Abstracts 3, 2010

Main Page ~ Journal Archive ~ Abstracts 3, 2010

Political Theory

Svyatoslav Kaspe

To the Essence: Ontology of Political Document

Keywords: political document, political, sacral, the spirit of the state

In his article prepared in the framework of the Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, Higher School of Economics, collective research project Status of a Document in Contemporary Culture: Theoretical Problems and Russian Social and Cultural Practices the author attempts to conceptualize the notion of a “political document”. The experts’ interviews revealing different aspects of how political documents are produced and how they function in the contemporary Russia allow to determine the main intention that defines their shape and content i.e. “densification of meaning”. Thereby, one can trace the higher referential authority in political documents that can be broadly defined as “the spirit of the state” (to follow Bourdieu, esprit de l’Etat) with their central function being more or less successful “adjuration” of this spirit.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-7-24

Gleb Musikhin

Ideology and Power

Keywords: ideology, power, state, national idea, political theory, political discourse, public policy

Upon analyzing the political processes occurring during the nineteenth-twentieth centuries, G.Musikhin posits that the popular idea about the supremacy of professional managers in politics over demagogues speculating with mass’ political aspirations conceals an attempt by the power holders to get rid of the axiological rationale for the political hegemony. He concludes that when the governmental policy is supported by the voters’ will rather than sovereign power per se, the ideological discourse becomes of fundamental importance since support is lent to someone who can present his ideological position as a majority’s goal. The debate within the political space is built around an ability to offer to the society a more attractive political (to be more precise, ideological) prospect rather than detailed mechanisms of how to govern society (that are largely universal).

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-25-39

Mark Ratz

Bureaucracy Under Changes: Politicians, Managers, and functionaries

Keywords: activity, politics, policy, bureaucracy, functionaries

The article presents a novel view on the functioning of the governmental apparatus through the analysis of the activity of politicians, managers, and functionaries. For this purpose, the author employs the notion of “type of activity” elaborated within the Moscow Methodological Club that is introduced in contrast to such famous notions as “job position” and “profession”. The author interprets functionary’s work as a special ideal type of activity designed to secure the maintenance and reproduction of the order emerged that embodies the rule of law and opposes politics and management aiming at changes. M.Ratz draws pictures of the de facto existing and ideal bureaucratic systems that correspond to the ideas about the closed and open types of the societal organization and reveals peculiarities of politics that results in the dominance of either of the two.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-40-53

Modernity and Modernization

Victor Martyanov

Political Modernity Outside Europe: Axiological Unity and Institutional Variety

Keywords: Modernity, Europe, nation-state, world-economy, world-politics, liberal consensus, institutional variability of Modernity

The political project of Modernity based on the liberal consensus between modern ideologies as a legitimate rationale for capitalism was initially identified by the sociological and political thought only as its European version that is privileged and “canonical”. However, the successful broadening of the political superstructure of Modernity over capitalism outside Europe revealed the unity of the axiological core of the Modernity along with the variety of its institutional models across different world regions. In this article the author argues that the institutional variety of Modernity can hardly be explained by the previous traditions of different societies with their diminishing importance for the contemporary world that were overvalued by the conception of “multiple modernities”. In contrast, one might think of the global unity of the political Modernity based on ideas and values with its institutional diversity being the result of the historically desynchronized embracement by capitalism and the political project of Modernity of different parts of humanity as well as of the permanent transformation and delegitimation of the nation-state system as an initial form of the political Modernity.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-54-65

Yuri Krasin

Innovational Development and Political System of Russia

Keywords: innovational development, modernization, reformational situation, human capital, social capital, social reflection

The article considers the prospects of Russia’s transition towards the innovational type of development. Apart from stating that the main obstacle to modernization of a country is conservatism and stagnancy within the socio-political practices, Yu.Krasin argues that in Russia there are certain opportunities for the innovational type of modernization. He supposes that nowadays Russia finds herself in a somewhat “reformational situation” encouraging the ruling elite to think about how to change the method of governing. The pressure coming from the plethora of challenges and threats that cannot be fought by the autocratic methods leads to fissures and niches in the political system broadening its public sphere. Krasin states that these looming tendencies can be viewed as a hint at the stepwise democratic evolution of the political system and the emergence of new democratic alternatives that are capable of altering the authoritarian vector of the federal policy.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-66-74

Margarita Orlova

Irish Economic Modernization Experience

Keywords: modernization, neo-liberal policy, forced economic growth, macroeconomic stability, crisis

