Interest Representation and Social Policy Making: Russian Veterans’ Organisations as Brokers between the State and Society
The essay investigates how Russian veterans’ organisations represent the concerns of their constituency visà-vis the Russian state. An interest group approach is applied to investigate the ‘brokering’ function exercised by veterans’ organisations to lobby on behalf of their constituency. The analysis is based on the study of selected veterans’ organisations in Karelia and St Petersburg. The research finds that veterans’ organisations operate in a restricted environment, though our analysis shows that their agency has mattered, largely due to their political connections. The investigation reveals those mechanisms through which Russian veterans’ organisations act as brokers.
What happens when vote buying becomes a means of social policy? Although one could cynically ask this question just as easily about the United States’s mature democracy, Diego Abente Brun and Larry Diamond ask this question about democracies in the developing world through an assessment of political clientelism, or what is commonly known as patronage.
The article deals with well-known Laval case of European Court of Justice. This case has provoked, on one hand, the big discussions over the theoretical problem of collision of labour and economic rights. On the other hand, it has illustrated the problems that followed the European Union enlargement, associated with incomes’ gap of workers in the “old” and “new” EU member-states. Both aspects of Laval case are interesting for Russia from comparative perspective in light of balancing social rights and economic freedoms and prospects of economic integration of Russia with other countries within the Eurasian region.
The article contains analysis of flexibility as an important factor of the international labour standards’ effectiveness. This factor is explored in terms of substantive, form and implementation flexibility. Substantive flexibility is defined as a vague language or special «flexibility clauses» of the international treaties aimed at facilitation of their further ratification. The author suggests that ILO policy in this respect is excessively flexible, without reasonable justification by the higher probability of the Conventions’ ratification. The form flexibility is understood as the adoption of the international labour standards in form of either international treaties or as «soft-law» instruments. The experience of drafting of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 (MLC) is treated as rather successful one in respect of combination of elements of a binding treaty and a soft-law act in the single instrument. The mechanism of amendment of the Maritime Labour Convention is also interesting in respect of the possibility to apply the amended Convention towards the state that ratified its earlier text — in the «semi-automatic» manner. The implementation flexibility follows from the politics of the international organizations concerning the control over the adopted international labour standards. Despite the fact that ILO possibilities to control the application of its instruments are rather limited, the Organization doesn’t make a full use of even the available means of control. The ILO is significantly more flexible in application of its standards than the European regional organizations — the Council of Europe and the European Union.
The Labour Code of Russia was amended in 2013 in a way that a new body of workers’ representation – works councils – can be established. These amendments don’t add any new rights or obligations neither to employers nor to employees. They are made with purely political purposes and only imitate the creation of the analog of the well-known German system of works councils.
The author comes to conclusion that currently existing rights in informing and “taking into account” the workers’ representative body opinion, contained in the Russian Labour Code, are not sufficient for existence of the real industrial democracy.
The article is aimed at answering the question, whether an implementation of functioning works councils may be beneficial to the adequate balancing of social rights of workers and economic rights of the employers.
Although the full transposition of the German works councils system seems to be impossible, some of its positive features may be effectively adopted in the Russian law. For example, the employer’s obligation to consult workers shouldn’t be dependent on the existence of the workers’ representative bodies. Besides, a range of issues that are subject to the mandatory informing of workers by the employer must be significantly broadened. The procedure of consultations must include the real negotiations between the employer and employees on the basis of good faith principle.
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.