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issue is also important: people believe that their endeavors are not in vain, the waste collected separately will be withdrawn in a timely and efficient manner, recycled, etc.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.
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.
One of the key problems in understanding contemporary Russia’s development, to our opinion, is the lack of the non-judgmental knowledge about the life of population and management processes on the local level. It can, however, be resolved through an unbiased observation and descriptive studies based on thenon-theoretical schema description. We have been conducting such studies duringthe last 5 years (42 expeditions in about 80 settlements, primarily towns).The article provides an attempt to describe the life of contemporary provincial Russia in three aspects: (1) territorial, administrative and economic organization of space, (2) social structure and life styles of local population, (3) structure of local government and power relations.A preliminary 'snapshot' of activities in a local society shows that the realorganization of life is a lot more multifold than the one that exists in formal classifications and schemes developed by sociologists and used by officials. As a result of the non-compliance between schemes and reality any reform imposed from above is either being neutralized or adapted on a local level to the realities of the local government and population. However, such neutralization processes areusually invisible, if we consider the official information (i.e. municipal statisticsor local opinion surveys). A problem of inconsistence between the municipal status of settlements(urban or rural) and their historically determined social weight is being revealedas well. The lack of sustainability in municipal structure is a lot more evidentin the case with urban districts – their administrative and territorial statusis still quite amorphous. The municipal differences in social and economic characteristics and their development prospects are determined by the access todifferent resources, including the latent ones (i.e. seasonal works, illegal smallbusinesses, etc.), which can only be revealed through participant observation. According to this principle two settlement types can be distinguished: developing and escheated ones.Within the social structure of settlements several groups can be distinguished, which are quite isolated with respect to each other. These are the groups of 'indigenous' settlers, seasonal cottagers and landowners, and seasonal workers. At the same time the social differentiation is based primarily status differences(‘people’ and ‘elites’) rather than economic resources. The most common form of structuring local elites is a so called 'civil society of public servants' – an informal community of people with relatively similar statuses, who can affect the decision-making in local governments.The research has shown that many common perceptions of the life styles of people in provincial Russia (poverty, alcoholism, total corruption, religiosity, etc.) are mythical. Yet mythical as well are the dominant perceptions of the exclusive state healthcare system and the generally accessible education.The structure of local government and power relations is also rather versatile. Along with the less numerous examples of (1) the real municipal selfgovernance and (2) politicized municipalities, where authorities keep the balanceof interests, more common are the following two types: (3) municipalities,which have practically turned into manors of local entrepreneurs and municipalofficials, and (4) municipalities with officials, who support the Soviet structureof government. At the same time different strategies of the local government can bedistinguished with respect to their relation to the voting population. The first strategy is biased towards those, who are in desperate need of social support (pensioners, budget workers, lower officials). The second strategy is based on the'insider interactions' with those, whom the government officials make businesswith or provide with possibility of making business for a certain rent or bribe(seasonal workers, entrepreneurs). In many settlements there has formed a socalled administrative business, which makes income on various compensations from entrepreneurs. Thus, the official political and public activity in settlements is mostly imitational. The real local politics is basically a reflection of a strugglefor resources.
Within international social thought the Russian sociological tradition has certain peculiarities inspired by its historical origins, its structural place in humanities generally, and its practical involvement in social transformation. It is also marked by its holistic perception of social phenomena and crises, state-society relations, crime and punishment, and personality. The backbone of such theoretical constructions is the ethical idea that intellectuals bear the legal, social and moral responsibility for social developments. Contrary to Western sociological theories this element of the Russian tradition changed the interpretation of many classical issues in sociology substantially, and determined the prevailing interest in the study of contradictions between static and dynamic forms of regulation, the circulation of social frames, positive law and justice (legal dualism), extra-legal forms of property relations, behaviour, and deviation. An effective reconstruction of these key positions of the Russian sociological thought is possible on the basis of cognitive theory—a new theoretical approach which emphasizes the role of psychological attitudes of individuals and social groups in the process of cognitive adaptation and purpose-oriented behaviour. All these aspects of the Russian sociological heritage have been largely neglected by scholars, although they are highly relevant for understanding the revolutionary transformations in the 20th century, as well as social experiments in the post-Soviet era.
National labour and management culture is one of the key factors that foster or hinder economic development in the context of globalization and the resulting division of labour in the global economy. Some commentators argue that Russian labour and management culture is incompatible with the challenge of fostering innovation-driven development. However, the existing empirical research on the creativity of Russian professionals provides, at best, very mixed support for such claims. This article re-investigates this issue from a critical perspective. The re-investigation is based on a review of existing studies about Russian labour and management culture and highlights some of the inconsistencies and contradictions. My analysis shows that Russian culture can constrain creativity, although several important reservations have to be made. While Russian workers tend to avoid responsibility and decision-making, Russian managers usually adopt an authoritarian style of management, which encourages their subordinates to be passive and exercise loyalty. However, this rather general and stereotypical perception overlooks certain specific circumstances, which may stimulate creativity among Russians. When isolated from a vertical authoritarian environment and placed within small independent working groups, Russians become quite innovative. It is also essential to provide supportive and engaging leadership to such teams, and convey clear objectives to team-members. Another important dimension is related to the timing of projects and workflow. Russians expend a lot of effort and enthusiasm in the short-term and can effectively meet project objectives if they do not require long-term investments. A possible solution to this problem could a cyclic work regime, with which employees could be protected from ‘burning out’ by reallocating their effort to other objectives. The article concludes with several hypotheses to be tested in future empirical studies.