The article explores the relation between the labour reform conducted in Russia in 2000-2001, and the subsequent transformation of Russian political regime. It tests the authoritarian modernization argument which posits that the more comfortable conditions of autocracy would often allow the government to pursue unpopular reforms, and shows that the sequence may as well be reverse. When the reform is pursued in a relatively democratic setting, as it faces the hurdles of democratic decision making, the government devises tactical steps to overcome them. When (and if) it succeeds those tactical efforts may as well have somewhat changed the political landscape, and thus have created a potential for future autocratization. The article shows that through a detailed case-study of the way the new Labour code was adopted in Russia in 2001.
In the last 100–150 years not only has the uniform understanding of Hobbes failed to prevail, but moreover, the stable tendency of permanently rethinking his doctrine has emerged. Today this tendency is only becoming stronger. A.Philippov thinks that the never-ceasing interest in Hobbes can be primarily explained by the fact we are still occupied with the same problems that occupied the mind of the philosopher who lived several centuries ago. In the second part of his article published in this issue (for the first part see Politeia, 2009, № 2) Philippov demonstrates that most questions arising while one is reading Hobbes are left without answers in the works by Hobbes himself. Reading his works thoroughly we come across a rather curios phenomenon. The whole construction erected by Hobbes is sort of vibrating, but doing it latently. On the surface one can see clear, easily understandable constructions thought out as triumph of coherence and inexorable logic, but going deeper one will find not so much inconsistency as exactly a field of questions left without answers. According to the author’s conclusion, the dynamic unstable world described by Hobbes is different from what it seems to be. It fascinates an observer and demands new research studies.
The past 100–150 years not only failed to establish a unified interpretation of Hobbes, but also formed a firm tendency towards continuous reinterpretation of his doctrine. This tendency is only increasing today. According to A.Filippov, never-ceasing interest in Hobbes can be primarily explained by the fact that we are still occupied by the same problems that occupied the mind of the philosopher who lived several centuries ago. In the first part of the article published in this issue A.Filippov makes a critical analysis of main approaches to the interpretation of Hobbes’ views and offers a key to understanding his politico-philosophical constructs. He believes that what Hobbes has in mind when speaking about natural condition is not an absolute beginning of history. Natural condition, indeed, precedes social and political condition, but at the same time political life, sociality are fraught with the natural condition – they are the wrong side of each other. Conclusions made on the bases of such interpretation of Hobbes will be given in the second part of the article.
The article represents a sort of prologue to the debate about the political form as a phenomenon and as an analytical category. In the first part of the article published in this issue, M.Ilyin, having briefly touched upon morphology as a special method of scientific analysis of reality, tries to answer the question of why people perceive as a phenomenon of the same order and use the same word “form” (or its analogues) to describe very dissimilar analytical tools; considers the ratio of different real political forms (plural) with an abstract political form (singular); and introduces a distinction between political form, political orders and political formulae. The first part of the article concludes with the review of the real forms, orders and formulae that existed before, exist now and are capable of existing through times and civilizational spaces of politics with the help of the scientific apparatus of evolutionary morphology.
The article represents a sort of prologue to the debate about the political form as a phenomenon and as an analytical category. After the excursion into morphology and its inherent interpretations of forms (morphs, patterns, types, images etc.), as well as into the chronopolitical scheme of evolutionary morphology undertaken by the author in the first part of the paper (seePoliteia, 2014, № 4), M.Ilyin starts discussing specific ideas and proposals put forward by S.Kaspe in the article “On Notion of Political Form” published in Politeia, 2012, № 4. He focuses on the issues related to the conceptualization of political forms and evolutionary sequence of forms’ development.
The article attempts to analyze political rituals in the light of distinguishing between conventional-indicative and unconventional-symbolic meaning of politics. The author documents ontological difference and communicative similarity between religious and political rituals, shows that the mechanism of everyday ritualization contributes to the increasing importance of less substantive components of political action, reveals the role of rituals in transition moments of political life and considers specific features of such political rituals as sacrifice, holidays and anniversary celebrations. His research shows that, although the direct inspiring impact of rituals is nothing more than a “contract illusion” of a symbolic effect, which can be destroyed by unconventional and perlocutionary “The king is naked!”, the importance of rituals for modern communities should not be underestimated because due to their complex nature they perform the function of stabilizing the social order.