Does “Arab Spring” Mean The Beginning Of World System Reconfiguration?
In a previous article, “The Coming Epoch of New Coalitions: Possible Scenarios of the Near Future” (Grinin and Korotayev 2011), it was preliminarily demonstrated that the turbulent events of late 2010 and 2011 in the Arab World may well be regarded as a start of the global reconfiguration. The subsequent events have confirmed this supposition. That is why in the present article we develop this important theme. The article offers a thorough analysis of the internal conditions of Arab countries on the eve of revolutionary events, as well as causes and consequences of the Arab Revolutions. The article also offers an analysis of similar historical World System reconfigurations starting with the sixteenth-century Reformation. The analysis is based on the theory (developed by the authors) of the periodical catch-ups experienced by the political component of the World System that tends to lag behind the World System economic component. Thus, we show that the asynchrony of development of various functional subsystems of the World System is a cause of the synchrony of major political changes. In otherwords,within the globalization process, political transformations tend to lag far behind economic transformations. And such lags cannot constantly increase, the gaps are eventually bridged, but in not quite a smooth way. The article also suggests an explanation why the current catch-up of the World System political component started in the Arab World.
It is not surprising that Mubarak’s administration “overlooked” the social explosion. Indeed, statistical data righteously claimed that the country was developing very successfully. Economic growth rates were high (even in the crisis years). Poverty and inequality levels were among the lowest in the Third World. Global food prices were rising, but the government was taking serious measures to mitigate their effect on the poorest layers of the population. Unemployment level (in per cent) was less than in many developed countries of the world and, moreover, was declining, and so were population growth rates. What would be the grounds to expect a full-scale social explosion? Of course, the administration had a sort of reliable information on the presence of certain groups of dissident “bloggers”, but how could one expect that they would be able to inspire to go to the Tahrir any great masses of people? It was even more difficult to figure out that Mubarak’s regime would be painfully struck by its own modernization successes of the 1980s, which led to the sharp decline of crude death rate and especially of infant and child mortality in 1975–1990. Without these successes many young Egyptians vehemently demanding Mubarak’s resignation (or even death) would have been destined to die in early childhood and simply would not have survived to come out to the Tahrir Square.
In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concretere, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies. The purpose of this book in to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to wath Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multi faceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.
In this article the author attempts to explain the events occurring in the country taking into account the specificity of the Ukrainian political culture. From the point of view of the author, a key player in the Ukrainian revolution in 2014 was the Ukrainian society itself, and any attempt to comment the situation of modern Ukraine, first of all, should take into account civil conditions of the society itself. Qualitative state of civil society in Ukraine outrun the quality of the ruling elite, which inevitably provokes new confrontations and conflicts.
In his article Vladimir Kantor explores the destiny of Russia intelligentsia within the context of cultural crisis that took place at the turn of XIX and XX centuries, analyzing the Vekhovs, a group of leading intellectuals who ran a collection of essays, titled "Vekhi", studying their relationship towards that Russian cultural phenomenon. To author, the intelligentsia is considered as a critical factor in the development of Russian history. Within a context of the struggle around the "Vekhi", by referring to famous philosophical and literature books, published in 1909, the author focuses on relationships between intelligentsia and ordinary people, their attractive and repulsive interaction, which represents the key theme of the Russian destiny. Any historical movement occurs through tragedy; heroes who move the history have to sacrifice themselves to provide that movement. Confirmation to that idea would be rejection and exclusion of the Russian intelligentsia from the country's mentality throughout a number of generations which ultimately led to its tragic being.
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.