Abstracts 3, 2016

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Political theories

Kirill Koktysh

Ontology of Rational (II)

Keywords: rationality, ontology, values, Political Science, Ancient Rome, Christianity

The paper puts forward a hypothesis that it is distribution of social statuses that sets criteria for what is rational in social reality: the corporation views as reasonable something that contributes to its expansion into the semantic space of the society as a whole, and deems unreasonable something that prevents such expansion. At an individual’s level, reasonable is something that contributes to her attainment of social status. To support his statement in more details, K.Koktysh refers to the analysis of the formation and transformation of the languages of Political Science because it is Political Science that from the moment if its inception claimed to determine whether this or the other knowledge can be viewed as rational, either legitimizing its introduction into the social structure, or, on the contrary, declaring it a prejudice. In the history of Europe there were several such languages that replaced one another. In the second part of the article published in this issue (for the first part see Politeia, 2016 2), the author analyzes the Roman and Christian languages for describing politics.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-6-30

Paradigms of Public Development

Andrey Korotayev, Elena Slinko, Sergey Shulgin, Stanislav Biluga

Intermediate Types of Political Regimes and Socio-Political Instability (Quantitative Cross-National Analysis)

Keywords: political regime, socio-political instability, autocracy, democracy, Cold War

The article attempts to test the hypothesis that consolidated democracies and consecutive autocracies are more stable than intermediate regimes. The research conducted by the authors, with the help of data from CNTS and Freedom House, in general confirmed the presence of the U-curve relationship between the type of regime and the level of socio-political instability. At the same time, the study allowed to reveal a number of important details. Empirical tests have shown that (a) the U-curve relationship between socio-political instability and the type of regime is usually characterized by a significant asymmetry; (b) the nature of this asymmetry may vary over time; (c) since the end of the Cold War, the U-curve relationship between regime type and level of socio-political instability has weakened considerably and has undergone significant changes. If in 1973–1991 the highest level of socio-political instability was demonstrated by unconsolidated democracies, in 1992–2012 it became more typical for inconsistent autocracies.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-31-51

Russian Politeia

Leonid Bliakher

What State Employees Fear and How They Survive (Empirical Research)

Keywords: state employees, survival strategies, social networks, formal regulation, shadow activity

On the basis of the analysis of the survival strategies of state employees under the conditions of consistent reduction in government spending and liabilities, L.Blyakher traces two possible scenarios of Russia's development. The first scenario implies the increasing pressure of state on shadow sphere, resulting in even greater split of reality into the legal one, which is characterized by the struggle of political groups, participation of social activists, etc., and the invisible one, which is increasingly assuming the main function. Blyakher states that if this scenario comes true, the gap between the actual situation and the forms in which it is presented may reach catastrophic proportions, calling into question the very existence of the social “fabric” beyond the local community. The second scenario is associated with the recognition of the objective limits of state control. In this case, the “shadow” reality associated with self-sustainment is simply set free, which, according to Blyakher, opens up an opportunity for the establishment of fruitful, although not quite formal, contacts between the weakening state and self-sufficient population.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-52-70

Svetlana Barsukova, Caroline Dufy

Food Security: Russian Context

Keywords: food security, protectionism, food sovereignty, import substitution

The article is devoted to the analysis of the specificity of the Russian interpretation of the universal concept of food security. On the basis of a series of expert interviews with agricultural economists, farmers, representatives of agricultural trade unions, officials at rural administrations and regional ministries, as well as with the help of several secondary data sources, S.Barsukova and C.Dufy show that shifts in the interpretation of this concept reflects the evolution of the authority’s attitudes, business’ capabilities to lobby and the state of society. According to the authors’ conclusion, when choosing ways of ensuring food security, Russia opted for the protectionist approach. The established view of food security means moving towards self-sufficiency. In fact, the debate is about the national specificity in building market economy, about the extent of autonomy in choosing development paths, rather than about ways to feed the population of the country. The reality that incorporates such debates provides food security with interpretations, the legitimization of which is one of the tasks of political mobilization.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-71-89

Post-Soviet space

Vladimir Gelman

Political Foundations of Bad Governance in Post-Soviet Eurasia Rethinking Research Agenda

Keywords: quality of governance, post-Soviet Eurasia, rule of law, regimes changes

