Abstracts 4, 2020

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Public onsciousness

O. Y. Malinova

Memory about the 1993 Crisis and Emergence of the Russian Constitution in the Political Discourse of 20002010s

Keywords: : collective memory, political narrative, 1993 political crisis, Constitution of the Russian Federation, communists, liberals

The article continues the project devoted to framing the memory of the “nineties” in the Russian political discourse. It examines one of the most dramatic moments in the history of the post-Soviet transformation — the political crisis of 1993, which resulted in adopting the Constitution that formally is still in use today. The author examines the process of framing the memory of the events of 1993, analyzing publications of the federal print media in the post-Yeltsin period. She focuses on three time periods that reflect different stages in the development of the Russian polity — the tenth, twentieth and twenty-fifth anniversaries of the crisis, which makes it possible to trace the evolution of the revealed narratives. The analysis shows a noticeable change in the official discourse when V.Putin became a President — the narratives proposed by B.Yeltsin about the victory of the reformers over the counter-reforms and the suppression of an armed rebellion / prevention of civil war were discarded, while the main attention shifted to the Constitution as a “historic choice of the Russian people”. At the same time, Putin uses the dramatic events of 1993 to emphasize the current “stability”, which is supposed to be the main achievement of his rule. The narratives articulated by the communists and other successors of the memory of the defenders of the White House have not undergone significant changes. The author explains it by the fact that for this ideological segment the events of 1993 represent a “myth of the foundation” of Putin’s regime. In liberal discourse, critical versions of the crisis narrative eventually trumped the apologetic ones. In recent years it has become especially clear that liberals and communists tend to converge on their interpretation of the consequences of the crisis (but not its causes or the assessments of the actors). However, the symbolic conflict that plays an essential role in constructing their political identities still remains.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-6-34

Pages: 6-34

Political Theories

A. R. Tretyak

Class Project of Multitude

Keywords: multitude, political philosophy, Antonio Negri, Baruch Spinoza, Empire, class

The concept “multitude”, popular in political philosophy, largely owes its entrance into the modern political vocabulary to the efforts of Antonio Negri, the Italian philosopher. His research from the 1980s and 1990s gave rise to a synthetic philosophical theory that views multitude as a key element in the political struggle of the left, thereby giving a theoretical impetus to a rebirth of the seemingly forgotten concepts of political philosophy. The article attempts to analyze the formation of the political logic of multitude and demonstrates how this phenomenon became part of the Marxist criticism of modern society. The first part of the article traces how the idea of multitude as a positive element of politics grows out of the materialist interpretation of Baruch Spinoza. According to the author, Negri by interpreting Spinoza as a “savage anomaly” laid a theoretical foundation for the entire modern discourse of multitude. The conceptualization of the differences between the notions of potentia and potestas made it possible to distinguish between multitude and the people. The people can be seen as an element of potestas — political power that mediates relations between people by introducing the principle of transcendence in the form of representation and the figure of a sovereign. In contrast to the people, multitude with its collective power-potentia embodies a collective plan of immanence that resists representation i.e., a subject of constituent power that does not need representation. The second part of the article is devoted to the analysis of the class approach to multitude, which appears in the works of Negri co-authored with Michael Hardt, where the ontology of multitude is transformed into a political project based on the understanding of class as a political subject that opposes the global capitalist world order.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-35-52

Pages: 35-52


D. V. Balashov

Limitarianism: Utopia or Real Alternative to the Existing World Order?

Keywords: limitarianism, theories of justice, egalitarianism, wealth, redistribution, utopia

The increasing wealth inequality is one of the main challenges of the 21st century. The gap between the poorest and the richest people on the planet is growing steadily. Obviously, such trend could not escape attention of social thinkers. One of the responses to the unfolding processes is the increasing popularity of the topic of the ethics of wealth. Within this framework the concept of limitarianism elaborated by Ingrid Robeyns, Professor at the University of Utrecht, is of particular interest.

Limitarianism, being a political and ethical doctrine, postulates the inadmissibility of possessing wealth in excess of a certain threshold. According to Robeyns, any material wealth that goes beyond what is necessary for a fulfilling life is both redundant and ethically unacceptable, and must be redistributed. Not surprisingly, such a radical idea has been met with a wave of a wellgrounded criticism.

