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No one today argues that "Academic freedom is […] the price the public must pay in return for the social good of advancing knowledge."1 Experts seem to agree that knowledge is a value; the development and gain of knowledge through science and education is the goal to which people from all over the world aspire, no matter the political regime, culture, or religion to which they belong. However, a number of questions remain open:
• Is academic freedom understood similarly by the elite and by ordinary members of the academic profession?
• Does national political rhetoric influence academics' understanding of the basic principles of academic freedom and how these principles can be used in practice?
• What are the boundaries of academic freedom?
• Are academic freedom and free speech rights coextensive or not? These questions are discussed in this special issue, which is dedicated to academic rights and freedom in Russian academia.
A discussion of academic freedom in Russia is long overdue, as one of the authors of this issue noted with sadness. Very little research has been conducted in this field over the past quarter-century2 and the topic has been developing very slowly. Meanwhile, the V-Dem project has found that academic freedom in Russia has been declining steadily since 2007.
This special issue is the first collection to assess the status of academic rights and freedoms in Russia today and to discuss the potential risks thereof. The scholars explore how academic freedom is being understood and implemented in the specific context of the ongoing authoritarian modernization of Russian academia, which has seen an increase in managerialism in parallel with the "conservative turn" of Russia's foreign and domestic policy.
This article seeks to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of the nationwide protests that appeared in Russia as a result of the large-scale political campaigns of 2017–18. On the basis of an original database devoted to six protests, organized in this period by different anti-systemic opposition leaders and organizations, the study explores the turnout and geographic scope of these events and the repertoire of frames that were used to mobilize the protesters. The analysis contrasts three types of frames (an anti-corruption protest frame, election campaign event frame, and anti-systemic protest frame) and demonstrates that appropriate framing was a necessary condition of successful protest mobilization. In combination with other factors, such as the quality of protest organization and the impact of repressive actions of the authorities, the changes of protest frames contributed to the protests’ turnout dynamics. Alexei Navalny, the most popular anti-systemic leader, succeeded in organizing the initial mobilization by framing it as an anti-corruption protest, but then, under increasing repression, the opposition failed to convert this dissent into a longer-term campaign with broader electoral or anti-systemic frames.
Ghanaian civil service is a classic example of a “gender pyramid” where top positions tend to be occupied by men, while women (more than 50%) face gender discrimination. Gender stereotypes about women are a major barrier to women’s career advancement in Ghanaian civil service. Based on a series of in-depth interviews with women in the Ghanaian public authorities, we identified the main problems women face in the Ghanaian civil service, such as patriarchal practices, gender discrimination, and harassment, including sexual harassment. Our study aims to show the practitioners why it is hardly possible to call public service a “comfortable job” for women in Ghana
Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews with social scientists and university professors conducted in spring 2020, we explore how Russian social scientists assess and interpret academic freedom, with a particular focus on freedom of academic expression inside and outside universities. We find that while Russian social scientists generally agree about the state of academic freedom within the university, there is a considerable divide over where to draw the line between freedom of academic expression and freedom of speech. The social model is characteristic primarily of politically and socially active scholars, while the traditional understanding of academic freedom is more typical of representatives of university management. This discrepancy has set the stage for severe conflicts that have resulted in the dismissal from universities of politically and socially active professors and students.
The EQ–5D survey instrument is routinely applied to general and patient specific populations in many countries, as a means of measuring Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) and/or informing Health Technology Assessment. The instrument is the subject of growing interest in the Russian Federation, as too is Health Technology Assessment. This research is the first to systematically present the EQ–5D–3L nationally representative population norms and to examine the socioeconomic and socio-demographic characteristics of the instrument among a representative sample of the Russian population.
Based on a nationally representative health and well-being survey of the Russian population, conducted in November 2017, we establish the descriptive results, including the EQ-VAS and the EQ-5D Index, by age and gender, examine the correspondence between the EQ–5D health classifications and the separate EQ-VAS scores, and draw on a set of augmented logistic regressions to evaluate the association between the presence of problems in each dimension and various socio-economic and health-related characteristics.
We find strong evidence that the EQ-5D instrument is sensitive to underlying observed and latent health experiences, that it mirrors many of the characteristics familiar from other settings but that there are Russian specificities which merit further research, particularly with respect to the anxiety/depression dimension of the instrument.
