Abstracts 4, 2019

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Political Theories

Arthur Tretyak, Nikita Tinus

Political Logic of Multitudo in the Works of Hobbes and Spinoza

Keywords: multitude, people, political philosophy, theory of affects, Hobbes, Spinoza

The article explores the concept of multitude developed in the writings of T. Hobbes and B. Spinoza — two most profound political philosophers of the 17th century. The authors attempt to conceptualize the multitude by interpreting it as a special part of political reality, the very mode of existence of which turns out to be a problem for political thinkers, rather than by applying the logic of developing a political subject. According to their conclusion, the study of multitude should proceed from ontology to ideology, rather than in the opposite direction. This is the only way to build a common perspective that reflects the real tension between the systems of Hobbes and Spinoza.

The first part of the article discusses the views of Hobbes and Spinoza on the essence of multitude. The English philosopher views multitude as a chaotic matter, the movement of which needs to be regulated by concluding a social contract and establishing sovereign power. Spinoza, on the one hand, builds upon Hobbes, but on the other hand, opposes him. The authors see the sources of discrepancies between the two approaches to multitude in the difference in ontologies related, in particular, to the concepts of motion, matter and body.

The second part of the article is devoted to studying the relationship between the multitude and the state. The Hobbesian construction of sovereignty is interpreted as a means designed to solve the problem of the multitude by giving it a monolithic form of the people. In Spinoza’s ontology, the regulation of matter from the outside is impossible. In order to explain the dynamics of the multitude, he draws upon the concept of power and the theory of affects and formulates the idea of the dual — simultaneously destructive and creative — nature of the multitude.

Based on their analysis, the authors conclude that in contrast to modern theorists, Hobbes and Spinoza do not view the multitude as an empirical subject. Rather, they view the multitude as the primary logic of the existence of the many, which must be understood and ultimately overcome (from the Hobbesian point of view) or mastered by politicians in order to maintain the correct composition of institutions (from the point of view of Spinoza).

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-6-24

Pages: 6-24

Dmitry Balashov

Amartya Sens Idea of Justice

Keywords: justice, transcendental institutionalism, social contract, method of impartial observer, public reasoning, democracy

The issue of justice has always been given a place of pride in political philosophy and philosophy of law. Amartya Sen, an Indian scientist, has made an significant contribution to the development of this problem. His concept, which took on its final form at the end of the 20th — beginning of the 21st centuries, remains very influential today.

Sen’s innovation is that he criticized the so-called “transcendental institutionalism”, which underlies the approach to justice of many famous theorists, including John Rawls and his ardent opponent Robert Nozick. Altering the approach allowed Sen to go beyond the already-classic discussion of the nature of justice, which obviously came to a stalemate by the beginning of the 21st century. Using the original methodology, Sen created a theory of a truly global scale, claiming to solve a whole range of problems that humanity faces.

Moving away from transcendentalism, Sen assigned a key role in social development to public reasoning and the democratic process that is inextricably linked to the former. However, this turned out to be an Achilles heel of his theory. The metamorphoses of democracy in the modern world do not give grounds for optimism regarding the growth of freedom and solidarity in human society. Meanwhile, since Sen denied rigid institutional structures, his concept cannot rely on some ideal model that can set a vector and a guideline for social development. As a result, Sen’s ideas, for all their intellectual brilliance and appealing humanism, are divorced from reality and have a tinge of the very Utopianism that their author fought against.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-25-38

Pages: 25-38

Alexander Rozhkov

Interests and Ideals: Redefining Political Realism

Keywords: national interests, political realism, ideal, international relations, human nature, psychoanalysis

Abstract. Despite the widespread use of the term “national interests” in the media and academia, researchers and experts still cannot come to a consensus on its meaning. Political realists equate national interests with the states’ aspiration for power and security, liberals — with the will of citizens, constructivists — with a rhetorical tool that legitimizes foreign policy decisions of governments. The variety of approaches to defining national interests, as well as the presence of a significant number of criteria, leads to the erosion of this concept.

According to the author, the described situation is rooted in the contradiction between the subjective interpretation of national interests by the ruling elite and the objective needs of the population of the respective countries. He sees the key to solving this problem in introducing an “ideal” — the concept that connects the interests of the elite and population, emphasizing that it is due to the support of the masses of the ideal elaborated by the elites that one can talk about national interests as a single whole.

