Abstracts 3, 2018

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Religion and Politics

Svyatoslav Kaspe

In What Does Leviathan Deal? Evaluation Criteria for States Competitiveness on Salvation Markets

Keywords: salvation markets, political groups (Verbände), hierocratic groups (Verbände), civil religion, political religion, “fight for the country”

The metaphor “salvation markets” can be to some extent useful for understanding behavior of those actors who operate at the intersection of sacral and political fields, guided by their own rational logic, for example, states. The weakening of their soteriological function in the last decades can be explained by the contraction of “salvation market” itself due to the reduction of the amount of human suffering. However, this contraction turned out to be only temporary. The restoration of demand for salvation forces states to re- define their strategies, oscillating between various versions of “civil religion”, “political religion”, radical laicism etc. At the same time, there is a toughening competition between states and other operators of salvation — other forms of political groups (Verbände), as well as traditional and non-traditional hierocratic groups (Verbände).

Hypothetically, the degree to which citizens are ready “to fight for their country” can serve as the evaluation criterion for states’ competitiveness on “salvation markets”. The hypothesis is supported by the fact that the category of thevictim, which is present in one way or another in almost any sacral discourses and symbolical complexes, penetrated both discourses and mechanisms of symbolization and legitimation of the modern state. However, there are no intuitively obvious confirmations of this hypothesis in the sociological data. Meanwhile, a deeper analysis might help to reveal the supporting evidence of the hypothesis. Alternatively, there are grounds to suggest that further course of events will undermine altogether the efficiency of the “market” metaphor in this context — and will call for a different metaphor. Most likely, it would be the metaphor of “war”.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-6-30

Pages: 6-30

Political Theories

Suren Zolyan

Language of Politics or Language in Political Function?

Keywords: language, political function, speech acts, political communication, political reality

The article attempts to distinguish between the notions of “language of politics” and “language in political function”. The “language of politics” is usually defined as language means used in political communication or for political purposes. The author suggests that “language in political function” would be a more appropriate term for such definition.

Politics can be viewed as a communicative modus of human activity, in which language plays the role of an instrument or even an instrument of all political instruments. The growing influence of communicative and semantic factors upon the political processes entails an even greater increase in the importance of semiotic characteristics. However, the reverse perspective can also be true: interpreting politics as a special form of linguistic activity — accommodation of the world to words produced through the institutionalized speech acts. Performativity and autoreferentiality of institutional facts that constitute social ontology imply that under the guise of representing reality the text actually forms reality.

The linguistic and semiotic characteristics of language in political function can be supplemented by communicative ones through introducing a political function into R.Jakobson’s pattern of language functions. It can be interpreted as an inverted magical function, when “an absent or inanimate „third person“” turns into not only an addressee, but also a sender of the message. In the process of the political communication, not only an addressee and an addresser, but also communication itself, are institutionalized. The real communication is formalized as its semiotic analogue. As in the case with the magic function of language, a speech act is assumed to lead to a change of the world, and the participants of this act are endowed with the appropriate power, but the source of this power is not mythology, but rather the social structure of society.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-31-49

Pages: 31-49

Alexander Marey

About Princes and Sovereigns

Keywords: sovereign (gosudar), prince (knyaz), princeps, theory of translation, medieval texts, political theology

The article deals with a seminal problem of the meaning of political terms, in particular, an adequate translation into Russian of the political language of the European Middle Ages. On the example of the term princeps, the author demonstrates that, in contrast to the texts of the Modern and Contemporary History, to which techniques developed by various translation theorists are applicable, medieval texts need a different approach. It should include not only clarification of the conceptual framework of the translated text, but also clarification of the conceptual apparatus of a translator herself.

On the basis of the analysis of the political and theological discourse of Thomas Aquinas and Ptolemy da Lucca, the author comes to the conclusion that the medieval language model was dominated by the language of the Holy Scripture, where the term princeps usually referred to a direct subordinate to a dominus. In those rare cases, when that concept was used to describe an absolute ruler, God was placed above the ruler, and princeps appeared only as one of its subordinates. The situation was similar within the Russian political language, where they started to use the term sovereign (gosudar in Russian) to translate Latin princeps only in the XVIII—XIX centuries. According to the author, such translation became first choice because it was consonant with the establishment of the tradition that implied unity between the political subject and political authority, which allowed for only one form of government — the state (gosudarstvo in Russian) — and only one image of the political leader — sovereign (gosudar).