This research represents an important landmark for HRQOL studies in Russia as well as for the prospects of continuing to develop the scholarly and practical infrastructure necessary for Russian Health Technology Assessment to advance.
The Report «Russians’ Helping Behavior During the COVID-19 Crisis» was prepared within the framework of the comparative international project «Global Generosity in times of crisis» (https://www.globalgenerosityresearch.com/reports/) led by Professor Pamala Wiepking from the Indiana University in the United States. The goal of the project a comparative research of the pandemic effect on charity and altruistic behavior, in general, in over 20 countries of the world, ranging from South Korea and Australia to Israel and Canada. As part of the Global Project, the Center for Studies of the Nonprofit Sector and Civil Society at the National Research University Higher School of Economics held a sociological survey (August 2020) to understand how Russians’ generosity behaviors manifested and changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data indicated that a variety of helping behaviors was typical for Russians during the pandemic. Overall 98 percent of Russian citizens engaged in some or other form of helping behavior. About three-thirds of Russians (77%) observed social distancing or self-isolation. Over one-third of Russians (39%) helped strangers and another one-third (34%) made charitable donations, every fifth citizen donated goods of foodstuffs to the needy through an organization. According to the data, the pandemic did not make any significant changes in increasing or reducing the number of formal volunteers. However, a new cohort of active volunteers, which can be called «volunteers 2020» has been emerging since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis. This cohort includes people aged from 31 to 40 years of age with a relatively high education level, lively online and offline communication and mostly have no critical financial problems.
Objectives To use data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2019 (GBD 2019) to estimate mortality and disability trends for the population aged ≥70 and evaluate patterns in causes of death, disability, and risk factors.Design Systematic analysis.Setting Participants were aged ≥70 from 204 countries and territories, 1990-2019.Main outcomes measures Years of life lost, years lived with disability, disability adjusted life years, life expectancy at age 70 (LE-70), healthy life expectancy at age 70 (HALE-70), proportion of years in ill health at age 70 (PYIH-70), risk factors, and data coverage index were estimated based on standardised GBD methods.Results Globally the population of older adults has increased since 1990 and all cause death rates have decreased for men and women. However, mortality rates due to falls increased between 1990 and 2019. The probability of death among people aged 70-90 decreased, mainly because of reductions in non-communicable diseases. Globally disability burden was largely driven by functional decline, vision and hearing loss, and symptoms of pain. LE-70 and HALE-70 showed continuous increases since 1990 globally, with certain regional disparities. Globally higher LE-70 resulted in higher HALE-70 and slightly increased PYIH-70. Sociodemographic and healthcare access and quality indices were positively correlated with HALE-70 and LE-70. For high exposure risk factors, data coverage was moderate, while limited data were available for various dietary, environmental or occupational, and metabolic risks.Conclusions Life expectancy at age 70 has continued to rise globally, mostly because of decreases in chronic diseases. Adults aged ≥70 living in high income countries and regions with better healthcare access and quality were found to experience the highest life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. Disability burden, however, remained constant, suggesting the need to enhance public health and intervention programmes to improve wellbeing among older adults.Data of the GBD study are publicly available at https://www.healthdata.org/results/data-visualizations.
Government as a Platform (GaaP) has been advocated in multiple countries, and most research has concentrated on collaboration at the national level. In the Russian Federation, universal participation of regional and municipal authorities on the public services platform Gosuslugi.ru. is a priority intended to address regional disparities as well as greater efficiency. Russia serves as a case study to explore the extent to which it possible to use platforms for intergovernmental management - to effectively integrate all regions on a single platform, despite wide differences in capabilities and needs. We examine the case of Gosuslugi.ru through the technology enactment framework (Fountain, 2001). While the literature on platforms emphasizes loose coordination or orchestration, the technology enactment framework suggests that in systems with a high degree of centralization, such as Russia, platforms will be more centralized and top-down. We show the problems a highly centralized approach creates for implementation in the context of wide disparities, but the modularity and adaptability of platforms may also allow for more decentralization through choice and varied levels of participation. An open question is whether such flexibility will be allowed going forward. The technology enactment framework has been used primarily to analyze microlevel behavior within organizations. Considering macro-level institutions such as federalism can enhance use of the technology enactment framework across countries, and this case may have implications for intergovernmental participation on platforms in other nations.
