Abstracts № 4, 2011

Main Page ~ Journal Archive ~ Abstracts № 4, 2011

Russian Polity

Leonid Polyakov

Identity and Modernization: Russian Experience

Keywords: modernization, identity, Russia, political regime

The article is devoted to the analysis of those problems that the Russian researchers face when considering the link between “identity” and “modernization”. L.Polyakov demonstrates how the status of identity crisis was transformed from being a mere “instrument” into the key actor of modernization. Modernization is declared impossible since the existing regime rests upon the identity that is both anti-modernizing and in principle cannot be modernized with the change of the latter being in its turn connected to modernization. According to Polyakov, a solution to the vicious circle that emerged as a result of the above mentioned situation can be found in the nontrivial theory elaborated by A.Aksherov that treats Modern and modernization in Habermas’ style of “unfinished project” rather than entrenched and unshakable forms that require imitation. It is this setting that opens a prospect for the Russian mass production of theoretical variants for defining national identity through modernization.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-5-18

Sergei Peregoudov

Ethno-confessional Relations in Russia as Factor of Political Risk

Keywords: ethno-confessional relations, nationalism, extremism, separatism, diaspora 

The article analyzes peculiarities of ethno-confessional relations in modern Russia, uncovers reasons for the spread of Russian as well as non-Russian nationalism in the country and political risks associated with it. Having stated the presence of potentially dangerous link between the situation in the sphere of inter-ethnical and inter-confessional relations at the city and republic level, S.Peregudov comes to the conclusion that none of the solutions to the existing ethno-confessional controversies in Russia that are offered today will lead to a desired outcome, but they can exacerbate the situation. According to his conclusion, elaboration of a functioning strategy of inter-ethnic agreement given today’s political reality is possible only within the framework of a constructive dialogue between the champions of the idea of the renewed Russian great power statehood and proponents of different models of multiculturalism.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-19-34

Russian regions

Leonid Bliakher, Konstantin Grigorichev

Migrants and Migrant Policy in Post-Soviet Siberia and Far East

Keywords: migration, public fears, regional migration policy, reconciliation of interests, informal practices

On the basis of the analysis of the situation in the Post-Soviet Siberia and Far East the authors show that inconsistencies in the migrant policies conducted at different levels are in no small measure caused by the fact that these levels target at distinct public fears and social interests. They conclude that de facto the migrant policy conducted at regions is not anywhere near the federal one or the more or less consolidated regional system of migration regulating measures. Almost each actor implements his own “migration policy” that is constructed according to his own private interests. As a result, there is a “sum” of weakly interconnected “migration policies” that only nominally fit the Procrustean bed of the federal legislation. Such situation allows for the creation of an illusion of being within the legal space while in fact pushing the corresponding activity into the sphere of informal practices.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-35-60

Alla Chirikova

Moscow Appointees in Gubernatorial Body: Analysis of Samara Case

Keywords: gubernatorial body, Moscow appointees, gubernators-outsiders, expansion of Moscow business

Relying on the materials of the research conducted in Samara oblast during the summer, 2010, A.Chirikova shows that the clearly traceable reorientation of the Kremlin towards forming gubernatorial body out of people who have nothing to do with the local community cannot itself guarantee efficient functioning of the “vertical of power”. Having analyzed by the example of the regional case study how the arrival of the “varangian” gubernator (i.e. outsider) impacted the situation in the region including the standings of the local elites and disposition of intra-elitist forces, the author demonstrates that even the wholehearted support for Moscow appointee by the federal centre does not preclude rapid increase in governability, and the increasing dissatisfaction of the local elites even if it is concentrated within certain political institutions puts stability of the situation in the region under question.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-61-73

Paradigms of social development

Ilya Lokshin

Political Regimes and Quality of State Functioning: Analysis of Interrelationship

Keywords: quality of state functioning, political regimes, democracy, rating

The article is devoted to the research question on how regime characteristics influence state functioning. Employing quantitative methods, the author tries to answer the following questions: whether there is an interrelationship between the quality of state functioning and the level of political regime democratization and if it appears to be so, which form it takes.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-74-92

Nikolai Borisov

Institutionalization of Presidency and Prospects for Consolidation of Political Regimes in Post-Soviet Space

Keywords: presidency, institutionalization, consolidation, Post-Soviet space

In this article the author undertakes an attempt to classify regimes of the Post-Soviet countries (excluding Baltic states) according to such criteria as the degree of institutionalization of presidency, the degree of political regime consolidation, the level of democratization and the level of statehood. The methodological basis of the work is new institutionalism that interprets institutions as both formal and informal “rules of game” that are created by rational individuals in order to facilitate interaction with each other. The research methods home in on indexes of statehood and institutional bases of democracy elaborated by the authors of the project “Political Atlas of Modernity” as well as “Freedom House” indexes of democratization and author’s version of the index of institutionalization of presidency.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-93-103

Daniil Ryazanov

Poverty and Unemployment as Factors of Terrorism

Keywords: terrorism, poverty, unemployment, causal mechanisms, statistical analysis

The article tests a hypothesis about the presence of causal mechanisms between poverty, unemployment and terrorism. The author relates quantitative indicators of the phenomena mentioned above through conducting statistical analysis and does not find statistically significant correlation between them, which, according to him, demonstrates the inadequacy of the conceptual model that directly ties terrorism with poverty and unemployment.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-104-111

Practical sociology

Research group ZIRCON

Qualities of Power: Population Perception and Expectations

Keywords: ideal power, real power, public consciousness, mass request, paternalism

The material published here is a shortened version of the analytical report by the research group ZIRCON based on the results of the Russian survey carried out within the framework of the project Qualities of Power: Population Perception and Expectations. The survey was conducted in 140 centers within 33 administrative units of the Russian Federation. The total size of selected population sample is 1605 respondents. The information was gathered through formalized personal interviews with respondents at the place of residents.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-112-135

Gubernatorial Readings

Public Request for Modernization: Content and Problems Fifth Gubernatorial Readings. Tyumen, October 4, 2011

Keywords: modernization, human potential, public opinion, sociological studies, Tyumen region

The material published here is a report on the Fifth Gubernatorial Readings held in Tyumen, October 4, 2011, under the framework of the joint project conducted by the journal Politeia and the administration of Tyumen region with the topic being public request for modernization and a lecturer being V.V.Fedorov, President of WCIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Center), professor at Higher School of Economics.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-135-154


Sergey Khenkin

ETA: Rise and Crisis of Nationalist Terrorism in Spain

Keywords: terrorism, nationalism, separatism, Basque country, democracy

The article sheds light on the activity of ETA – one of the oldest radical nationalist terrorist organizations in the Western Europe. The author elaborates on the sources of Basque radical nationalism and reasons for ETA formation, its ideological-political attitudes, strategy and tactics, main stages of its activity. The main focus is on unraveling psychology of terrorism. The article indicates that ETA entered the second decade of the 21st century at its weakest state ever. The author concludes that regardless of the future destiny of this organization, the rough confrontation between the Spanish central power and radical Basque nationalists will remain, but from now on it will be developing within the constitutional-legal framework.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-155-171

Maria Shabanova

Historical Forms of Transnational Economy and Politics

Keywords: transnationalism, transboundary institutions, transnational corporations, capital, neoliberalism, ruling class

Comparing models of the social organization and practices of different epochs M.Shabanova concludes that globalization that is usually associated with the emergence of transnational institutions in reality does not form the latter, but only adds a new quality to them. The analysis implemented by the author demonstrates that what is new is analytical prism that allows for identifying corresponding processes rather than transnationalization of economy and politics itself.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2011-63-4-172-182