Abstracts 2, 2008

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Cis Terra Incognita: Political Processes in Former Soviet Republics

Leonid Bliakher, Farrukh Salimov


The article sees political problems of contemporary Tajikistan as a reflection of contradictions typical of the whole Central Asian region. While looking for the root causes of these problems L.Blyakher and F.Salimov explore the specificity of “designing” the Tajik identity during the Soviet period. According to their conclusion, the basis behind the existence of the Tajik “socialist nation” consisted in the distribution of power between the chief ethnic groups that had formed it and in the two-tier character of culture. The first, “external” tier of this culture comprised real status relations that had been formed within the framework of traditional structures (makhala, avlod) wherein the elite had been shaped and selected for later to become part of the “external” tier and to perform the pumping of resources from the Soviet economy into the traditional economy. The collapse of the Soviet Union upset the established balance of forces. While having qualified the present-day situation in the republic as an unstable consensus of the elites, L.Blyakher and F.Salimov are showing that stability within the country directly depends on whether or not the authorities prove capable of finding an external resource for supporting the economy that would surpass or at least be comparable to what is supplied by the drug trafficking and the support of extremist Islamic organizations.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-6-17

Ilya Tarasov


The article deals with the study of the process of designing the European Union’s “Eastern policy” as viewed from the integration perspective of the CIS countries. According to I.Tarasov, although this policy has not been explicitly shaped, the analysis of its framework relates it to the problem on a larger scale — the organization of partnership between the two integration structures that are operating in Europe. The article convincingly shows that the present-day state of the EC’s “Eastern policy” characterized by an initial quest for an optimal partnership model with the eastern neighbors and by a nearly total absence of relevant economic institutions, political tools and an over-all vision of ultimate goals, welcomes an involvement of the European CIS countries in the continent’s general economic and political processes without infringing established bonds in the post-Soviet space. According to the author’s conclusion, the advancement of the European integration eastward while threatening the unity of the CIS is simultaneously pushing it toward functional and, potentially, to institutional changes.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-18-30

Global Perspective

Gleb Musikhin


In many works devoted to globalization the authors see the root causes of contemporary problems in globalization and not in the designs of Modernity that it allegedly opposes. Having thoroughly analyzed the challenges confronted by democracy that seems to be nearly “the most unquestionable” of these designs, G.Musikhin has convincingly proven that the main present-day problem does not consist in globalization but, instead, in the fact that contemporary political community cannot survive unless it solves the problem of globalization in a democratic fashion. According to his conclusion, the point is not a particular modus of democracy but, rather, its ability to justify its actual or desirable state. G.Musikhin sees the outcome from the prevailing situation in reconsidering the content of legitimacy and sovereignty and in setting them free from their substantial territoriality. He believes that unless reconsidered in this way, democracy will inevitably turn into antiquity.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-31-45

Mikhail Shinkovsky


The article is devoted to an analysis of the relationship between the space that is becoming globalized and the traditional agents of world politics — the states. The notion of “glocalization” acts as an instrumental basis of the study for it reflects the dialectical relationship between the global and the local. Having underscored that the global space, likewise the space of past empires, included extremely diverse entities, M.Shinkovsky pinpoints the fact that — unlike the empires of the past — the center of the global world is dispersed being a set of “locals”, i.e. the points where financial, commodity, symbolic, and other streams are crisscrossing. The mutually complementary character and inter-penetration of global and local trends are being traced by the author at the example of the Russian Far East where the problem of global vs state political space is particularly sharp because it is so far away from “its own” state center and due to the high intensity of “external” (global) effects.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-46-57

Russian Polity

Victor Kovalev

OUR FANTASTIC FUTUREPolitical Discourses and Political Prognoses in Modern Russian Fiction: Pro and Contra (II)

The article attempts to consider domestic political discourses based on the analysis of the works of fiction. According to V.Kovalev, in modern Russia, where due to the narrowing of the spheres of public politics and political competition the opposition is gradually being deprived of the possibility to follow the rules of democratic polities, and real politics increasingly falls back into the shadow, fiction becomes virtually an ideal object for revealing society’s political discourses, especially those of oppositional nature. The second part of the article published in this issue (for the first part see “Politeia”, 2008, 1) analyzes the works connected with “patriotic”, Euro-Asian and imperial discourses.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-58-75

Darya Vaskovich

REQUEST FOR XENOPHOBIAMigration Attitudes of the Main Interest Groups and Political Forces in Contemporary Russia

The article is devoted to studying the reasons why an efficient and economically accurate migration policy is missing in our country. D.Vas’kovich analyzes migration attitudes of various interest groups and political forces and arrives at the conclusion that in the 1990s the development of this policy was hindered by the quarters that derived economic profit from the spontaneity and lack of cohesion in the unfolding migration processes in the Russian territory (criminal structures, construction companies, etc.) whereas today, when the nationalist feeling is mounting within Russian society, it is the state power that substantially impedes advancement in this direction because it does not want to release its grip over the powerful political resource into which the campaign against the non-indigenous individuals has turned.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-76-82

