The potential of evaluation to promote sustainable development in Russian forest management
This article discussesthe potential of evaluation to help NGOs, namely the WWF (the World Wide Fund for Nature) to promote sustainable development in the Russian forest sector. Aplication of evaluation can strengthen two out of three functions of NGOs - their expertise and lobbying. The third function of NGOs, as legitimisers, is difficult to perform in the Russian institutional climate. International partnerships address the issue of legitimacy and secure funding for NGOs. This international support is benefitial to a capacity building process and should promote the implementation of independent evaluation, which, in turn, can be helpful to promote sustainable development.
Human rights advocacy has evolved into a legitimate foreign policy priority of the contemporary United States. The values and beliefs behind this concern are endorsed by a variety of American NGOs. The paper looks at American human rights advocacy and its impact on foreign policy decision-making. Human rights groups constitute a powerful independent lobby sector, whose success must be attributed to the unique nature of the American political culture. The article analyses the industrys specific characteristics and offers a classification of NGOs based on their mission, activities and lobbying profile.
Summarising the content of the whole volume
The term “civil society” in Russia is often taken to refer to civic organisations and movements created during and after the break-up of the Soviet Union, and is sometimes equated narrowly with “NGOs” – registered non-government, non-commercial, or public organisations. This paper attempts to look at civil society more widely. It considers both registered organisations and more spontaneous/informal civic actions; and follows local experts in challenging the idea that Russian civil society began in 1989–91. The paper considers both recent developments on the ground, and analyses by historians, sociologists, and political scientists that go back to soviet and pre-soviet periods.
As NGOs are emerging into prominent actors in international politics, the issue of measuring their political capability and efficiency draws particular interest. The paper offers a critical overview of core theoretical approaches to evaluating NGOs as politically accountable actors of global civil society.
Russian foreign policy in Central and Eastern Europe in the post-Cold war period followed the track of the evolution of its general foreign policy strategy. After the Second World War countries of Central and Eastern Europe were either Soviet republics or fell under the sphere of interests of the USSR. The following dissolution of the socialist bloc and the Soviet Union itself resulted in fundamental geopolitical changes in the region, erasing the solid military and political frontier that divided Europe on the borders of the GDR, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. New states took shape out of what was left of former socialist republics. The region became split and uneven politically. Moscow itself was no longer a political center for Central and Eastern Europe. It became the capital of a remote state that had no common borders with most of the Eastern European countries. Russia-NATO relations that used to be the basis of the continental politics lost their sense of certainty, having opened up room for experiments. Russia faced the challenge of shaping its foreign policy afresh, taking into consideration the changing environment on its western border. The geopolitical configuration of Central and Eastern Europe is what makes this region especially important for Russian foreign policy. Its intermediate position in between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic makes it an arena for either cooperation or rivalry between the two power centers on the continent. Metaphorically put, this region may serve as a bridge over the chasm between Russia and NATO, or it may become a battlefield for the two. Apart from security concerns, there is also a factor of gas and oil transit via this territory, which explains Moscow’s interest to ensure the safety of energy supply through Eastern to Western Europe, where its end consumers are. Scholars of Russian foreign policy in Central and Eastern Europe largely disagree on its motives and goals. The key disagreement is between two approaches. One group of scholars argues that Russian policy inherently aims for expansion encouraged by imperial complexes (McFaul, 1998; Sherr, 2013; Umland, 2016) or ethnic and nationalist impulses (Rutland, 2014; Zevelev, 2014; Motyl, 2016). The other group believes that Moscow’s primary concern is to ensure its national security and protect its values (Bogaturov, 2007; Mearsheimer, 2014; Tsygankov, 2015; Graham, 2017). Academic debates on issues of Russian foreign policy today are overly politicized. It is not clear how soon the academic sphere will break free from the extremes of the emotional load that is caused by the major conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
The nonprofit sector weakness in Russia is no doubt. The most frequently cited reasons - immaturity of still young civil society structures and the lack of public funding in the third sector. Meanwhile, the process of becoming a non-profit sector can hardly be accelerated. The growth of the federal and regional subsidies, will not provide significant improvements. The main problem lies in the structural characteristics and low efficiency of voluntary sector. In this case, if some structure of the nonprofit sector, such as condominiums, generally demonstrate some progress in recent years, the socially-oriented NGOs are still in stagnation. Public policy can only partly correct the current state and trends.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.
The article is devoted to the study of the authoritarianism prevalent in the mass consciousness of Russians. The article describes a new approach to the consideration of the authoritarian syndrome as the effects of the cultural trauma as a result of political and socio-cultural transformation of society. The article shows the dynamics of the symptoms of the authoritarianism, which appear in the mass consciousness of Russians from 1993 to 2011. This paper proposes a package of measures aimed at reducing the level of the authoritarianism in Russian society.
This work looks at a model of spatial election competition with two candidates who can spend effort in order to increase their popularity through advertisement. It is shown that under certain condition the political programs of the candidates will be different. The work derives the comparative statics of equilibrium policy platform and campaign spending with respect the distribution of voter policy preferences and the proportionality of the electoral system. In particular, it is whown that the equilibrium does not exist if the policy preferences are distributed over too narrow an interval.
The article examines "regulatory requirements" as a subject of state control over business in Russia. The author deliberately does not use the term "the rule of law". The article states that a set of requirements for business is wider than the legislative regulation.
First, the article analyzes the regulatory nature of the requirements, especially in the technical field. The requirements are considered in relation to the rule of law. The article explores approaches to the definition of regulatory requirements in Russian legal science. The author analyzes legislation definitions for a set of requirements for business. The author concludes that regulatory requirements are not always identical to the rule of law. Regulatory requirements are a set of obligatory requirements for entrepreneurs’ economic activity. Validation failure leads to negative consequences.
Second, the article analyzes the problems of the regulatory requirements in practice. Lack of information about the requirements, their irrelevance and inconsistency are problems of the regulatory requirements in Russia.
Many requirements regulating economic activity are not compatible with the current development level of science and technology. The problems are analyzed on the basis of the Russian judicial practice and annual monitoring reports by Higher School of Economics.
Finally, the author provides an approach to the possible solution of the regulatory requirements’ problem. The author proposes to create a nationwide Internet portal about regulatory requirements. The portal should contain full information about all regulatory requirements. The author recommends extending moratorium on the use of the requirements adopted by the bodies and organizations of the former USSR government.