Legal mobilization in Russia: how organizations of lawyers can support social changes
To illustrate the role of organizations of lawyers in social changes we analyze the process of transforming legal and socio-political institutions in Russia over the past 30 years.We combine the theory of legal mobilization with the concept of violence and social orders proposed by North, Wallis and Weingast to describe the general logic of this process. Russian case shows that exogenous shocks stimulate collective action of criminal defence lawyers which, in turn, compel the government to respond. The state can promote the passivity of the legal community and stop legal mobilization by providing certain preferences for the profession. Even though in the 2000s, Russia took the path of destroying legal institutions, legal profession in certain circumstances could again act as an agent of social change. We conclude that the efficiency of collective action depends on the institutional capacity of legal association and on the position of the professional elite standing at its head.
Collective Management of Residential Housing in Russia: The Importance of Being Social Homeowners associations (HOAs) implement collective management in residential housing. We assess the performance of such associations in Russia by using the stochastic frontier technique. Cultural traits enabling tenants to make proper use of the HOA decision-making procedures are essential for resolving the collective action problem and ensure accountability of governing bodies and outside contractors. Such “technical civic competence” has a stronger impact on HOA performance than more conventional forms of social capital which rise in their significance when HOA governance breaks down and informal grassroots alternatives are mobilized instead. Massive and indiscriminate “supplyled” introduction of collective management in residential housing without matching cultural and institutional prerequisites could be counterproductive. Flexibility, freedom of choice, and market development are required to avert the failures of HOAs commonly observed in Russia.
This research investigates how variation in sociality, or the degree to which one feels belonging to a group, affects the propensity for participation in collective action. By bringing together rich models of social behavior from social psychology with decision modeling techniques from economics, these mechanisms can ultimately foster cooperation in human societies. While variation in the level of sociality surely exists across groups, little is known about whether and how it changes behavior in the context of various economic games. Specifically, we found some socialization task makes minimal group members behavior resemble that of an established group. Consistent with social identity theory, we discovered that inducing this type of minimal sociality among participants who were previously unfamiliar with each other increased social identity, and sustained cooperation rates in the newly formed groups to the point that they were comparable to those in the already established groups. Our results demonstrate that there are relatively simple ways for individuals in a group to agree about appropriate social behavior, delineate new shared norms and identities.
In the light of the analysis of certain jury peculiarities in this article the author suggests a number of practical recommendations to lawyers, defending the accused in «court equal», concerning the matters of defence strategy and tactics development, rules of behaviour and positioning the trial parties, acquisition of necessary professional skills and personal qualities.
The Russian Law community is analyzed to evaluate its potential for collective action under imperfect institutional environment: joint activity to monitor compliance with professional ethics, quality of legal education, representing the interests of professional groups at the state level.
The collection of papers includes the articles, which examine some of the most actual problems of the modern Chinese studies. Among these problems are the connections between our two contries in the period, when the Chinese Communist Party came to power, and on the modern stage, the problems of formation and development of Chinese "global cities", the development of the law in the PRC, the history of the Guomindang, history and modern condition of the Chinese armed forces.
The article presents an empirical study conducted on the material of the Russian language segment of Change.org in the theoretical field of digital political participation and in the case of slacktivism to clarify e-petitions contribution to changes in public life. The purpose of the study is to present thematic dominants in federal districts at the levels of petitioning and support by online voting.
22452 Change.org petitions from 2012 to 2017 were extracted and analysed with the Python software (Lxml, Requests and Re libraries). The territory of their creation was marked as well. 918 petitions identified by the author as ‘executed’ were taken for the analysis by region. Both text databases underwent the open coding technique using the AntConc and TopicMiner software and descriptive statistics tools, i.e. cluster analysis (SPSS Statistics 22).
As a result, three groups of territories were identified. In the first group, the government and business are ready to solve a wide range of issues in the region and they are responding to the requests; in the second group, they respond only to the survival problems; in the third group of territories, they feel the safest, helping animals and ignoring other demands.
The study suggests ‘an offline effect’ of online petitions where the themes are an integrative indicator: they reflect the needs of the population of a given territory, indicate the recognition of the problem as worth solving and show what problems the regional authorities or business are ready to tackle without significant public pressure.