N. N.Gudalov

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  • № 2, 2022

    • Three Faces of Leviathan: Rationality, Institutions, Ideas Koktysh К.Е. The Discourse of Rationalism, Freedom and Democracy. Мoscow: MGIMO-University, 2021 _

      The monograph written by Kirill Koktysh is devoted to the issues of constructing languages of Political Science. These languages are diverse, but the author analyzes them through three basic concepts — rationalism, institutions and ideas. Masterfully combining a limited number of concepts, he builds a large-scale construction, showing in detail how one can study languages for describing politics.

      According to Koktysh, the rational is constructed by specific institutions. He identifies three institutions that go back to the three functions of the Indo-European gods, highlighted by Georges Dumézil. These institutions correspond to the three functions of politics — “leader” (makes decisions), “priest” (forms and maintains norms) and “merchant” (is engaged in economic reproduction). These institutions seek to extend their rationality to the society at large, using for this purpose three “big ideas” — order, justice, and freedom. According to the author’s conclusion, the institutions of the leader and the priest form the basis of stable social conditions — “political architectures”, and it is the relations between them that determine the specifics of such “architectures”. At the same time, the book pays attention not only to statics, but also to dynamics. The cognitive-structural method used by the author allows him to explore the transformations of the societies through the analysis of changes in rationalism, institutions and ideas.

      Koktysh’s book is valuable not only due to the novelty of its research question and fundamental nature, but also because it outlines important directions for further discussion. One of these directions concerns the popular criticism of the Enlightenment, with which the author agrees, as well as the justification for reducing rationality to mere derivatives of certain social contexts. Another direction for a discussion is about the evaluation of the Anglo-American model of democracy, which is denied the ability to produce generally valid meanings. In many ways, this book per se represents a significant contribution to a rational discussion of politics, convincingly demonstrating how complex and elusive the concepts of Political Science are.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-105-2-191-201

      Pages: 191-201