On the basis of the psychoanalytic analysis of the “I-ideal” and its influence on mass consciousness, the author shows that turning to the concept of an ideal not only removes the main contradiction in the definition of national interests in political realism, but also opens the way to effectively promote them in the long term. An ideal that is correctly formulated removes the tough confrontation between the interests of the ruling elites and the masses, creates conditions for stabilizing the situation within the country and allows the authorities to pursue an innovative policy without fear of slipping into chaos and conflict.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-39-52

Pages: 39-52

Sergey Kucherenko

Sovereignty and Integration in Political Realism

Keywords: sovereignty, political realism, integration, Hans Morgenthau

One of the most significant trends of the recent years in world politics is the growing skepticism regarding integration projects and international institutions per se. The right-wing populist wave that has swept through the Western democracies is accompanied by an increase in rhetoric claiming the harmfulness of integration and the importance of protecting sovereignty. At the same time, such attitudes are often associated with political realism.

Political realism is an extremely diverse direction in the theory of international relations. The author does not claim to analyze all its varieties and instead focuses on the approaches to the problem of sovereignty and integration developed by Hans Morgenthau, the founder of political realism who played a key role in its formation.

The analysis carried out by the author shows that political realism in its classical version cannot serve as a justification of sovereignty being the high- est value. In fact, it can be used to criticize a belief system that emphasizes the importance of sovereignty. At its extreme political entities’ aspiration for isolation leads to the disintegration of the world community into many states that are unable to communicate with each other except from a position of power, which endangers international security. As a result, realism postulates the need to overcome the trend towards sovereignty through integration. However, it does not even envisage any real solutions to this problem. According to the author, the project proposed by Morgenthau to revive diplomacy as a way to unite the states or at least push them to create a platform for a dialogue, cannot play this role, which indicates the need to find fundamentally different solutions.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-53-66

Pages: 53-66

Social Consciousness

Elena Shestopal, Vera Vagina, Pavel Pass

New Trends of Russian Citizens Perception of Authorities

Keywords: political perception, image of authorities, mass consciousness, political context, psychological reaction, Russian society

This article is devoted to the study of images of authorities during a new stage in the development of the Russian political system, which began after the presidential elections in 2018. The article is based on the research project implemented at the Department of Sociology and Psychology of Politics, Faculty of Political Science of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The research methodology included surveys, in-depth interviews, as well as projective tests. The interpretation of the results was carried out using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Having theoretically substantiated the direction of the analysis, the authors focused on the objective, subjective, and temporal factors of political perception.

The article analyzes cognitive and emotional, visual and verbal components of the image of authorities. The authors described in detail the context of the perception of authorities that changed after the 2018 presidential elections, which led to an alteration of the mass consciousness of the Russian citizens. The psychological characteristics of Russians that affect their perception of authorities are revealed.

The study conducted by the authors indicates volatility of the psychological state of the Russian society, which is fraught with increased instability in political life, which may result in both increased political apathy and cynicism, as well as increased protest sentiments. There is a request for democratization, participation and closer interactions with the authorities in the Russian society. Since the authorities fail to handle this request, they lose people’s trust. The recent shifts in mass consciousness are caused both by the political context and deeper processes associated with the generational change and resocialization.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-67-86

Pages: 67-86

Artyom Zemtsov

Strong Hand: Authoritarianism in the Political Culture of Modern Russians

Keywords: “strong hand”, authoritarianism, political orientations, political culture, political consciousness, public opinion

The article presents the results of a quantitative study of authoritarianism in the political culture of modern Russians through its feature such as orientation to the “strong hand”. Based on the data of the Levada-Center mass surveys conducted on a representative all-Russian sample, the author compares various indicators of a “strong hand” orientation, examines their dynamics over the past three decades, and using regression analysis reveals the influence of socio-demographic factors on this orientation, determining the “social base” of authoritarianism in the post-Soviet Russia.