In the final part of the article the author examines the evolution of the term princeps in the modern Russian political language, where this term is often used to describe the incumbent president of the Russian Federation. The author shows how the inadequate use of the term leads to the formation of an absurd concept: a wise and fair ruler who builds his rule upon lies and hypocrisy.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-50-73

Pages: 50-73

Sergey Kucherenko

Reception of Thucydides in Political Realism: Science and Rhetoric

Keywords: Thucydides, realism, legal nihilism, international relations

The article is devoted to the reception of Thucydides in Political Science. On the basis of the comparative analysis of structural and constructive realism — two traditions in the theory of international relations — the author shows that they both treat the Athenian historian to some extent as a “godfather” and appeal to him as an authority. According to the author’s conclusion, neither structural, nor constructive realists need references to the “History of the Peloponnesian War” in order to substantiate their ideas. The key difference between structural and constructive realists is the problems that they are trying to resolve through the appeal to the heritage of Thucydides. If structural realists use selected excerpts from the text of the “History of the Peloponnesian War” to confirm and legitimize their own propositions, constructivists insist on the holistic reading of the text. In their interpretation of the text they give pride of place to the norms, values and political rhetoric as independent elements of international relations. The author thinks that the latter approach is both more adequate to interpreting the text and more productive in terms of science. Paying close attention to such phenomena as culture, law and rhetoric allows them to create a more complex, non-reductionist theory of international relations that better fits the realities of the era of mediatization of public policy and “new transparency”.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-74-86

Pages: 74-86

Paradigms of Social Development

Andrei Akhremenko, Alexander Petrov, Ilya Philippov

Democratic Survival and Stability: from Lipset Hypothesis to Economic Productivity

Keywords: total factor productivity, social capital, political stability, demoratization, political regime

This article is devoted to the analysis of the impact of economic development on the survival of democratic regimes and success of the processes of democratization. The study is based on the hypothesis proposed by S.M.Lipset and further elaborated by A.Przeworski that the growth of social welfare leads to the broadening of a “compromise space” and convergence of different interest groups’ preferences over the redistribution of resources, which in its turn miti-gates conflict over the political course. Based on Lipset’s and Przeworski’s ideas, the authors build a mathematical model that illustrates how social capital (more precisely — its component responsible for building trust among strangers) and institutional quality allow for the stabilization of democratic regimes, through the increase of economic productivity and growth of welfare. According to the predictions of the model, total factor productivity (TFP), defined as the opportunity of individuals and/or firms to cooperate efficiently, increases the overall wealth of the society and fosters the consolidation of democracy by reducing social tensions and improving the mechanism of economic policy elaboration.

On the basis of the mathematical model, the authors derive a hypothesis that higher levels of TFP increase chances of democratic survival. They test the hypothesis on the extensive empirical dataset using survival analysis method. The results show that TFP is a statistically significant and strong predictor of a probability of democratic failure. On average, ceteris paribus, the increase in TFP by 10 percentage points reduces the risk of democratization failure by 1.2—1.4 times. The obtained results are robust to different model specifications and control variables.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-87-112

Pages: 87-112

Andrey Medushevsky

Populism and Constitutional Transformation: Eastern Europe, Post-Soviet Space and Russia

Keywords: populism, constitutional reforms, constitutional retraditionalization, Eastern Europe, post-Soviet space, Russia

The article analyzes the contribution of populism, as a phe- nomenon of public sentiments, to the dynamics of the recent constitutional transformations in Eastern Europe, post-Soviet space and Russia. The research shows that in all countries from the above mentioned regions populism gave impetus to the processes of constitutional retraditionalization, which affected different areas such as international and national law, constitutional identity, sovereignty, forms of government, and constitutional justice.

Everywhere the mechanisms of constitutional retraditionalization invoked by populism are associated with the denial of the principles of ideological pluralism and political neutrality of constitutional justice. However, the methods used in different countries vary considerably and cover the entire gamut of technologies of constitutional revision, ranging from the “conservative revolution” through convoking a constituent assembly or holding a national referendum to changing preambles of constitutions, introducing constitutional amendments, judicial interpretation, as well as a wide range of extra-constitutional mechanisms. The choice of a particular technology or a combination of technologies is determined by the level of public support for populist forces and the degree of their control over government institutions.

Populism in Eastern Europe, post-Soviet space and Russia performs different functions. In the first case populism represents a way of accumulating protest against imperfect institutions; in the second case populism is a form of a struggle for establishing rules of the game; in the third case populism performs a function of mobilizing support for the current political regime, or a means of legitimizing it. In Eastern Europe constitutional populism serves as an instrument for achieving power, in the post-Soviet region — for its redistribution, and in Russia — for its preservation. On the basis of these differences, the author identifies three versions of constitutional populism — “democratic” (Eastern Europe), “oligarchic” (post-Soviet region), and “plebiscite”, controlled and directed by power holders themselves (Russia).

