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A quarter of a century has passed since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1993, yet the issue of the results and the prospects for constitutional transformation has not disappeared from the political agenda. For some, the Constitution signifies an ultimate break up with the communist past and a legal foundation for the advancement of the Russian society toward democracy and the rule of law; for the others, it is exactly the Constitution that is the culprit for the authoritarian trend that has prevailed, and for the sustained stagnation in Russia’s economic, social and political development.
The author of this paper is in the middle of these extreme viewpoints. He believes that the Constitution has truly played a pivotal role in Russia’s move toward democracy by establishing the basic principles of civil society and the rule of law, and in this respect, it remains of everlasting and paramount importance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it should be utterly inaccessible for changes, especially given the elapsed time and the negative experience of the authoritarian transformation of the political regime, the amendments that were introduced between 2008 and 2014, and the current objectives of the democratic movement. The rationale for changes is to return to the constitutional principles, reaffirm their initial democratic meaning by rejecting the excessive concentration of the Presidential power, the results of counter-reforms and the adulteration through legislative and regulatory compliance practices.
The performed cross-national tests with negative binomial regression models support the presence of a curvilinear relationship between the quantitative expansion of education (measured with mean years of schooling) and terrorist attack intensity. Growth of schooling in the least educationally developed countries is associated with a significant ten- dency towards the growth of terrorist attack intensity. This tendency remains significant when controlled for income level, type of political regime, unemployment, inequality, and urbanization; wherein the peak of the terrorist attack intensity is observed for a relatively low, but not zero level of the quantitative expansion of formal education (approximately three to six years of schooling). Further growth of schooling in more developed countries is associated with a significant trend toward the decrease of terrorist attack intensity. This tendency remains significant after being controlled for income level, political regime, unemployment, inequality, and urbanization. The most radical decrease is observed for the interval between seven and eight mean years of schooling. In addi- tion, this quantitative analysis indicates the presence of a similar curvi- linear relationship between GDP per capita and terrorist attack intensity with a wide peak from $4000 to $14,000. The explanation of a curvilinear relationship between GDP per capita and terrorist activity through mean years of schooling intermediary can only be partial. The regression ana- lysis suggests that the growth of mean years of schooling with economic development of middle and high income countries may really be one of the factors accounting for the decrease of terrorist attacks in countries with GDP per capita growth. However, this regression analysis indicates that a partial role in the explanation of negative correlation between GDP per capita and terrorist attack intensity for middle and high income countries is also played by a lower level of unemployment rate in the high income countries, as well as by a very high share of consolidated democracies and an extremely low share of factional democracies among the high income states. It is especially worth noting that after the intro- duction of all controls, the coefficient sign for per capita GDP changes from negative to positive, i.e., GDP growth in middle and high income countries after the introduction of controls for inequality, education, unemployment, type of regime, etc. turns out to be a factor of increase rather than decline of the intensity of terrorist activity. On the one hand, this suggests that the negative correlation between per capita GDP and the level of terrorist activity in these countries is actually explained to an extremely high degree by the fact that per capita GDP growth here tends to be accompanied by an increase in the educational level of the popula- tion, a decrease in unemployment, a reduction in inequality, a decrease in the number of factional democracies, and an increase in the number of consolidated democracies. On the other hand, the positive sign (with a statistically significant correlation) indicates here that if in the middle and high countries economic growth is not accompanied by an increase in economic equality and education of the population, a decrease in unemployment, a decrease in the number of unstable factional democ- racies, and an increase in the number of consolidated democracies (that is, if in fact all the fruits of economic growth are captured by the elites, and almost nothing gets from this growth to the commoner population), then such economic growth would tend to lead to an increase in terrorist activity (and not to its reduction).
The chapter analyses the process of discursive construction of the image of “liberalism” in post-Soviet Russia. The author sticks at the reputation approach, i.e. considers as “liberals” the politicians and pubic intellectuals who call themselves this way or are regarded as such by their contemporaries. Analyzing the texts of the “liberals” and their critics the author argues that the current crisis of liberalism in Russia is partly a consequence of the form in which it was invented in the 1990s. Liberalism in Russia is associated with the Westernism, obsession with the market economic reforms, paternalist approach to the illiberal majority, criticism of the authoritarian regime and renunciation of imperial ambitions. In the context of political and ideological shifts of the 2000s and the 2010s this combination of ideas facilitated a development of the negative image of liberalism and its political marginalization.
Although many scholars have analyzed the role played by the siloviki in Russian politics, they usually focus on the presence of siloviki in the federal elite or the pressure they exerted on business. In this article, we use new data on the appointments of regional governors and the heads of regional departments of the Federal Security Service (ufsb), as well as data on regional economic growth from 2005 to 2017, to examine how decisions by the Kremlin with respect to the appointment of key regional siloviki have affected economic development in Russian regions. We find that regions where the governor-siloviki relationship has been stable over time also display higher rates of growth. We then investigate whether regional fsb heads are specifically appointed to start investigations on regional governors, but do not find a statistically significant relationship. Finally, we show how a number of newly appointed political heavyweights among Russia’s governor corps have been given their “own” silovik to support them in their region.
