The Changing Space for NGOs: Civil Society in Authoritarian and Hybrid Regimes
In this introductory essay to the special issue on civil society in authoritarian and hybrid regimes, we review core themes in the growing literature on shrinking or closing space for civil society. We discuss the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) as agents of democratization and note the emergence of dual, at times apparently conflicting policy postures within authoritarian regimes (restriction and repression for some CSOs vs. financial support and opportunities for collaboration for others). We posit that different conceptual perspectives applied to civil society can help account for the duality of authoritarian postures and examine repercussions for three key subgroups of CSOs: claims-making (or advocacy) NGOs, nonprofit service providers and regime-loyal NGOs supporting often populist and nationalist discourses.
The book is devoted to the causes and special aspects of modern authoritarian political regimes, which differ from their last century analogues with a pronounced imitative character. Hamstrung by democratic constitutions and international obligations, many post-socialist countries actually mimic democratic institutions and procedures, trying to hide real authoritarianism behind a beautiful democratic signboard. It turns out that the level of authoritarianism is directly proportional to the imitations level. The study also proves that the imitations level is also proportional to the levels of aggression, corruption and poverty. What are the reasons for the rise of imitative political regimes? How and by what means is their constitutional field transformed? On what grounds can they be identified in advance? The book attempts to answer these questions in the name of preventing the threat of return of authoritarianism in the post-socialist countries.
In the coming decades in the process of globalization the position of the USA and Europe will weaken, while the role of developing countries will increase. The role of the two largest emerging economies – China and India – will be of special significance. What future will these fast-growing giants face? The demographers agree that pretty soon India will lead the world in population and thus surpass China, while China will encounter serious population ageing. But economic and political scenarios of the future are quite different: from resounding success and world leadership to collapse caused by demographic and socio-political troubles. Which of them is more feasible? In the present article I analyze the Chinese and Indian development models separately and comparatively and make prognosis of their perspectives in the twenty-first century. Such an analysis could be helpful for understanding Russia's ways of development.
The number of conflicts in the world is increasing, as well as their intensity and fierceness. We see the trend of unfolding spiral of violence in the world and thus there is a pressing need to assess the underlying reasons of it. Challenges to a secure development of the world stem from political, economic and social issues that have long been ignored or have not been effectively dealt with by both policymakers and researchers. Likewise, both academic and policy responses to the unfolding global grievances and local ferocities are still one-sided in many cases, which causes ever more fighting and insurgence. This project aims to fill in existing lacunas in the area of understanding issues underlying the current global conflict trend, many of which have long been in the shadow of research and policy-analysis internationally. This book project sheds light on complicated and long-term issues, such as revival of authoritarianism, crucial transformation of peacekeeping concept, rising security and strategic issues of small states, as well as security challenges presented by\to new international grouping such as BRICS. An intentionally diverse scope of this project allows to bring along such issues as Islamophobia and the prospects for Christian-Muslim dialogue, the scope, essence and consequences of international sanctions to manage international disputes, as well as the issue of a failed state. The geographical scope of this project ranges from North Korea to Somalia, and from Russia to Brazil. This project aims to educate all interested in the underlying fundamental long-term reasons of current political conflicts worldwide and to provoke debate on many issues that are still considered “second priority level”, though they provide even stronger basis for the current conflict-prone situation in the world. This book project aims to satisfy the need of in-depth analysis and expertise on issues of international sanctions, revival of authoritarianism, failure of state, formation of new international organizations, changing essence of peacekeeping in conflict-prone areas and globally, new contexts for Muslim-Christian dialogue and it successes and failures, as well as lesser-known contexts of strategic choices of small states.
The authors: Francesco Giumelli, Mitchell Belfer, Hanna Shelest, Piskunova Natalia, Gracian Cimek, Yefimova Anna, Bekkin Renat, Solkin Victor, Sarah Rial, Esther Sule.
On the basis of in-depth case studies of four Russian regions, Kirov and Voronezh oblasts and Krasnoyarsk and Perm' krais, the trade-offs among social and economic policy at the regional level in Russia are examined. All four regional governments seek to develop entrepreneurship while preserving social welfare obligations and improving compensation in the public sector. Richer regions have a greater ability to reconcile social commitments with the promotion of business. Regions differ in their development strategies, some placing greater emphasis on indigenous business development and others seeking to attract federal or foreign investment. Governors have considerable discretion in choosing their strategy so long as they meet basic performance demands set by the federal government such as ensuring good results for the United Russia party. In all four regions, governments consult actively with local business associations whereas organized labor is weak. However, the absence of effective institutions to enforce commitments undertaken by government and its social partners undermines regional capacity to use social policy as a basis for long-term economic development.
