Fitnah: The Afterlife of a Religious Term in Recent Political Protest
The phenomenon of fitnah could be traced throughout history in different regions and cultures. The Arab spring events of 2011–2012 are not an exception in this context. The next outburst of protest activity occurred where it was not expected in the near future—in Ukraine. If we compare the events in the Arab countries in 2011 and Ukraine in 2013–2014, it can be concluded that in essence they fit the characteristics of fitnah very well, which are attributed to it by the Arabic political culture. In both cases, the fitnah acquired permanent character turning into anarchy and chaos (“fouda”). The government/the ruling power found itself unprepared for such manifestations of fitnah and miscalculated the threat posed by the protesters. From our perspective, in the modern world this phenomenon can be explained by the rapid development of Internet technologies that gives the opposition an opportunity to prepare a protest virtually, in an area not totally controlled by the government.
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.
This article addresses the question of philosophy and political program of contemporary Russian conservatism. The author analyses historical origins of this doctrine and the role of conservative romanticism in a framework of the current political process. From this position the author focuses on comparative analysis of Russian and West European forms of phenomenon under consideration.
Socio-economic development in the Arab world is an important element of global pattern changes in the early 21st century. They show a complex interaction of processes in the masses of the new young "Internet generations" and the elites, and somewhat forgotten gastarbiters. Matrix of kingdoms and republics, oil and non-oil countries make situation more complex for the region than for any separate country. From our viewpoint the political spring in the Arab world requires, first of all, the analysis of the Arab society, its nature and characteristics that distinguish it from societies of the Christian tradition of Europe and the Americas. And is it revolt of the middle class in one oil country or a rebellion of tribes? The new middle class, the information revolution and the dispossessed masses, including migrant workers in the background of the huge concentration of wealth of the ruling regimes represent the socio-economic reality of the Middle East that will be present in international politics in the next decade. And finally - to what extent the lesson of Lybia can be applicable to other oil countries? What may be lessons for other elites?
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.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.
This special publication for the 2012 New Delhi Summit is a collection of articles by government officials from BRICS countries, representatives of international organizations, businessmen and leading researchers.
The list of Russian contributors includes Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, Maxim Medvedkov, Director of the Trade Negotiations Department of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Vladimir Dmitriev, Vnesheconombank Chairman, Alexander Bedritsky, advisor to the Russian President, VadimLukov, Ambassador-at-large of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, and representatives of the academic community.
The publication also features articles by the President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev and internationally respected economist Jim O’Neil, who coined the term “BRIC”. In his article Jim O’Neil speculates about the future of the BRICS countries and the institution as a whole.
The publication addresses important issues of the global agenda, the priorities of BRICS and the Indian Presidency, the policies and competitive advantages of the participants, as well as BRICS institutionalization, enhancing efficiency and accountability of the forum.