Why are some countries governed much more poorly than one might expect judging by their degree of socio-economic development? In particular, why are most countries of post-Soviet Eurasia, according to numerous international evaluations of quality of state governance, similar to underdeveloped Third World countries and lagging behind their post-Communist counterparts in Eastern Europe? In search for answers to these questions, V.Gel’man refers to the analysis of factors and mechanisms that explain the formation of “bad governance” in post-Soviet Eurasia. The article discusses such explanations of this development as “legacy of the past”, dynamics of regime changes and international influence. The author considers possible ways and means to overcome “bad governance” and provides suggestions for further research of this phenomenon.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-90-115


Leonid Fishman

Decline of Work Society: Current Ideological Constellation

Keywords: ideology, “work society”, rent society, social subject

L.Fishman analyzes shifts in the ideology of the main political forces in the modern world, assuming that another “Great transformation” of the world capitalist system is taking place now, and it will inevitably demand a new format of ideological consensus. According to the author’s conclusion, this new format of ideological consensus will imply reaching an agreement on the most broad criteria of social subjectivity and receiving rent for “being socially important”, which is expressed in the participation in social activities (due to the impossibility to participate in the production of goods and services in its traditional interpretation). This might probably lead to the increasing influence of communitarianism (as an alternative to neo-liberalism), whose rhetoric is based on the appeal to the middle level values, with public good being at the top of the list. At the same time, public good can be easily interpreted with nationalist color, as a benefit for some local community, although it can also be interpreted in a more universal manner, which is consistent with leftist views.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-116-129


Nikolai Rozov

Geopolitics as Science: Can Not be Canceled or Developed

Keywords: geopolitics, geo-strategy, geopolitical patterns, geopolitical dynamics

Recognizing the validity of many statements made by liberal publicists, who sharply criticize geopolitics in the form, in which it has established itself in the modern Russian political rhetoric, N.Rozov, however, suggests that a significant portion of criticism against geopolitics as a direction of thought and sphere of public interest is explained not only by the prevalence of notorious far-right-wing authors, who have seized this “realm”, but also by the indistinctive meanings of the term itself. The author identifies four such meanings – geopolitics as reality; geopolitics as a scientific discipline; geopolitics as a doctrine (worldview, paradigm); geopolitics as ideology (and propaganda). He analyzes their content and shows that, with respect to the first two meanings, the criticism is misplaced. The author reveals the importance of the geopolitical dynamics for understanding the ongoing processes in the world through the evaluation of Russia’s current foreign policy strategies on the basis of the principles set out by R.Collins.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-130-148

Dmitry Davydov

Global Political Prospect: Communism, Meritocracy or Social-Personalism?

Keywords: post-capitalism, alienation, communism, meritocracy, social-personalism

The article discusses possible scenarios for the evolution of the modern capitalist society. Claiming utopian the ideas, that liberation from material needs and socialization of production will lead to the establishment of the communist system free from class struggle and alienation, D.Davydov considers social-personalist revolution a more plausible scenario. Such revolution, in his opinion, could lead to meritocracy as well as to the development of the social-personalist society per se, in which priority of assets accumulation is trumped by the priority of personal self-realization, and the inevitable class inequality coexists with the leading role of a creative individual.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-149-159

Gubernatorial readings

Development of Engineering Education and Formation of Modern Engineering Culture in Russia (Twenty-Fifth Gubernatorial Readings. Tyumen, June 28th, 2016)

Keywords: education, engineering culture, Tyumen region

The material published here is a report on the Twenty-Fifth Gubernatorial Readings held in Tyumen, June 28th, 2016, 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 the development of engineering education and the formation of modern engineering culture in Russia, and the lecturer being A.P.Kuleshov, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Rector of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-160-183

Reflections over the read

Andrey Teslya

Political Outlook (Schmitt C. The Concept of the Political: Collected Papers / Translated from German by Yu.Yu.Korints, A.F.Filippov, A.P.Shurbelev. Saint Petersburg: Science, 2016)

Keywords: Carl Schmitt, political thought, “Concept of the Political”

Over the past decade and a half, Carl Schmitt has become firmly established in the domestic intellectual space. Now everyone, who at least somehow comes in touch with the sphere of political theory and philosophy, is familiar, if not with the main provisions of the concept, then at least with the definition of the political as a distinction between “friend” and “enemy”. Realizing that it hardly makes sense to review the texts, which not only were published 80–90 years ago, but also became classic in the past decades and produced a diverse literature, A.Teslya sets for himself a fundamentally different task – to identify a number of possible useful turns of discussion out of those turns, which may be relevant in the context of domestic political thought, but have not been sufficiently articulated yet.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-82-3-184-196