Russian Political System in the Past and in the Present
In the past, Russian thought did not restrict itself only to theoretical reflection on the historical being of power but offered political and legal formulas indigenous to it. Moreover, the works by a number of the most perspicacious thinkers contained some forecast creation energy, speaking metaphorically. Further understanding of the ways of the development of the Russian state is impossible without the achievements of the Russian national thought of the pre-revolutionary period.
While currently in Western Europe and the USA the innovation type of development has already been formed (the economic interests of accounting entities coincide with the interests of the state, and the economic demands are the impulses of development), in Russia, a mobilization model has functioned for a considerably long period of history (the priority of political factors, external impulses of development, huge influence of the state on social organization.) Under the mobilization type of development the political elite was formed as state structures, and consisted of the upper walks of administrative and political hierarchy. The state monopoly on governing overcame the monolithic structure of the political elite. The slow evolution of the Russian mobilization model of the elite formation started in the course of the reforms of 1860-1870. This was the period when interest groups and advocacy groups came into being, and these are the elements typical of the innovation type political system.
The starting point of the new Russian parliamentarism is the election of 1990, the first Congress of the People’s Deputies of the RSFSR. At the first stage (1990-1993) the Congress took over unlimited constitutional powers but lack of stable majority and loose political structure restricted its influence on the course of events. At the second stage (1994-1999) the new Constitution narrowed the powers of the Parliament. In spite of a rather structured political system and the opposition majority (relative, and sometimes absolute) it always lost battles with the President. The Parliament and parliamentarism were discredited in the public opinion. At the beginning of the third stage (2000-...) the country received the Duma manipulated by the Kremlin and politically weakened Council of Federation. Proposals on the amendments to the Constitution and changes in. the electoral system may undermine the role of the Parliament, not very strong as it is.
Russia’s legal socialization is characterized by its asymmetry. On the one hand, there are elementary concepts of unlimited power and unstable Law (in theory, this corresponds to the first stage of children’s perception of adults’ power seen as absolute and despotic), on the other hand, more complex concepts like subjective attitudes and the right to property. In other words, legal socialization remains at an elementary level only in the sphere of the perception of power. In the horizontal sphere, the sphere of human relations, the concepts are similar to the ones existing in other cultures. Probably the civic society in Russia should develop in the direction of the horizontal links formation.
In the last decade, qualitative changes that still demand better understanding, took place in the relations of Russia and the outer world. We observe the complicated and dramatic dialectics of the westernization and anti-westernization processes including the self-isolation in the Global context, the struggle of the opposite identities - the Euroatlantic and the Euroasian. The West is accused of everything and anything at the background of the reluctance to cut the links with it. That is why the role of anti-western senses can hardly be underestimated.
In many Russian regions, the current power has a transitional character. This is not the old-time system of governing, which totally depended on the Center but is still far from being democratic power. The transitional situation of regional power can be defined as governed democracy. Within this system, the executive authorities cover practically all the public space, the division of powers is formal, and the democratic institutions are still being formed. The governed democracy is a way of overcoming chaos and strengthening of the power vertical for the Russian regions. The authors substantiate their concept at the examples of Rostov and Perm oblast (regions).
Behind the democratic facade an authoritarian corporative-bureaucratic was formed in Krasnodarskiy area. This model corresponds very well to the political culture of the majority of Kuban population known for its conservatism, traditionalism and paternalism. This region became sort of a breakwater for the global wave of democratization.
The practice of public administration in the republic of Mordovia proves to the fact that the structures and mechanisms of regional power do not always correspond to the new political and socio-economic relations which emerge at the background of the bad economic situation of the population and the intensive creation of the positive image of the people in power. Meanwhile, the Mordovian society is far from implementing of the principle of economic efficiency and social justice, and the activity of regional authorities is limited to getting external resources.
Corporations and Politics
Big capital in Russia was created mostly by political methods always feeling its dependence on politics and always striving to be in politics. This has always been the condition of its survival. At the same time this over-dependence on the Russian state partially explains the strategic mistakes made by corporations in the first decade of the transition to the market economy.
In spite of its youth Russian corporative PR has an important place in the system of public relations. One of its major functions is ensuring of stable market reforms since the interests of big corporations coincide with the arterial dimensions of the last decade. Corporative PR struggles against mythological images of big capital which are inherited from the soviet ideology.
Legal Succession: Foreign Experience
Losing the strong foundations of statehood, and coming through the fratricidal civil war, General Franco’s dictatorship, the split of the nation Spain managed to come to the national reconciliation and to restore an original state and legal system and to transform it in the spirit of the time. Monarchy in the person of Juan Carlos I made an important contribution to the restoration of the order of things. In Russian social perception, monarchy has been often associated with the authoritarian tradition social conservatism and regress since the soviet time. Spanish experience proves that this approach is one-sided, and that monarchy can be a flexible and ideologically neutral form of power. At the same time the Spanish are taken by the king as a person, and not by the monarchy as an institution.
One of the major aspects of the problems of succession in the postcommunist countries of Central and Eastern Europe is the solution of the property issues one of which is the restitution (the return of property to its owners.) In Eastern European countries, the situation for these problems solution is more favorable than in Russia because there was a special legislation designed on the basis of the best samples of civil law. The easiest way of the restitution was originally considered to be the property reappropriation. However, facing with difficulties (lack of documents to ownership) governments came from the direct return of property to owners to the compensation system.
The biggest world problem is probably the relationships between globalization and westernization. Strictly speaking this is the issue on the essence of modernization. Here, two approaches have been formed. The first one is based on the belief that globalization is a wider process than modernization. The second one is based on the idea that it is just an extended westernization, the spread of Western capitalism and institutions all over the world. Meanwhile, a hot polemic between these two schools is taking place. The main problem is whether the non-Western world can enter the phase of globalization without westernization and without rejecting one’s own culture.
Under current conditions Russia’s biggest challenge Is the globalization of the world economy. In fact, the data on capital, commodity and workforce flow evidences that common understanding of globalization as a comprehensive system that more or less equally covers the planet with a communication network is far from reality. The model of «gates to the global world» seems to be more adequate. This is the system of closely associated not very big regions where financial intellectual economic and information resources are concentrated, and through which financial commodity and communication flows go. Russia’s integration into the world economic system through the creation of its own «gates to the global world» in its territory looks more preferable since it allows to create regions with high level of life and capital investments, and the main thing is to form the centers of economic processes management.
Moral condemnation of nazism and Stalinism the sense of guilt and responsibility remain an important prerequisite of studying the German and the Russian past. The book by the Russian historian, expert in Germanic studies, Alexander Boroznyak reads about hard work of overcoming the past. The author dwells on the academic studies and the discussion of the supporters of conservative-protective and critical approaches to the study of national-socialism as an important factor in the controversial process of the social conscience formation in FRG. While reading the work one can find considerable similarities, and not less considerable differences in Russian and German situations.
The author reviews the political process in Russia at the end of 2000, the role of many parties and movements in it supplementing the analysis by the chronicle of the main events.