Views on the outcomes of the Russian academic excellence project 5-100 are completely polarized. Some universities have improved their performance. Analyzing data published on the o cial website of the project rea rms the optimistic conclusion about its outcomes. On the other hand, none of the universities included in the project has approached the desired positions among the 100 top universities in the world university rankings. Moreover, there are no reasons to believe that the project will reach its goals within the designated period. From this perspective, the project cannot be considered a success. This article discusses the underlying causes of this situation, and the failure of the project’s least successful participants and shows the demand for ine cient institutions in the Russian academic environment. The problem is explained through the theory of institutional corruption. While the imitation of useful activity by universities forms an illusion that the system is moving in the right direction, it is clear that there is a huge gap between the expenditure on and the objectives of the project. This situation is caused by the wrong incentives, the excessive power of bureaucrats responsible for the implementation of the project, and the lack of transparency and public accountability of the universities participating in the project. The project’s expenses, despite their compliance with the legal frameworks do not, in fact, correspond to the indicators attested in the universities’ roadmaps or the public interest. The institutionalization of predatory practices might contribute to university performance in the short run but does not help to achieve socially desirable goals.
Drawing on the results of two representative surveys (2014 and 2017) this paper presents data on the actual and the potential levels of Russians’ engagement in separate waste collection practices, the factors and the conditions for this. To date, only 4–5% of municipal waste is recycled, while most of the waste ends up in dumps, official or otherwise. Multiple attempts to introduce a system of separate waste collection in Soviet and post-Soviet times in various regions and population centers (waste paper collection in schools, separate containers for food waste and other garbage, stationary and mobile separated solid waste collection points, etc.) did not succeed. The population is often claimed to be the weak link in the social mechanism of this practice institutionalization. However, is this really the case? We apply a multinomial logit regression to evaluate the relative strength of different factors potentially explaining the division of individuals into separate groups defined by their attitudes to separate waste disposal. The results of the analysis show that although the potential of the enthusiastic pioneers has been virtually exhausted, the claims that the majority of Russians are not yet prepared to participate in these practices are not true. However, the potential participants tend to voice more complex demands with regard to the conditions enabling their participation in separate waste collection. The convenience factor (the proximity of garbage containers to people’s homes, adequate time for delivering particular types of waste to the collection points), which has been identified in the studies of evolving practices of separate waste collection, both in developed and developing countries, is also a key factor in Russia. The confidence in the effectiveness of personal efforts to alleviate the issue is also important: people believe that their endeavors are not in vain, the waste collected separately will be withdrawn in a timely and efficient manner, recycled, etc. Interestingly, cultural norms, social incentives and sanctions do not seem to play any significant role in this regard, nor do any material incentives or sanctions. We show that the practice of separate waste collection is mostly driven by prosocial motives, environmental concerns and responsibility. It is barely influenced by self-serving interests and, thus, falls within the realm of civil society practices. It can become another (accessible and straightforward) channel for exercising civic responsibility and independence. In conclusion, we discuss the future potential of the practices in question and measures to enhance Russians’ participation in separate waste collection.
The given paper is an analytical reflection of an alternative view to the article published by L.Gudkov and N.Zorkaya “Sterilization of Social Differentiation: Russian ‘Middle Class’ and the Emigration” in previous issue of The Universe of Russia. Authors deliver an idea that there is no middle class in Russia. Instead they speak of a minority of educated and well paid young salariat in megapolises the main civil and political intensions of whom are formed by their will to emigrate from the country. On pages of the current volume V.Anikin brings to attention that in the scope of another methodology these people could be considered as those from upper middle class in Russia. According to the author L.Gudkov and N.Zorkaya explorer an approach of functionalist perspective of social structure. On the basis of broad literature and empirical studies V. Anikin argues that structuralist view is likely to be more appropriate when middle class is considered as a social group. The latter is crucial in the course of defining the frontiers and internal structure of middle class. In this paper it is shown that structuralist way of thinking discovers the heterogeneity of the middle class in Russia, both its core and periphery. According to studies cited by the author the Russian upper middle class constitutes the social core of this group that may embrace up to 15% of the total population from urban and rural areas. It consists of managers, supervises, executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals that gained computer skills and qualification that is required by the contemporary state of Russian economy. In other words these people could be considered as informational workers that constitute upper middle class not only in Russia. The lower middle class in Russia is defined highly structured as consisting of both close and far periphery. The close periphery (21%) comprises self-employed, semi-professionals, workers characterized by status inconsistency between their qualification and occupational statuses, and unemployed pensioners. Far periphery (23%) includes those of Russians who either have no tertiary education or demonstrate low self identification, or low well-being (lower than the median level for their settlements measured by the durables consumption and income). V.Anikin points out that structuralist approach resulted in the estimations like these makes it possible to forecast the further trace of the middle class. At transition to postindustrial society the worldwide shrinkage of middle classes in different countries might be reflected in Russia in the process of elitisation of the upper middle class and prolitarization of the lower middle class.
