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Since 2012, with a view to strengthen the development of strategically important regions, Russia has established several federal agencies responsible for these territories. The essay investigates one of these agencies: the Ministry for the Development of the Far East (Ministerstvo Rossiiskoi Federatsii po razvitiyu Dal’nego Vostoka). We identify two main trade-offs associated with the governance approach used in Russia—between federal power and local knowledge, and between bureaucratic expertise and novel ideas—and examine how the ministry has dealt with these trade-offs and their consequences for the ministry’s performance.
As evidenced by the 2016 US presidential election, conspiracy theories, such as birtherism, the belief that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen, have become more impactful on modern-day liberal democracies. This study investigates the consequences of the conspiratorial narratives espoused by populist candidates, arguing that the creation of a narrative involving a “conspiring” establishment figure can positively benefit populist candidates during elections by allowing them to position themselves as defenders of “the people”. Taking the case of Donald Trump and the birther conspiracy theory, empirical testing indicates that by helping to spread birtherism, Donald Trump was able to create for himself a core group of supporters who turned out to vote for him in both the Republican primaries and general election. Moreover, when tests are performed to investigate whether this was a consequence of rallying a right-wing base or mainstreaming the fringe conspiracy theory, significant positive relationships are demonstrated not with more conservative birthers, but instead with the more moderate ones, testifying to the strength of the mainstreaming effect.
Restricted access to data hampers trust in research. Access to data underpinning study findings is imperative to check and confirm the findings claimed. It is even more serious if there are apparent errors and numerical inconsistencies in the statistics and results presented. Regrettably, this seems to be what is happening in the case of the Sputnik V phase 3 trial.
The deployment of the resilient city concept remains divided between those who see resilience as a set of (bottom-up) enabling capacities, and those who accuse it of (top- down) post-political tendencies that normalize the status quo and cast off the vulnerable. This paper offers a conceptual framework that overcomes this binary. We argue that a critical and trans-historical deployment of resilience to the actually-existing conditions of urban crisis can re-politicize the very conditions necessitating cities to be resilient. Politicizing the lived experiences of resilience draws attention to the relationality and agency of resilience: how resilience is constructed, negotiated and resourced, at which temporal and spatial scales, and with what political antecedents, consequences and power struggles. The paper considers the lived politics of the resilient city juxtaposed across two purposefully disparate case studies: Leningrad during the 872-day siege in 1941-1944, and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This unorthodox comparison both transgresses clear-cut ideological and epistemological conventions and develops a complex picture of how resilience unfolds in reality. These tragic events show a range of conditions that incorporated state-imposed cast-off top-down resilience and, in response, individual and community-led bottom-up resilience. We demonstrate the pre-eminent role of the state in how both disaster and resilience are constructed and (mis)managed, but also how cast-off resilience compels citizens and communities to activate mechanisms for negotiating disaster and recovery, generating a co-constituted resilience of cities and individuals.
The research note focuses on the issues of eating behaviour of young people in Arkhangelsk. The authors analyze the dynamics of general indicators of morbidity and mortality from diseases of the digestive system in the regions of the Arctic zone and substantiate the relevance of nutrition studies in these regions. Based on the results of the survey conducted in 2018 at schools, colleges and universities in Arkhangelsk, the authors show that a significant part of the youth have irregular eating habits and characterise the structure of their own nutrition as unsatisfactory. University students show a greater commitment to balanced nutrition than college students, but it is college and university students that disregard frequency of nutrition, which can be a consequence of inadequate catering arrangement and its affordability at local schools.
Estimates of the gross urban product (GUP), GUP per capita and GUP growth rates are compared with the level and evolution of gross domestic product (GDP) and gross regional product (GRP) to examine relationships between the structure of urban economies and economic development. Agglomeration economies are manifested in the largest capital cities of Russian regions, but the benefits differ significantly between capital cities since they depend on economic structure and efficiency. A test of the hypothesis that housing construction is a driver of the economic growth of capital city economies was rejected because no causal relationship was found between housing construction and GUP in most of the cities.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after the Arab Spring, monarchy has turned out
to be a far stronger negative predictor of destabilization than it was before 2011. For the MENA, the
period after 2010 can be subdivided into three periods: a mass protests period (2011–2012), the period
of explosive growth of radical Islamist activities (2013–2016), and the second mass protest period (since
2016). Our analysis demonstrates that monarchies’ stabilization capacity was preserved in 2011–2012 and
grew substantially during 2013–2016, as MENA monarchies turned out to be more resilient in the face of
the outbreak of radical Islamism in the region.