Political Parties

Alexander Galkin


The article is tracing back the many-year-long dynamics of the right-wing parties, mostly in Western Europe, and points to the plasticity of their ideological and political percepts. When going over to the present situation, A.Galkin states a shift made by the conservative forces toward the right-wing center. The liberals have been evolving in the reverse direction. The loss of monopoly on values that gradually became the common human values as well as a break away from the democratic wing that mostly went into the camp of the left centrist forces have cleared the way for the liberal parties to go to the right flank. According to the author’s conclusion, at present the liberals seem to have changed places with the conservatives. The conservative parties were previously more to the right on the political scale than the liberals whereas now the liberals prove more right-wing than the conservatives. The only exception are the liberals in the United States and in a few more countries where they still continue in being as a left centrist political force.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-83-102

Evgeny Spassky


The article deals with the evolution of Western parties seen through the prism of their typological transformation. E.Spassky begins with the classifications by M.Weber, M.Duverger, S.Neumann and pays special attention to contemporary parties’ typologies and, in particular, to the concept of a cartel party. According to him, historical evolution of parties was determined in many respects by the presence of the dominant type of a party reflective of the key trends of party development at a given stage. The replacement of the dominant party type was usually caused by the changes of the environment around them, which compelled the parties to get adapted to the new conditions by modifying their internal structure and behavioral models.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-103-113


Victor Burlakov


The article attempts to select the “hard core” of geo-policy having removed therefrom the provisions that either were inherently time-serving or had lost their significance as an instrument of contemporary reality’s analysis. Having maintained that the subject-matter of geo-policy was the special dimension of the policy of states, the laws and regularities of its specificity in the geographical space, V.Burlakov indicates three areas in the revision of geopolitical theory: abandonment of rigid determinism; revision of the ideas as to the crucial role of the geographical space; transition from global geopolitical models to the regional geopolitical analysis. In keeping with his conclusion, the future of Russian geo-policy depends on the extent to which it will be able to fit in the general system of the contemporary humanitarian knowledge and, having discarded copying thoughtlessly the obsolescent patterns, to work out its own scientific analysis tools.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-114-125

Andrey Kazantsev


The article analyzes the tentative contribution of geo-policy, geo-economy and geo-culture in developing political globalization studies as an empirical science. Having scrutinized basic geo-political, geo-economic and geocultural concepts A.Kazantsev is showing that two approaches having an expressed normative and ideological orientation are fighting one another: these are the universalist and particularist approaches. While deeming it necessary to give up posing the universal opposite to the local as a precondition for bringing together the multitude of global studies in one and the same discipline, the author assumes that special aspects of the relationship between the universal and local must form the content of global studies.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-126-141

Book Review

Natalia Pankevich

OVER THE THRESHOLD OF THE CLASS AND IDEOLOGICAL MODERNITY: IS THE CONTEMPORARY EPOCH CONTINUING? (Martyanov V.S. Metamorphoses of Russian Modernity: Whether or Not Russia Is Going to Survive in the Globalizing World. Yekaterinburg: Publishing House of the Ural Section of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2007)

While criticizing many specific admissions and conclusions by V.Martyanov, N.Pankevich believes he has taken an extremely interesting and fruitful attempt to comprehend the conceptual foundations of modern civilization which are seen today as something self-evident. In her opinion, the value of the book that is being reviewed does not lie in the fact that it has provided a convincing analysis of the state of Modernity and has offered a variety of ways to emerge therefrom. The bold formulation of the problem and the sense connotations in the field of creative reflections seems by far more important.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-142-151

Tatiana Alekseeva

WHO IS MAKING WORLD POLICY? (World Policy Privatization: Local Actions Global Results / Ed. by M.M.Lebedeva. Moscow: Golden B, 2008)

The focal point in the critical review by T.Alexeyeva is the collective monograph prepared by the Department of Political Processes of MGIMO University under the guidance of professor M.Lebedeva. T.Alexeyeva thinks it is a major accomplishment of the monograph in question that it considers the notion and phenomenon of actorness under a new angle of vision. While pointing out that the monograph has more moments open to question than supplies answers thereto “in a cramming manner” she still maintains that this “untuned vision” and “incompleteness” can in no way be seen as a drawback because they reflect the dynamic and changing essence of contemporary world politics.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-152-154


Yury Korgunyuk

THE DOWNFALL OF THE SECOND PARTY SYSTEMThe Prospects of the Russian Political Parties in the Limelight of the 20072008 Election Cycles Results

The traditional for the “Politeia” journal review deals with key events in the life of the Russian political parties from January to April 2007. Unlike previous reviews, the analysis of the alignment of political forces within the country that accompanies the current events record sums up the results not only of the current political season but of the entire existence of the second party system in Russia. As Yu.Korgunyuk has concluded, Russia’s party system in its present form cannot develop — it can only retrograde. Administrative interference has upset “the natural course of things” to the extent of making mutation irreversible: the prevalent subjects of the party life are impossible “to modernize” — it is much easier to toss them off the board and start everything all over again.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2008-49-2-155-185