Abstracts 2, 2003

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Alexei Salmin

Interview of Alexei Salmin, editor-in-chief of the Politeia journal and chairman of the Russian National Committee of Political Sociology, to Sergey Patrushev, board of directors head of the Russian Association of Political Science.

A.M. Salmin dwells on the state of Russian political science, its main characteristics and prospects. Mr.Salmin refutes a popular idea that the very development of political science in Russia commenced in 1989. In his opinion, the formation of political science started even before 1917, and it existed, though under different pseudonyms, through the Soviet period. The interview talks about the level of political education, and particularly about the systemic approach to presenting the knowledge. Salmin warns against two temptations. First, against creating some separate national political science – because science, including the humanitarian science, is universal. Second, against joining any foreign scientific school. Each country needs its own political science possessing universal value.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-5-31


Elena Shestopal

Attitude of the Russians to power as an illustration of quality of democracy (According to politico-psychological analysis, 1993-2003).

The article is based on the research, conducted in 1993-2003 in Moscow, the Moscow region, Vladimir, Ivanovo, Irkutsk and some other regions. The analysis focuses on the relations between citizens and power. The author studies the process of democratization on a micropolitical level, analyzes how this process changes the attitude of an individual towards the power. The article distinguishes several stages of changing the quality of democracy, and these stages are determined according to the change of attitudes to the power. According to the author, Russian mass consciousness has adopted main democratic values, though this adoption has not always been even. Some values turned out to better fit into the national political culture (such as freedom and law-abidance), while others (such as responsibility, individual autonomy) have recently seriously lost their significance and do not comply with the high democratic standards. In order to consolidate democracy, there should be made such changes in the mass and individual consciousness of the Russians that would lead to the prevalence of a non-authoritarian psychological type.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-32-53

Sergey Patrushev, Svetlana Ayvazova, Grigoriy Kertman, Lidia Mashezerskaya, Tamara Pavlova, Alexandr Khlopin

Power and people in Russia: everyday practice and the problem of institutional order universalization.

On the basis of a research conducted in 1995-2002, the authors revealed a steady discrepancy between mass conception of ‘real’ and ‘desirable’ foundations of state and society. The Russians realize the existence of a breach between the formal political norms and rules set by law, and the informal rules of political conduct, by which both politicians and ordinary citizens are guided. Besides, the gap between the declared aims and values and their political realization is evident. The insufficient legitimacy of political order results in an alienation of people from politics and power, and rejection of multiple forms of political participation, particularly, joining public organizations. According to the authors, Russian macro-order that does not provide for any real guarantees of civil rights and freedoms will be recognized as legal, but will remain fragmentary and illegitimate while there exists a basic contradiction between the society and the state.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-54-79


Vilya Gelbras

China: revival of the national idea.

According to V.Gelbras, such factors as the continuous existence of statehood, common rituals, norms and standards of life promoted by the state, written tradition, and Confucian ideology have always had a deciding impact on the formation of Chinese socialization. After the creation of the first unified state the great-power aspirations, based on the conviction that China presents the center of the Universe, the center of history, the center of peoples, became the country’s main ideological postulate. After the year 1949 social and political guiding lines moved the national idea to the background. However, the 16th Congress of the Chinese communist party made an important step towards a smooth substitution of a national idea for a social one. The national idea was given a new meaning, new direction and a new form of realization, embodied in a global strategy of external economic advance.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-80-90

Olga Petrunina

The Great Idea and the geopolitical situation on the Balkans at the turn of the 21st century.

The author considers the national idea to have become the Balkans’ most viable ideology, the ideology that determined the development of Balkan peoples. The origin of national ideas goes back to the era of formation of the first nation-states. The article studies the features of national ideas of specific countries on the Balkan peninsula, as well as the relations between the national ideas and the state power. According to O.Petrunina, even when national ideas lost the status of official ideologies, they remained the dominant forces in the domestic and foreign policy, and never stopped to exert influence on the process of political decision-making. The author distinguishes two types of national ideas on the Balkans – the civilizational and geographical ones. The latter sooner or later acquired an expansionist shape, which automatically lead to a conflict with the neighbours’ national ideas and served a catalyst for armed conflicts.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-91-113


Richard Rose

Advancing into Europe? The contrasting goals of post-communist countries.

