POST-SOVIET POLITICAL SYSTEM
Have the recent parliamentary elections approached the formation of the Russian party system? The detailed analysis of the disposition of political forces on the eve of the elections, the electoral basis and the essence of the participant parties and associations, the reasons that have conditioned the real outcome of the electoral fight and the present membership of the State Duma leads the author to the conclusion that the party system of Russia hasn't been formed. The chance to create a permanent political majority in the State Duma of the third convocation has diminished even in comparison with the previous Duma which moves the country aside the creation of the party system and as a consequence of the mechanism of social control on the public policy. The future presidential elections won't change the situation: the overt favorite doesn't belong to any political party, and, as distinct from the elections of 1996, the chance of the party candidate to win practically comes to naught. Still the main figure in Russia is a bureaucrat, concludes the author, it is not worth to dream about any party system. Before the real governing party appears the real opposition should be formed, that would encourage those in power to carry out the necessary reforms.
In the article are shown the results of the first stage of the research carried out by the Analytical center of "RPPC", aimed at the studies of the impact of the institutionally normative design of the Russian electoral process on its results, the revelation of the main tendencies of the expression of will transformation and the formation of a multidimensional model of the Russian political space. The article is devoted to the analysis of the "voting machine" operation in 1993, 1995 and 1999 within one of the dimensions of this space: "state trusteeship" / "freedom on the market conditions" scales. The comparative analysis allows to the authors to make a number of nontrivial conclusions. In particular, the research has shown that owing to the coincidence of two processes - the "drying out of the marsh" and the approach of the potential of the lefts and the rights to somewhat average values - the political views which are not encompassed by the strict ideological cores constitute the right and the left center. Thus, contrary to the widespread opinion, the disideologization of the Russian policy is not followed by its depolitization.
Analyzing the situation in Russia on the basis of the leading conceptions of the modern transitology the author comes to the conclusion that neither the notion of "democrature", nor that of "delegative democracy" is applicable to this situation. In his opinion, the minimal or procedural democracy has been already formed in Russia. At the same time he notes that, in view of the lack of the very party system or the analogous structure, the basis of the transformation, that has already been realized considerably on the central level, is rather flimsy. According to the author, the progress of the political transformation in Russia depends on the course of the representative and behavioral transformation and on the successful development of civil society.
The article is devoted to the research of the economic constituent of mass protest. Analyzing on macro level the interconnection of the protesting behavior of people, moods, expectations, willingness to participate in actions of protest with the level of economic trouble, the authors make the conclusion that public actions of protest (mass meetings, manifestations, pickets, etc.) and strikes on the enterprises are of different nature and are determined by different factors. The participants' number of public actions doesn't correlate with any of the economic variables. At the same time a certain exponential dependence of the number of strikes participants on the increase of the wages indebtedness is followed. The degree of the protesting potential defined by the sociological polls also demonstrates the strong connection with the economic variables.
The author shows that from the viewpoint of constitutional legal system the present Russia doesn't represent a perfected federation. The wide scope of relations between the center and the regions are based not on the law but on the precedent. The author sees in such form of federation both negative and positive features. Among the negative ones he points out first of all the appearance of incompetent authoritarian regional regimes, which concentrate power in their hands, but are not able to solve effectively the regions' problems. The key positive feature of the Russian federalism is the combination of the elements of the simple decentralization, when the government delegates part of its functions to the local agencies of power, and those of the real federalization, which allows to use competitive development models. In the final part of the article the author formulates the positive program of the development of federalism in Russia, that allows to bring the federalism issue settlement to the level of technical problem that is the problem of the territorial democracy formation. This form of democracy would permit to improve the administration system and to manage the optimal results.
On the basis of the analysis of interregional differences in voting for certain political forces during the parliamentary elections of 1999 the author makes the conclusion that a number of new tendencies in the electoral preferences of the Russian voters have appeared. As it seems to the author, the most important of these tendencies are: a) decrease of the polarization of the Russian regions’ attitude towards the left electoral culture, which confirms the conclusion about the limited and confined nature of the electoral base of the left forces, which doesn't permit to them to count on the victory on a whole Russian scale; b) the formation of the nationally conformist electoral culture, first of all on the semiperipheral territories. The latter tendency is not so far irreversible and depends on further actions of the federal authorities upon the formation of the social support basis. In this conditions the author sees the most effective strategy in the consolidation of the amorphous but extensive noncommunist and non-liberal electorate, which perceives positively the populism and strong statehood.
