and their leaders and assesses their potential strategies and chances. The author shows that the third parliamentary elections and the second re-elections of the President in Russia will take place in the situation of a deep socio-economic crisis and of a still undeveloped party system and vaguely structured political interests. However he argues that assessment of the forthcoming electoral process as chaotic and unpredictable is wrong. He believes that the existing juridical and institutional frameworks and stable electoral preferences will provide a relatively high level of stability and predictability of behaviour of the main political institutions and participants of the electoral race.
THE "POLITEIA" ARCHIVE
When did the profession of a political consultant emerge? To answer the question the author addresses the story of a stoic philosopher Blossius of Cumae (II century BC) who was an assistant to Thiberius Grakh, and after the death of the latter became an adviser to Aristonic, who revolted against Rome. Analysing the activity of this philosopher the author comes to the conclusion that though political consulting as a special form of professional activity (that is in the "narrow" sense) became widely used only in the period of the industrialised civilisation, political consultants by mission did exist in earlier epochs as well. Generally speaking, political consulting in a "broad" sense in all epochs was an attribute of serious politics and thus can be considered to be of the same age as the human civilisation as such.
Ogust Villiers de l'Isle-Adam
The "Politeia" publishes an abridgement of a story by a French writer O.Villiers de l'Isle-Adam (1838-1889) describing a fantastic invention of a certain Mr.Grave, who found a way of using the sky for advertising (political advertising included).
LEADERS OF THE RUSSIAN CENTRES OF POLITICAL CONSULTING
The editorial board of the "Politeia" publishes this document as a specimen to show a desire of a substantial part of the political consultants community to frame the rules of political game and to take certain pledges on a voluntary basis.