Discord or Revolution: A Transition in Arab Political Culture
In the Islamic world the fitnah is a phenomenon deeply rooted in terms of history, religion, politics and even social issues. The Quran mentions the word fitnah and its derivatives over 30 times, invariably with a negative moral connotation. Strictly speaking, the term refers to a wide range of phenomena and actions. Despite the condemnation of the fitnah by the Quran, various periods of Arab-Islamic history witnessed attempts of turning grassroot discontent to political advantage. Throughout history, discords have normally required a race for power as a background and a considerable level of religious, ethnic or clan outrage as a prerequisite. There simply is no room for a discord in a society without a high degree of discontent and anger fueled by propaganda and without an obvious enemy pinpointed by political slogans. The Middle East today is a scene of human passions and feelings bursting out, no longer restrained by the conventionalities of civilisation. We believe that the peculiarities lie in the fact that electoral democracy has made the discord an important tool of campaigning in the countries where the social basis of democratic reforms is either weak or absent, because there is no possibility whatsoever for a social consensus to be achieved. We invite the reader to reflect on the incredible ways of the fitnah as the oldest form of political protest in the world today, to think of discords in the history of various countries and to contemplate on its specific and universal features.
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.
This article studies the issue of democratization of countries within globalization context, it points to the unreasonably high economic and social costs of a rapid transition to democracy as a result of revolutions or of similar large-scale events for the countries unprepared for it. The authors believe that in a number of cases the authoritarian regimes turn out to be more effective in economic and social terms in comparison with emerging democracies especially of the revolutionary type, which are often incapable to insure social order and may have a swing to authoritarianism. Effective authoritarian regimes can also be a suitable form of a transition to efficient and stable democracy. The article investigates various correlations between revolutionary events and possibilities of establishing democracy in a society on the basis of the historical and contemporary examples as well as the recent events in Egypt. The authors demonstrate that one should take into account a country's degree of sociopolitical and cultural preparedness for democratic institutions. In case of favorable background, revolutions can proceed smoothly (‘velvet revolutions’) with efficient outcomes. On the contrary, democracy is established with much difficulty, throwbacks, return to totalitarianism, and with outbreaks of violence and military takeovers in the countries with high illiteracy rate and rural population share, with low female status, with widespread religious fundamental ideology, where a substantial part of the population hardly ever hears of democracy while the liberal intellectuals idealize this form, where the opposing parties are not willing to respect the rules of democratic game when defeated at elections.
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.
This article is talking about state management and cultural policy, their nature and content in term of the new tendency - development of postindustrial society. It mentioned here, that at the moment cultural policy is the base of regional political activity and that regions can get strong competitive advantage if they are able to implement cultural policy successfully. All these trends can produce elements of new economic development.