The Judiciary of Post-Soviet Russia in Its Social Context
This article contains an analysis of the judiciary of post-Soviet Russia in its social context. The study is based on opinion polls. The majority of Russians take a negative attitude to the judiciary. They have no respect for, or confidence in, their country’s judicial system. They believe that the court system is dependent on the other branches of government and is manipulated by political and economic actors. Judges are not seen as defenders of people’s rights and are considered to be corrupt, unjust, and inhumane. This is assumed to explain the accusatory nature of the Russian judiciary. The majority of Russian judges are vehicles of administrative bureaucratic professional subculture who have their entire professional conduct determined by superior authorities. The judicial system is controlled by court chairpersons who received their professional training and accumulated most of their experience in the Soviet period. The judicial branch of post-Soviet Russia has inherited major problems from the Soviet judicial system and is incapable of being an impartial arbiter and the conscience of the state.
Previous research showed that under uncertainty (when we are not sure about what the correct answer is) in informal contexts such as chatting with friends, we tend to provide any retrieved information indiscriminately. However, in more formal contexts, like a job interview, we apply a more conservative threshold and balance reporting some information while withholding other answers as a way to provide some information while keeping the accuracy high, if possible. The left medial prefrontal cortex (lmPFC) was suggested as one of the areas linked with self-referential processing in metacognitive decisions. In the present research, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to assess the involvement of the lmPFC in two different types of social contexts: formal and informal. Three groups of participants were exposed for 15 minutes to an offline 1-Hz rTMS stimulation of either: (1) lmPFC, (2) control site (rmPFC) or (3) sham (placebo stimulation). Afterwards, participants answered difficult general knowledge questions and rated their confidence in the correctness of their answers. Finally, they decided if they would report or withhold those answers in a formal (job interview) and in informal (chatting with friends) contexts. There were significantly more reported than withheld answers in the informal context for all three groups. However, in the formal context, there were more withheld than reported answers in the lmPFC group, with no differences in the other two groups. No differences in confidence ratings between groups were found. These results suggest a selective involvement of the lmPFC in self-monitoring in formal contexts; its inhibition seems to highlight the need of accuracy in our answers in a job interview over the socially more acceptable behaviour of always providing an answer when asked.
Із традиційною свободою думки, саркастичной аргументовано Ричард Познер береться змалювати не тільки наявну традицію суддівського мислення, а й ту, якою вона має бути. Зрозумілой дотепно автор роз’яснює відмінності між визначеними ним дев’ятьма ііггеллектуальними стилями правосуддя, наводить докази існування прірви між науковцями-нравниками та суддями, окреслює прагматичний підхід до правосуддя.
In the study at hand, we focus on how social contexts promote academic performance disparities between Russian high schools. In particular, we investigate how a school's average USE (Unified State Examination) scores in Russian and mathematics relate to the social composition of its student body, material and human resources, and local deprivation. We develop a two-level hierarchical regression model to analyze data from school profiles collected in two Russian regions (Yaroslavskaya Oblast’ and Moskovskaya Oblast’) during the 2011-12 academic year. Both social characteristics of the student body as well as the schools' material and human resources were associated with academic performance. However, after controlling for the characteristics of pupils and schools, our study did not discover any significant independent effects of the local context. We discuss the implications of these findings with regard to developing contextualized measures of academic performance in Russia, and show how such measures could be used to identify cases of “resilient” and “failing” schools for the purposes of more accurate evaluations. In conclusion, we discuss the limitations of the current research and suggest several possibilities for empirical development.
This work is analyzing the Icon of the Last Judgment, which is most probably painted in the Yaroslavl region. Many striking and evocative images in the Last Judgment icon present a clear, interesting, representative and comprehensive catalog of the complex theological concepts connected to the Last Judgment theme as they evolved during the 17th century. Its iconography exemplifies all the teachings of Russian Orthodox tradition and includes additional Bible-based subjects not found in standard Christian doctrine; for example, the representation of “Outcast Nations” argues that different peoples enjoy different degrees of access to salvation, and that some peoples, to the mind of 17th-century Russian society, are beyond salvation. There is also attention to the Russian social context, and some depictions show that the artist or artists who created the icon grappled with social questions, attempting to categorize sinners who were condemned by Russian society at that time. An example of such itemization is the group who sinned by excessive drinking, which, unusually, is depicted separately from other groups of sinners and, it is implied, are to be treated with more than the traditional level of mercy.
