Abstracts 4, 2016

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Political theories

Kirill Koktysh

Ontology of Rational (III)

Keywords: rationality, ontology, values, Political Science, Modernity, Hobbes, Enlightenment

The paper puts forward a hypothesis that it is distribution of social statuses that sets criteria for what is rational in social reality. The corporation views as reasonable something that contributes to its expansion into the semantic space of the society as a whole, and deems unreasonable something that prevents such expansion. At an individual’s level, reasonable is something that contributes to one’s attainment of social status. To support his statement in more details, K.Koktysh refers to the analysis of the formation and transformation of the languages of Political Science because it is Political Science that from the moment if its inception claimed to determine whether this or the other knowledge can be viewed as rational, either legitimizing its introduction into the social structure, or, on the contrary, declaring it a prejudice. The history of Europe has witnessed several such languages that replaced one another. In the third part of the article published in this issue (for the first and second parts see Politeia, 2016, 2 and 3), the author analyzes the language of politics in the epoch of Modernity.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-6-24

Daria Tomiltseva

Historical and Political Responsibility: Overlap of their Problematique

Keywords: historical responsibility, political responsibility, subject of responsibility, collective subject, political forgiveness, structural approach

Some perceive notions of historical and political responsibility as synonyms, while others interpret them as independent concepts. As a consequence, there are numerous speculations on this matter that only further clouds thinking. The article explores under what conditions historic responsibility functions as political responsibility, when their problematique overlaps, and reveals how both types of responsibility depend on the identification of the subject of responsibility. On the example of the phenomenon of political forgiveness the author demonstrates that the idea of a homogeneous collective subject is mistaken and that historical responsibility, embodied in the various practices of political responsibility, can be addressed both to the past and the future.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-25-35

Paradigms of Social Development

Yury Kabanov

Electronic Authoritarianism: Institution of Electronic Participation in Non-Democratic Countries

Keywords: e-participation, authoritarianism, hybrid regimes, dictator’s digital dilemma

The article analyzes the reasons why an institution of e-participation is so popular in non-democratic countries and what factors are conducive to its introduction. According to Yu.Kabanov’s conclusion, e-participation allows authoritarian rulers to accomplish a number of important domestic and foreign policy goals, e.g., providing internal and external legitimacy, monitoring public opinion, and increasing attractiveness for investments. The empirical research conducted by the author shows that among autocracies e-participation is most widely spread in the countries that are actively integrated into the global processes, possess considerable resources and efficient institutions, and use a variety of methods to “tame the Internet”. In contrast, in countries that lack sufficient incentives to follow the global trends and/or the necessary resources or find themselves in a state of political instability, such mechanisms of e-participation remain underdeveloped.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-36-55

Ilya Dorkhanov

Political Systems of South Africa and Namibia: from Apartheid to Imperfect Democracy

Keywords: South Africa, Namibia, forms of government, electoral systems, party systems

The article examines the differences between the political systems that developed in South Africa and Namibia after the collapse of the apartheid regime in the late 1980s – mid-1990s, and their influence on the level of democracy in these countries. On the basis of the comparative analysis of the forms of government, electoral and party systems in these countries, I.Dorkhanov comes to the conclusion that Namibia’s democratic development falls short of that in South Africa because it lacks mass and permanent opposition electorate, while in South Africa this role is assumed by the white and colored electorate of the Western Cape. The author shows that black citizens of South Africa are starting to form some ideological (although tinged with racial) identity and hypothesizes that the country might witness the emergence of new parties based on ideological rather than racial-ethnic solidarity. If this trend prevails, South Africa might develop a more European-like party system that is not based on racial-ethnic cleavages as is the case now.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-56-67

Russian Polity

Maria Krechetova, Georgy Satarov

Power and Violence in Russia: Bayesian Scenario Analysis

Keywords: power, violence, scenario analysis, expert evaluation, Russia

M.Krechetova and G.Satarov continue the line of reasoning laid out in their article Power and Violence (Russian Case) (see Politeia, 2015, 4) and attempt to reconcile their thoughts with the current political situation in Russia and the results of scenario forecasting analysis that they carried out in Spring 2016 (together with Yury Blagoveshchensky) in the framework of the joint project of Liberal Mission and INDEM foundations. The study shows that Russia is moving away from the inertial scenario, which seemed most likely only six months ago, towards the scenarios of a “Besieged fortress” and “Explosion” that imply an increase in physical violence.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-68-81

Eduard Ponarin, Mikhail Komin

Dilemma of Russian nationalism: Imperial and Ethnic Nationalism in Post-Soviet Russia

Keywords: nationalism, ethnic nationalism, “imperial” nationalism, Russian elite, resentment

The article analyzes trajectories and prospects of the Russian nationalism. Having identified two types of nationalism in Russia – “imperial” and ethnic, and a negative relationship between the extent of their prevalence, E.Ponarin and M.Komin hypothesize that after 2014 the Russian authorities, whose national identity policy used to be contradictory, opted for “imperial” nationalism. Several factors are at play: not only a shift in the official policy towards consolidating “imperial” nationalism, but also the increased susceptibility of masses to anti-Americanism under the influence of the events in Ukraine, the revival of a superpower image of Russia after the military operation in Syria, as well as the gradual erosion of the importance of an ethnic “other”.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-82-93