Analyzing the prerequisites, paths and socio-political ramifications of Ireland’s modernization, M.Orlova tries to solve the puzzle of how and to what extent the political culture burdened with the traditionalistic characteristics can be corrected, refilled and modified on the basis of the current experience. The article demonstrates how the modernization process in Ireland started with the economic reforms gradually spread onto the political sphere. The novel political space emerged, in which even the destructive socio-economic impulses of today’s crisis are channeled into further social changes. The author concludes that the aspiration towards renovation is directed against the major flaw of the Irish modernization strategy i.e. the absent mechanism of balancing between different social classes’ interests that would be able to maintain equilibrium between mass consumption and forced economic growth.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-75-86

Russian Polity

Yury Korgunyuk

Financing of Parties in the Post-Soviet Russia: Between Business and Power

Keywords: political parties, membership dues, state subsidies, sponsors, fundraising, lobbyism

The article is devoted to the position of political parties in the modern Russian society and its political system through the analysis of the specificity of parties’ financing. Demonstrating the gradual displacement and replacement of sponsors’ contributions that have long served as the main source for parties’ funds by state subsidies, Yu.Korgunyuk provides compelling evidence that this displacement was a part of the broader bureaucratic expansion into the public policy sphere. According to the author’s conclusions, the success of this expansion can be accounted for by the fact that parties in their opposition towards the administrative pressure relied upon the “mutually beneficial” contacts with the narrow circle of wealthy entrepreneurs rather than broad civil support. Therefore, the moment that the political power took control of business, it was not too hard for it to cope with the opposition in the face of political parties.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-87-120

Victor Dyatlov

Cross-border Migrants in Modern Russia: Dynamics of Forming Stereotypes

Keywords: migrant, cross-border migration, Gastarbeiter, recipient society, stereotype, phobia

A new situation in Russia in the sphere of migration demonstrates striking dynamics, particularly in the development of the social stereotypes as a mechanism of adaptation of the recipient society towards the permanently increasing flow of cross-border labor migrants. The article traces how changes in the attitude within the Russian society to migrants affected the structure of stereotypes, the level of fears and hostility being present there. The author draws the conclusion that by the beginning of 2000-s the stereotypes being formed on the basis of the old established constructions such as “a representative of ethnic minority” or “a foreigner” have been exhausted and pushed into the background. The ethnic principle of building stereotypes is being increasingly replaced by the emigrational one reflected in the image of “Gastarbeiter”. Now ethnophobia is being superseded by migration phobia that fuses with the fear of the rapidly developing China that is increasingly claiming status of the world superpower.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-121-149

Russian Regions

Anatoly Remnev, Natalia Suvorova

Controlled Colonization and Spontaneous Migration Processes on Asian Peripheries of Russian Empire

Keywords: colonization, imperial discourse, civilizational rhetoric, Asian peripheries, expansion, migrant

The article aims at analyzing theoretical constructions that describe the Romanov Empire seeking for paths of national consolidation of the “united and indivisible” Russia. The aspects of the people’s colonization process comprehension reviewed by the authors deepen the understanding of why it was included in the imperial theories and practices of “russification” and what was so debatable about it. The authors demonstrate that despite the obvious difference in the content and direction of theoretical conceptions and explanatory models they possessed an overarching element i.e. civilizational rhetoric and the acknowledgement of a Russian peasant’s crucial role in the political, economic, socio-cultural and mental widening of Russia. The ideological formulas offered were replicated and propagandized by journals and newspapers becoming an important factor in shaping public opinion and building stereotypes about historical and geographic meaning of the peasants’ movement to the East.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-150-191

Leonid Bliakher

More On Legal Nihilism, or Natural Law in the Post-Soviet Far East

Keywords: law enforcement, force operator, social networks, structural violence, social integration

The article considers peculiarities and dynamics of the law-enforcement practices in the Russian Far East. Departing from the specificity of the force operator that defined the character of these practices, L.Blyakher determines three stages of the law-enforcement evolution in the region: the criminal one, when the main force operator was the criminal community; the regional one, when this role was assumed by governors of the federal units; and the federal one. According to the author’s evaluations, the federal center’s victory in the fight for the inclusion of the Far East into the united legal space leads to the elimination of those lacunas where the citizens of the Far East were the most active during the previous stages. The informal game rules between the political power and the people found themselves irrevocably at odds. The capitulation of the regional government causes vanishing of the so called “layer-absorber” that allowed local community to exist despite their considerable distance from the power center and therefore, the very existence of the efficient communication with the government disappears.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-192-206

Scientific Heritage

Gabriel A. Almond, Sidney Verba

The Civic Culture

Keywords: political culture, subcultural cleavage, civil culture, micropolitics, macropolitics, comparative study, systematic survey research

