Abstracts 4, 2006

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Contest of works by young political scientists for the prize of A.M.Salmin

Elena Alekseenkova

On cognitive nature of power, or how power correlates with democracy

The work of E.Alexeyenkova won the First contest (2006) for the prize of A.M.Salmin. The article is focused on the study of political power. The author is interested in the very nature of power, and tries to understand it through the analysis of correlations between notions of power, violence and structural violence. In her research E.Alexeyenkova is particularly guided by ideas of Niccolo Machiavelli and other researchers of the Machiavellian tradition. The author studies more thoroughly modifications of the formula of power that were brought about by the age of Modern – first of all, the “social contract” and democracy, and mechanisms of power acquisition.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-6-21

Federalism and local self-government

Vladimir Nechaev

Main tendencies in the institutional organization of local self-government in todays Russia.

The article is an attempt to reveal main tendencies in the development of principles of local self-government organization. The author makes a comparative analysis of two editions of the law on local self-government (1995 and 2003). The study of relevant changes is placed in a wider historical context of the development of local self-government institutions in the post-soviet period. The article notes that innovations in local self-government in 1990s did not lead to a greater efficiency of governing. Despite the fact that centralized control over municipalities from «above» was lowered during that period, no efficient system of democratic control emerged from «below». From that point of view, according to the author, initiatives of federal government on latent rejection of the public autonomic concept of local self-government and its integration in a unified system of public government seem to be more logical.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-22-44

Russian polity

Andrey Akhremenko

Structural positions of parties in the electoral space and their electoral results: problem of correlation.

The article studies the problem of correlations between structural position of power or a candidate in the electoral space and their results in the elections. A.Akhremenko uses wide empirical data on all federal (parliamentary and presidential) elections in Russia, placing a particular emphasis on their regional component. In order to achieve greater exactness in analyzing structural characteristics, the author distinguishes three periods in the evolution of electoral space of the modern Russia. A special attention is paid to a very specific phenomenon of structural predominance.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-45-67

Russian polity in ironical perspective

Andrei Neschadin

Sovereign elections. (Verbatim record of one meeting.)

In a deliberately grotesque form the author comments on the «perfection» of the Russian electoral system, which includes such acts as deleting the «against all» column from the bulletins, abolishing the lowest limit of elections’ turnout, canceling direct election of governors by population, etc. In his essay A.Neschadin sort of extrapolates to the future on the basis of today’s tendencies, showing how absurd their logical development can turn out.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-68-71

Political cultures

Victor Martyanov, Leonid Fishman

Moral impasse of civilization paradigm.

The article is devoted to a methodological and world-view criticism of the civilization paradigm in modern social science. The authors substantiate the thesis that the civilization paradigm is a politically correct and culture-centered analogue of biological theories of racism, where belonging of a person to this or that race is replaced by civilization identity. They substantiate the conclusion that popularity of civilization theories results from the reaction of social science to the crisis of universality of “liberal consensus” that is the basis of the capitalist world system. The authors defend the position that civilization paradigm is mythological and eclectic.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-72-87

Post-soviet space

Valery Konovalov, Maxim Tsvetovat

Geo-strategic processes in the Caucasus-Caspian Sea region: systemic approach and network models.

In the study of geopolitical processes in the region of Caucasus and Caspian Sea the authors were based on the systemic approach that they use in analyzing possible scenarios of situation development. A special attention is paid to the main forces in the region, resources they can use and tactics they apply. The article considers views and priorities that are characteristic of Russia, Turkey, Iran, the US, and the European Union. The option of a systemic destabilization has, according to the authors, the greatest relative weight among all the possible scenarios of situation development in the Caucasus and the Caspian region.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-88-103

Practical sociology

Mikhail Gorshkov, Natalia Tikhonova

Particularities of consciousness and behaviour of the urban middle class in Russia.

The results of the all-Russian sociological study conducted in 1999, 2003 and 2006 served an empirical basis for the article. The work presents a volumetric (and dynamic) portrait of the urban middle class, including its aims of living, world view and values, attitude to work, presence of debts and savings, priorities in disposing of available money, and many others. And all this is done in comparison with other mass categories of population. The authors come to the conclusion that recently the intensity of development and accumulation of human capital had been decreasing, and the middle class now only maintains the achieved level of development. In order to change this tendency a more active participation of the government is needed in regulating and stimulating the everyday economic life of the country.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-104-132

Cathedra

Alexey Avtonomov

Modern problems of interaction between civil society institutions and governmental bodies.

According to the author, what is needed to achieve real and efficient cooperation between state and civil society in social and political spheres, is, in the first place, mutual trust, availability of resources, and adequate communication capability. The article calls such cooperation inter-sectoral. It is this cooperation that creates conditions for adequate, genuinely social policy that is not reduced to a simple social charity. The author comments on a number of established forms of such cooperation (for instance, social order as an instrument of implementation of social programs), draws attention to the necessity of creation and functioning of interaction networks, and to such networks’ models.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-133-147

Laboratory

Ioulia Boussel-de-Coutard, Dmitri Shmerling

Strategic modeling of Priority National Projects: from consideration of Russian societys values to special planning.

The object of the article is the process of elaboration and implementation of Priority National Projects. I.Boussel-de Coutard and D.Shmerling note the skepticism of a considerable part of Russian society to the large-scale positive impact of such projects, which they explain by the government’s lack of experience in engaging citizens into determination of priorities of the country’s development. According to the authors, the Priority Projects are capable of becoming national only when the set goals are shared by the whole society, originate from the consideration of values of the population itself, and not just a limited layer of the political elite.

The article substantiates the significance of the scientifically proved expert mathematical technologies for political planning. In their study I.Boussel de Coutard and D.Shmerling trace the ways to create relevant methods and their application.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-148-157

Chronicle

Yury Korgunyuk

Infinitely long left drift. Russian party system in winter 2006/07.

The traditional for the “Politeia” journal review presents main events in the life of Russian political parties in winter 2006-2007. As usual, the chronicle is accompanied by analysis of alignment of political forces in Russia during that period. According to Y.Korgunyuk, never in the history of post-soviet Russia the political pendulum has swung so far to the left as now, in the beginning of the next parliamentary elections’ year. At the same time, today’s orientation to the left is clearly devoid of former hard-edged red bunting coloration. It reflects uncertainty, mixture of all possible notions, flavoured with populist rhetoric. An acceptable alternative to that option, according to the author, can be only a left-wing government operating in the atmosphere of political competition.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2006-43-4-158-184