The challenge of right-wing populism to conservatism and liberal democracy in the United States deserves the most accurate analysis through the prism of an ideological approach. The author investigates ideological structures of American conservatism and populism on the basis of Michael Frieden’s method of «ideological morphology». The methodology of the paper divides ideologies on thin-centered ideology and host ones. The former ones, which include populism, shape their discourse using the concepts of more universal host ideologies like conservatism. The ideological contents of the main types of American conservatism (traditionalism, libertarianism, social conservatism, neoconservatism, paleoconservatism) and various types of populism are under examination in the research. The development of the intellectual conservative movement in the United States in correlation with the ideological evolution of populism is investigated. The interrelatedness of American conservatism and populism at different historical stages is revealed. The author considers the role of American conservatism in the formation of Trumpism, which is leaving the political scene after the 2020 elections, maybe for a while, as a contemporary type of populism in the United States, defines its basic elements such as the antithesis of the ‘pure Americans’ and the ‘corrupt elite’, and the concept of the ‘common people’s will.’ Trumpism, on the one hand, creates a threat to liberal democracy in the United States, and, on the other hand, it is not devoid of potential to correct it. The author has discovered the acceptance of paleoconservative ideas of foreign policy isolationism and economic protectionism by Trumpism as well as the correlation between Trumpism and traditionalism in the domestic political agenda during the presidency of Donald Trump. The 2020 presidential elections results are analyzed in the article in the context of the ideological and political evolution of the Republican Party.
Key words: American conservatism, Republican Party, populism, Trumpism, liberal democracy, ideology, pluralism, elitism, Donald J. Trump.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the discursive practices of Armenian nationalism that were used in media during the acute political crisis caused by the terroristic attack of Sasna Tsrer armed group in July 2016. 316 messages from Armenian mass media were analysed in order to define the groups of speakers (“coalitions”) who used one of three major discursive strategies of representation of Sasna Tsrer: 1) approval, 2) justification or 3) condemnation. The composition and structure of each coalition was examined by mapping the social ties of speakers. The “condemnation coalition” mainly consisted of high-ranked state bureaucrats and members of the ruling parliamentary coalition, while the “approval coalition” mostly included liberal and nationalistic political parties and NGO representatives, Armenian diaspora members, influential performing artists and some Nagorno-Karabakh war veterans. Quantitative analysis showed that it was the “approval coalition” that dominated in the media discourse, while the condemnation strategy was marginalized. In R. Brubaker’s terms, interpretative battle for the denomination and definition of the armed group’s actions was lost by the ruling Armenian elites. Two competing interpretative frames clashed in the discourses on Sasna Tsrer. One of them is the statist frame (connected to condemnation strategy) and the other is counter-statist (connected to the strategy of approval). These two frames directly correspond to the two types of nationalist doctrines and movements, outlined by R. Brubaker, – the state-framed and the counter-state ones. Paradoxically in the studied case both types of nationalism appeal to the same nation, the Armenian one. It was B. Anderson who also noticed the ambivalent nature of nationalism, as it can be both a revolutionary force and a stabilizing one, but in the Armenian case this ambivalence is accompanied by a specific constellation of different types of capital (by P. Bourdieu). The analysis of the discourse of Sasna Tsrer shows that those who hold political and economic capital fail to convert it to symbolic capital, because of the weakness of the etatist frame on nation. At the same time the symbolic capital holders who position themselves discursively through the counter-etatist frame are deprived of political and economic capital.
The article is a reflection on the paper of T.A. Alexeyeva (The Debates about “Great Debates.” How to Structure the Theory of International Relations –Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No. 6. P. 9-21 (In Russ)). The questions raised by T.A. Alekseeva help to understand the origins of ideological and methodological crisis in international relations theory (IRT), which began 25-30 years ago, and has not been overcome until now. The authors emphasize that T.A. Alekseeva, standing on the position of social constructivism, shifts the discussion of the “Great Debates” to the sphere of discourse analysis in the framework of the IRT. Authors agreed with T.A. Alexeyeva in some conclusions: there are different points of view on the periodization and the content of the debate; the debate was sometimes held with some generalized set of ideas, rather than with specific scientists; the use of the “Great Debates” for the periodization of the evolution of IRT does not fully cover the diversity observed in its evolution. At the same time, the authors objected to the statement of T.A. Alekseeva, that the “Great Debates” are just a myth or some kind of half-truth, which reflects some aspects of corresponding discourse. The authors suggest a counter-statement by elaborating their own position in the questions of the IRT history and its evolution as a discipline, according to which the utility of constructivist approach is put into question.