The last fifteen years have witnessed another “swing motion” in political science in the sphere of methodology. After the long-term passion with neo-institutionalism, political science seems to be coming back (no doubt at a new level) to the problematique of the cultural determinacy of political processes. Taking this tendency into account, the editorial board of the journal “Politeia” finds it reasonable to acquaint its readers with the translation of two methodological chapters from the classic work by G.A.Almond and S.Verba The Civic Culture that at its time was a starting point of the scientific revolution that at the turn of the century received the second wind. In Russia this work is known by more or less (usually less) intelligent retellings, presented in the so called “politology” textbooks. In this issue we will publish the last part of the first chapter (for the beginning see Politeia, 2010, 2) and the translation of the second chapter of The Civic Culture.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-207-221


Alexander Galkin

At Outset of Political Science Resurrection in Russia (19601985) Personal Considerations

Keywords: political science, teams of researchers, foreign policy, thaw, restoration, post-Stalinism, ideological discipline

Not claiming the comprehensive and in-depth description of what was happening in the Soviet social sciences in the time period being considered, the founder of the first school of political sociology in our country shows how despite the objective difficulties and obstacles the ideological logjam was stepwise cleared and the political knowledge was accumulated, new horizons were opened, new scientists were prepared and trained for future breakthroughs. His personal considerations allow to feel this complex and contradictory spiritual atmosphere where the first works (after the decades) in political science were formed, appeared to public and turned into the elements of the social consciousness; allow to learn how the “grassless field” in spite of the unfavorable circumstances gave birth to new “sprouts of science”; how inexperienced researchers built their relations with a rather hostile government and what these scientists succeeded and failed in (both theoretically and practically).

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-257-269


Nikolai Rozov

Social Mechanism of Generating Russian Cycles

Keywords: cycles of Russian history, social mechanism, rulers, elite, state service, corruption, switch of strategies

Having analyzed the trajectories of the Russian social development in the framework of the two-dimensional model “freedom-success”, N.Rozov concludes that the persistent repetition of cycles and patterns indicates that the same deep social mechanism is being reproduced. The author argues that cycles in Russia are largely determined by the fact that due to the specificity of the Russian mentality and institutions in times of disunity and crisis almost all sides opt for an authoritarian path of coercion viewing it as the only possible method of consolidation and restoration of the order. Since other forms of maintaining accountability and national solidarity are not developed, weakening of coercive tools leads to the beginning of the social degradation, increasing disunity and crisis. Such swings encourage even to a greater extent the entrenchment of the mentality and institutions’ specificity already mentioned above, strengthening of deep cultural archetypes and therefore, cycles repeat themselves with the historical path becoming deeper.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-270-284

Konstantin Titov

CONTRAT SOCIAL À LA BREZHNEV Nomenclature and Supreme Authority: Reconstruction of Contract 1964

The article argues that the materials from the Plenum of Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR held in October 1964 contain a political contract between nomenclature and the supreme authority. Having conducted the frequency analysis of the speech by M.A.Suslov at the plenum, K.Titov demonstrates that nomenclature was mentioned there as the first side to have suffered from N.S.Khrushchev’s actions. He interprets disapproval of these actions as the supreme authority’s commitments to the nomenclature: acknowledgement of nomenclature as an actor within the power relations (“collective governance”), guarantees of its institutional and personnel stability, refusal by the supreme authority from the administrative coercion of nomenclature towards action as well as from setting up sweeping tasks that require much effort. The author states that the conclusion of such contract became the second step (after the 20th Communist Party Congress) towards transforming nomenclature into the “ruling elite” that undermined the bases of the Soviet society and eventually caused its demise.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-285-296


Igor Skulkin

TRIUMPH AND DEMISE OF INSTITUTIONAL REVOLUTIONARY PARTY: LOGIC OF FUNCTIONING OF HEGEMONIC-PARTY SYSTEMS (Magaloni B. Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and Its Demise in Mexico. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

I.Skulkin states that one of the indisputable advantages of the work being reviewed is the comprehensive approach towards the electoral process under the conditions of undemocratic regime. The researcher compellingly demonstrates that hegemonic party survival hinges upon several factors at once and it is impossible to adequately account for the final game outcome excluding any of these factors from the analysis. The theoretical model neatly elaborated by the author is based on a number of empirical tests that speak to the robustness of the analysis conducted and validity of its results. Skulkin draws the conclusion that the book by B.Magaloni contributes significantly to the understanding of the internal logic and dynamics of the development of hegemonic-party systems.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2010-5859-3-297-302