Post-Soviet Space

Stanislav Shkel

Neopatrimonial Practices and Stability of Authoritarian Regimes in Eurasia

Keywords: political regimes, authoritarianism, neopatrimonialism, post-Soviet space, nepotism, clientelism, patronage

The article attempts to systematize the most important informal practices that ensure stability of authoritarian regimes. In particular, the analysis of the post-Soviet cases identifies costs and benefits (in terms of stability of the ruling coalition) of cooptation mechanisms based on the principles of nepotism, clientelism and patronage. S.Shkel draws the conclusion that the formation of the ruling coalition based on clan principle is the least effective way to retain power, fraught with destabilization of the regime. Clientelism is somewhat better at this task, because it allows to build the ruling coalition on a broader basis. Patronage seems to be the optimal strategy. However, the use of patronage practices requires significant resources, which makes this strategy almost inaccessible to those countries that experience a shortage of material resources.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-94-107

Political Parties

Nikolai Rabotyazhev

British Labour Party: Forward, to the Past?

Keywords: British Labour Party, “New Labourism”, “Blue Labourism”, “left” turn

The article is devoted to the ideological and political evolution of the Labour Party in the UK in the post-Blair era. Having analyzed in detail the ideological changes that took place in the Labour Party in the recent years, and the concepts that were put forward as an alternative to the “New Labourism”, N.Rabotyazhev reveals the reasons for why J.Corbyn, a “hard left”, has been elected as a party’s leader, and thoroughly examines his views. The author also pays considerable attention to the intra-party crisis of the summer of 2016. According to his conclusion, the Labour Party led by Corbyn is doomed to fail in the next parliamentary elections and will hardly be able to avoid new internal conflicts. At the same time, in his opinion, the party cannot completely abandon the “utopian” elements in its ideology and return to pragmatism of T.Blair’s epoch.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-108-127


Nikolai Grishin

Electoral Referendum as Institution of Public Participation in Government Decision-Making in Organizing Electoral Process

Keywords: referendum, direct democracy, public participation, electoral politics, electoral reform

The article presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of a referendum as an institution for decision-making in organizing an electoral system. The empirical analysis of data on 105 electoral referendums held in 1866–2015 in 33 countries reveals that such referendum does not always deserve being called an institution of direct democracy. The format and method of conducting a referendum often makes it an instrument of external legitimization of a decision that has already been made or manipulation of the political process. Nevertheless, the accumulated experience makes it possible to identify specific conditions, under which electoral referendum can serve as an effective institution of public participation in managing elections. An adequate wording of the question that is put to a vote and an active role of the public in organizing a referendum are the two most important conditions.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-128-141

Maksim Bogachev

Is There Connection Between Religion and Politics?Analyzing Experience of North America and Europe

Keywords: electoral behavior, political preferences, religious affiliation, religiosity

The paper is devoted to studying the structure of the relationship between religion and politics. Using the conceptual framework of the theory of social cleavages, M.Bogachev identifies three types of religious cleavages – clerical-secular, inter-religious and intra-religious. On the example of several European and North American countries, the author traces the influence of these cleavages on political behavior, as well as the relationship between party preferences, religious views and frequency of religious practices. The author pays much attention to the specific influence that religious cleavages exert upon political sphere, which allows him to explain why the connection between religion and politics does not exist in all countries.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-142-157

Gubernatorial readings

Russias Modern Policy of Spatial-Territorial Development: Status and Challenges (Twenty-Sixth Gubernatorial Readings. Tyumen, October 12th, 2016)

Keywords: spatial-territorial development, town planning policies, Tyumen region

The material published here is a report on the Twenty-Sixth Gubernatorial Readings held in Tyumen, October 12th, 2016, under the framework of the joint project conducted by the journal Politeia and the administration of Tyumen region with the topic of the Readings being the problems of the modern spatial-territorial development in the Russian Federation, and the lecturer being A.V.Bokov, Doctor of Architecture, President of The Union of Architects of Russia.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-158-187

Book Review

Oleg Kildyushov

Sociology of Religion as Theory of Social Order.To Commemorate Russian-Language Version of Max Webers Confucianism and Taoism

Keywords: economic ethics, Confucianism, rationalism, bureaucracy, Max Weber

O.Kildyushov acknowledges that the book under review is more of a monument to the socio-theoretical thought than an up-to-date study of discursive forms of particular religious rationality. At the same time, he is convinced that its appearance in the Russian-language scientific and cultural space will be useful not only for historians of sociology, but also for sinologists and researchers of religion, because the book offers an interesting framework for macrosociological interpretation of the world history of the spirit that is still of high heuristic value today. Although modern theoretical Sinology has revised several provisions of Weber's analysis, the way Weber reconstructed Confucianism as rational secular ethics on the other side of the transcendent remains a powerful concept for explaining the specifics of the Chinese spiritual composition and Chinese people’s ideas about themselves and the world.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-188-199