The article examines the theoretical basis of limitarianism, analyzes the main arguments in favor and against this concept, and also attempts to answer the question about the possibility of practical implementation of Robeyns’ ideas. According to the author’s conclusion, limitarianism as a political concept has a number of serious flaws and bears a clear imprint of utopianism. However, since the concept has a very promising moral dimension, it would be wrong to write it off completely. Since limitarianism aims at the broad participation of individuals in the fate of other people and solution to the problems of humanity as a whole, it is able to gain wide public support, developing as a form of a personal ethics.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-53-67

Pages: 53-67

Paradigms of Public Development

D. A. Davydov

Revolution of Personality, or the Rise of Personaliat

Keywords: personality, personaliat, post-capitalism, social revolution, political elites, mode of production, social formation

The idea of the post-capitalist society has long been associated with the “grassroots” struggle of the exploited classes for a society that is free from all forms of domination and exploitation. D.Davydov does not consider this approach scientific and proposes one should change the lens of research and focus on what is happening at the level of the elites, where the new world is slowly maturing and new relationships are often intertwined with the old ones.

The article is devoted to the justification of the argument, according to which the development of the post-capitalist social relations has been going on for a relatively long time — as the rise of people who “possess a personality” (personaliat). The author demonstrates that the unfolding processes can be explained by the deep economic changes — the transformation of creativity into the predominant source of consumer values. The author elaborates the idea that the essence of the knowledge economy is not capitalist or even is anti-capitalist, but at the same time he suggests that it is the nature of social relations around creative activity that should be considered rather than creative activity per se. From his point of view, despite the fact that the consequences of such activities complicate the functioning of the capitalist economy, the demise of the old economy does not mean that somewhere beyond the horizon we will have a cloudless non-antagonistic future. It is much more relevant to view post-capitalist transformation as the gradual rise to dominance of those who possess power over public attention.

The author starts the article with a brief “history of personality” and after that demonstrates how the depersonalized world was gradually “colonized” by creative public figures. According to his conclusion, today we witness a large-scale transformation of the Political, which is associated with the trend that representatives of personaliat assumed roles of key actors in the political process. Power is transferred from those with money to those with personality. However, this shift in itself hardly guarantees the establishment of an egalitarian social order that has overcome all forms of alienation and inequality. Moreover, at the moment such prospect looks doubtful.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-68-89

Pages: 68-89


D. A. Tomiltseva, A. S. Zheleznov

Inevitable Third: Ethical and Political Aspects of Interactions with Artificial Agents

Keywords: artificial agent, artificial intelligence, morality, bias, responsibility, politics

Artificial agents i.e., man-made technical devices and software that are capable of taking meaningful actions and making independent decisions, permeate almost all spheres of human life today. Being new political actants, they transform the nature of human interactions, which gives rise to the problem of ethical and political regulation of their activities. Therefore, the appearance of such agents triggers a global philosophical reflection that goes beyond technical or practical issues and makes researchers return to the fundamental problems of ethics. The article identifies three main aspects that call for a philosophical understanding of the existence of artificial agents. First, artificial agents reveal the true contradiction between declared moral and political values and real social practices. Learning from the data on the assessments and conclusions that have already taken place, artificial agents make decisions that correspond to the prevailing behavioral patterns rather than the moral principles of their creators or consumers. Second, the specificity of the creation and functioning of artificial agents brings the problem of responsibility for their actions to the forefront, which, in turn, requires a new approach to the political regulation of the activities of not only developers, customers, and users, but also the agents themselves. Third, the current forms of the activity of artificial agents shift the traditional boundaries of the human and raise the question of redefining the humanitarian. Having carefully analyzed the selected aspects, the authors reveal their logic and outline the field for further discussion.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-90-107

Pages: 90-107

Russian Regions

L. E.Bliakher, A. V. Kovalevsky

What Was It? (Preliminary Reflection on Khabarovsk Rallies)

Keywords: political protest, Far East, Khabarovsk, political agency, regional identity

The Khabarovsk protest has been going on for months: first, it suddenly made headlines of the world media and then it was pushed to the periphery of the information space. The predictions about the protest fading away stubbornly refuse to come true. Maybe not tens of thousands as it was earlier, but thousands of city residents still take to the streets. Moreover, tension, uncertainty, and discontent persist in the air. Dozens of articles and many reports have been written about Khabarovsk, and even a full-length documentary has been released. Nevertheless, the question remains: why did the population of the city, who for decades preferred to distance themselves from any government’s initiatives, all of a sudden switched to a strategy of protest? What part of this situation is unique to Khabarovsk, and where do we observe more general patterns? This article is devoted to finding answers to these questions.