This study evaluates an employment promotion program for mothers with children under age 3 based on professional training provision in Moscow, Russia. First, the authors assess the program based on existing theoretical approaches and international experience. The authors conclude that professional training programs are one of the basic elements of active employment policies. However, such programs are insufficient for parents with small children if not complemented by cooperation with employers and the development of childcare services. Second, the authors characterize the scope and the clientele of current maternal employment programs in Moscow. Using statistics from the Moscow employment service, they demonstrate that the demand for the program gradually increased 2013–2016. Finally, the paper contains an overview of the current constraints to the successful implementation of the program, and desired changes to its format based on evidence from a qualitative survey with the program’s potential clients conducted by the authors. The analysis of in-depth interviews reveals a specific demand for courses on basic and advanced computer skills, and a few highly specialized training programs. The primary aim of such training for mothers is gaining a competitive advantage in the labor market in the area of their expertise or improving their curriculum vitae. Requests for a complete change of occupation or obtaining completely new qualifications are rare. In the concluding part, the authors summarize the results and discuss the prospects of current employment stimulation programs for mothers.
This paper considers the problem of raiding attacks on property in Russia, which often involve unlawful criminal prosecution of employers and their subsequent imprisonment. This phenomenon is beyond the scope of what is called the "hostile takeover" in international practice, because it inherits a number of instruments of power pressure on business, which were widely spread in Russia in the 90s. In this study, we use the internal database of the Center for Public Procedures "Business against Corruption" containing more than 600 applications from Russian entrepreneurs about cases raiding attacks that occurred from 2011 to 2013. In our view, this indicator with some restrictions may reflect the magnitude of the problem. Consideration of the current data in the regional context allows us to answer the question about the causes of the high number of raiding attacks in some regions and its absence in other regions of Russia. We hope to define some «threshold conditions" that make the growth of raiding possible. With the use of such instruments as «decision trees» and «regression analysis», we conclude that raiding is common in regions with the developed commercial, construction and industrial sector and the lack of oil production. Favorable conditions for the spread of raiding attacks are the lack of transparency of judicial system, a large number of crimes in the sphere of business activity and the weak development of non-profit organizations in the region. In our opinion, these characteristics reflect the willingness and capacity of individual representatives of law enforcement agencies to participate in the raider attacks.
More than five years have passed since postgraduate education in Russia was promoted to the third level of education in accordance with the Bologna process. These transformations have not been without their problems, most of which have to do with the inertia of the Soviet system of scientific education. First, such education was (and is still) carried out in two different types of institutions: universities and research institutes; and secondly, the system of postgraduate education existed separately from the system of the attestation of scientific personnel.
Practically no studies exist on how the reform affected research institutes, which train about 10% of Russian postgraduate students, and this paper partly fills in the gap by highlighting the consequences of the reform for these organizations. The study is based on data provided by the Russian Federal State Statistics Service and covers the period 2000–2018. It is further enhanced by data from 52 in-depth interviews conducted with the heads of research institutes in different regions of Russia.
The study reveals that the reform does not take into account the specifics of research organizations. This has resulted in new organizational and institutional problems without actually solving the ones that existed prior to the reform, such as the poor motivation and preparation of academic trainees and the overall decline in their numbers. We discuss possible transformations in the system of postgraduate education (and how they are approached by the scientific community) in the context of actual research on the topic in Russia and in the context of global trends. In particular, the following three directions of changes are discussed: 1) the emergence of different models of postgraduate education, 2) increases in the training period followed by the obligatory dissertation defense, 3) the extension of grant support for talented students.
