This paper is dedicated to the characteristics of phenomenon of state identity in the modern Russian society which has been affected for last 20 years by the processes of virtualization, informatization and political transformation. Today, the Russian Federation, like any other state in the world, is closely connected to non-local events and ideas; the " title nation" and " strong state" ideas are routinely confronted by challenges from multiple agents including immigrants, the mass media and especially the Internet. In the present study, empirical findings from several studies developed with methods of visual sociology, expert interviews and public opinion research are used to understand how people in Russia tend to realize their desire to be the unit of the state forming so-called " invisible" state identity, which is not absolutely loyal to the government institutions and is very stable. This type of identity has been formed under alternative institutional logic which isn't preordained by acting of the state but is shaped as well by cultural, social, and cognitive processes in " real" , but especially in " virtual" spaces of communication. And despite " Russia as a state" is still a way of maintaining the symbolic power of political leaders, there are some strong but hidden tendencies forming " Russia as a community of citizens" under the influence of information technologies, global values, norms and outlooks.
The idea of Eurasia per se is not nearly as old as that of its constituent parts – Europe and Asia. The latter two date back to ancient Greece, whereas, according to some accounts, not until the 1880s did the Austrian geologist Eduard Suess first coin the term “Eurasia.” His idea was to fashion a union of the two divided parts of a single continent as a demonstration of their inherent unity – initially in the geologic and geographic sense, and later, in the social and political sense.
The improvement of the investment climate in Russia encouraging an inflow of foreign direct investment into the country’s economy is being declared at the highest levels of the Russian government as an important objective for the further economic development of the country. One of the most important instruments for that improvement should be the consideration of the foreign investor’s opinions and ideas and reaction to the most urgent and critical issues which serve as obstacles to their investment activities in Russia.
This paper considers the case of Japanese investors in Russia. It is based on the results of a survey of Japanese companies doing business in Russia (members of the Japan Business Club Moscow) and content analysis of a set of interviews with the representatives of Japanese business and academic community and non-governmental organizations representatives.
We identify which factors attract Japanese capital to Russia and which hinder investment activities. Studying Japanese investment in Russia reveals the particular challenges and obstacles that make Japanese companies reluctant to engage in business activities in Russia. The research reveals and systemizes the factors restricting the development of investment cooperation and their roots, and identifies possible ways of overcoming these challenges.
The analysis shows that the constraining factors can be divided into 3 groups by the origin: external – associated with the problems of the investment climate in Russia, internal – revealing from the specific features of the Japanese production and management system and other factors – non-economic factors, which mainly concern business culture and informational issues.
Eurasia has never been one of major directions of Japan’s foreign policy, but its importance for Tokyo is growing. This article analyzes its increasing significance to foreign policy of Japan, causes and consequences of this policy’s duality and inconsistency. It also studies the reasons for the limited success of Tokyo’s diplomacy in Eurasia and discusses possible prospects for growing Japanese involvement in the region. It concludes that Japan’s Eurasian policy is inconsistent and is likely to remain so since the cause behind it remains unchanged – that is, the contradiction between Japan’s actual economic interests and its willingness to follow in the ideological and geopolitical footsteps of the U.S. The path Japan takes in the future will largely depend on the economic results of the implementation of the Silk Road Economic Belt, its linkage with the plans of the Eurasian Economic Union, the progress of Russian–Chinese cooperation, and the project of Greater Eurasian partnership put forward by Russia and supported by China. If the economic projects of Eurasia’s non-Western players prove effective, Tokyo will be more tempted to cooperate with them despite its close ties with the U.S. However, if Eurasia’s non-Western states, and particularly China, are overly active with their foreign policy and militaries in the Asia Pacific, it will push Tokyo to create a variety of structures that would curb and serve as a political counterbalance to Chinese and Russian influence.
Our purpose in this article is to reconstruct on the basis of cognitive and information theory approach some basic parameters of law and justice in the process of searching solutions for fundamental problems of transitional Post-Soviet period. Among them are: the conflict of law and justice in current Russian political reality; social equality and new property relations; national identity and system of government; the form of government and the type of political regime; legitimacy and legality of political transformation; effectiveness of law.
This paper considers current contradictions in state–business relations in Russia. On one hand, the Russian political elite needs economic growth to keep social stability in the country and to limit mass protesting in big cities. Economic growth is impossible without investment, which explains Russian leaders’ increased interest in improving Russia’s business climate. On the other hand, influential interest groups (represented first of all by security and law enforcement agencies) try to expand their control on rent sources in the economy. These groups of interests could strengthen their positions due to fear of political protests. This strong conflict among different groups in the Russian elite creates additional uncertainty for investors and the business community, and can lead to economic recession independent of the level of oil prices and dynamics of global markets. Reversing these negative trends in economic development will be possible only with collective actions of different economic and political actors (including technocrats in federal and regional governments, representatives of large and successful middle-sized business and topmanagers of public sector organizations) in the search for pragmatic solutions to the challenges faced by Russian economy and society.
The author argues that the current state of international relations can be characterized as a new Cold War with Eurasia emerging as its major battlefield and at the same time as a second, non-Western pole of a new confrontation. The reason for it is that the United States and some European countries are trying to reverse the decline of their dominance which they have enjoyed over the past five hundred years. The current situation is much more dangerous than it used to be during the previous Cold War, but this attempt will most likely prove futile. While the world comes through a period of intensifying competition, it will stimulate reformatting of the global geopolitical, geo-economic, and geo-ideological space. The authors assume that the evolution of the international system goes in the direction of a new bipolarity, where Eurasia will play a role of a new geostrategic and economic pole, while the West, probably limited by “Greater America” will become another one. In this new international reality, the U.S. will drift from the status of superpower to the position of an important global center of power. However, at the moment the contours of Greater Eurasia are only beginning to take shape.
We empirically study the asset side of market discipline in the banking system of the Kyrgyz Republic, examining whether borrowers are willing to pay higher interest rates to high-quality banks. Based on dynamic panel models and a dataset with bank information from 23 banks over the period 2010–2012, our findings suggest the presence of market discipline induced by borrowers. In other words, banks with higher capital ratios and liquidity charge higher interest rates on loans. This result has several implications for the banking policy in Kyrgyzstan, where we can recommend to policymakers a disclosure policy following the Third Pillar of Basel III, because not only can the bank's creditors use bank information to penalize the excessive bank risk, but borrowers can also use this information to discipline their banks.
Decisions on decentralization versus centralization come as a result of strategic choices made by politicians after weighing their costs and benefits. In authoritarian regimes, the highest-priority political task is that of restraining political competition and securing power in the hands of the incumbent. This task incentivizes politicians to restrict political decentralization (or at least block reforms promoting such decentralization). At the same time, external economic pressures (e.g. globalization) place the task of national competitiveness in the global markets on the agenda, and increase incentives for fiscal and administrative decentralization. Thus, political and economic pressures create contradicting incentives, and in weighing costs and benefits, politicians in different authoritarian regimes make different choices that lead to variation in the form, degree and success of decentralization/centralization policies. In this article we compare authoritarian decentralization in Russia and Kazakhstan.
We analyse the profession of criminal defence lawyers (“advocates”) in Russia to understand their potential for collective action in an imperfect institutional environment. In 2013, we conducted a survey of 372 advocates in 9 regions of Russia. The following two main hypotheses are tested: (1) lawyers with strong ethical values have a higher demand for collective action; and (2) the negative experience of clients' rights violations by law enforcement officers can motivate advocates to support the foundation of a strong professional association. We suggest that an advocate's profession with bona fide members at the core could be an instrument to evaluate and to improve the quality of law enforcement in Russia.