In the 1990s, sub-national authoritarian regimes – local-based monopolies of ruling elites – emerged in many of Russia’s regions and cities against the background of spontaneous decentralization of government and competitive electoral politics. In the 2000s, the decline of political competition and recentralization of the Russian state led to incorporation of sub-national authoritarian regimes under federal control and cooptation of local-based actors into the dominant party, United Russia. This paper is devoted to a comparative analysis of sub-national authoritarianism in Russia in light of the experience of local political machines in other countries, ranging from US cities from the 1870s-1930s to Southern Italy from the 1950s-1980s. Unlike the American political machines, which were demolished from below as a by-product of modernization processes, Russia’s sub-national authoritarian regimes were integrated from above into the nation-wide authoritarianism. One might expect further stagnation of sub-national authoritarian regimes in Russia until major regime changes will occur on the national level.
Various forms of dictatorship have been a context in which SBS have been developing through most of the 20th century. Nazi and fascist regimes in Europe, Communist single-party states, military juntas in Latin America and elsewhere in the post-colonial world accompanied the crisis of tradition and development of modernity as an alternative to liberal democracy. Dictatorships have thoroughly affected the history of SBS pursuing a policy of repression and control and, sometimes, encouraging a growth of various social science disciplines. The lack of intellectual and institutional autonomy is generally endured, though to different degrees and in different aspects, by SBS under dictatorship.
This book contains the proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2012) which was organized and sponsored by the Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC) and technically co-sponsored by SPEE (Portuguese Society for Engineering Education), IGIP (International Society for Engineering Education), ROLE (Responsive Open Learning Environments) and IFIP TC3 (International Federation for Information Processing - Technical Committee 3 - ICT and Education).
CSEDU has become an annual meeting place for presenting and discussing learning paradigms, best practices and case studies that concern innovative computer-supported learning strategies, institutional policies on technology-enhanced learning including learning from distance, supported by technology. The Web is currently a preferred medium for distance learning and the learning practice in this context is usually referred to as e-learning or technology-enhanced learning. CSEDU 2012 is expected to give an overview of the state of the art in technology-enhanced learning and to also outline upcoming trends and promote discussions about the education potential of new learning technologies in the academic and corporate world.
This conference brings together researchers and practitioners interested in methodologies and applications related to the education field. It has five main topic areas, covering different aspects of Computer Supported Education, including "Information Technologies Supporting Learning", "Learning/Teaching Methodologies and Assessment", "Social Context and Learning Environments", "Domain Applications and Case Studies" and "Ubiquitous Learning". We believe the proceedings, demonstrate new and innovative solutions, and highlight technical problems in each field that are challenging and worthwhile.
CSEDU 2012 received 243 paper submissions from 58 countries in all continents. A double-blind review process was enforced, with the help of the 297 experts who are members of the conference program committee, all of them internationally recognized in one of the main conference topic areas. Only 29 papers were selected to be published and presented as full papers, i.e. completed work (10 pages in proceedings / 30' oral presentations). 73 papers, describing work-in-progress, were selected as short papers for 20' oral presentation. Furthermore 37 papers were presented as posters. The full-paper acceptance ratio was thus 12%, and the total oral paper acceptance ratio was less than 42%. These ratios denote a high level of quality, which we intend to maintain and reinforce in the next edition of this conference.
The high quality of the CSEDU 2012 programme is enhanced by three keynote lectures, delivered by distinguished guests who are renowned experts in their fields, including (alphabetically): Joseph Trimmer (Ball State University, United States), David Kaufman (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Hugh Davis (University of Southampton, United Kingdom).
For the fourth edition of the conference we extended and ensured appropriate indexing of the proceedings of CSEDU including DBLP, INSPEC, EI and Thomson Reuters Conference Proceedings Citation Index. Besides the proceedings edited by SciTePress, a short list of papers presented at the conference will be selected for publication of extended and revised versions in the Journal of Education and Information Technologies. Furthermore, all presented papers will soon be available at the SciTePress digital library.
The conference is complemented with two special sessions, focusing on specialized aspects of computer supported education; namely, a Special Session on Enhancing Student Engagement in e-Learning (ESEeL 2012) and a Special Session on Serious Games on Computer Science Learning (SGoCSL 2012).
Building an interesting and successful program for the conference required the dedicated effort of many people. Firstly, we must thank the authors, whose research and development efforts are recorded here. Secondly, we thank the members of the program committee and additional reviewers for their diligence and expert reviewing. We also wish to include here a word of appreciation for the excellent organization provided by the conference secretariat, from INSTICC, who have smoothly and efficiently prepared the most appropriate environment for a productive meeting and scientific networking. Last but not least, we thank the invited speakers for their invaluable contribution and for taking the time to synthesize and deliver their talks.