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In this chapter we aim to consider the interdependence between total factor productivity, economic welfare, and political institutions using BRICS as an empirical example. While relationships between each pair of factors have already been subject to scientific inquiry, we attempt to look at the productivity-institutions nexus in conjunction with economic development. We utilize nonparametric methods (data envelopment analysis) to estimate productivity levels for a large sample of countries and investigate the mutual relationships between productivity, GDP, and institutions for every year in the sample, as well as look into possible connections between dynamics of the three factors. We also analyze productivity trajectories of the BRICS countries in order to gain further insight into how capital-labor ratios might affect further economic development given each country’s institutional context. We show that levels of institutional development are a significant predictor for per capita GDP levels, as well as TFP levels. However, our tests for differences in TFP and growth remain inconclusive.
In 1976 Richard Dawkins coined the term meme as a way to metaphorically project bio-evolutionary principles upon the processes of cultural and social development. The works of Dawkins and of some other enthusiasts had contributed to a rise in popularity of the concept of memetics ("study of memes"), but the interest to this new field started to decline quite soon. The conceptual apparatus of memetics was based on a number of quasi-biological terms, but the emerging discipline failed to go beyond those initial metaphors. This article is an attempt to rebuild the toolkit of memetics with the help of the more fundamental concepts taken from semiotics and to propose a synthetic conceptual framework connecting genetics and memetics, in which semiotics is used as the transdisciplinary methodology for both disciplines. The concept of sign is used as the meta-lingual equivalent for both the concepts of gene and meme. In the most general understanding, sign is a thing which stands for another thing. In genetics this translates into gene that is a section of DNA that stands for the algorithm of how a particular biomolecule is built. In memetics, the similar principle works in meme that is a thing that stands for the rules of how a particular cultural practice is performed.
This review explores the book French Populism and Discourses on Secularism written by Per-Erik Nilsson and published in 2018. The book deals with the phenomenon of populism from a unique perspective: by placing populist discourses on French secularism – la laïcité – at the centre of the analysis. Nilsson’s study lies at the intersection of three major strands of empirical research focusing on French secularism, radical nationalism and populism, and
anti-Muslim activism but offers an in-depth analysis combining simultaneously all the three above-mentioned perspectives.
The article tests the extent to which Russia’s “pivot to the East” was supported by shared
visions of the American and the Chinese “Other” after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. It
compares representations of the United States and China as Russia’s Others in discourses of
Vladimir Putin, major political parties, and policy experts at a time when Russian–American
relations experienced a considerable downturn and relations with China surged. The method
of analysis is frames coding. The article demonstrates that for most of the actors considered,
the United States plays a much more important role as constitutive Other than China.
In the Post‐Soviet period, domestic policies of Central and Eastern European countries have been marked by a ‘problem of minorities’. ‘Nationalizing’ state policies in regard to large Russian minority in Estonia and Latvia have been the issue of concern for both the kin‐state and European institutions ever since. Could pressure from Russia be effective in terms of change of minority policies in the Baltic states? What are the effects of EU accession on minority policies? These are the principle questions addressed by Jennie L. Schulze in Strategic Frames: Europe, Russia, and Minority Inclusion in Estonia and Latvia. The book focuses on the indirect influence of the EU institutions and Russia, adopting a framing approach. It consists of comparative cases covering the areas of language, citizenship and electoral policies.
The Gezi protests in 2013 were the largest urban resistance in the history of modern Turkey, both in terms of their intensity and the number of participants. They revitalized grassroots movements, further polarized the already-divided Turkish society, altered the political landscape, and sent shock waves among the incumbent elite who believed they were ruling without serious public opposition until the protests. The trajectory of the regime and the elite survival strategies profoundly changed after 2013 to meet this new challenge.
The protest publics model proposes a new theoretical framework for examining this emerging protest pattern, which can also shed light on our understanding of the Gezi events. In this chapter, the Gezi protests will be analyzed under the analytical framework of protest publics. First, I will show why this framework is appropriate for understanding the Gezi protests. Secondly, I will briefly discuss the political outcomes of these events by focusing on the transformative potential of protest publics in semi-authoritarian settings.
This chapter explores the influence of social landscapes, focusing on Russian gender and sexuality (G&S) education under a conservative turn. While the policy banning of ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ declared by the authorities should change public opinion against homosexuality and gender equality in theory, this chapter shows policy is only the beginning of Russian debates. Drawing on interview and survey data, this chapter shows that the laws have not stabilised the narratives of how to deal with gender and sexualities in education completely; and that the Russian education system’s attempts at inculcation of the younger generation in some ways inspired youth curiosity.
This chapter deals with emerging illiberal challenges—international and domestic—and their impact on the current state and prospects of liberalism, particularly in Russia. Is the liberal world order in peril and, if so, how grave is the threat? Has liberalism really failed ideologically speaking and in terms of policy? As happened during the New Deal, can liberalism in general—and Russian liberalism in particular—be “rebooted” conceptually and programmatically in response to pressing challenges? What are the fundamental issues of the liberal ideological and political agenda that need to be reevaluated? How can modern liberalism be “reset”? These are some of the fundamental issues addressed in this chapter. It provides a tentative typology of today’s illiberal challenges, a conceptual differentiation between the institutional and normative aspects of the global liberal world order, an analysis of the political and ideological context that may, at least partly, explain the miseries Russian liberals experience at the present moment, and also a tentative blueprint for the path forward of liberalism in non-liberal Russia.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the influence of the human factor on the corruption in the public authority. The corruption depends on the institutional quality of the public authority, its ability to withstand the negative manifestations of the human factor, and on the officials’ qualities. The motivation of "going to power" has a big significance. Under the authoritarian regimes, the corruption system is generated by the deformations in the election institution. The managerial lustration expediency for the power purification after the regimes' changes is substantiated. The institutional measures to combat the corruption have been identified.