Russian media are often accused of succumbing to state pressure (or of being an instrument of such pressure) , subordinating to power and, by implication, of being excessively dependent on state financing . In this contribution we are trying to systematically understand and analyze how the Russian state, in its post-Soviet incarnation, incorporates (or envisions incorporation of) the media into the national system of public institutions, and indeed how the state develops and implements public policy in respect of Russian media, are much more rare. Such analysis is, of course, complicated by the dual nature of media in Russia and in many other countries – on the one hand, as a branch of the economy and a market player among many, and on the other hand a purveyor of information, interpreter of cultural codes, and provider of public goods .
The book’s stated objective is to uncover context, “how social capital interacts with social institutions.” It is part of a new wave of research on social capital that, dissatisfied with both macro analyses limited to societal patterns and micro analyses limited to actors’ conditions, seeks to understand the operation of networks at the meso-level: how institutions and organizations structure the transfer of resources across networks. It purports to make both theoretical and methodological contributions, the first by developing the concept of “institutional logics,” the latter by “casting diverse contextual settings as ‘generators’ of social relations”, and studying these contexts from multiple methodological perspectives. (from a review by M. Small)
The paper suggests an approach to assessing performance of educational institutions with regard to their social specifics. To develop this approach, the authors relied upon 1) results of numerous studies proving correlations between student performance and contextual factors (both in Russia and abroad); 2) foreign colleagues’ experience of solving similar problems; and 3) the idea of providing minimum required information to enable such assessments in contemporary Russia. The fundamental idea lying behind the proposed assessment tool is that, having necessary data at hand, one can identify empirically stable correlations between student performance and contextual factors (e. g. different social composition of students). In research practice, these correlations were revealed through multiple regression analysis. Results of such analysis—established empirical correlations—may then be used to “discount” formal progress, i. e. to have justifiably higher expectations about institutions in more favorable contexts and lower expectations about those in less favorable situations. The authors think over two ways of using this information: based either on a formula or on a specific index (the index of school social well-being) they have elaborated. They also draw attention towards possible constraints associated with using these tools and touch upon a more global problem of considering contextual factors in assessing the quality of education in Russia.
The chapter analyses the process of discursive construction of the image of “liberalism” in post-Soviet Russia. The author sticks at the reputation approach, i.e. considers as “liberals” the politicians and pubic intellectuals who call themselves this way or are regarded as such by their contemporaries. Analyzing the texts of the “liberals” and their critics the author argues that the current crisis of liberalism in Russia is partly a consequence of the form in which it was invented in the 1990s. Liberalism in Russia is associated with the Westernism, obsession with the market economic reforms, paternalist approach to the illiberal majority, criticism of the authoritarian regime and renunciation of imperial ambitions. In the context of political and ideological shifts of the 2000s and the 2010s this combination of ideas facilitated a development of the negative image of liberalism and its political marginalization.
The paper analyzes the method of identifying the worldviews of individuals: its theoretical foundations dating back to the works by M.Douglas (describing four types of cultures – individualistic, hierarchical, egalitarian and fatalistic) and its empirical implementation proposed by S.Rippl. Test-retest reliability of the method and its internal consistency are evaluated with the data from an online-survey. Evaluation of the construct validity of this method is based on the empirical study examining the value of human life. It is shown that a particular type of respondent’s worldview (that is operationalized using a set of normative judgments on various topics – work, family, values, etc.) has a weak effect upon the value that the respondent attributes to the human life. Few cases of the revealed worldview’s influence on judgment (under certain circumstances members of hierarchy evaluate human life higher than individualists and egalitarians are characterized by the highest propensity to save people whose lives are threatened) suggest a low construct validity of the method.
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.