Models for converting expert-coded data to estimates of latent concepts assume different data-generating processes (DGPs). In this paper, we simulate ecologically valid data according to different assumptions, and examine the degree to which common methods for aggregating expert-coded data (1) recover true values and (2) construct appropriate coverage intervals. We find that the mean and both hierarchical Aldrich–McKelvey (A–M) scaling and hierarchical item-response theory (IRT) models perform similarly when expert error is low; the hierarchical latent variable models (A-M and IRT) outperform the mean when expert error is high. Hierarchical A–M and IRT models generally perform similarly, although IRT models are often more likely to include true values within their coverage intervals. The median and non-hierarchical latent variable models perform poorly under most assumed DGPs.
Research background: Ethnic identity development, while universal, is also recognized as an especially important prerequisite for economic and social life among indigenous populations [1, 2]. Global transformations such as technology, industrialization, global warming and political and economic forces are impacting positive ethnic identity development in indigenous populations around the world. Purpose of the article: The purpose of this study is to examine gender differences in ethnic identity erosion in the adolescent indigenous Nenets population of the Russian Siberian Arctic Region. Methods: The study sample included 78 children in boarding schools from the northern area of Western Siberia. To define ethnic identity, the "Types of Ethnic Identity" questionnaire  was used. Findings & Value added: The study results show that across 8th-9th grade as well as 10-11 grade Nenets adolescent boys perceive their ethnic identity positively. However, the same indicators show girls do not view their ethnic identity as positively. There are also several other interesting gender differences that emerge between the students in each grade. This may be the result of specific gender differences in perceptions about the economic and social realities of tundra life, the position of women in traditional societies as well as the impact of global transformations on indigenous populations overall.
Voluntary assessments by a team of critical friends (external peer challenges) among local governments became established as popular complement to compulsory and centralized audits and inspections. This study empirically investigates the decision of English local authorities to have a voluntary peer challenge or not by taking advantage of an original dataset about participation in the Local Government Association’s Peer Challenge Programme (CPC) 2010-2015. We find that the LGA’s CPC programme does not carry a risk of leaving behind authorities with performance shortcomings. Councils with poor past performance scores and those with excellent ones do not differ in their tendency to invite a team of critical friends. Spatial clusters exist in the case of small district councils but not in the case of larger unitary authorities, London boroughs and metropolitan authorities. This implies that the corporate peer challenge process seems to be more suited to small authorities delivering community based services.
This essay examines the policy response of the federal and regional governments in federations to the COVID-19 crisis. We theorize that the COVID-19 policy response in federations is an outcome of strategic interaction among the federal and regional incumbents in the shadow of their varying accountability for health and the repercussions from the disruptive consequences of public health measures. Using the data from the COVID-19 Public Health Protective Policy Index Project, we study how the variables suggested by our theory correlate with the overall stringency of public health measures in federations as well as the contribution of the federal government to the making of these policies. Our results suggest that the public health measures taken in federations are at least as stringent as those in non-federations, and there is a cluster of federations on which a bulk of crisis policy making is carried by subnational governments. We find that the contribution of the federal government is, on average, higher in parliamentary systems; it appears to decline with the proximity of the next election in presidential republics, and to increase with the fragmentation of the legislative party system in parliamentary systems. Our analysis also suggests that when the federal government carries a significant share of responsibility for healthcare provision, it also tends to play a higher role in taking non-medical steps in response to the pandemic.
The current study investigates the effect that formal education, as a factor of socio-economic development, have on the intensity and forms of political protest. By way of increased socialization of democratic values, increased cognitive understanding of the society at large, and human capital to participate in protests, increases in a country's level of formal education should theoretically lead to increased levels of peaceful protest. On the other hand, increases in formal education are also theorized to play a mitigating role on the intensity of violent protests (riots) for the previously mentioned reasons as well as the fact that education acts as a strong factor in increasing social mobility. With data from 1960 to 2010 and spanning 216 countries,
This paper investigates the links between investment activity and personal contacts for small and medium-sized firms with public officials at the sub-national level in Russia. A list-experiment design, using a survey of 21,000 Russian firms in 2017, was used to evaluate the importance of personal connections with officials for conducting business. A total of 27% of firms without investment and 37% with investment considered personal connections with officials an important factor for doing business. The importance of such contacts was lower in regions with a better investment climate. However, a higher proportion of firms were likely to invest in the regions where higher importance was placed on political connections. Therefore, in Russia in the mid-2010s, investment from politically connected firms did not crowd out investment from other firms. Although the available data did not allow causality to be defined, the research shows that political connections are important for investors in emerging markets and that the importance of political connections diminishes with improvement in the business climate. This paper provides a quantitative estimate of the relationship between political connections and firm investment in Russia, an example of large emerging economy. This relationship is moderated by institutional quality at the subnational level. The results provide empirical support for the theory of limited access orders elaborated by North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009), and stress the importance of rents and their productive utilization for the development of emerging economies.
