This volume examines the complex international system of the twenty first century from a variety of perspectives. Proceeding from critical theoretical perspectives and incorporating case studies, the chapters focus on broad trends as well as micro-realities of a Post-Westphalian international system. The process of transformation and change of the international system has been an ongoing cumulative process. Many forces including conflict, technological innovation, and communication have contributed to the creation of a transnational world with political, economic, and social implications for all societies. Transnationalism functions both as an integrative factor and one which exposes the existing and the newly emerging divisions between societies and cultures and between nations and states. The chapters in this volume demonstrate that re-thinking fundamental assumptions as well as theoretical and methodological premises is central to understanding the dynamics of interdependence.
This article analyzes a paradoxical situation: sanctions have real negative effects on the Russian economy, but are not recognized by the population as a problem. The article analyzes the key strategies used to deproblematize the economic sanctions (and the Russian food embargo) that were used in four Russian newspapers from March 2014 to December 2014. Drawing on agenda-setting theory, we assume that the use of deproblematization strategies in the media discussion on economic sanctions proves to people that the effects of the sanctions are not severe. The second section discusses another puzzle: against the background of a large-scale economic and political crisis in Russia, Vladimir Putin’s support is increasing. We explain this outcome using the rally-around-the-flag effect. This effect reflects how and why a national leader’s approval rating substantially increases during tragedies and international conflicts. We argue that Russia’s media discussion can explain why the rally effect in Russia is substantially more stable than in other countries.
> Georgia. Georgia's $16 bln economy saw strong annual growth in 2010-12 of around 6-7%, but in 2013 growth slowed to 3.2%, which is still good but not enough for an economy with a GDP per capita of around $3,600. Indeed, over the year, Georgia - which depends heavily on capital inflows - failed to utilize its competitive advantage of lower unit labor costs than in other countries in the region, such as Turkey and Bulgaria. > Turkey. The Turkish economy performed well in 1H14 as industrial output rose 3.8% y-o-y (down from 5.3% y-o-y in 5m14). GDP climbed 4.3% y-o-y in 1Q14, and we estimate 2Q14 to show GDP growth just below 4.0%. We expect 3.7% for 2014 as a whole, which is a bit stronger than we expected early in the year. > Bulgaria. Similar to some other smaller economies in the region, Bulgaria benefited from a recovery in the Eurozone that was characterized by ECB President Mario Draghi on August 7 as "moderate and uneven." Bulgarian GDP picked up to around 1.4% y-o-y in 1H14 (1.2% in 1Q14 and 1.6% in 2Q14). Given that Bulgaria's currency is pegged to the euro, the country was unable to extract benefits from this recovery to the same extent as some other countries, such as Turkey, Hungary or Romania, whose monetary policy and exchange rates are more independent. In 2H14, Bulgaria will face additional pressure from potentially slower growth in the EU as policy makers in the West and Russia continue experiments with sanctions.
In theory, a poverty line can be defined as the cost of a common (inter-personally comparable) utility level across a population. But how can one know if this holds in practice? For groups sharing common consumption needs but facing different prices, the theory of revealed preference can be used to derive testable implications of utility consistency knowing only the "poverty bundles" and their prices. Heterogeneity in needs calls for extra information. We argue that subjective welfare data offer a credible means of testing utility consistency across different needs groups. A case study of Russia's official poverty lines shows how revealed preference tests can be used in conjunction with qualitative information on needs heterogeneity. The results lead us to question the utility consistency of Russia's official poverty lines.
The number of conflicts in the world is increasing, as well as their intensity and fierceness. We see the trend of unfolding spiral of violence in the world and thus there is a pressing need to assess the underlying reasons of it. Challenges to a secure development of the world stem from political, economic and social issues that have long been ignored or have not been effectively dealt with by both policymakers and researchers. Likewise, both academic and policy responses to the unfolding global grievances and local ferocities are still one-sided in many cases, which causes ever more fighting and insurgence. This project aims to fill in existing lacunas in the area of understanding issues underlying the current global conflict trend, many of which have long been in the shadow of research and policy-analysis internationally. This book project sheds light on complicated and long-term issues, such as revival of authoritarianism, crucial transformation of peacekeeping concept, rising security and strategic issues of small states, as well as security challenges presented by\to new international grouping such as BRICS. An intentionally diverse scope of this project allows to bring along such issues as Islamophobia and the prospects for Christian-Muslim dialogue, the scope, essence and consequences of international sanctions to manage international disputes, as well as the issue of a failed state. The geographical scope of this project ranges from North Korea to Somalia, and from Russia to Brazil. This project aims to educate all interested in the underlying fundamental long-term reasons of current political conflicts worldwide and to provoke debate on many issues that are still considered “second priority level”, though they provide even stronger basis for the current conflict-prone situation in the world. This book project aims to satisfy the need of in-depth analysis and expertise on issues of international sanctions, revival of authoritarianism, failure of state, formation of new international organizations, changing essence of peacekeeping in conflict-prone areas and globally, new contexts for Muslim-Christian dialogue and it successes and failures, as well as lesser-known contexts of strategic choices of small states.
The authors: Francesco Giumelli, Mitchell Belfer, Hanna Shelest, Piskunova Natalia, Gracian Cimek, Yefimova Anna, Bekkin Renat, Solkin Victor, Sarah Rial, Esther Sule.
International trade is an important factor affecting competition in domestic markets. Considering the vastness of Russian territory, one can expect the pro-competitive effect to vary from region to region. This analysis tests the hypothesis that the unique geographical position and economic status of the Kaliningrad region contribute to the rapid development of international trade, which, in turn, exerts competitive pressure on regional prices. The study incorporates two major lines of analysis: a) a comparison of the international trade growth rates of different Russian regions; b) an assessment of the influence of Russian and European prices on the consumer price index as well as prices for particular tradable goods in the Kaliningrad region.
This article is aimed to analyse the aptitude of numbering the “food power” among the factors of impact on world economy and policy. The author gives several examples, which illustrate the possibility to convert economic measures, connected with agricultural and trade policy of state, into political weapon.
This chapter is devoted to the analysis of the impact of the global financial crisis on the nascent housing market in Russia, which started developing less than 10 years ago. At the same time we make an attempt to estimate whether there were "bubbles" in this market. This chapter has the following structure.
It starts with an overview of the housing sector in Russia before the meltdown and analysis of the evolution of housing property rights. Next we look at both the supply side (housing stock and new construction) and the demand side of the situation in housing market before 2009. The section ends with a summary description of the situation in housing mortgage finance and affordability of housing, which is a big challenge for a developing housing market.
The second section analyzes the impact of the global financial crisis on the mortgage sector in Russia and highlights new trends in the housing sector. We focus on government anti-crisis measures in the housing market and the role of government-sponsored organizations. Two main areas of government intervention in the housing and mortgage markets are analyzed: state support of mortgage borrowers and the housing construction industry.
Next we raise the issue of the presence of housing bubble in Russia and analyze main determinants of housing price trends and their impact on housing market.
The chapter concludes with an outline of the housing and housing mortgage markets in Russia.