They Sow the Wind and Reap the Whirlwind (Covid Doubt in St. Petersburg).
Lacking state-imposed quarantines, we’ve been abandoned to personal choices. Advising us to save ourselves and our neighbors by staying home, our governments struggle to keep the wrong doubts from going viral. The Russian state, in particular, has announced crackdowns on fake news: citing the danger of Covid-19, new laws harshly penalize the “spread of false information.” But accusations of falsity are as bottomless as the hoaxes they try to contain. States accuse each other of spreading disinformation, and scholars show that these accusations are themselves often false, that “an EU-funded body set up to fight disinformation ends up producing it.” The falsity of such accusations of falsity gives fodder for new accusations. And thus the battle against an infectious pandemic becomes overshadowed by the battle for faith, against doubt. In this “infodemic,” America’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges citizens to do these “three easy things: Don’t believe the rumors; Don’t pass them along; Go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal (COVID-19) response.”
Can a state agency order citizens (not) to believe?
The article considers the main trends in the contemporary media space and analyzes the coverage of Russia issues in online versions of USA Today and The New York Times. The ideas of M. McLuhan, D. McQuail, J. Van Deijck, M. Castells form the theoretical basis of the research. USA Today and The New York Times provide free access to most of their materials which are available for the computer, Iphone, and Ipad users. Video and slide-shows attract readers from all over the world. Russia became actual theme in 2014 in the US media, but it had been peripheral during the previous decade. Sochi Olympiad, Crimea unification with the RF, conflict in Ukraine, Putin, - those were the main topics of USA Today and The New York Times related to Russia. USA Today's coverage of Russian problems was more neutral and balanced compared to tough rhetoric of The New York Times. At the same time both newspapers view the country as an “alien”, but not an enemy.
The Encyclopedia of Law and Society is the largest comprehensive and international treatment of the law and society field. With an Advisory Board of 62 members from 20 countries and six continents, the three volumes of this state-of-the-art resource represent interdisciplinary perspectives on law from sociology, criminology, cultural anthropology, political science, social psychology, and economics. By globalizing the Encyclopedia's coverage, American and international law and society will be better understood within its historical and comparative context.
A joint research project carried out by an interdisciplinary group of Russian and Swedish linguists, sociologists and educators-psychologists (the Swedish Institute grant), besides solving pragmatic tasks of finding out relative quantitative-qualitative specificity of national cognitive representations of values, first of all, had methodological goals. They were to check the efficiency of the linguistic methods developed in this study (and, thus, to prove the theoretical ideas that served the basis for it) of getting factual data that allow reconstructing and comparing of the corresponding areas of cognitive representations.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.