Keywords: democracy, authoritarianism, electoral authoritarianism, crucial case, Russia
The article is devoted to the analysis of the hypothesis proposed by V.Gel'man, according to which the post-Soviet Russia should be viewed as an “crucial case” of electoral authoritarianism that sheds light on the origins of the strength and weakness of this model in a comparative perspective. Having thoroughly analyzed Gel'man’s arguments in the context of the Russian political history of the last two and a half decades, L.Polyakov failed to find convincing evidence of either this hypothesis or even justification of classifying the country's political regime into the category of “electoral authoritarianism” per se. The research conducted by the author rather demonstrates the uniqueness of the Russian “authoritarianism” and that the conventional methods of description within the modern Western comparative politics fail to capture its specificity.
Keywords: regional political regimes, authoritarianism, patrimonialism, dependence, conceptualization, measurement
The article attempts to construct an operational model of regional political regimes based on the synthesis of a number of new approaches in comparative politics and political regionalism. On the basis of the multidimensional models of subnational regimes elaborated by R.Turovsky and S.Mazzuca, Yu.Gaivoronsky suggests that the transformation of regional polities should be measured along three vectors: “dependence”, “authoritarianism”, and “patrimonialism”. The multidimensionality of the model allows us to analyze regional regimes in greater detail. Moreover, in contrast to most of the existing indexes, the model makes use of verifiable data rather than expert evaluations. The empirical testing of the model on the data from the Russian regions reveals its validity and the possibility of its application for political studies.
Keywords: party fragmentation, regional elections, effective number of parties, political machines
The Western scholarship devoted to unraveling causes of party fragmentation mainly focuses on institutional and sociological factors. The parameters of electoral systems, the existing social cleavages or their combined effect are expected to influence the number of parties. These explanations, however, do not suffice to comprehend causes of party fragmentation in the Russian regions. The research study prepared by M.Turchenko shows that the effective number of electoral parties in the regional elections of 2003–2013 is largely determined by the factors related to the activity of the federal center and senior officials at the subnational level. The author concludes that in spite of the presence of the favorable conditions for the development of regional party systems in the first half of the 2000s, the executive branch that prevented the emergence of parties that were capable of competing with the “United Russia” played a decisive role in the formation of the regional party systems.
Keywords: political form, metaphor, center, political subject, political actor
The article by S.Kaspe represents another round of his polemic with M.Ilyin about the notion of political form unfolded on the pages of the journal Politeia. Responding to the criticism and suggestions made by Ilyin, the author a) protests against the broad interpretation of this concept insisting that it should be limited by spatial, primarily center-periphery, connotations; b) indicates the prospective and pragmatic orientation of his research, in contrast to more retrospective and theoretical studies by the opponent; c) considers that clarifying the relationship between the concepts of political form and political subjectivity is the most promising venue for further research in this field of knowledge. Who determines where the center is and draws borders? Who determines contours of the political form? And who is able to destroy them?
Keywords: class, political process, capitalism, Marxism, society, pressure groups
The article examines possibilities of using the concept of class in the contemporary political studies as well as theoretical and methodological difficulties potentially associated with its usage. According to the conclusion by K.Telin, under the modern conditions the notion of class is used not only with scientific, but also with manipulative purposes, with a blind eye towards the recent debates in the research community and benchmark political trends. In this situation heightened attention to the problematique of “class” results in degradation of public discourse and denomination of the very concept of class.
Keywords: Niccolo Machiavelli, “The Prince”, the Renaissance episteme, “techniques of the self”
Niccolo Machiavelli is considered to be one of the first thinkers who laid foundations of the “realist” approach inherent in the political theory of Modernity. The study conducted by Rudnev that is based on the achievements of the modern intellectual history presents and justifies an alternative to this view. Analyzing some of the concepts of the language of “The Prince” that allude to the traditions of humoral medicine, astrology, sympathetic magic and alchemy, the author argues that in concern to “fox” and “lion” Machiavelli presumes not the imitation of their qualities, but rather elaborate “secret” doctrine or even “techniques of the self” in Michel Foucault’s interpretation. According to Rudnev’s conclusion, “lion” and “fox” are images that a potential reader of the tractate should have grasped exactly through the interplay of contexts (more open and “secret”) that he belonged to as a man of the Renaissance epoch.