Der Zusammenhang zwischen den Begriffen Recht und Gerechtigkeit ist ein
zentraler Bestandteil politischer Debatten in Zeiten radikaler sozialer Veränderungen.
Das Recht wird in der modernen Wissenschaft als spezifische
Form sozialer Organisation definiert und tritt als Wert, Norm und Fakt in Erscheinung.
Eine komplexe Betrachtung des Rechts als mehrdimensionales
Phänomen ist nur unter Berücksichtigung aller dieser drei konkurrierenden
Parameter möglich.Im folgenden Beitrag werden aus der Position der Kognitionstheorie die
grundlegenden Parameter von Recht und Gerechtigkeit bei der Lösung von
Schlüsselproblemen des gesellschaftlichen Umbaus in der Übergangsperiode
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 this paper, we propose an agent-based model of protest participation. We take into account latent factors, such as individual anger with the system and group belief in the protest's success, as well as the risk of repression. We run a number of experimental simulations and look at distributions of protester numbers under various initial conditions.
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.
Most researchers believe that states which are rich in natural resources are more able to maintain political stability in comparison to countries without such an access to exceptional profits. However, some rent resource autocracies are unanimously considered fragile, and their ability to extract maximum rents does not always contribute to political and economic security during price fluctuations. Based on the idea that the state’s ability to extract resources imposes on it certain obligations, the research question touches upon the quality of governance as a supposed core factor, which mediates the resource dependence and political security in terms of stateness and the ability to fulfil the “social contract.” The latter is described as implementation of political decisions, provision of public goods and services. However, the quality of governance is substantially different in various autocratic systems. Using case-study and descriptive statistics, the authors try to reveal the context and ascertain which factors trigger the horizon length of autocrats` political strategies during rising and falling resource prices. The authors affirm that resource dependence negatively affects political security less due to an absence of economic growth during price breaks, and more due to the struggle of political elites for the redistribution of resources, absence of disciplinary mechanisms, weak representation and accountability systems, and poor enabling environments as a basis for quality of resource management. The authors conclude that political security in autocratic resource economies is achieved through the coexistence of political will and triggers, conducive to specifying the length of the planning horizon.
The article analyzes relative deprivation as a possible factor of sociopolitical instability during the Arab Spring events using the methods of correlation and multiple regression analysis. In this case, relative deprivation is operationalized in two ways: (a) through the indicator of subjective feeling of happiness on the eve of the events of the Arab Spring, and (b) through the scale of decrease of the subjective feeling of happiness on the eve of the events of Arab Spring. It is shown that the change in the level of subjective feeling of happiness between 2009 and 2010 is a powerful, statistically significant predictor of the level of destabilization in Arab countries in 2011. The next most powerful predictor is the mean value of the subjective feeling of happiness in the corresponding country for 2010. At the same time, the fundamental economic indicators we tested, while controlling for them, have turned out to be extremely weak and at the same time statistically insignificant predictors of the level of sociopolitical instability in the Arab countries in 2011.
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.
Russian and Georgian people share not only a common history but also a relatively
common negative view on LGBT rights. Russia still does not have anti-discrimination
laws and regulates ‘homosexual propaganda’. In contrast, Georgia has discrimination
protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Why is public
opinion in one country deteriorating alongside the passing of anti-discrimination
laws, while in the other country, with little improvement in public opinion, it is prohibited
to ‘propagandize homosexuality’? We explain how authorities discursively
shape institutional changes related to LGBT rights. We assume that the formation of
institutions is possible in the process of discursive struggle when actors defend their
ideas and meanings about LGBT. Our argument addresses the theoretical framework
of institutional change and queer linguistics. We analyze discursive changes in Georgian
and Russian authorities debates from 2013 until 2019.
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.
The article attempts to identify major factors of the nationalization of the vote in contemporary Russia using the two level approach: the between- and within-region. The former compares regions as units of analysis while the latter additionally takes into account voting in municipalities to obtain levels of voting homogeneity within the regions. The study uses data from the last 2012–2016 national-regional electoral cycle investigating both federal and regional election results. Following Ishiyama (2002) for the between-region level of analysis the Regional Party Vote Inequality index has been utilized. The Party Nationalization Score proposed by Jones and Mainwaring (2003) has been applied to the measurement of voting territorial diversity at the within-region level. The results show that regional political factors may be still considered as major drivers of the nationalization of the vote as it did in the 1990s. The difference is that in politically recentralized Russia non-competitive regions headed by politically strong governors provides between-region inequality rather than contributing to nationalization. At the same time, the similarity continues in the ability of governors’ “political machines” to contribute homogeneity of the vote, but only within their regions.