The article presents the results of the study based on the data of the 2012 European Social Survey. The author analyzed the correlation between the population’s attitude towards democracy and the assessment of the importance of its individual aspects (“understanding” of democracy). The analysis was carried out on data from Russia and groups of European countries (Northern Europe, Western Europe, Southern Europe, and the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe). The average resident of all European countries would like to live in a democracy; Nordic countries most strongly wanted to live in a democracy, whilst those who least strongly wished to came from postsocialist countries, especially Russia. Despite a number of similarities between groups of European countries, one can see significant differences between groups of countries in Western and Northern Europe and the group of post-socialist countries and Russia. Russians and the population of the group of post-socialist countries have a lesser attitude towards democracy in their understanding of the importance of its individual characteristics (correlation coefficients with each of the signs of democracy are lower than in other groups of countries). Most signs of democracy are equally important components in the perceptions of the population of Russia and post-socialist countries, while in other groups of countries these views are more differentiated. The study draws attention to the lack of validity of questions about the general attitude towards democracy, used in many international and national polls. It is associated with differences in the understanding of this concept by supporters of democracy in different groups of countries.
The article presents comprehensive analysis of the recentralization policy started in 2000 by V.Putin's administration and directed at the restoration of the federal power organs' control over the key levers of administering the country. On thoroughly analyzing the sources and the concrete content of this policy, the author qualifies it as Soviet solution of post-Soviet problems. According to his conclusion, the transfor- mation of the course of recentralization into new centralism was conditioned, on the one hand, by the removal of competition of federal elites and by the Center's monopoly of working out and adopting political decisions and, on the other, by normative ideals and political ideas of the country's leaders, and as long as these conditions remain valid, it is hardly reasonable to expect radical change of the political course chosen by the Kremlin.
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.
The images of countries in the news of Russian media about the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of popular critical geopolitics were analyzed in the article. 465 texts of the Russian media (01.01.2019 - 03.20.2020) were identified based on the keyword “coronavirus” and processed using computer linguistics. For the eastern countries (China, Iran, South Korea and Japan) and the western (USA, Italy, Spain, France), as well as for “Russia”, semantic fields were reconstructed. Based on the analysis of semantic fields, the images of countries facing a pandemic were interpreted. It turned out that they write about the east in the context of a border beyond which there is a danger of infection. The image of the eastern countries in the news about the coronavirus is consistent with the prevailing media images of the east as a distant and little-known geopolitical space. The media discourse on the pandemic in China contains people and viruses as storytelling actors, which, according to the author of the article, may indicate the preservation of the outdated strategy of “demonization” of China (as a habitat for the infection).
Western countries in the media discourse on coronavirus are lined up in a hierarchy. The United States and France receive a personified representation directly related to their political leaders. Ordinary people suffering from coronavirus disappear in the US pandemic media discourse. All media attention is focused on President Trump. The image of the United States is constructed as an image of a hegemonic country. The image of France is semantically one of the most complex and ambivalent. The image of Spain is being reconstructed through the suffering of people in a pandemic, as well as through the participation of the state in protecting citizens from the infection. The image of Italy is constructed as the image of a close, sympathetic and vulnerable country.
Russia in the discourse of Russian media at the initial stage of the pandemic is being constructed as a resisting (not infected) territory. It turns out that the geopolitical media discourse in a pandemic preserves the most typical intentions.
Political internet memes are a little studied contemporary phenomenon situated at the nexus of digital culture and political communication. Meaningful as a unit of cultural transmission of information in the network, a meme can be seen, on the one hand, as a spontaneous product of the creativity of the masses, political participation mechanism, and on the other – as an instrument of political PR-technologies. The article is devoted to the results of a study of memes posted on Russian social media during the presidential election campaign – 2018; the purpose of this work was the formation of ideas about the essence of the political meme in Runet and the study of the specifics of its application in Russian election communication. On the basis of the data obtained there are analysed the leading functions of political memes of the Runet, their main varieties, semantic characteristics of memes that form the image of Russian politicians. The study of large arrays of memetic messages made it possible to judge which thematic "accents" of election campaigns of candidates are in demand by producers and distributors of memes, and also what are the features of the transformation of information into memes.
The study shows that the 2018 Russian presidential campaign is characterized by changes in communication technologies, caused, among other things, by general changes in the media landscape and the arrival of "new digital" generations. At the same time, memes, which make up a large share of social media content and a predominant vector of their users' communication exchange, in recent years have increasingly changed their character from entertainment to political and become an important aspect of Web 2.0 policy. As a result, we should note the strengthening of entertainment and "carnivalization" of electoral processes as well as the transformation of the Internet into a kind of network battleground of various political actors for a place in the news agenda. The relevance of the study is given by the fact that, unlike foreign researchers who actively interpret the role of memetics in electoral processes, the political potential of the Internet meme has been studied in the Russian scientific tradition only in the very first approximation.