This article provides the first systematic analysis of the Russian media coverage of Trump’s activities during the electoral campaign and within first seven months of his presidential term. We conduct a quantitative analysis of the publications about Donald Trump in 500 Russian magazines and 250 largest federal newspapers. The database “Medialogy” served as a source of data for sentiment analysis of news reports about the American president. On its basis, the conclusion is drawn that the image of Trump was not unambiguously positive, as some foreign studies have claimed. Based on the theory of the network agenda setting we analyzed the context in which Donald Trump was mentioned one month before the election, a month after the elections and in June 2017, just before his meeting with Vladimir Putin. Based on the analysis of network agendas in the Russian federal press, it can be concluded that Trump was portrayed by the Russian media not as Russia’s favorite candidate for president, but as Hillary Clinton’s opponent and a critic of U.S. recent policies. In this context, its likely loss would allow the Russian media to strengthen the negative impression of Russians from U.S. elections. However, after the election results were announced, the Russian media changed tactics and began to write about Trump as a friend of Russia, since there was hope that the new president would lift political and economic sanctions. Trump’s policy has not lived up to the expectations of Russians and since the beginning of 2017 publications about him were mostly negative. Finally, Trump’s positive image collapsed after the start of U.S. military operations in Syria and the imposition of new sanctions against Russia.
It is on the basis of modern approaches provided by the new institutional theory that in the present article the institution of civil participation is reappraised as an integral phenomenon securing inclusion of citizens into the political government process. Characterization and analysis of the evolution and of the current state of the institution of civil participation are offered. As is demonstrated by the investigation developed, there are few real public entities, and civil entities are in minority. Nevertheless civil entities, because they possess qualities of a competent political actor, of a self-dependent subject of politics, with welldeveloped social practical skills, are able to form - and in reality do form - a new, not an imitative, but a real institution of civil participation oriented at citizens needs for influencing the process of political decision-making.
This paper open a set of publications, devoted to the development in contemporary Russia of the institutes with mediator functions. The development of Public Chambers and Consultative Councils on the federal and regional level (cases of Sankt-Petersburg and Nizhniy Novgorod) are analyzed from comparative approach. The subjects of research, which take place from neo-corporative approach, are normative basement, personal structure and results of its activities. The conclusions about realization of paternalistic or partner’s model of state-society relation in every cases are formulated.
Main attention is given to institutional transformations that have been taking place in the sphere of federative relations since the beginning of the new century. The tendency revealed is that of consecutive curtailment of the process of real coordination of interests between the federal center and the subjects of the RF and substitution of it for the centralized government. At the same time the democratic institutions of coordinating the interests are for the principal part retained.
"Informal institutionalization", i.e. displacement of formal institutions by informal rules, is one of wide-spread consequences of post-authoritarian (including post-communist) transformations. Russia has likewise failed to avoid it. What are then the reasons of the emergence, the mechanism of the formation, and the tendencies of the evolution, of informal institutions in Russian politics? Perfectly aware of the fact that a comprehensive answer to this question requires concerted efforts of different social disciplines, the author has made an attempt to outline some orientations for the analysis of the research problem it implies. The article consists of three parts and a Conclusion. The 1st part contains a critical review of the existing variants of explaining the domination of informal institutions in our country, and a substantiation of the necessity to complement the structural approach with the procedural one; the 2nd offers a procedural model of the informal institutionalization process; the 3d inquires into the logic of the rise and consolidation of informal institutions in the course of institutional construction (with the reform of the election process institutions as example); in the Conclusion potential effects of informal institutions are discussed, from the viewpoint of Russia's political regime's dynamics. According to the author's conclusion, the "informal institutionalization" is most likely to prove to be not just a transient "defect" of Russian political regime (in the sense of a deviation from a "correct" way of development), but, rather, its long-term and fundamental characteristic.
