State and Socio-Political Crises in the Process of Modernization
This article starts with a brief analysis of the causes of state collapse as states undergo the process of political evolution. Next, I describe and analyze the mechanisms of social-political crises arising in the process of modernization. Such crises are a consequence of the inability of many traditional institutions and ideologies to keep up with changes in technology, communication, the system of education, the medical sphere, and demographic change. This analysis suggests that an accelerated development can cause a system crisis with potentially serious consequences to the society. It is important to take this aspect into consideration because some scholars recommend that the economic reconstruction and development are necessary for nation-building. This actually means rapid economic advancement (otherwise, the economy could not be reconstructed and developed). However, one should not ignore the possibility that very rapidly developing countries may run the danger of falling into the trap of fast transformation. The article describes several mechanisms that can contribute to sociopolitical instability, including social tensions arising from rapid urbanization, youth bulges, and ‘resource curses.’
The Working Paper examines the peculiarities of the Russian model of corporate governance and control in the banking sector. The study relies upon theoretical as well as applied research of corporate governance in Russian commercial banks featuring different forms of ownership. We focus on real interests of all stakeholders, namely bank and stock market regulators, bank owners, investors, top managers and other insiders. The Anglo-American concept of corporate governance, based on agency theory and implying outside investors’ control over banks through stock market, is found to bear limited relevance. We suggest some ways of overcoming the gap between formal institutions of governance and the real life.
This book is about twenty-year's experience of privatization in different countries including Russia. The book also includes sestematozation of academic views at the problems of state failures and effectiveness of the state owership.
The purpose of this paper is to carefully assess the size of public sector within the Russian banking industry. We identify and classify at least 78 state-influenced banks. For the state-owned banks, we distinguish between those that are majority-owned by federal executive authorities or Central Bank of Russia, by sub-federal (regional and municipal) authorities, by state-owned enterprises and banks, and by "state corporations". We estimate their combined market share to have reached 56% of total assets by July 1, 2009. Banks indirectly owned by public capital are the fastest-growing group. Concentration is increasing within the public sector of the industry, with the top five state-controlled banking groups in possession of over 49% of assets. We observe a crowding out and erosion of domestic private capital, whose market share is shrinking from year to year. Several of the largest state-owned banks now constitute a de facto intermediate tier at the core of the banking system. We argue that the direction of ownership change in Russian banking is different from that in CEE countries.
The article is devoted to analysis of discursive practices of public representation and discussion of the political course of “modernization” announced by president Dmitry Medvedev. It is focused at interpretations of the idea of modernization by the leading Russian politicians as well as at the role of the notions about collective past, present and future in its ideological justification and contestation.
The chapter focuses on one of the ways to communicate with the sacred popular among contemporary Russian Orthodox believers – written appealing to the saints (letters and notes). Although not happy at all about this habit, the Church managers allow to publish these letters in the parish newspapers and web-sites and in other church mass-media. Analysis of publications of the letters addressed to Saint Xenia of Petersburg proves that the Church publishes them as a part of its advertising campaign targeted on those people who prefer irregular religiosity (pilgrimages, letters to the saint, etc) to traditional regular parish life. The chapter develops Peter Berger’s metaphor of religious market.
The article is concerned with results of content analysis of textbooks for high school in the area of social and human sciences. The author uses the typology of values introduced by S. Schwartz which consists of two value axes — “conservation — openness to change” and “selfassertion — caring about people and nature” — and describes values that underlie each subject area and then compares these values with results of mass surveys of the values of Russians.
Nature abhors a "vacuum" - the new power elite arrives at the time of major social and political transformations and endeavours to shore up its position within the country and obtain support from outside. New power groups, which are active at times of revolution and who replace, push aside or even depose the old elites and impose their own control over the state machine and position themselves as new power elite.There are themselves not immune to social transformation, especially in the first decades of coming to their new commanding role. Unless its claims are given legitimacy it is unable to implement its positive programme, which it immediately claims as the national programme. Every country "acquires" a new functioning elite - political, financial and intellectual - from revolution or a change of regime. The old elite may lose control and depart or upon luck may merge into a new combination of social strata of particular country. We also believe that the composition and the structure of elites is the country-specific and reflect one’s country history.
This book seeks to “re-think democracy.” Over the past years, there has been a tendency in the global policy community and, even more widely, in the world’s media, to focus on democracy as the “gold standard” by which all things political are measured. This book re-examines democracy in Russia and in the world more generally, as idea, desired ideal, and practice. A major issue for Russia is whether the modernization of Russia might not prosper better by Russia focusing directly on modernization and not worrying too much about democracy. This book explores a wide range of aspects of this important question. It discusses how the debate is conducted in Russia; outlines how Russians contrast their own experiences, unfavourably, with the experience of China, where reform and modernization have been pursued with great success, with no concern for democracy; and concludes by assessing how the debate in Russia is likely to be resolved.
This paper uses the banking industry case to show that the boundaries of public property in Russia are blurred. A messy state withdrawal in 1990s left publicly funded assets beyond direct reach of official state bodies. While we identify no less than 50 state-owned banks in a broad sense, the federal government and regional authorities directly control just 4 and 12 institutions, respectively. 31 banks are indirectly state-owned, and their combined share of state-owned banks’ total assets grew from 11% to over a quarter between 2001 and 2010. The state continues to bear financial responsibility for indirectly owned banks, while it does not benefit properly from their activity through dividends nor capitalization nor policy lending. Such banks tend to act as quasi private institutions with weak corporate governance. Influential insiders (top-managers, current and former civil servants) and cronies extract their rent from control over financial flows and occasional appropriation of parts of bank equity.
Considering specifi city of modernization processes in Russia, caused both by internal problems and Russias place in global economy, the author brings an attention to the question of features of standard-values system of Russian reformers. Results of the analysis of 12 values-blocks forming a basis of the variety of the standard-valuable systems of Russians are given.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.