This article deals with some theoretical and methodological issues, related to the study of the state and dynamics of traditional and new components and factors of power and influence of modern states in the world. Approaches to their conceptualization are suggested with the focus on potentials of power and influence and their actual effects; power is interpreted as an attribute and a relationship of specific sort, different types and instruments of power and influence are analyzed. New approaches towards definitions of empirical indicators of power and influence are suggested as well as methods of their processing for creation of composite indices. Prospects for future research are presented.
The article explores how the EU populist radical right in opposition to its national governments uses the concept of rights and freedoms when constructing identities. The research is based on a discourse analysis of speeches given by the leader of the French Rassemblement National Marine Le Pen in the run-up to the 2019 European parliamentary elections. The analysis of discursive strategies employed in these texts allows to empirically demonstrate and elaborate some of the existing theories on key ideological and discursive features of the populist radical right and its positions on rights and freedoms. It also shows, however, that these models need to be reviewed or altered in a number of aspects. The research corresponds to the existing models as it shows the opposition the Self vs. the Other to be one of the central elements in the populist radical right discourse. For instance, when speaking about rights and freedoms, Marine Le Pen constructs the identity of the French people and European peoples by opposing them to the negative Other along two axes: vertically – by constructing a populist opposition to the elites - and horizontally – by constructing a nativist opposition to alien identities. The people is predicated to possess various rights, the Rassemblement National is represented as the defender of these rights, while the elites and the aliens are depicted as a threat to these rights. Yet, these oppositions are not always clearly articulated with numerous ‘grey zones’ systematically constructed: the research demonstrates that the depiction of some actors in a positive or negative way depends on context. The European identity constructed by the populist radical right is also ambivalent: it is not completely rejected although the ongoing European integration project – the EU – is reproached for infringing rights and freedoms. In general, the analysis allows to conclude that the populist radical right in the EU should be regarded as an active contester in the ongoing interpretive struggle over the concept of rights and freedoms rather than its enemy.
The article tells about the dynamics of discourse constructing the basic social dichotomy “we-they” in Vladimir Putin's speech. It shows that in the beginning he spoke as a part of social group “goverment”, but in 2014 he spoke as a spokesman of the nation. As about “enemy” in the end it is constructed as USA and as “the fifth column”.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the discourse of the Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny. The purpose of the study is to understand how one of the leaders of the Russian non-parliamentary opposition uses narratives about the Soviet past. The analysis shows that the arsenal of such narratives in Navalny's discourse is quite broad and includes references to events, actors, and realia from all main periods of the Soviet history. The whole variety of ways of using the narratives about the Soviet past in Navalny's discourse can be generalized to four typical discursive templates: (1) “analogy with the Soviet”, (2) “inheriting the Soviet”, (3) “stealing the Soviet”, (4) “(mis)commemorating the Soviet”. The “analogy with the Soviet” and “inheriting the Soviet” templates are used by Navalny in his strategies of negative representation of certain contemporary Russian political events, actors, institutions, and practices (in particular the ones having to do with political repressions and state propaganda). The application of the “stealing the Soviet” template is almost entirely limited to the texts that negatively represent Russian “oligarchs”. The “(mis)commemorating the Soviet” template is applied in the texts that promote (or condemn) certain commemorative practices. In general, in his discourse Navalny often effectively applies the discursive strategies that allow him to use the narratives about the Soviet past, but, at the same time, he is rarely seeks to actively construct such narratives himself.
The article analyses political decisions about commemoration of the centenary of the Revolution of 1917 in Russia. On the basis of the official documents, statements of the politicians and publications of media the author reveals the process of re-interpretations of the Revolution of 1917 in the Russian official historical narrative. This event is crucially important for development of the post-Soviet historical narrative as far as this event once had played a role of “the foundational myth” of the Soviet regime
We discuss the problem of measurement of voting power distribution by means of classical power indices and power indices that take into account preferences in coalition formation. Examples of application to power distribution in the Council of the European Union and in the European Parliament are preceded by formal definition of the both types of indices, history of invention and discussion about limits to applicability.
The article is a part of the study devoted to framing of memory about the 1990s and the 2000s in the Russian political discourse. It presents the results of analysis of representations of the 1990s in Vladimir Putin’s speeches and interviews from January, 2004 to May, 2008. The author reveals four methods of framing the experience of the 1990s: 1) explicit criticism of the policy of the 1990s and its results; 2) constructing recognizable verbal signs; 3) using populist rhetoric that combines demonstration of care about people’s needs with criticism of “the other” politicians; 4) telling narratives that implicitly shaped connections between events by the selection of episodes and roles assigned to actors. By representing his policy in contrast to the previous experience, Putin contributed to constructing the myth about “the hard nineties”.
The article discusses the contemporary state of political regional science in Russia. The author outlines three approaches towards the key notion of political region (political administrative, political system and political sociological), based on its own region-making factors, such as administrative borders, political interests and political identities. The author points out two main parts of political regional science; these are comparative federalism and regionalism on one hand and cross-regional comparative politics on the other hand. The key concepts of political regional science are intergovernmental (or inter-level in broader sense) relations and regional politics. The successful development of Russian political regional science needs for the integration with the Western political science and the resolution of contradictions with some of its traditions.
The central focus of this paper is a methodological one. Using the set of indicators of state capacity, we demonstrate a specific strategy for identifying sustainable structures in multidimensional data sets that reflect complex and ambiguous concepts of political science. A key feature of this strategy is the application of related, but significantly different technically, multidimensional methods – cluster and pattern analyses. We use hierarchical clustering with various combinations of metrics and amalgamation rules, as well as ordinal-invariant pattern-clustering. Properties of pattern analysis as a method for studying multidimensional data are shown for the first time (to the best of our knowledge) in the political science literature. Since clustering has been actively used in political science for a long time, pattern analysis is still practically not adopted in our science. This situation requires correction, since pattern-analysis has some important and in many ways unique capabilities. It was shown that the combination of pattern and cluster analyses makes it possible to identify consistent structures that have a clear interpretation in terms of political science. Thus, in the course of our study, several types of state capacity were identified (although this task was rather illustrative for us). We use a set of empirical indicators of state capacity: the share of military spending in GDP, the share of military personnel in the total population, the share of tax revenues in GDP, the total rate of homicides and victims of internal conflicts, and the quality of government institutions. Data for more than 150 countries are taken for 1996, 2005 and 2015. Stable combinations of the values of these indicators, identified simultaneously via pattern and cluster analyses, form the structures of state capacity. In conclusion, we show the most promising directions for the development of the methodology described in this paper. One of the most important is the analysis of the dynamics of countries within the pattern-cluster structures of state capacity.
At first sight, political science seems to be on a good way in most countries. If this discipline, as a look at its beginnings in Athens may suggest, will flourish particularly well in times of political crises, then political science should be intellectually well fed in our period of regime collapse, geopolitical restructuration, and growing international tensions. At second sight, however, some disturbing features of «normal political science» become evident. They include the attractiveness of doing academic «routine science» instead of coping with actual practical problems; attempts at «pleasing the public» instead of taking a critical stance towards established political thought and behavior; comfortable limitation of research interests to contemporary issues instead of attempts at drawing lessons from the whole span of history; and practicing «occidental ethnocentrism» instead of striving at «analytic cosmopolitism». The article challenges these characteristics of today’s political science, thereby inviting a new generation of political scientists to new thematic and theoretical openness.