The text by S.Kaspe is the first, theoretical part of a study on the role of values in the development of a political nation. The author believes that the description of ways to correlate the world of politics with the world of values given by classical structural functionalism remains unsurpassed in its precision and deserves reactualization. The author states such basic conditions for the operationalization of values in the context of nation-building as the dependence of political decisions on the fields of moral, sacral and universal, the inevitability of political actions described in the category of “choice” and “victim” even at the expense of losing some instrumental benefits; bringing institutes in accordance with values, non vice versa. Application of these provisions to our country’s current situation will be conducted in the second part of the article.
The article reviews the reasons for which a war is becoming one of the key archetypical prototypes used to comprehend the sphere of politics. L.Fishman looks for the sources of such phenomenon in social technologies revolution that was initially revealed in the military field. Armies of the New era were the first to run into a mass and, therefore, were the first to elaborate technologies to turn the mass into a community linked by common goals and values. At the same time, according to the author, what was needed in order that perception of politics as war gained a decisive meaning, was a unique concourse of historic circumstances: abundance of not just wars, but civil wars; necessity for political regimes to get legitimacy through the results of such wars, as well as participation in the political struggle of subjects analogous to armies (parties).
The article makes an attempt to distinguish on the basis of notional models stable types of civilizations with their special models of societies’ integration. Proceeding from the postulate that civilizational live meanings have to be reflected in the existing institutional architecture that in essence conducts formal consolidation and redistribution of social statuses, K.Koktysh focuses his attention on political architecture that is constituted by interaction of power, normative and economic institutions. The author’s analysis of possible types of political architecture demonstrates the existence of four types of civilizations with proper world views and life meanings, which determine ultimate goals of economic, cultural and political production. The author compares these four speculative types with the existing civilizations – Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Dao-Confucian and Hindu-Buddhist ones.
The article analyzes socio-political processes at the Russian Far East in recent years. The explanatory scheme used by the author is a “duple” model of region’s development: extension (when the country is on the rise) and compression (at the time of socio-economic or political disorder). In the latter case the region transfers to a conservation regime characterized by loosening of state control, focus on local types of economic activities, and trans-border cooperation. L.Blyakher and L.Vasilieva see the specificity of current situation in that the decrease of state “injections” into the region today is not followed by loosening of local activities, but rather by greater control and blocking.
Based on the analysis of the experience of appointing governors in 2005–2008, R.Turovsky demonstrates that the established approaches to the formation of governor corps have amplified centralization compared even to formal norms of the new legislation. The institute of governors is now losing its significance in the political system by turning into a structural element of the federal executive power at the regional level. According to the author, both of today’s most typical scenarios – conservation of the established system of governing and the appointment of a “Varangian” or other little known functionary – have similar negative aspects: they provoke increasing discontent of local elites and intensify the alienation of power from the society. The control by the center over the governors has grown, whereas the control of governors over political processes in the regions has diminished, which creates conditions for open protests.
The article explores the role of single-mandate deputies in lobbying regional interests. Having analyzed the influence of deputies elected through the majority system in single-member constituencies on decision-making in the budget sphere, A.Starodubtsev comes to a conclusion that the corresponding part of the deputy corps has indeed been fulfilling the functions of regional lobbyists, and the loss of this representation channel by subjects of the RF will inevitably affect the whole system of their relations with the federal center. According to the author’s assessment, one of the consequences of this will very probably be that an open and observable procedure of regional lobbying within Duma committees will be replaced by an unofficial “haggle” between representatives of federal and regional elites.
The article presents a comprehensive analysis of processes that have lead in Italy to the victory of right forces headed by S.Berluskoni, which testifies universal nature of threats caused by deep shifts in the structure of mass consciousness’ values. According to the author’s estimates, what happened in Italy clearly demonstrates that parties’ electoral programmes can be very close – almost indistinguishable, and the outcome of electoral competition is highly dependant on the structure of values through which these or those slogans and promises are being “filtered”. Interpreting berluskonism as primarily the aggregate of means and methods of directed psychological impact on masses, change of signs on the scale of national identity, I.Levin at the same time strongly proves that the success of these means and methods can be explained by a changing nature of mass fears and moral and ethical inversion, which is characteristic not only of the Italian society.
The past 100–150 years not only failed to establish a unified interpretation of Hobbes, but also formed a firm tendency towards continuous reinterpretation of his doctrine. This tendency is only increasing today. According to A.Filippov, never-ceasing interest in Hobbes can be primarily explained by the fact that we are still occupied by the same problems that occupied the mind of the philosopher who lived several centuries ago. In the first part of the article published in this issue A.Filippov makes a critical analysis of main approaches to the interpretation of Hobbes’ views and offers a key to understanding his politico-philosophical constructs. He believes that what Hobbes has in mind when speaking about natural condition is not an absolute beginning of history. Natural condition, indeed, precedes social and political condition, but at the same time political life, sociality are fraught with the natural condition – they are the wrong side of each other. Conclusions made on the bases of such interpretation of Hobbes will be given in the second part of the article.
The article presents the results of the study “Transformation of public consciousness of the population of the Chechen Republic (1991–2008)” undertaken in summer-fall 2008 and containing a representative survey, a series of focus-group discussions and 25 lengthy deep biographical interviews. The data received during the study on Chechen citizens’ assessment of the current situation in the republic, their values and life objectives demonstrate that the majority of Chechens have believed that peace has come and, despite rather serious anxieties in relation to Moscow, see their future linked with Russia.
Influenced by the shifts in the sphere of social stratification, the traditional hierarchy of identities rising from a family to citizenship has been disrupted. K.Petrov states gradual establishment of small identities as the basis of structuring of modern society and analyzes circumstances under which some cultural identities acquire mass character and are used in the struggle for power at the national level, as well as mechanisms with the help of which political marketing experts make subcultures play on the field of politics.
This report made by A.Zubov on 13 Ocober 2008 at the seminar in the Institute of Social Studies at the Warsaw University presents the author’s view on the reasons that determined deep differences in the way that Eastern European and Baltic states on the one hand and the majority of the former Soviet republics on the other overcame communism. Having detected a totality of factors that prevented the latter from overcoming totalitarian past, A.Zubov at the same time notes a number of tendencies allowing to hope that with time post-soviet states would be able to join the family of nations building their life on the principles of political democracy, civil freedom and moral responsibility.
In this traditional for the “Politeia” journal review Y.Korgunyuk analyzes processes in the life of Russian political parties in late 2008 – early 2009. According to the author’s conclusion, the current economic crisis, though does not promise any dividends to opposition parties, can at the same time cause serious problems to the ruling circles. The system established in recent years, where independent political players are replaced by various simulators, and electoral process is under strict administrative control, keeps public discontent away from the political sphere only temporarily. And even if today’s leaders manage to pass through the most difficult phase of the crisis without serious losses, there are no guarantees that the protest potential accumulated in the society will not reveal itself at the moment when it seems that the worst has been left behind.