Abstracts 2, 2017

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Paradigms of Social Development

Andrey Akhremenko, Ilya Lokshin, Yegor Yureskul

Difficulties of Transition: Political Economy of Modernization Barriers

Keywords: “development trap”, total factor productivity, economic growth, institutional factors of development

The article considers from the perspective of Political Science and Economics the problem of “development traps” — mechanisms that block welfare growth in backward countries and preclude their transition to the category of prosperous states. On the basis of the existing theories such as the “middle income trap”, “Malthusian trap” etc., A.Akhremenko, I.Lokshin and Ye.Yureskul offer an integrated approach to solving this problem based on total factor productivity (TFP). With the support of mathematical models and theo- retical constructions, they reveal a mechanism of economic growth blocking: the decreasing returns to economic productivity from increasing state poten- tial for violence. The authors empirically test their hypotheses about the relationship between development barriers, political institutions and economic productivity on 149 countries across the time span of 1990—2013.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-5-31

Vladimir Gelman

Politics versus Policy: Technocratic Traps of Post-Soviet Reforms

Keywords: politics, policy, technocratic model of public administration, reforms

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post-Soviet countries carried out policy reforms largely within the framework of the technocratic model. The transformation projects were elaborated and partly implemented by the groups of professionals under the mandate granted to them by the political leadership. The latter sought to consolidate its monopoly over decision-making and assessing reform projects realization, “isolating” their content from the impact of public opinion. The article is devoted to a critical analysis of the technocratic model of policy in the post-Soviet Eurasia of the 1990—2010s. The author focuses on the political and institutional constraints associated with the influence of vested interests and mechanisms of functioning of the state apparatus. The final part of the article discusses alternatives to the technocratic model, the prospects for their implementation and the potential effect.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-32-59

Russian Polity

Leonid Bliakher

Russian Regions in Search of Enforcement Entrepreneur

Keywords: enforcer, social order, “power vertical”, regional economy, Far East

The article considers the problem of the formation of a new enforcer in the Russian regions. The author shows that the usual enforcers — regional governors — cease to fulfill this function within the regional economy that is gradually losing its legal segment. The “power vertical” is also becoming less monolithic, turning into a set of competing structures that drift along the uncoordinated trajectories. As a consequence, the regional divisions of the secu- rity forces are moving to the forefront of the regional socio-economic and political life. For now it is hard to tell who will assume the role the main enforcer. This will depend on the relative size and strength of the legal vs. “shadow” segments of the economy. According to L.Bliakher’s conclusion, the struggle between the candidates for the role of the main enforcer and its results will determine not only the future of this or the other region, but also the overall configuration of the “political class” in Russia.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-60-79

Sergey Shevchuk

Teflon Rating (Factors of Stable Political Support for V.Putin under Economic Crisis)

Keywords: Russia, economic voting, political support, economic crisis, presidential rating

The article attempts to explain V.Putin’s continuously high approval rating under the conditions of economic recession. On the basis of the existing studies of factors of political support, S.Shevchuk elaborates a number of hypotheses that explain this phenomenon and provides empirical tests. His research shows that the contradiction between the poor economic conditions and high level of political support for the Russian president can be largely explained by the “rally ‘round the flag” effect. A number of important domestic and foreign political events contributed to the rise of patriotic sentiments, not least due to the appro- priate coverage by the media. Just when the effect from one event was about to disappear, the effect from the subsequent event stepped in. According to the au- thor, this is the trick that explains the “Teflon” rating of Putin, which remains consistently high despite the mounting socio-economic problems.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-80-93

Georgy Borshchevsky

Bureaucracy Reform as Viewed by Russian Political Leaders

Keywords: bureaucracy, state service, political leadership, political system, elite, reform, efficiency

The article explores how the programs of state service reform are embedded into the Russian political discourse and to what extent the content of these programs depends on political changes in the society. On the basis of the content analysis of the Russian state leaders’ statements on the problems of state service for the 1926—2016 time period, G.Borshchevsky comes to the conclusion that the political situation exerts a relatively weak impact upon the general vector of such reforms and the proposed set of measures. Political leaders seem to care about bureaucracy problems mainly in the context of power struggle. Their statements about the faults of bureaucracy serve mainly for exposing the previous team of leaders, and their promises to reduce state apparatus, make it less costly and bring it closer to the people are an important instrument to increase their popularity in the society.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-94-112

Global Perspective

Andrey Goltsov

Geopolitical Role of the West in Modern World: Leader, Hegemon or Empire?

Keywords: geopolitical role, leadership, hegemony, neo-empire, transregional hegemony, imperial governance

Today protecting their own as well as planet’s security is the most important geopolitical function of key actors operating in the international arena. Is the West capable of assuming this function? To answer this question, A.Goltsov analyzes the geopolitical role that the West is playing today. The author highlights the three most important geopolitical roles — the leader, the hegemon and the empire — and analyzes their content in detail. He shows that the modern geopolitical role of the West has several components and includes joint global leadership, transregional hegemony and local imperial governance. At the same time, according to his conclusion, when performing this role, the West faces a lot of various challenges, and preserving the unity is obviously one of them.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-113-128

Maxim Kharkevich

Regional Governance: Experience of Constructing Multi-Level Model of Comparative Regionalism

Keywords: comparative regionalism, state theory, pre-modernity, modernity, post-modernity

The article presents a model for comparative study of international political regions, which assumes a constitutive dependence of the type of regionalism on the type of statehood. The model is based on the characteristics of micro-regional dynamics, namely, the specifics of the regionalization of states of pre-modernity, modernity and post-modernity. Using Marxist interpretation of state as a relationship between social classes and interest groups allowed the author to combine micro, meso and macro levels of analysis within a single comparative matrix. According to his conclusion, states of pre-modernity, modernity and post-modernity are formed due to the evolution of social relations at the micro level, and their regionalization leads to the formation of a system of regional governance of the appropriate type. This model offers a more important heuristic value than the theory of “new regionalism”, because, unlike the latter, it explains both non-European and European versions of regionalism.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-129-145


Mikhail Krasnov

Heavenly Father and the Fathers of the Nation

Keywords: father of the nation, father of fatherland, authoritarian leader, charismatic leader, monarch, psychology of masses

Under the favorable institutional and sociocultural conditions, an individual who holds presidential office strives for authoritarian rule, trying to achieve permanent and almost unlimited powers. M.Krasnov proposes to view this process as “monarchization” of president and turns to the analysis of the ideological legitimation of the regime of personal power. In his opinion, such legitimization is based on the representation of the ruler as “the father of the nation”. Although authoritarian rulers are often called, both officially and unofficially, leaders and alike, ultimately “the father of the nation” seems to be a more appropriate term. Contrary to the traditional explanations of the origins of this phenomenon based on either patriarchal family or biological and psychological features of a human, Krasnov states that the need for paternalism is embedded in the very social nature of a man and the roots of this need lie in the act of Divine creation.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-146-164

Gubernatorial Readings

Practices of Project Management in Modern World (Twenty-Eighth Gubernatorial Readings. Tyumen, March 2nd, 2017)

Keywords: project management, project, strategy, responsibility, management mistakes

The material published here is a report on the Twenty-Eighth Gubernatorial Readings held in Tyumen, March 2nd, 2017, under the joint project conducted by the journal Politeia and the administration of Tyumen region. The topic of the Readings is the ways of optimization and standardization of management processes and their transfer to the project mode. The lecture is delivered by A.V.Polkovnikov, President of the Project Management Association SOVNET.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2017-85-2-165-190