Khenkin S. M.

Main Page ~ Authors ~ Khenkin S. M.
  • № 4, 2023

    • Latin America: Swings of Political Pendulum Iwanowski Z.W., ed. Latin America: Political Landscape in the Midst of Turbulence. Moscow: ILA RAS, 2022

      The left and right, democratic, hybrid, and authoritarian systems, consolidated and unconsolidated democracies, rising giant-states and underdeveloped economies coexist in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, which covers more than three dozen states that share common historical destiny, language, and religion. This makes the region a fertile ground for studying various types of regimes, political processes and alternative development paths in the modern world, as vividly demonstrated by the collective monograph “Latin America: Political Landscape in the Midst of Turbulence”, published at the end of 2022.

      Based on a thorough analysis of the situation in the region, the authors of the monograph show that political life in Latin America is characterized by instability and constant reshaping of the political landscape. The strengthening of the positions of right-wing forces replaced the left turn of the 2000s, and since the beginning of the 2020s, the continent has again drifted to the left. The authors pay special attention to the following factors of turbulence in the development of the region: a natural-resource-based economy in most Latin American countries, poor quality of governance, a decline in trust in political institutions caused by regular corruption scandals, the criminalization of society, the increase in drug trafficking and violence, and the inability of law enforcement agencies to ensure citizens’ safety. Several chapters of the monograph are devoted to the varieties of regimes of the “21st century socialism” that exist in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, as well as to the oldest socialist regime on the continent in Cuba.

      According to the reviewer’s conclusion, with the publication of this monograph the readers received valuable work that allows them to better comprehend the essence of the complex political processes that take place in Latin America today.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-111-4-190-198

      Pages: 190-198

  • № 3, 2022

    • New Forms of Employment and New Social Groups: Projection into Politics (Case of Spain)

      The post-industrial era that the modern world ushered in has radically changed the labor market structure. The share of population employed in primary (agriculture) and secondary (industry) economic sectors has noticeably decreased while the third (services) and fourth (education, science, and healthcare) sectors have gained significance and increased shares of employment. However, unlike the first sector and especially unlike the second sector, in which labor is almost always systemic, the third and fourth sectors possess a huge demand for unstable (flexible, unsustainable, atypical) forms of employment. Therefore, the social structure of the society has witnessed the emergence of a massive layer of population who is not permanently employed. This is the so-called precariat, deprived of stable social guaranties that the workers enjoyed in the industrial era. In this context the case of Spain is of interest, since it outpaces the majority of the European Union countries in terms of the share of atypical employment. The precarization in this country leaves a deep imprint on various spheres of the society, including the party-political system. Precariat demonstrates a whole gamut of reactions to the surrounding world — ranging from extreme apathy and alienation from the political system to different forms of activism. Nevertheless, the precariat is far from turning into the “class for itself”, as it does not have a specific political consciousness. Without making political demands and lacking organizations that promote their interests, the politically active precariat frequently uses new types of social movements organized by social networks in order to express its discontent. The Spanish experience demonstrates that, in general, unstable employment becomes a source of societal risks. The reduction of the scale of such employment is the imperative for that part of the ruling class that is seriously concerned with the nefarious implications of mass precarization.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-106-3-179-196

      Pages: 179-196