How Ready Are We for Democracy?
The spring elections of people's deputies of the USSR were perhaps the most important event in our political life since the Nineteenth Party Conference. For the first time in many decades we found ourselves in the role of real subjects of the political process, and thus began a transition from a purely theoretical study of democracy to its practical assimilation.
This paper attempts to examine the effects of Political Risk (PR) and Democracy on Japanese outward Foregn Direct Investment (FDI) activities. Our theoretical model suggests an overall inverted U-shape response of FDI flows to PR and Democracy levels. To test the theoretical hypotheses we estimate a linear dynamic panel-data model using data from 56 developed and developing countries for the period 1995-2010. We find that an improvement in PR and Democracy promotes Japanese FDI to developing countries, and slightly discourages Japanese FDI to developed countries.
The article discusses the views of Alexei Borovoi, one of the most prominent representatives of Russian post-classical anarchism, on issues related to the phenomena of parliamentarism and representative democracy. The first part of the article examines the basic philosophy behind the concept of anarcho-humanism, which determined Borovoi’s critical attitude to parliamentarian organization. His doctrine are based on negative dialectics and the continuous pursuit of an ideal that sends the society on an eternal quest for political forms compatible with the requirements of individuals with an ever increasing degree of liberty. The main part of the article analyzes Borovoi’s arguments against parliamentarism that can be summed up in the following six points: (a) the class nature of parliaments and the fi ctitious power of popular will; (b) the tyranny of the masses; (c) the parliament’s subordination to the government; (d) the opportunism of political parties; (e) the hypocrisy of election procedures; and (f) non-professionalism of parliamentarians.
The article analyses various aspects of impact that elections produce on political institutions. In includes “ritual” function of elections which produce a political nation, legitimation of all political institutions and professional political class. Another function is representation of citizens in the political domain by virtue of intermediary political institutions. Yet another, is building a system of checks and balances and conflict management. Besides, the article discusses the problem of accountability of elected officials and the phenomenon of modern populism and other new trends in relations between parties and voters. The concluding chapter briefly touches upon the specific features and effects of elections in the Russian political system.
quarter of a century has passed since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1993, yet the issue of the results and the prospects for constitutional transformation has not disappeared from the political agenda. For some, the Constitution signifies an ultimate break up with the communist past and a legal foundation for the advancement of the Russian society toward democracy and the rule of law; for the others, it is exactly the Constitution that is the culprit for the authoritarian trend that has prevailed, and for the sustained stagnation in Russia’s economic, social and political development. The author of this chapter is in the middle of these extreme viewpoints. He believes that the Constitution has truly played a pivotal role in Russia’s move toward democracy by establishing the basic principles of civil society and the rule of law, and in this respect, it remains of everlasting and paramount importance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it should be utterly inaccessible for changes, especially given the elapsed time and the negative experience of the authoritarian transformation of the political regime, the amendments that were introduced between2008 and 2014, and the current objectives of the democratic movement. The rationale for changes is to return to the constitutional principles, reaffirm their initial democratic meaning by rejecting the excessive concentration of the Presidential power, the results of counter-reforms and the adulteration through legislative and regulatory compliance practices. Some of the proposed remedies aim to establish a new form of government (Presidential - Parliamentary), which would necessitate Constitutional amendments — adjustments that would regulate the separation of powers and redistribution of authority. Others seek to transform the system without changing the text of the Constitution through legislative reforms, judicial interpretation and the policy of law. Yet, the third approach prioritizes institutional reforms. Not everything in social development depends on the provisions of the law, political improvisation and practice can prove just as critical. In their cumulative entirety such initiatives can help avoid the two extremes: that of constitutional stagnation gravitating toward the bureaucratic asphyxiation, and that of constitutional populism which has a tendency to destabilize the political system. In its practical activities to transform the political regime, the opposition ought to remember the maximum repeatedly confirmed by experience, — the further a party is from power, the more radical tend to be its constitutional proposals. Conversely, empowered groups tend to be more moderate in their initiatives.
This chapter provides a preliminary analysis and explanations for the topics and problems that are explored in the book. In particular, the complexities and contradictions in the use of the concepts of Islamism, radical Islamism, and moderate Islamism are shown. One of the ideas that we argue is that, under certain conditions (in particular, a strong political order and participation of Islamists in elections), moderate groups begin to prevail, whereas with the banning of Islamist organizations and the persecution of them radical ones do. Such ambivalence of Islamism is not always taken into account, which sometimes leads to serious political consequences. One of the most acute issues is whether Islam is compatible with democracy? Probably, to a certain extent, it is. On the other hand, since the Islamists enjoy broad popularity among the Muslim populations, the democratic procedures are generally profitable for them. That is why it is impossible and dangerous to try to completely separate democratic and Muslim values, but it is necessary to search for a certain balance between them. In this introductory chapter, we also introduce a series of issues that are analyzed in the chapters of this monograph such as the Arab Spring and opportunities for democracy in Muslim countries; Islamism and Values; the Middle East, revolutions, World System, and Geopolitics; Islamic Radicalism and Terrorism. The Arab Spring is one of the main issues of this introductory chapter and this monograph. These events revealed the forces and problems which turned the renovation expectations of the spring into the gloomy reality of winter. Thus, answering the question in the headline of the present chapter, we can say: revolutions have only exacerbated the Arab countries’ problems. Unfortunately, over the seven years none of the Arab revolutions has solved any serious problem (and probably, will ever be able to). But, of course, in the sense of historical experience, with regard to the possibilities of searching for new forms of organizing society, these revolutions were of great importance for the region. However, the price of such experience is too high.
This book, with theoretical and practical analyses of comparative political systems of Eastern countries (Asia and Africa), their political process and political cultures, describes and analyses the influence of political culture on political process in the Eastern world. It gives readers an opportunity to make a comparative appraisal of maturity of civil society in these countries as well as their specifics in political interactions and internal political competition seen through the eyes of a group of distinguished Russian researchers. The book concentrates also on specifics of political-economic and political modernization in the East, and assesses the prospects of an emergence of a Western as well as a non-Western democracy in the framework of Eastern political transformations. It also explains why the one-dimensional spread of democracy — completely negating or neglecting regional political-cultural specifics — may lead to war among civilizations instead of the formation of a more just and fair system of democratic governance.
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.
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.