THIS BOOK WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT GENerous and priceless assistance from many people and institutions to whom we would like to express our gratitude. First and foremost, we thank the Gerda Henkel Foundation for supporting the workshop “A Century of Information Operations: From Crewe House to Twitter” that launched this project. Thanks are also due to the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) at King’s College London for hosting the workshop, and the Centre of Military and Political Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations for assisting in its organization. We are especially grateful to Neville Bolt, director of KCSC, whose help and support encouraged us to carry on with this project, and to Marie-Claire Antoine of Lynne Rienner Publishers for her continuous support and for believing in us and this book from the beginning. We would also like to express our gratitude to David SimanTov at the Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University, whose help in the final stages of the project was especially beneficial. Finally, we acknowledge the authors of the chapters for their encouragement, patience, and commitment.Since antiquity, information has been used in conflict—to deceive, to demoralize, to sow fear among enemy troops. Not until the twentieth century, though, did information operations become so central to war. In Info Ops, the authors assess the evolving role and increasing relevance of information operations from the leaflet bombardments of World War I to the present digital age.
The article presents the results of discourse analysis where authors define how media identity influences character and quality of online discussions on actual socio-political themes. The research is carried out in terms of theory of J. Habermas and methodology of Misnikov who develops the conception of German philosopher. The empirical data comprises Russian and American cases: A. Navalny’s court sentence and D. Trump’s second impeachment are analyzed. Russian media platforms are divided by political affiliation into independent, pro-state and neutral while American ones are represented by democratic, republican and central media sources. The authors use such parameters of deliberative standard to assess quality and character of online deliberation as distribution of positions, argumentation, culture of communication, interactivity and dialogicity. As a result, investigators come to conclusion that media type has an impact on the way opinions are polarized in online discussions; quality and amount of argumentation; communication culture towards object of discussion and participants of interaction both in Russian and American political e-discourse.
This article follows the transformations of the official narrative about Russia’s post-Soviet transition over 20 years of Putin’s stay in power. To detect how the gradual evolution of political regime toward authoritarianism was legitimized, it focuses on comparison of concise narratives articulated in the Presidential Addresses to the Federal Assembly between 2000 and 2020. The method of research is computer-assisted qualitative content analysis. The article reveals how the declared stages of modern Russia’s development correlated with the evolving representations of the West. The initial goals of establishing democracy, the market economy, and the rule of law over time were either reinterpreted or dissolved into minor practical tasks. The most often articulated policy goal was raising the people’s living standards, which was narrated as overcoming the trauma of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the hard 1990s. In the Addresses, Russia became represented as a country that completed its transition between 2012 and 2018, with restoring its international positions and military strength, as well as resources for better social welfare. The “democratic society” was declared to be instituted; however, this term was associated with formal elections and facilitating civic participation, not with the alternation and accountability of power
Abstract: The article introduces the concept of logonomic sign as an elaboration on Hodge and Kress’s promising yet under-examined ideas about logonomic systems. Logonomic signs are defined as socially devised signs that constrain multimodal semiosis by restricting who is able to produce what signs under what circumstances. Based on the Peircean categories, the functioning of logonomic signs is modeled as a three-phase process of (1) logonomic understanding (production of the meaning that is the Initial Interpretant of a logonomic sign), (2) logonomic actualization (production of the actual semiotic event that is the Dynamical Interpretant of a logonomic sign), and (3) logonomic reproduction ((re)production of the semiotic Habit that is the Final Interpretant of a logonomic sign). Based on Kull’s theory of evolution of semiotic systems, logonomic signs are theorized as mechanisms of retention and standardization of semiotic Habits. The mechanism of reproduction of logonomic signs is modeled as a sign in which past logonomic semioses function as Objects by being iconically represented by similar current logonomic semioses functioning as Representamens, and in which future logonomic semioses are produced as Interpretants. The methodological potential of the proposed concept is discussed in the context of the integrative transdisciplinary capacity of semiotics in social research.