Based on the theoretical and methodological foundations of state capacity proposed and substantiated in the previous article of this journal (No. 2-2019) and the corresponding set of indicators for studying the multidimensional nature of this concept (level of military expenditures and aggregated indicator of control over violence, government and tax revenues, as well as the institutional quality and the level of the legal economy), in this article the authors focus on empirical perspectives of measuring state capacity. They rely on the use of multidimensional statistical methods (hierarchical clustering) and critically analyze the shortcomings of other approaches (dimensionality reduction, aggregation, rating) in relation to the array of collected data. The researchers' contribution to the scientific discussion is one of the first attempts at alternative empirical testing of the state capacity index and the selection of eight stable structures typical for certain groups of countries, obtained as a result of the repeated application of the clustering procedure with the corresponding parameters (clusters “Successful development”, “Second echelon”, “Individual trajectories”, “The oil and gas needle”, “Outsiders”, “On the verge of failure”, “Rising Asian giants” and “Variations of the post-Soviet trajectories”). In conclusion, the authors emphasize that, despite the conventionality of the resulting clusters (due to the specificity of the method used, which allows the scales of such structures to be “tuned”), in general, they reveal typologically similar variants of state development, taking into account the specificity of historical circumstances, internal and external conditions, and strategic decisions made by national elites.
This article discusses the theoretical and methodological foundations of the state capacity, which is defined as the ability of a state to choose and effectively implement its own decisions, changing domestic and foreign policy. The authors emphasize that one of the distinctive features of the concept is its multidimensionality, which leads them to the idea of considering state capacity as a complex phenomenon, a set of interrelated “capacities” that a modern state possesses. In accordance with this assumption, the authors dwell on three main dimensions of state capacity: coercive (ensuring external security and internal order), extractive (financial resources available to the state) and administrative-bureaucratic (quality of administrative and bureaucratic institutions) capacities of the state. The choice of measurements was based primarily on the idea that any modern state has key (“umbrella”) functions, which in turn can serve as a criterion for comparative studies. During the process of operationalization, the authors emphasize the particular importance of striking a balance between “maximalist” and “minimalist” approaches to the selection of indicators. Within the framework of the study, some rationales for the use of a set of indicators of state capacity are given (data on military expenditures and an aggregate measure of control over violence for coercive capacity, tax extraction and total government revenues (both in percent of GDP) for extractive capacity and an aggregate indicator of governance and institutional quality and the level of shadow economy for administrative-bureaucratic capacity), and it will serve as the basis for conducting an empirical study and identifying the selection of stable structures typical for certain groups of countries.
This article speaks to methodological aspects of the ways to use a popular research technique – process tracing. The latter has gained momentum as a compromise between neo-positivist and interpretative approaches. Authors provide a brief overview of the method’s role in current political research; carefully describe the peculiarities of method’s procedure; compare process tracing with other research tools and discuss its advantages and shortcomings. Process tracing is a type of within-case analysis that aims at inferring causal mechanisms that bring about outcomes in question. The main strengths of the approach are 1) possibility of falsification tests, 2) rigor of analytical procedure, based on Bayesian logic and related empirical tests, 3) getting the most of in-depth knowledge of the case, 4) compatibility with quantitative research as the auxiliary method. Apart from that, process tracing serves as a powerful remedy against a-theoretical narratives and turns the case study into a genuinely captivating detective storyline. Among the weak points one should mention 1) lack of parsimonial explanations, 2) lack of generalizability, 3) time-consuming process of data collection. To demonstrate how process tracing can be used in real-world research the article provides one example based on study by Ahmed which devoted to electoral reforms in Europe at the end of the 19th century. It is shown how Ahmed based on process tracing falsified the influential theory by Rokkan-Boix and put forward the solid argument for her model of explaining the logic of electoral system reforms in Europe at the time of the franchise expanded.
This piece is a reaction to a series of articles on the state of IR discipline, which was started in previous issues of this journal. The authors emphasise problems of IR theory in Russia (insufficient attention to the current IR trends as well ideologisation of theories and methods, which leads to numerous difficulties of integration of the Russian academic community into the world academic discussion). Particular attention is paid to the specificity of the formation of new theoretical approaches where interdisciplinarity is key. Ignoring it would seriously limit capabilities and depth of Russian analytics. To illustrate these points the article addresses the analysis of the EU’s 2016 Global Strategy with ‘resilience’ being its key category. The article demonstrates inevitability of addressing theory for the sake of the analysis of this document as well as for the research of EU-Russian relations at large. The first part of the article examines the specificity of how IR theory is used by the Russian academic community. The second part is devoted to the main problems of the contemporary discussion on the essence of IR. The third part gives an illustration of how theoretical approaches can be used to analyse one specific document, which is important for EU-Russian relations.