A high level of corruption usually constrains economic development in emerging countries. However, anti-corruption campaigns often fail because the relevant policies need to be implemented by existing corrupt governments. This article studies the extent of bureaucrats’ heterogeneity in attitude to the problem of corruption. Due to the sensitivity of direct questions on corruption, we conduct the list experiment among public procurement officials in Russia. We show that female bureaucrats consider corruption an obstacle to public procurement development, and find no such evidence for male bureaucrats. This heterogeneity holds even at the high-level occupied positions. Although the negative attitude to corruption does not necessarily imply the anti-corruption activity by women, recognition of the problem seems to be a prerequisite for supporting an anti-corruption policy.
Hearing loss affects access to spoken language, which can affect cognition and development, and can negatively affect social wellbeing. We present updated estimates from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study on the prevalence of hearing loss in 2019, as well as the condition's associated disability.
We did systematic reviews of population-representative surveys on hearing loss prevalence from 1990 to 2019. We fitted nested meta-regression models for severity-specific prevalence, accounting for hearing aid coverage, cause, and the presence of tinnitus. We also forecasted the prevalence of hearing loss until 2050.
An estimated 1·57 billion (95% uncertainty interval 1·51–1·64) people globally had hearing loss in 2019, accounting for one in five people (20·3% [19·5–21·1]). Of these, 403·3 million (357·3–449·5) people had hearing loss that was moderate or higher in severity after adjusting for hearing aid use, and 430·4 million (381·7–479·6) without adjustment. The largest number of people with moderate-to-complete hearing loss resided in the Western Pacific region (127·1 million people [112·3–142·6]). Of all people with a hearing impairment, 62·1% (60·2–63·9) were older than 50 years. The Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index explained 65·8% of the variation in national age-standardised rates of years lived with disability, because countries with a low HAQ Index had higher rates of years lived with disability. By 2050, a projected 2·45 billion (2·35–2·56) people will have hearing loss, a 56·1% (47·3–65·2) increase from 2019, despite stable age-standardised prevalence.
As populations age, the number of people with hearing loss will increase. Interventions such as childhood screening, hearing aids, effective management of otitis media and meningitis, and cochlear implants have the potential to ameliorate this burden. Because the burden of moderate-to-complete hearing loss is concentrated in countries with low health-care quality and access, stronger health-care provision mechanisms are needed to reduce the burden of unaddressed hearing loss in these settings.
We revisit and empirically evaluate crucial yet under-examined arguments articulated in “God Gave Physics the Easy Problems” (2000), the authors of which emphasized that in IR predictions predominant nomothetic approaches should be supplemented with concrete scenario thinking. We test whether the IR predictive toolkit is in fact dominated by nomothetic generalizations and, more broadly, map the methodological profile of this sub-field. We build on the TRIP database, supplementing it with extensive original coding to operationalize the nuances of predictive research. In particular, we differentiate between nomoscopic predictions (predictive generalizations) and idioscopic predictions (predictions for concrete situations), showing that this distinction is not reducible to other methodological cleavages. We find that even though in contemporary IR increasing numbers of articles seek to provide predictions, they consistently avoid predictions about concrete situations. The proportion of idioscopic predictions is stably small, with an even smaller proportion of predictions that develop concrete narratives or specify any determinate time period. Furthermore, those idioscopic studies are mostly limited to a niche with specialized themes and aims. Thus, our research shows that the critical claims from 20 years ago are still relevant for contemporary IR, as the “difficult problem” of developing predictive scenarios is still consistently overlooked in favor of other objectives. Ultimately, the types of predictions that IR scholars develop depend on their specific aims and constraints, but the discipline-wide result is a situation in which international studies’ ambition to provide predictions grows, but they tend to reproduce the same limitations as they did in 2000.
This article explores how the concept of democracy is constructed, conveyed, and instrumentalised in the discourses of the populist radical right in the current EU context. The comparative analysis of the speeches of the leaders of two dissimilar PRR parties in government (Polish Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) and in opposition (French Rassemblement National) in the run-up to the 2019 European elections using tools of the discourse-historical and discourse-conceptual approaches to CDS highlights the common core of the PRR interpretations of democracy, influenced by the shared axiological, institutional, and discursive framework of the EU. It shows that in the EU the PRR constructs the concept of democracy as an ideological complex, by diluting its essentially populist interpretation of democracy with liberal democratic elements. Only by advancing nativist and authoritarian interpretations of the people, does the PRR bring the concept of democracy in line with its ideological core of nativism, authoritarianism, and populism.
This book analyses the threats to academic freedom in the twenty-first century across the globe, and the various ways to face them.