The author’s research confirms the high demand for a “strong hand” (authoritarianism) in the modern Russia. At the same time, it shows that as soon as the Russians are offered an alternative model of governance in the form of a system of separation of powers, especially one that is net of Russian specificity, the popularity of the “strong hand” noticeably decreases.

According to the author, there are different reasons why modern Russians crave for a “strong hand”. They include cultural inertia, the traditional sacredness of the image of a strong leader, a pragmatic, purposeful strategy to adapt to the existing political order, and the conscious exploitation of the corresponding mythologeme by the political regime — a kind of imitationary traditionalism of the state, for which the “strong hand” is an important symbolic resource. The institutional characteristics of the current regime in the country (state monopolization of many areas of public life, weak separation of powers, underdeveloped institutions and practices of civil control, etc.) also play an important role. In their turn, authoritarian orientations indirectly support its existence. Authoritarianism in the political culture of modern Russians is in harmony with the institutional structure of the authoritarian regime.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-87-110

Pages: 87-110

Religion and Politic

Evgeny Zelenev, Leonid Isaev

Development of Jihad Concept: Minimalism and Maximalism in Islam

Keywords: jihad, Islam, liminality, re-Islamization, Arab Spring

This article discusses evolution of the interpretations of jihad from the angle of two worldview platforms represented in the system of views of intellectuals in the Islamic world — minimalist and maximalist. These platforms differ in their perception of social reality, as well as concepts of truth and justice, which are basic for Islam. Minimalism in general allows critical attitude to the surrounding reality, even in Islamic states, as well as local interpretation of the concepts of truth and justice. Maximalism endorses critical attitude towards reality only in the states where Islamic laws do not apply, and only if approved by the highest religious authorities. Maximalism interprets concepts of truth and justice as universal. In accordance with Islamic moral and ethical norms, both platforms have the right to exist, and the choice between them is an individual matter of every Muslim. As a result, the Islamic communities witness stratification not only of the elite, but also of the Ummah, which is divided into a “systemic” opposition that is ready for a dialogue with the government, and a “non-systemic” opposition that a priori excludes the possibility of a dialogue with the government.

According to the authors, the events of the Arab Spring were caused by the spread of the elite’s split into the entire Ummah, which created the basis for intra-Islamic tension, which, in its turn, pushed a poorly organized mass of believers into the streets of Arab cities. The authors describe the current stage in the development of the Islamic community as a period of liminality i.e., a structural crisis associated with political and social instability, a change in group and individual forms of self-identification and sharp cognitive dissonance among ordinary believers, coupled with an increasing trend towards re- Islamization in countries of non-canonical Islam.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-111-131

Pages: 111-131

Political Parties

Nikolai Rabotyazhev

Western European Social Democracy in the 21st Century: from Modernization to Crisis

Keywords: social democracy, “Third Way”, global financial and economic crisis, globalization, multiculturalism, left traditionalism

The response of European social democracy to the crisis of the Keynesian socio-economic model that they created in the 1970s and 1980s was the market-oriented modernization of the social democratic parties. At the end of 20th — early 21st century, social democrats revised a number of principles of democratic socialism, borrowed some neoliberal concepts and almost completely abandoned the utopian elements in their ideology. The most active renewal processes were developed in the Labour Party of the United Kingdom under T.Blair, and in the Social Democratic Party of Germany under G.Schröder. However, the global financial and economic crisis of 2008 showed that social democrats lack a convincing alternative to neoliberalism. As a result, after 2008 social democracy faced new problems and challenges.

From the point of view of the author, at present, European social democracy is in a state of crisis. There are several reasons for that. First of all, social democracy, which is in general a pro-globalist force, underestimates the negative consequences of globalization for its voters. It advocates a liberal migration policy and turns a blind eye towards the difficulties associated with the integration of immigrants into the European societies. Market-oriented modernization in the social democratic parties provokes resistance of the left-wing traditionalists, which can lead to internal party crises and splits or the success of the “hard left”, such as J.Corbyn. The shift of social democracy towards social liberalism strengthens the left-populist parties (Syriza, Podemos, Unbowed France, etc.), which are becoming serious competitors to social democrats. It also contributes to the erosion of social democratic identity. Last but not least — social democracy is in intellectual stagnation and is not able to offer voters any fresh, original ideas. According to the author, European social democracy can achieve a real renewal only if it chooses the path of a creative synthesis of socialist, liberal and conservative ideas.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-132-153

