Social Mobility and Stability of Democracy: Re-evaluating de Tocqueville
An influential thesis often associated with de Tocqueville views socialmobility
as a bulwark of democracy: whenmembers of a social group expect to join the ranks
of other social groups in the near future, they should have less reason to exclude
these other groups from the political process. In this article, we investigate this
hypothesis using a dynamic model of political economy. As well as formalizing
this argument, our model demonstrates its limits, elucidating a robust theoretical
force making democracy less stable in societies with high social mobility: when the
median voter expects to move up (respectively down), she would prefer to give less
voice to poorer (respectively richer) social groups. Our theoretical analysis shows
that in the presence of social mobility, the political preferences of an individual
depend on the potentially conflicting preferences of her “future selves,” and that the
evolution of institutions is determined through the implicit interaction between
occupants of the same social niche at different points in time.
The nature of European imperialism during the "long nineteenth century" is still contested. Although the shadows of the old polemic framed by Schumpeter and Lenin's diametrically opposed positions are still occasionally cast upon the discussion, more recent appraisals of European imperialism have emphasized its relationship to both the consolidation of liberalism in Europe and attempts to globalize the economies and value systems of European nation states. Given this new line of inquiry, the exact relationship between the various forms of liberalism in Europe and the various imperial projects of Europe have yet to be scrutinized. Was there an overarching European project of liberal imperialism or were there overriding regional and national differences that differentiated the imperialism/s of the various European states? Did the contours of the domestic struggles between liberals and non-liberals (particularly conservatives and socialists) as well between different types of liberals leave a significant imprint on the expansionist policies of European states or was there a national consensus that eroded party lines on issues of foreign policy? What was the social composition of the supporters of empire in civil society? Is it possible to speak of a popular movement for empire? In this state-of-the-field anthology, leading scholars in the fields of European imperial history and intellectual history explore these questions and more, in order to thoroughly investigate the phenomenon of "liberal imperialism."
The Working Paper examines the peculiarities of the Russian model of corporate governance and control in the banking sector. The study relies upon theoretical as well as applied research of corporate governance in Russian commercial banks featuring different forms of ownership. We focus on real interests of all stakeholders, namely bank and stock market regulators, bank owners, investors, top managers and other insiders. The Anglo-American concept of corporate governance, based on agency theory and implying outside investors’ control over banks through stock market, is found to bear limited relevance. We suggest some ways of overcoming the gap between formal institutions of governance and the real life.
The main focus of this paper is the relation between the realisation of the right of the child to express his/her views and democracy in Russia. With this in view, I will study the interconnection between the right to express the views and the right to participate. Further, I will give an overview of the specifics of democracy in Russia, how they influence political participation, and what could be done to prevent the further infantilisation of citizens in Russia. Finally, I will explore traditional perceptions with regard to children’s participation in Russia and the legal framework and practice of the implementation of the child’s right to social and political participation.
This publication is an continuation of the series of yearly Academic Papers, published since 2006, by the “Baltic Practice” interdisciplinary research Center, in a form of structured and edited collection of research papers of participants of the International HSE Summer School “Practice at the Baltic Sea” or simply “Baltic Practice”, submitted by the students of National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, as well undergraduate and graduate students from several European universities, complimented by the commentaries and research articles by research groups academic leaders and experts.
The economic crisis has uncovered three negative Russian tendencies that created institutional obstacles for market economy growth during the last decade: deepening of raw materials specialization, wear and tear of the equipment, gap in scientific and technical progress, and strengthening of the government. To stop these negative tendencies and overcome economic crisis it is necessary to reform developed institutes.
The major problem of the Russian economy is its low performance level. Overcoming development gap in comparison with developed countries will become possible only with the help of innovations. This means that process of generating and using Schumpeterian-type innovations should become the key factor of economic development. It is necessary to note that innovative activity of businessmen can be present in various forms. Depending on existing game rules business activity can get not only productive (J. A. Schumpeter’s creative destruction), but also unproductive (rent seeking) orientation.
The “Concept 2020” analyses the global challenges which Russia faces in its development that amplify high level of social inequality and regional differentiation, preservation of barriers to conducting enterprise activity, weak interrelation of education, science and business, absence of necessary competition in various markets and low level of social capital development. Under these conditions, as A. Gerschenkron wrote, the government becomes the leading factor of economic modernization, and it is its representatives that try to shape the concept of long-term socio-economic development of the country.
It is supposed that gross national product growth will be provided, mainly, by means of priority development of labour productivity and large capital assets investments. Our calculations show they considerably advance growth of productivity and gross national product, and that will lead to increase in a capital intensity of production and falling yield on capital investment. The arising gap between export and import, according to authors of the Concept, will be covered by the accruing inflow of foreign capital.
However the main drawback is the mechanism of maintaining economic growth. Defining concrete aims of development is an important, but an insufficient condition. The institutional mechanism of private sector development stimulation is not developed at all. Meanwhile, sharp increase of expenses on social sphere will raise the question about budget spending. It can be reached either by increase in taxes or by public sector expansion.
In the report it is critically considered not only the official point of view, but also Porter M., Ketels K. “Competitiveness at the Crossroads: Choosing the Future Direction of the Russian Economy”, «The forecast of innovative, technological and structural dynamics of Russian economy till 2030», and RAND Corporation report “The Global Technology Revolution 2020: Trends, Drivers, Barriers, and Social Implications” devoted to tendencies of development of 16 technologies in 29 countries and other forecasts.
In this paper we analyze institutional preconditions and possibilities of application of the concept of social market economy in the 21st century Russia. Basic elements of social market economy are personal liberty, social justice, and economic efficiency.
Personal liberty assumes trust strengthening between agents, development of guarantees of private property, and regular economic policy promoting freedom.
With social justice present market economy promotes social development and strengthens middle class. Democracy will allow to break administrative barriers and to create public control. Social justice also includes address support of vulnerable regions of Russia.
Economic efficiency should be directed towards creation and maintenance of competitive order, strengthening of antimonopoly activity and improving fair entrepreneur’s image. This will make Russia more attractive for workers from abroad and help it develop integrative relations with neighboring countries.
All these measures will raise economic efficiency while creating preconditions for a fast overcoming of the crisis and increasing the well-being and the acceleration of economic development of Russia.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.
This book seeks to “re-think democracy.” Over the past years, there has been a tendency in the global policy community and, even more widely, in the world’s media, to focus on democracy as the “gold standard” by which all things political are measured. This book re-examines democracy in Russia and in the world more generally, as idea, desired ideal, and practice. A major issue for Russia is whether the modernization of Russia might not prosper better by Russia focusing directly on modernization and not worrying too much about democracy. This book explores a wide range of aspects of this important question. It discusses how the debate is conducted in Russia; outlines how Russians contrast their own experiences, unfavourably, with the experience of China, where reform and modernization have been pursued with great success, with no concern for democracy; and concludes by assessing how the debate in Russia is likely to be resolved.
How seriously does the degree of trust in basic social and political institutions for people from different countries depend on their individual characteristics? To answer this question, three types of models have been estimated using the data of the fifth wave of the World Value Survey: the first one based on the assumption about a generalized relationship for all countries, the second one taking into account heterogeneity of countries (using introduction of the country-level variables), the third type applying a preliminary subdivision of countries into five clusters. The obtained results have been used for suggestion of possible actions to increase public confidence in the basic institutions.
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.