The author examines the transformational processes in Russia, with one of the subjects of the Russian Federation – Republic of Tatarstan – as example. The analysis of the features of the internal political development of Tatarstan leads him to the conclusion that an "authoritarian situation" has been formed there, and it is characterized by the following: a) the presence of the dominant actor; b) the preponderance of the informal institutes; c) the dominance of the executive power; d) the limitation of the role of the parliament to the formalization of the decisions already accepted; e) the impossibility to dismiss the real bearers of power by means of the elections, etc. The future of Tatarstan, in the author's opinion, can develop according to the one of the following three scenarios: stabilization of the present "authoritarian situation" for an indefinite period, changes in the direction of the classic authoritarism, evolution to the democracy. The implementation of the latter scenario will be possible only if the local political elite and its policy change, that in its turn depends on the level of Republic people's maturity, the sharpness of the inside elite contradictions and the pressure on the part of the federal center.
PARADIGMS OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Analyzing the main factors of social stability, including the scales and the character of changes, the amounts and forms of the political capital of the elites, the role of the political culture and civil society, the level of the individuals' inclusion to the social system, the author shows the fallacy of the widespread point of view that the contradictions come down gradually as society develops. He believes that, most likely, we deal with the extremely unstable condition, when the periods of aggravation of the social contradictions are replaced by more or less long periods of abatement and vice versa. The analysis of the present situation leads the author to the conclusion that the number of the serious unsolved contradictions in the modern world both in the countries of "golden milliard" and the world periphery is growing. A new historic technological breakthrough, the transition from the industrial methods of manufacture to the postindustrial ones as its consequence and a new phase of globalization conditioned by this breakthrough, the weakening of the national institutes under the pressure of supranational structures, the rupture between the countries of "golden milliard" and the rest of the world raise the search problem of the effective forms of the adaptation to changes. These forms could prevent the real danger of destabilization the social systems face regardless of their type.
The research of the American civil religion leads the author to the conclusion that the base of the political culture of the USA includes a special mythological dimension, which provides the national self-identification and serves as an integrative factor. While the civil religion doesn't deny the confessional constituent of national culture as manifestation of individual choice of everyone, it dominates undoubtedly on the socio-political level, where its main provisions are categorically imperative for all the members of society. The author shows that a specific nature of the American civil religion is conditioned by the features of its genesis and, first of all, by the relationship between religion and policy in the USA. These relationships represent a converted form of the secularized Protestant views with regard to the mission of the state. Among the sources of the American civil religion the author considers a Roman ideal of the Civitas Aeterna and also a number of socio-political and philosophical ideas of the Epoch of Enlightenment. The American civil religion, being a special form of the national political mythology, consolidates the main ways of the national political tradition by means of the specific symbols and rituals that perform the legitimacy function of the social status of their participants.
In the article the methods of so-called popular sociology is subject to the author's criticism. He describes a new sociological approach that is working out by the INDEM Foundation. This approach is based on the new ideology of the sociological data analysis, the application of the new experts and mathematical statistic procedures. The article discusses the methodological basis of the proposed approach, the application procedure and demonstrates the example of its application and its stability testing.
The present demographic problems of Russia are well known. But what are the forecasts on this issue? For the purpose to answer to this question the author examines thoroughly the origins of the current demographic situation of the country. The author shows that demographic crisis occurred at least in the middle of 1960s during the transition to the narrowing reproduction of population. The analysis of the demographic development tendencies of Russia brings him to the conclusion that the existing forecasts of the Russian demographic future despite their unfavourability are still too optimistic. At the same time he believes that there is a possibility to change the trajectory of the demographic development. In his opinion, the working out and conducting of the effective demographic policy allow to convert this possibility into the reality. The aims of such policy should be the return of Russia to the simple reproduction of population and the elimination of the demographic waves.
The essay is devoted to the history of the rise and the development stages of professor Galkin's research school. For the period of three decades the objects of the research, based on the extensive empirical material, were: the social structure of the present society, the social mobility, the key features of the consciousness and political behavior of different categories of population, including the marginal strata. The Galkin's school made a considerable contribution to the research of the phenomena of civil society and to the studies of the stability problems. According to the author, ten and a half of the collective monographs edited by Galkin, numerous works of his pupils and followers defined further development of the political sociology in Russia.
In the article the author shares his memories about the outstanding soviet philosopher of law N.N.Razumovich.
The material contains the chronicle of the most important events of the party life of Russia from October 1999 to the middle of January 2000.
RUSSIAN PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
The material offers the information about the most significant conferences and seminars organized by the Foundation in 1999.