Keywords: ritual, political ritual, religious ritual, symbolization, myth, political action
The article attempts to analyze political rituals in the light of distinguishing between conventional-indicative and unconventional-symbolic meaning of politics. The author documents ontological difference and communicative similarity between religious and political rituals, shows that the mechanism of everyday ritualization contributes to the increasing importance of less substantive components of political action, reveals the role of rituals in transition moments of political life and considers specific features of such political rituals as sacrifice, holidays and anniversary celebrations. His research shows that, although the direct inspiring impact of rituals is nothing more than a “contract illusion” of a symbolic effect, which can be destroyed by unconventional and perlocutionary “Theking is naked!”, the importance of rituals for modern communities should not be underestimated because due to their complex nature they perform the function of stabilizing the social order.
Keywords: political party, inner-party democracy, primaries
On the basis of the analysis of a wide range of research questions related to the internal structure of the Russian parties and their electoral activity, A.Kynev comes to the conclusion that, of the accepted in modern democracies mechanisms aimed at the development of inner-party democracy, Russia, in fact, makes use only of a variation in primaries. According to his conclusion, the country finds itself in a paradoxical situation: parties formally exist, but even in case of successful elections, under the conditions of the complete domination of the executive branch their impact on the decision-making process is extremely weak. This also results in the initial inability of parties to fulfill their pre-election programs, voters’ frustration with all parties, and little interest in the inner life of parties from both ordinary citizens and elites. In general, by their internal structure Russian parties resemble other Russian political institutions that are characterized by exaggerated authority of the executive bodies and weakness of control mechanisms as such.
Keywords: copyright, digital piracy, political parties, political process
The article analyzes several development trends of pirate parties in cross-national perspective. The author studies dynamics of pirates’ political program and conducts a correlation analysis of factors that determine the degree of institutionalization of their organizations. According to Yu.Kabanov’s conclusion, in most cases pirate parties lack sufficient resources and often a desire to actively participate in the established party system. Neither popularity of their ideas nor their electoral results enjoy stability. However, one can already spot some potential growing points of pirate parties, especially in Europe. According to the author’s forecast, transformations of the pirate movement will continue to take place and will become decisive for its future development. The latter will largely hinge upon the final choice of pirate parties: whether to retain their radical, anti-elite positions or move toward the median voter and common policy.
Manuscripts Don’t Burn
Keywords: methodology of social cognition, model, scope, field of interaction, conceptual synthesis
The article develops methodological and ontological ideas aimed at integrating the until now separated approaches of social cognition. The author focuses on identifying causes of crises and major historical transformations in different social and temporal scopes and within different fields of interaction. By means of several system models (the universal model of historical dynamics, A.Stinchcombe’s functional model etc.) and synthesis of the basic concepts of human behavior (theory of rituals byE.Durkheim, E.Goffmann, and R.Collins; conception of attitudes and habitus; the operant conditioning model by B.F.Skinner), N.Rozov shows ways of combining statistical macro-indicators (structure) and dynamics of interaction between actors (agency). In this context, the author considers the possibilities of including the factor of randomness into the strict logic of scientific explanation in C.Hempel’s interpretation; conceptualizes connection between headline-making “trigger” events, turning points and the preceding and subsequent quantitative and structural changes.
Keywords: economy, crisis, competition, cooperation, Tyumen region
The material published here is a report on the Twentieth Gubernatorial Readings held in Tyumen, February 11th, 2015, under the framework of the joint project conducted by the journal Politeia and the administration of Tyumen region with the topic of the Readings being stability of economy at macro-, meso- and micro-level and a lecturer being Professor G.B.Kleiner, Corresponding Member of Russian Academy of Sciences, Deputy Director at the Russian Academy of Sciences Central Economics and Mathematics Institute.