Based on the surveys conducted in the Central and Eastern Europe by the New Europe Barometer and the New Russia Barometer, the author compares Russia with the candidate states to the European Union in terms of freedom and democracy acceleration. The article studies the attitude of the eleven countries’ population to the former and present regimes and to their countries’ political future. The author assesses and comments on the degree of popularity of non-democratic alternatives (return to communism, establishment of a military regime or dictatorship) among the citizens of specific countries. According to the author, ten years under the democratic by form, but often ineffective per se rule rendered eighty percent of the Eastern European population careful in the assessment of democracy’s attraction. The majority of the Eastern Europeans, however, firmly rejects political models of the past.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-114-125


Aleksandr Duka

Institutionalization of the politico-administrative elite in Saint-Petersburg.

A.V.Duka claims that the institutionalization of Saint-Petersburg’s politico-administrative elite has partially been completed. Power institutes can still be transformed, individuals still do not hold stable positions in the power, but the cadre reserve for the administrative elite has already been created. New social groups that appeared after economic reforms present a social base for new power groups. But these social strata do not possess necessary for dominant groups possibility to define institutional frameworks and institutions. On the one hand, these frameworks are partially defined by the achieved level of development, on the other hand, they are partly determined by the federal Center. Post-Soviet elites emerged as a denial of the previous regime, and it is the models of the past that they are often guided by. The author concurs with western scholars in that political elites remain the main obstacle on the way of democratic development of Russia.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-126-149

Svetlana Konyushko

Economic constituent of the power potential of Moscows politico-administrative elite.

The work of S.V.Konyushko focuses on the model of management successfully implemented by the Moscow power elite, with the main emphasis put on its economic policy. The Moscow elite is characterized by concentration of power in the hands of administration, by influential opposition, by consolidated nature of intragroup interactions, as well as by the possibility to efficiently control both socio-political and political processes within its territory. The author notes that successful implementation of social, cultural and construction programs firmly guarantees a high level of popular support of Moscow’s authorities.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-150-163


Alexei Levinson

Phenomenon of Levada

Analyzing longstanding activity of Y.A.Levada and the impact he has exerted and still exerts on the academic community, the author comes to a paradoxical conclusion – talking about the phenomenon of Levada, we have to deal with a real phenomenon in our science, rather than with a scientific school and its progeny, as well as disciples of a famous sociologist. Besides, A.Levinson draws parallels between the today’s change of the Russian Central Public Opinion Institute (WCIOM) leadership and the actual liquidation of the Institute of Concrete Social Studies of the Academy of sciences thirty years ago.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-164-173


Olga Mikhaylova

Political consciousness of people on the post-Soviet space: sociological research.

O.Mikhaylova proposes an expert and statistical approach as an instruments of study of people’s political consciousness on the post-Soviet space. The author analyzes to what extent the population have adopted democratic norms and values.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-174-188


Mark Lapitsky

Bolshevism: socio-cultural perspective. (A.S.Akhiezer, A.P.Davydov, M.A.Shurovsky, I.G.Yakovenko, E.N.Yarkova. Socio-cultural foundations and the meaning of bolshevism. Sibirsky Khronograph, Novosibirsk, 2002, 607 p.)

According to Lapitsky, the authors’ specific methodology of studying socio-cultural processes allowed for the analysis of Russian culture through the inherent significant dual oppositions with moral extremes, corresponding forms of tensions, possibility of conflicts. Thus, the composite authors under A.S.Akhiezer managed to extort the history of bolshevism from the sphere of ideologized mythological conceptions.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-189-196

Juhan Sillaste

Pilotage in the ocean of political myths (R.H.Simonyan. Russia and the Baltic states. M.: Academia, 2003. 456 pp.)

According to the author, the new monograph by Renald Simonyan compels to reexamine many problems of Russia, as well as of the Baltic states, in order to deeper assess geopolitical and transformational processes. The reader is offered an unexpected conclusion – it is the Baltic states that proposed a real way to preserve the Union, whereas central authorities did their best to make it collapse… Simonyan analyzes all the principal components of the history of Russian-Baltic relations. Starting from the Baltic mentality, different from the Russian and Soviet one, he substantially characterizes thinking and aspirations of people during the period when Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were a part of the Soviet Union.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-197-200


Yury Korgunyuk

Russian parties in summer 2003: scenery before the battle

In the traditional section of the “Politeia” journal Y.G.Korgunyuk examines political arrangements in Russia in the summer of 2003, when the electoral campaign de facto started, and provides a chronicle of major events in the life of political parties.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2003-29-2-201-236