¹ 2, 2015
The article is devoted to the analysis of the hypothesis proposed by V.Gel'man, according to which the post-Soviet Russia should be viewed as an “crucial case” of electoral authoritarianism that sheds light on the origins of the strength and weakness of this model in a comparative perspective. Having thoroughly analyzed Gel'man’s arguments in the context of the Russian political history of the last two and a half decades, L.Polyakov failed to find convincing evidence of either this hypothesis or even justification of classifying the country's political regime into the category of “electoral authoritarianism” per se. The research conducted by the author rather demonstrates the uniqueness of the Russian “authoritarianism” and that the conventional methods of description within the modern Western comparative politics fail to capture its specificity.
¹ 4, 2014
Assessing the work under review as a milestone for the problematic sphere of ideology studies in the national political science, L.Polyakov expresses his view that from now on no study of ideology published in Russian that fails to advance this topic above the bar set by G.Musikhin can be qualified as properly scientific. According to the reviewer, within the metaphorical domain “ideologiya.ru”, Musikhin's book has all the attributes that can be conveyed by the term benchmarking. However, he by no means thinks that the author “ended the discussion”. On the contrary, from his point of view, the author in some sense “opened the discussion”. Focusing on the already invented “wheels”, “deliciously” described by Musikhin, one can and should go further – especially in the direction of the applied analysis of contemporary Russian ideologies.
¹ 2, 2013
In his review of the monograph L.Polyakov attributes its most important advantages to the fact that the authors avoided following the beaten path where the discussion (and often – criticism) of the current Constitution serves as a mere pretext to promote one’s own constitutional project. According to Polyakov, the rigorous analytical work that the authors performed in order to identify the “spirit and letter” of the current Constitution and compare them with the political practice of the past two decades is invaluable for all contributing authors followed a unified research scheme, the logic of which is sufficiently clear and transparent (although sometimes controversial).
¹ 4, 2012
Having stated that authentic history of the Russian conservatism in all of its important aspects has not been restored yet, L.Polyakov concentrates his efforts on solving two tasks: testing to what extent the view that the modern Russian conservatism is rested not only upon the Soviet and emigrant conservative “underground”, but also on the rich conservative tradition of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century is adequate, and inventorying cognitive tools that help us to research, describe and classify the very phenomenon that is termed as “conservatism”.
¹ 4, 2011
The article is devoted to the analysis of those problems that the Russian researchers face when considering the link between “identity” and “modernization”. L.Polyakov demonstrates how the status of identity crisis was transformed from being a mere “instrument” into the key actor of modernization. Modernization is declared impossible since the existing regime rests upon the identity that is both anti-modernizing and in principle cannot be modernized with the change of the latter being in its turn connected to modernization. According to Polyakov, a solution to the vicious circle that emerged as a result of the above mentioned situation can be found in the nontrivial theory elaborated by A.Aksherov that treats Modern and modernization in Habermas’ style of “unfinished project” rather than entrenched and unshakable forms that require imitation. It is this setting that opens a prospect for the Russian mass production of theoretical variants for defining national identity through modernization.
¹ 3, 2011
Pointing out that the book under review can and should become one of the most important milestones in the eternal history of the national self-cognition – at least because it pretends to cut this “dull” infinity and finally solve the puzzle of the “mysterious Russian soul” – L.Polyakov concentrates his attention on the uncontrollable associations that it spurs. The author comes to the conclusion that methodology declared by the authors carries several contradictions that are still unresolved, which turns the book into the almost independent “third” player throwing doubts on something that seemed to have been fully comprehended.
¹ 1, 2009
50 years ago I.Berlin wrote his famous essay on two understandings of freedom. Since then the division of freedom on “negative” (“freedom from…”) and “positive” (“freedom to…”) ones turned into nearly a canon or even a truism of political and philosophic discourse and, as it usually happens with self-evident truth, it is the evident in it that not only ceased to be seen as true, but ceased to be seen at all. Thinking over the reasons that induced Berlin to introduce and thoroughly reflect upon the dualistic understanding of such crucial category as “freedom”, L.Polyakov turns to the roots of Berlin’s analysis and finds there, apart from T.Hobbes and other classics of neo-European philosophy, I.Bakunin and A.Gertsen who thought and reasoned within a different paradigm, that is within the paradigm of the “Russian mentality” as a culturally determined way to think the “unthinkable”.
¹ 3, 2004
According to the authors, Russia again found itself trapped by the territorial approach both to foreign and domestic policy. And under the conditions of global information, financial and human flows the direct territorial control does not any more work.
In particular, K. Truevtsev writes about possible ways to political legal integration between Russia and such countries as Ukraine and Kazakhstan. One of the ways could be the formation of national parties in these countries. These are the parties, which act as the core of the integration in the European Union.
The article gives the four hypothetical scenarios of the development of events in the post-soviet territory.
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