Effective systems of vocational education are crucial to economic and social development. However, coordination of labor market demand and supply of skill requires either well-functioning labor market institutions or institutionally-embedded strategic partnerships among government, labor, and employers. In particular, the transplantation of German-style dual education methods to a different environment poses significant institutional dilemmas. Russia presents a useful case for examining the conditions under which such arrangements can be established. Based on a series of interviews in six Russian regions and a set of case histories, we seek to draw testable hypotheses that can be applied to other settings.
Experts code latent quantities for many influential political science datasets. Although scholars are aware of the importance of accounting for variation in expert reliability when aggregating such data, they have not systematically explored either the factors affecting expert reliability or the degree to which these factors influence estimates of latent concepts. Here we provide a template for examining potential correlates of expert reliability, using coder-level data for six randomly selected variables from a cross-national panel dataset. We aggregate these data with an ordinal item response theory model that parameterizes expert reliability, and regress the resulting reliability estimates on both expert demographic characteristics and measures of their coding behavior. We find little evidence of a consistent substantial relationship between most expert characteristics and reliability, and these null results extend to potentially problematic sources of bias in estimates, such as gender. The exceptions to these results are intuitive, and provide baseline guidance for expert recruitment and retention in future expert coding projects: attentive and confident experts who have contextual knowledge tend to be more reliable. Taken as a whole, these findings reinforce arguments that item response theory models are a relatively safe method for aggregating expert-coded data.
There is a striking opposition within the current discourse on Russia’s position in the world. On the one hand, there are well-known arguments about Russia’s “weak hand” (relatively small and stagnating economy, vulnerability to sanctions, technological backwardness, deteriorating demography, corruption, bad institutions, etc.). On the other hand, Russia is accused of “global revisionism”, attempts to reshape and undermine the liberal world order, and Western democracy itself. There seems to be a paradox: Russia with a perceived decline of major resources of national power, exercises dramatically increased international influence. This paradox of power and/or influence is further explored. This paper introduces a new complex Index of national power. On the basis of ratings of countries authors compare the dynamics of distribution of power in the world with a focus on Russia’s national power in world politics since 1995. The analysis brings evidence that the cumulative resources of Russia’s power in international affairs did not increase during the last two decades. However, Russia’s influence in world politics has significantly increased as demonstrated by assertive foreign policy in different parts of the world and its perception by the international political community and the public. Russia remains a major power in today’s world, although some of its power resources are stagnating or decreasing in comparison to the US and rising China. To compensate for weaknesses Russia is using both traditional and nontraditional capabilities of international influence.
The article examines the stability of electoral support of political parties and candidates on subnational elections in Moscow. This study investigates the dynamic of voter turnout on different levels and types of elections, as well as the stability of the reproduction of electoral voting patterns based on a comparative analysis of federal, regional and municipal campaigns. The research covers the elections which took place between 2003-2018 in Moscow. The results of research suggest that the drop of voter turnout on subnational level of elections occurs due to a decrease of electoral support of «United Russia», that explained by the larger size of their electorate. The study also shows that opposition mobilization could be effective on the municipal level. Basically, the analysis showed that campaigns of mayoral election can be described by widespread pro-government mobilization in the absence of strong competitors to incumbent, or by consolidating the electorate of systemic and non-systemic opposition around an active opposition leader. Consequently, electoral authoritarianism is not able to restrain the protest mobilization in the existence of consolidation leader on the mayoral elections.
The article analyses various aspects of impact that elections produce on political institutions. In includes “ritual” function of elections which produce a political nation, legitimation of all political institutions and professional political class. Another function is representation of citizens in the political domain by virtue of intermediary political institutions. Yet another, is building a system of checks and balances and conflict management. Besides, the article discusses the problem of accountability of elected officials and the phenomenon of modern populism and other new trends in relations between parties and voters. The concluding chapter briefly touches upon the specific features and effects of elections in the Russian political system.
This article studies challenges and threats in post-industrial development of the civilization. Information challenges include information inequality between countries and regions; information stratification of society; cybercrime; cyberwarfare; difficulty in protection of intellectual property rights, copyright and related rights; increased information and communication threats to privacy; advanced technological capabilities for information manipulation of public opinion. There is a rise in environmental threats, including air pollution and climate change. In future, revolutionary changes in biotechnology and genetic engineering can lead to the social problem of vital inequality causing stratification by the quality of life. Migration as an integral part of globalization brings about new issues of inter-ethnic, inter-confessional and inter-cultural exchange. The rise of Islamism plays an important role in the actualization of this trend. Religious radicalism, of Islamic or any other kind, contributes to the development of terrorism and destruction of internal stability of modern societies. The main political threats of post-industrial transit are separatism, which endangers the stability of public authorities and integrity of the country, and modern terrorism, most common ideological ground of which is religious extremism of Islamic type. Threats and challenges of postindustrial transit bring up the question of whether they can be successfully overcome under the conditions of post-Fordist model of capitalism and whether it can be preserved as the economic basis of the planetary civilization.