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-113-139

Pages: 113-139

Dmitriy Davydov

Social Subject of Transition towards Post-Capitalist Society: Who Is It?

Keywords: post-capitalism, Marxism, communism, person, creative class, precariat

Despite the growing popularity of the idea of post-capitalism and a number of symptoms that indicate that the capitalist economy is gradually transforming into something fundamentally new, the question about the social subject of transition to the post-capitalist society remains unanswered. Different authors assign this role to the working class, to the precariat, or to the “creative class”. D.Davydov’s thorough analysis of these three statements demonstrates their weaknesses, which he explains by the fact that they characterize the future society in the categories of the past. Being convinced that the place in the world of commodity-money relations fails to capture the social essence of the subject of the post-capitalist society, he suggests that a person, or an individual with primary values of creativity and self-realization, rather than a social class or a social group should be interpreted as this subject.

Although Davydov thinks that a person plays the leading role in the transition to the post-capitalism, he draws attention to its ambiguous nature as a subject of post-capitalist relations. The article shows that the “society of persons” is not free from novel forms of alienation and inequality. The development of the productive forces, including automation and robotization, will narrow the space for self-realization, which can lead to the situation when the majority of the population will be in the position of “superfluous men”, deprived of any life prospects.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-140-157

Pages: 140-157


Nikolai Rabotyazhev

Realism and Utopia in the Ideology of European Social Democracy

Keywords: social democracy, utopia, Marxism, democratic socialism, “third way”, “New Labour”

The article is devoted to the analysis of the combination of utopian and realistic components in the ideology of the European social democracy. The author demonstrates that during the 20th century social democracy abandoned many utopian ideas and illusions. In the end of the 19th — first half of the 20th century the European social democratic parties (except for the British Labour Party) utilized Marxism as their dominant ideology, in that dogmatized form that it received from F.Engels, K.Kautsky and G.Plekhanov, although even at that time a number of provisions of Marxist doctrine were called into question by the representatives of the revisionist forces led by E.Bernstein. During the subsequent de-radicalization, social democrats in fact switched to the positions of social reformism. In the 1950s, they abandoned many of the Marxist postulates and proclaimed their commitment to ethical socialism within mixed economy. In the late 1970s, the fact that the Keynesian socio-economic model that they created sailed into the crisis aggravated the trend towards de-radicalization of social democratic parties, which manifested itself in the strengthening of the pro-market wing. The most active process- es of ideological modernization unfolded in the British Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party of Germany, resulting in the emergence of a “new” social democracy (T.Blair’s “New Labour”, G.Schröder’s “Neue Mitte”). However, the 2008 global financial-economic crisis interrupted the movement of the European social democracy towards social liberalism, and in the 2010s social democratic parties again largely returned to their traditional agenda. According to the author’s assessment, the recent “left turn” of the social democracy indicates that it is not able to fully switch to market pragmatism and still needs “Utopia-Hope”.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-158-180

Pages: 158-180

Foreign Polities

Oxana Kharitonova

Crisis Evolution of Turkish Political System

Keywords: parliamentary system, presidential system, premier-presidential system, presidential powers, Turkey

The Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections that took place June 24, 2018, marked the completion of the long-term process of institutional transformations, which led to the establishment of presidentialism. On the basis of the analysis of the dynamics of constitutional presidential powers, the author describes the evolution of the Turkish institution of presidency and peculiarities of the country’s parliamentary, premier-presidential and presidential systems of government. In order to trace the logic of institutional changes, she analyzes party and electoral systems, seats distribution in parliament, and the role of the army.

Since the birth of the Turkish Republic, the country has adopted three constitutions, has survived through four coups d’état (including two “post- modern” ones) and has changed 64 governments. Until 2007 Turkey had a parliamentary system that went through two phases: a stable one-party government and inefficient fragmented pluralism with coalition and minority governments. Highly fragmented party system, inefficient government and regular intervention of the army into politics nullified advantages of parliamentarism. All constitutional changes in Turkey came into being as a reaction to crises and were conducted in a “layered” manner, when new rules did not replace the old ones, but rather complemented them. Turkey preserved all presidential powers (which were already rather substantial) established by the 1982 Constitu- tion and introduced nationwide presidential elections, thereby transforming its government system from parliamentary to premier-presidential with a strong president. The following transition to a presidential system implied further extension of presidential powers. The author concludes that the volume of the presidential powers is big enough so that Turkey should be classified as super-presidential system.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-181-205

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2018-90-3-181-205

Pages: 181-205