The article reflects the results of the social-economical analysis of restructuring the Russian Army from the fall of the Soviet Union and until the present times. The author assumes that large-scale actions carried out by Defence ministers in 1991-2013 did not result in the establishment of the civil control institution and professionalization of the Russian Army, but only reinforced its corruption and ineffectiveness. Objects for the analysis are transformation processes in the Russian army during the post-soviet period. Close attention is paid to personal input of the Defence Ministers who led restructuring processes. The structural-functional approach to the analysis of the military institute serves as a theoretical background for the research. The article concludes that the transformation of the system of military management and the structure of military forces led to dismantling of the grand mobilization and deployment system that the Russian army inherited from the Soviet Union and to the annulment of the voluminous, however, in reality an illusory potential to lead a long-lasting war. Significantly lesser results during the military reform were reached during the gradual transition to professional armed forces system, which core is formed not by conscripts but by contract soldiers. The basis for low effectiveness of the Russian army lies in the incomplete recruitment of military units with contract soldiers and professional sergeants, as well as the overall crisis of the recruiting system.
Migrants' flows and diasporas have become important phenomenon in the modern world. Although diasporas differ in their scales, they definitely demonstrate the potential for being an important and often underestimated policy tool. This paper reviews the opportunities for cooperation with homeland, considering the example of the Russian academic diaspora in social sciences (the data from a descriptive pilot study, competed in autumn-winter 2008). The chosen focus is interesting because a) the studied community is small and questions its own attribution to diaspora, b) highly skilled professionals seem to present a special case for all diaspora studies, tend to be more independent from the rest of their compatriots, and to integrate closer into the host culture, c) social science was underdeveloped in the Soviet Union and remains rather isolated from the general flow of studies in nowadays Russia, thus limiting the attractiveness of return option. While some countries are competing for the highly skilled migrants, others either try to regulate emigration flows or develop the policies, enabling to turn the brain drain into the brain gain. The latter became a popular topic, also because of its relevance to the agenda of so many countries all over the world, including the most developed. Whether Russian academic diaspora in socio-economic field could be a noticeable change agent in developing Russian research and education; what are these people, are they interested in having more cooperation with Russia; how it could be stimulated - that was the overall perspective of the study, and it defined the logic of the following text. High-skilled migration became a popular phenomenon in both reality and academic studies. If the <i>normal migrants</i> need an identity in a host society, the professionals get it with their job affiliation, thus do not need to seek or create one. Also the use of term 'minority' is often inadequate while describing Babylonian crowd, which forms many departments or laboratories in the developed countries - thus the very essence of diaspora phenomenon is questioned by this category of people. Instead of solving the problem of adaptation to the new society, the migrants of this type seem to maximize the professional opportunities, which are often better in the host, than in home countries. Thus they often do not demonstrate most of the attributes, expected from a migrant - sticking together with the other people of the same origin, supporting ethnic networks, etc. - they do not need that assistance, as they get it through the job. A situation that stimulates emergence of networks: <i>a migrant needs to find the ways in the society</i> is substituted by much more individualistic perspective: 'the society (through the host institutions) assists the specialists to be integrated' or at least does not create any additional obstacles and provides the necessary support (e.g. visa support, insurance, housing, etc.). Integration through professional networks is often easier, as they are already established and recognized in the host society, such networks are often dense enough to provide the necessary support, and the colleagues help to integrate also psychologically and culturally. Diaspora could also be seen as a resource, opening additional opportunities in social or political space for its members: through creating own associations immigrants establish many contacts, at least with other immigrant associations, third-sector organizations, and the local authorities. Again high-skilled migrants might find integration into professional community more beneficial than addressing the diaspora as a tool for establishing themselves in the host society. Some studies suggest that as long as the migrant researchers are familiar with the social systems in both the host and the home country, they could serve as a special link between both, stimulating the circulation of intellectual resources. Thus it could be also expected to fin.