Having examined the main facets of the events unfolding in Khabarovsk, L.Bliakher and A.Kovalevsky come to the conclusion that these events are about the most important political phenomenon — the formation of the political agency of the population that for many years has been reduced to the position of an object. In the case of Khabarovsk, residents started to perceive themselves as a political agent after the 2018 protest voting. In this situation, people began to view the ex-governor of the Khabarovsk region not so much as a good — or not very good — leader, but rather as a symbol of acquiring political agency, which became a key element of regional identification, the formation of the local community. That is why his arrest was perceived by the residents of the region as a personal insult. And it is their identity that they defend on the streets of Khabarovsk.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-108-136

Pages: 108-136


R. S. Mukhametov

Kremlin and Governors Re-election: Support Factors

Keywords: federal relations, regional political process, gubernatorial elections, heads of regions, United Russia

Since the return of the direct elections of the heads of the Russian regions in 2012, the terms of service of 143 regional leaders have expired. 66 leaders received an extension, while 77 did not. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the heads of the regions, supported by the federal center and the president in particular, are re-elected. What motivates the federal center’s decisions to support the governor’s nomination for a new term? What are the reasons why the Kremlin approves the regional governors’ re-election? This article is devoted to finding answers to these questions.

The study uses data on 104 governors, whose terms of service ended in 2012—2019, and employs the method of a binary logistic regression. The author tested several hypotheses elaborated within the framework of the political, economic, and social approaches. On the basis of the regression analysis, the author rejected the hypothesis that the political survival of governors depends on the regional electoral performance of United Russia and Vladimir Putin in the federal elections. The hypothesis about the connection between the economic growth of the region and the governor’s retention of the post was not corroborated. The only factor that appeared to be statistically significant for the re-election of an incumbent was the socio-economic situation in the region, which indicates that the political longevity of regional leaders is primarily determined by their ability to maintain socio-economic stability

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-137-152

Pages: 137-152


V. D.Bederson, I. K.Shevtsova

Coalitions in Exchange for Loyalty? Relationships between Government and Construction Business in Large Russian Cities (Cases of Perm and Yekaterinburg)

Keywords: government, business, coalitions, local politics, growth machines, urban regime

The article is devoted to studying the political foundations of interaction between business and government in large cities. The authors study the construction sector in two Russian cities with a population over one million — Yekaterinburg and Perm — and show that political considerations play an important role even in those areas where the government’s position towards business, as it would seem, should be determined solely by economic factors.

Relationships between government and construction sector are usually viewed through the prism of coalitions when cooperation with developers is a priority and a winning strategy for the government. Thus, in the logic of the theory of “growth machines”, the mutual interest of the construction sector and the government is based on the mutual need for the development of the urban economy. However, the observed public conflicts between the government and large developers indicate that this logic has flaws and the government is guided not only by the economic interests when selecting coalition partners.

In the article, the authors employ the method of qualitative comparative analysis using data from Yekaterinburg and Perm and try to explain why, contrary to the expectations, the relationships between business and government can be uncooperative and conflicting. According to their hypothesis, the authoritarian context and the formation of the management vertical change stimuli and incentivize the government to prioritize political loyalty when dealing with business. Their research confirms that it is the demonstration of political loyalty, which signals consent to invest in maintaining a political regime, that allows businesses to avoid conflicts with the government. If there is no loyalty, one cannot guarantee the administration’s friendly attitude even if the business participates in implementing social projects. Moreover, in such circumstances, high business activity, especially in combination with the local registration, increases the likelihood of a conflict with the government.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-153-175

Pages: 153-175

Religion and Politics

A. E.Denisov

Religious Revival as Basis of the Modern Kryashen National Movement

Keywords: identity, Kryashens, nationalism, national movement, religious revival, Russian Orthodox Church, ethnopolitical mobilization

The article is devoted to the analysis of the role of the religious factor in the development of the sub-ethnic national movement studying the case of the Kryashens. The study is based on Jose Casanova’s concept of religious revival. Following Casanova, the author assumes that religious identity can become the basis of ethnic identity only if religion transforms from a state-oriented institution into an institution oriented towards society and actively participating in its improvement. At the same time, revealing the dynamic nature of the formation of the (sub)ethnic groups, the author relies on the ethnosymbolic concept of John Hutchinson, which focuses on the importance of the ethnically significant symbols. In the case of the Kryashens a religious marker represents such a symbol.

The article examines in detail two stages of the Kryashens’ religious revival. The first stage occurred in the second half of the 19th century and was associated primarily with the missionary activity of Nikolay Ilminsky. The second stage started in 1989 and continues today. The research carried out by the author lends unequivocal support to the idea that religion played a key role in the formation of an original Kryashen ethno-cultural identity. At the same time, it shows that within Kryashens’ religiosity the vector is directed from society to religion rather than from religion to society. Their religious identity is instrumental. However, although there are very few ultra-religious people in the Kryashen community and most of the Kryashens are secularized, religion remains one of the most important markers of their ethnic identity.

DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-176-191

Pages: 176-191