The analysis of electoral preferences is one of traditional and the most advanced directions of the political science. A number of principle approaches and applied techniques to the analysis of the electorate's behavior has turned from an experimental category into the area of research routine. At the same time looking-for such integrating parameters, which would allow appreciating to the maximum practicable extent and, if it is possible, just to assay the current state of political area and vectors of its evolution, has not been quitted. The article offers the handling to this task, which is bound up with the appliance of a new kind of one of such parameters - an index of polarization.
Carrying out a research into ethnic political processes in post-Soviet Russia, the author makes an accent on correlation between their disjunctive and conjunctive integrants. Current interactions of ethnic communities and nature of interethnic cooperation in economic sphere are in the field of view of E.Pain. He studies changes in strength of ethnic groups, growth of ethnic self-consciousness, dynamics in using of Russian and other domestic languages. Retrospective analysis of ethnic political conflicts takes a special place in the article. The author offers his own division to periods in development of federal and interethnic relations.
Two largest towns of the South of Russia – Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar – are objects of authors’ research. Projects on reinforcement of their influence beyond the pale of borders of regions, led by them, are examined in the article. O. Vendina and V. Kolosov analyse position shift of main South centers in the hierarchy of Russian towns, show advantages of both regional capitals. The authors also undertake comparative analysis of factors of strengthening of interregional influence of these towns: their location within transport networks, their innovation and cultural potential, as well as administrative and image resources.
In the spotlight of the article are plans and projects on reducing of number of subjects within the Russian Federation with the aim of their integration which is considered initially through an example of the Tyumen area and two autonomous regions linked with it. In this connection the authors turn to a foreign experience, try to weigh up all positive and negative consequences of proposed changes in territorial division of the country.
The legal base of such kind of territorial reform, its immediate and postponed hazards (domestic, social, economical and geopolitical) are considered in the article. In particular, the authors draw up a conclusion that annexation of Khunty - Mansijsky and Yamal-Nenetsky autonomous regions to Tyumen area is unacceptable.
External policy foreshortening
Problems of the Russian - Ukrainian trans-frontier cooperation are considered through a prism of competitive projects in European and "post-Soviet" integration. The author sees the future of the Ukrainian - Russian frontier depending on proper correlation of these projects, whether they will reserve a place to cooperation or will prefer a rigid geopolitical challenge.
The author criticizes a conception of the civil service establishment that in particular, has underlain the new law “Act of the Federal Civil Service”. To his thinking, this law converts 700 thousand of federal officials to the closed privileged caste. The article contains a detailed description of the hierarchical structure of civil service, dramatic increase of the salaries of clerks, including both reserved and even expanded system of privileges. V.Ryzhkov considers that this system of authority is archaic, it comes from the last centuries and is not adequate to norms of the democratic state. He characterizes the new law as the law for imperial bureaucracy when clerks are actually not civil servants but uncivil masters of society.
The author considers that modern Israel falls to the category of countries where the national idea has played a special role in the history. In itself Israel’s origin as an independent state has become realization of political program, organized national movement that was based on the national idea. The state foundation was preceded by working-out of the conceptual outlines. For all this the state was created by people who intended to actualize various ideological and political doctrines.
The publication is based on interviews, given by a Russian philosopher and a specialist in cultural studies in Spring – Summer, 2004. They touch upon problems of crisis of the nation – of cultural and civilization aspects of mass migration to Western Europe. The special attention is paid to modern Islam per se, and to Islam on the European ground inter alia. G.S.Pomerants considers, that modern Europe has got a well-shaped dialogue of cultures for the first time in the history of mankind. According to his opinion, it is quite a form to be adequate to the future world civilization.
The article covers a thorough review of formation, 125-year development and modern trends in political science in the United States. The author gives the chronicle of its development, characterizes conceptual directions of studies, marks out scientific schools and the most significant publications. An essential part of the article is devoted to the American Association of the Political Science and the most authoritative magazines in this field. A special attention in J.Irhin's article is given to the teaching of the political science in educational institutions (universities and colleges).
The article determines conceptual foundations for geographic simulation of factorial analysis of election campaign. A comparative analysis of electoral geographic structures is carrying out on the base of ternary geographic model: “centre – periphery “, innovation diffusion and cleavages (geocultural and sociogeographic). The research was accomplished by expertise of 25 western democracies. The author determines consistent patterns connected with influence of relations between “centre – periphery “, geocultural and sociogeographic cleavages on electoral geostructures; reveals more typical models of geostructures and motives of their genesis.
British political scientist represents his own vision of political processes in post-Soviet Russia. Contrary to a popular opinion of Russian and Western experts, he denies that the August default of 1998 had been caused only by an error in counting in Russian financial and economic departments. Up to his viewpoint, the clue lies in the Asian crisis of 1997-1998, that had eventually made the financial crash in August inevitable. The author draws political portraits of some Russian politicians, such as Gorbatchev, Yeltsin, Kirienko, Zhirinovsky, Zyuganov. J.Praid provides with detailed description of Putin’s personality. He considers that the initial optimism concerning Russia had been obviously overestimated, and expectations of the West, that an ordinary citizen of the former Soviet Union would have turned in a trice from homo soveticus to homo economicus, were absolutely unrealistic.
Basing on a number of publications the author critically estimates an idea of a special Eurasian way of Russia’s development. Admitting Russian originality, he rejects a thesis that Russia is a separate Eurasian civilization. According to his opinion, the country entirely follows the general European paradigm in its general development of environment. A special attention is paid to a link "power - property" which the author considers to be not purely an Asian reference but a general stage of mankind development. To the author's viewpoint the only principle distinction of Russia from the most of European nations is in long overdue development immanently inherent to the history of the country within the framework of the European mission. F.Shelov-Kovedyaev analyses ways that could improve the situation.
In the traditional for "Politeia" review the chronicle of main events in the life of Russian political parties in summer of 2004 is introduced. As usual the chronicle is supplemented by the analysis of arrangement of political forces in the country at the above-mentioned period. The author comments upon executive authority intentions to convert the State Duma elections to proportional system entirely and to refuse direct elections of provincial governors.