Automated social media accounts, a.k.a. social media bots, have been gaining increasing interest among scholars studying human online behavior in recent years. Despite the abundant literature on bots, their substantive effects remain understudied. This paper bridges the existing gap by developing a realistic computational model of human interactions on Twitter, a popular social media platform, that includes leaders, ordinary users, and bots attached to leaders. First, we employ this model to study the effects of bots with different functions on promoting their leader by gaining them extra followers or retweets. Second, we explore the effects of bots on promoting their leader’s cause through increasing the volume of tweets with the leader’s ideology. We show that bots can be detrimental to the leaders’ personal popularity, whereas the effect on cause promotion depends on the distribution of bots among leaders. These results can be used for developing suitable research designs for further empirical estimation of the effects of bots.
This paper presents a public procurement transaction cost evaluation using a large-scale survey of procurers and suppliers. The study was conducted in Russia in 2017. The results of the survey confirmed that the lower the contract value, the more expensive the procurement procedure. An empirical analysis of factors impacting public procurement cost evaluation also revealed considerable differences between respondents with and without experience in complex procurement procedures. The paper makes an important contribution to the academic literature by elaborating a new approach to public procurement cost evaluation, as well as providing an empirical evaluation of direct transaction costs of public procurement.
The survey-based approach to the evaluation of public procurement costs described in this paper can be used by other countries and regions. Although the average overall transaction costs for public procurements in the case study country amounted to about 1% of the total value of concluded contracts, this figure was 6.6% to 8.1% for small purchases. This figure exceeds the budget saving from competitive procurement and calls for a need to simplify regulations around smaller procurements. This analysis of the procurement costs on Russian data will allow other developing countries to avoid the mistakes made in Russia, as well providing a way to realistically and affordably measure their procurement transaction costs.
In this article, we are concerned with the recruitment potential of one-off episodic events for attracting and retaining volunteers. Our specific focus is on the neglected pool of non-returning volunteers. These are one-off event participants who are unwilling to volunteer again in future. Many studies generally document an overwhelming willingness of people to repeat volunteering after participating in a one-off event, either due to reasons of social desirability or because they had a good volunteering experience. The positive participant reaction at most one-off events leads to the assumption that such events are useful arenas in which to generate a pool of potential repeat volunteers. Yet, scant attention is given to those people at the events who have no inclination for further volunteering. This article addresses that gap. It is part of a special issue on episodic volunteering from an international perspective and uses data from nineteen countries across the world. Our statistical analyses, which compares returning and non-returning volunteers, finds that on average, 7.42% of episodic event participants do not want to volunteer again in future. The results reveal that younger, less educated, novices who participate on their own are more likely to report unwillingness to repeat volunteering. Non-repeat volunteers unexpectedly had higher levels of altruistic motivation, and as expected, a less satisfactory one-off volunteer experience. The article concludes with implications and recommendations for organizers of events employing episodic volunteers.
The final one – ‘The Russian Dream’ – is about the evolution of political system to the rule of law, balanced relations between the centre and the regions, and a combination of market and indicative state regulation as well as stable relations with the outside world. State paternalism is shrinking, and an average individual is now more dependent on his own efforts. Overall, living standards are growing due to successful modernisation and more efficient institutions.
The article designs and tests a framework which grasps ideological divergences among the Russian elite by focusing on Radical Statism (Radical Gosudarstvennichestvo) and contrasting it with Radical Eleuthericism. In order to operationalize this distinction, the study develops lists of particular statist and eleuthericist topoi that are used as indicators for ideological positions. The framework is applied to the study of the texts that are publicly produced by the Russian elite. The analysis shows the observable ideological divergences that exist among the Russian top decision-makers by dividing the ideological spectrum into six cohorts (hard, moderate, soft statists and hard, moderate, soft eleuthericists).
In recent decades, political science literature has experienced significant growth in the popularity of nonlinear models with multiplicative interaction terms. When one or more constitutive variables are not binary, most studies report the marginal effect of the variable of interest at its sample mean while allowing the other constitutive variable/s to vary along its range and holding all other covariates constant at their means, modes, or medians. In this article, we argue that this conventional approach is not always the most suitable since the marginal effect of a variable at its sample mean might not be sufficiently representative of its prevalent effect at a specific value of the conditioning variable and might produce excessively model-dependent predictions. We propose two procedures to help researchers gain a better understanding of how the typical effect of the variable of interest varies as a function of the conditioning variable: (1) computing and plotting the marginal effects at all in-sample combinations of the values of the constitutive variables and (2) computing and plotting what we call the “Distribution-Weighted Average Marginal Effect” over the values of the conditioning variable.