Pages: 132-153

Yury Ostapets

Between Scylla of Nationalization and Charybdis of Regionalization: Features of Development of Party System of Ukraine

Keywords: party system, nationalization of party system, regional political parties, constituent elections, parliamentary elections, Ukraine

The article analyzes the process of consolidation of the party system of Ukraine on the basis of the results of the 1994—2019 parliamentary elections. Methodologically, the article is based on the theory of nationalization of party systems. To measure the level of nationalization, the author employs indices of nationalization of political parties and party systems developed by M.Jones and S.Mainwaring, as well as the index of territorial coverage proposed by D.Caramani. Identification of typical and deviant electoral regions is carried out by calculating the Euclidean distance.

The research study conducted by the author demonstrates that the development of the party system of Ukraine witnesses two clear trends — towards nationalization and regionalization. In certain time periods, one trend starts dominating the scene, which depends on the combined influence of a number of factors, such as the features of the post-communist transition, electoral system, form of government, political regime etc.

The author shows that the models of the electoral behavior of the population of Ukraine, formed during the constituent elections, are inherently regional. The exception is the parliamentary elections of 2014 and 2019, when the nationalization index was quite high. The author explains this change by the fact that Donbass and Crimea — the regions that were crucial for many parties — disappeared from the electoral map of Ukraine, as well as by the relatively low voter turnout in southern and eastern Ukraine. According to him, the increased electoral homogeneity observed during these elections does not guarantee an increase in the level of nationalization of the country’s party system. A high level of volatility coupled with relatively low values of both the nationalization index and the index of an effective number of parties indicates that, despite significant changes in the actor structure of the party space, the heterogeneity (regionality) of party preferences of the Ukrainian citizens remains very important.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-154-174

Pages: 154-174


Dina Rosenberg, Anna Serova

How Do Good Governance and Globalization Reduce Infant Mortality: Causal Link

Keywords: infant mortality, “good governance”, democracy, autocracy, globalization

The infant mortality rate (IMR) is one of the most important indicators of population health. Although today it has ceased to be a “mirror” of the general socio-economic situation in the country, its importance as an indicator of human development remains. At the same time, the recent years have witnessed the increasingly narrowing gap in IMR between democratic and authoritarian countries.

Today, many researchers tend to believe that cross-country variation in the level of infant mortality can be explained by the quality of governance rather than the nature of the political regime. Having examined the theoretical arguments in favor of this conclusion, D.Rosenberg and A.Serova test this hypothesis on the extensive empirical data, developing and refining the previous studies along two directions. First, they include the factor of globalization as an additional mechanism that can potentially influence the level of infant mortality, thereby helping authoritarian countries catch up with democratic states. Second, they attempt to solve the problem of endogeneity i.e., to show the causal link between “good governance” and infant mortality. To assess the impact of “good governance” and globalization on infant mortality, they use a time-series cross-national regression analysis, and in order to prove the existence of causality they turn to an instrumental variable.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-175-187

Pages: 175-187

Roman Pyrma

Electoral Participation of Youth in the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Russia (Comparative Study)

Keywords: political behavior, electoral participation, democracy, youth, elections

The article is devoted to studying shifts in the electoral behavior of young people in the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. A comparative analysis of the indicators of youth participation in national elections in four “canonical” Western democracies and the Russian Federation refutes the conventional wisdom that the younger generation has lost their interest in the electoral process, demonstrating the failure of linear predictions of electoral participation based on trends of the previous electoral cycles.

The data presented in the article indicate that, contrary to the established stereotypes, today the rate of participation of young people in elections is increasing rather than decreasing. According to the author, this shows the flaw in the statement (which is widespread both in the Western and Russian scientific communities) about the erosion of traditional forms of political participation due to the change of generations and alteration in conditions of socialization. The growing popularity of alternative forms of political and civic activism among youth does not mean rejection of electoral procedures. Moreover, the electoral weight of young people is increasing, which makes it more relevant to study the behavior of youth in elections, in particular, applying the multivariate analysis.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-188-204

Pages: 188-204