Russia and the Baltic states: Problematizing the Soviet legacy discourse
Most studies of the post-Soviet space often explicitly or implicitly analyze Russia not as a new independent state but as the political successor of the USSR, thereby almost automatically leading to conclusions about Russian neo-imperialism. This paper explains how distorted discourses on the Soviet legacy originated and how they obstruct equal relations between Russia and other former Soviet republics using the example of the Baltic states.
This anthology focuses on the comparison of historical memory debates concerning Holocaust, National Socialism, Communism and Stalinism in the larger Baltic sea area since the 1990s. As the enlarged Baltic Sea Region through its entire history was filled with conflict lines and cooperation regions, it offers an ideal field of research for various theories, notions and narratives of the cultural historical memory as well as for patterns of conflict solutions and can be productively compared with structurally similar border regions.
Postcolonial societies are a unique event in world history. Their emergence in the mid-twentieth century did not result from centuries-old internal social processes, but was directly determined by the formation and short-lived (by historical standards) existence and disintegration of the European colonial empires. The colonial borders reflected primarily the balance of forces between the metropolitan powers in this or that region, but not the preceding course of the region's own political, social, economic, and cultural history. With rare exceptions, many different peoples were forcibly united within a colony. Not only kinship but also cultural affinity among those peoples was often absent. At the same time, the colonial borders would divide one people or break the historically established regional systems of economic and cultural ties not less infrequently. Likewise, the colonialists would forcibly unite peoples that had never formed regional political and economic systems; moreover, had different levels of sociocultural complexity, and sometimes did not even know about each other or were historical enemies. At the same time, the colonial borders would often separate historically and economically connected peoples and societies. These features were supplemented by stadial and civilizational heterogeneity of the colonial societies. The elements of capitalism, implanted by the Europeans in different spheres, did not synthesize with a set of pre-capitalist features of the local societies. There was also a little intersection between the autochthonous and new sectors of public life, in which essentially different value systems dominated.
Globalization is a process of not unification but rapprochement of cultures, formation of a global civilization as a «federation» of local civilizations. In connection with transformations of the phenomenon of nation in the post-colonial period, its tendency to transform from a «supraethnic» into «interethnic» phenomenon, a global transnational culture is forming. With respect to this process, it makes sense to speak about not degradation, but a change in the place of ethnic cultures and even an increase in their role in the time of intensive globalization.
Russia's European South as a macroregion formed in the late imperial and Soviet periods. It that time Russia's Caucasus was shaped as its integral part. The whole region is often regarded a backward and closed borderland that opposed to all modernization processes reaching it late. In this article the author argues that this stereotypic narrative was uncritically borrowed by some politicians and scholars from the Russian colonial literature of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. It should be rethought basing on first-hand sources from region. In reality, Russia's Caucasus quickly answered to all challenges that reached it from the imperial core. After the end of the Caucasus war a long series of reforms started in the region. They ended already under the Soviet rule and resulted in making Caucasus as integral part of the Russian polity for more than half a century.
SOVIET ECONOMIC MODEL: UNION CENTER AND THE BALTIC REPUBLICS 1953 to March 1965 For the first time ever, this collection of documents offers its readers a whole range of sources on economic history of the Baltic republics. These documents will give the reader a picture of the main trends, problems and achievements of national economies of the Baltic republics, their interaction with the union Center, decision coordination mechanisms, conflicts and controversies accompanying these relationships.
The article is the author’s contribution to the discussion of contemporary Russian philosophers, historians and social anthropologists on the role of Russia in the mental construction of Orient as the Other by different European intellectuals and politicians at the age of colonial empires. He examines the history of the European concepts of Orient (Orientalism), transfers of colonial knowledge between Russia and other colonial empires, the relationship between Orientology and and Orientalism in Russia, the influence of these metanarratives on Russia’s own Orientalizing Orient. The focus is made on intellectual consequences of deconstruction of Orientalist discourse in postcolonial (and post-Soviet) studies In addition, the author analyzes contemporary heuristic potential of this concept, as well as today’s academic discussion on the relationship of Orientalism and Oriental studies.
Using a natural experiment situation, this chapter describes the process of curriculum reform in Russian-medium schools in Latvia and Estonia. The research question focuses on whether those curriculum reforms were successful from the perspective of schools’ interiorisation of new curriculum and PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) performance improvement. Using the three-layered curriculum approach (intended, implemented and attained curriculum), this chapter analyses how the intentions of the laws and other reform-related documents were implemented in everyday school practice and are reflected in attained educational results. To address this issue, a series of in-depth interviews in Russian-medium schools, in conjunction with the PISA 2003 2012 trends analysis, were conducted. The results showed that intended and attained curricula have grown closer in both countries. Schools actively implement proposed reforms in teaching, and PISA performance has been constantly improving, showing that the attained curriculum is approaching what was intended, though this process is different in the two countries.
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.
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.