This article is an analytical review of the book “The Russian Path: Ideas, Interests, Institutions, Illusions” by Dmitry Travin, Vladimir Gel'man and Andrei Zaostrovtsev issued by European University at Saint Petersburg Press. Its focus is on breakthroughs and failures of the Russian modernization over the past few decades. Authors use their own approach to the analysis of political and economic transformation processes based on four ‘I’s – Ideas, Interests, Institutions and Illusions. We consistently and carefully examine all these interconnected elements in the review and show their connection to the character of reforms in post-Soviet Russia. We also describe some institutional foundations of economic and political development of modern Russia declared by the authors and delineate how these changes were implemented in forms of ‘technocratic’ policy reforms. Finally, we make some conclusions on the political and economic prospects of Russia. Thus, nine chapters of the study draw a versatile picture of last thirty years – since ‘perestroika’ and collapse of the USSR until contemporary ‘post-Crimean’ political regime. Some limitations of the book reviewed are also outlined in the conclusion. Particularly, its disciplinary isolation in political science and economics, and persisting ideological bias of the authors. The publication interesting for its universalistic view on the issues discussed recommended not only to political scientists, economists or sociologists but also to a wide readership.
The article was devoted the analysis relations thinkers of Catholicism and Orthodoxy to democratic regime in the epoch of Scholasticism. The author analyzed texts of religious thinkers of Scholasticism about democracy and liberty. Investigator concluded that catholic thinkers have positive relations to democracy and liberty but Orthodox thinkers have negative relations to democracy and liberty
To what extent can democratic competence of citizens be reached? The main aim of the article is to determine a conception of democratic competence against the background of the contradiction between public and private interests and between rationality and morality by developing a political preference. The research methodology of the article suggests a comparative analysis of deliberative democracy and liberal democracy theoris in terms of political preference formation.
The article is devoted to comparative research of a concept of authority in political philosophy by K. Schmitt and M. Foucault. Antipodal and similar aspects of concepts of authority by K. Schmitt and M. Foucault are allocated and compared by author of the article. The author proposes that concepts of authority by K. Schmitt and M. Foucault have many common aspects. He incorporates interpretations concepts of authority by political philosophers.
The article investigates Scottish devolution strategy of David Cameron and reaction of Scottish Tories and right-wing Tories. We can conclude that devolution of conservators has primarily electoral purposes. Different positions of Tory-modernizers, Scottish Tories and right-wing Tories create obstacles for common strategy of Conservative Party and disturb for electoral recovery in region.
This review systemizes contemporary, mostly foreign, academic literature, devoted to the development of public policy in hybrid and authoritarian regimes, as well as to the interaction of citizens, civic associations and authorities within the process of public policy-making. The academic interest in this topic is growing, mostly due to the development of participatory practices in non-democracies, especially in China, which is now becoming a popular object of analysis. The researchers emphasize the constant transformation of the Chinese public policy and a variety of participation channels, open for citizens, non-profit organizations and expert communities. It gives an opportunity to adapt existing Western theories to the analysis of hybrid regimes, as well as to develop a new conceptual apparatus. Despite the significant growth of theoretical and empirical knowledge on that topic, the research agenda still has some avenues for development. Firstly, an important issue is the analysis of institutional effects of citizen participation, the interrelation of its information, legitimation and imitation functions in a non-democratic context. Secondly, it is also relevant to study the success factors of such initiatives, and their potential both as a source of regime stability and public policy democratization. In the review we attempt to formulate these problems and possible empirical ways to deal with them. In particular, a promising step could be the application of models and hypotheses, derived from the Chinese case, to other countries, as well as to cross-national comparative studies.
The article contributes to the study of new communicative institution in political sphere of Russia. Designing of the country’s futures concepts is evaluated as one of such new institutions. Its establishment is explained by low effectiveness of traditional channels of communications such as elections, political party and NGO systems, mass media.
The paper analyzes the regional diversity of the relationship between religiosity and the voting behavior in Russia in the 2010s. The existing studies of the Russian case demonstrate that there is a correlation to a certain extent; however, there are no studies focused on the regional level. The results of the statistical analysis based on a religious survey, conducted by the research group SREDA, show a correlation between religiosity and the outcome of the federal elections in 2011–2012. Religiosity is positively associated with voting for the party “United Russia” in 2011 and for Vladimir Putin in 2012.
The review is devoted to the book by the professor of political science at Princeton University Anna Stilz “Territorial Sovereignty. A Philosophical Exploration” (2019). The main issues of the researcher's work are territoriality, sovereignty, and the system of territorial states. The author proposes a revision of this system from a philosophical point of view. Professor Stilz defends the concept of a state's territorial sovereignty against contemporary criticism. Her position is based on arguments of both cosmopolitanism and liberal nationalism. The researcher recognizes principles of open borders, aid to refugee, global cooperation and criticizes the nationalist interpretation of state sovereignty. However, unlike the view of the cosmopolitan school, A. Stilz believes that the implementation of these liberal principles is possible within the system of territorial states. Moreover, defending state sovereignty, the professor uses ideas of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, Kant's doctrines about the interaction between the individual and the state, and about state sovereignty. The main contribution of this work to the body of political science is three core values: occupancy right, basic justice, and collective self-determination. According to Anna Stilz, three core values can modify the current system of territorial states in accordance with new global challenges.
The article is devoted to the analysis of practices that ensure the victory of incumbent on gubernatorial elections in the Russian regions. The past electoral campaigns showed that the Federal center and regional authorities seek to minimize risk and eliminate the uncertainty. As a consequence, the apparent democratic elections are non-competitive. On gubernatorial elections «nested games» were actively used. The victory of incumbent is ensured through institutional mechanisms, such as the appointment of governor, the right to nominate candidates only by political parties, municipal filter, participation in elections technical candidates and spoilers.
History is usually considered both a factor of development of the strategic culture, and a source of empirical evidence about it. However, what actually shapes perceptions of security threats is not “history” as objectivist analytic reconstruction of the collective past but shared ideas about this past. The article proposes the theoretical frame for an analysis of connection between history and strategic culture based on the concept of the frames of collective remembrance, and tests it on the Russian case. It traces the connection between the transforming frames of remembrance about the experience of the USSR and Russia in the 1990s, and perceptions of security threats by the Russian incumbent elites.
The article analyzes how the events of the 1990s – the collapse of the USSR and the period of economic and political reforms – are represented in the contemporary discourses of political forces that opposed to Boris Yeltsin and the Democrats/the Liberals – the Communists, the National-Populists and the National-Patriots. The research aims 1) to reveal how these events are integrated to the historical narratives that construct identities of these political forces and substantiate their claims for electoral support, 2) to identify the ways of using the memory about recent past as a political argument. The materials for research was provided by publications of the leaders of KPRF, LDPR and public intellectuals who have a reputation of national-patriots in the central media outlets. The method of research was qualitative content analysis.
The research has revealed that all considered discourses share a negative assessment of the 1990s but use different ways of including this period to their historical narratives. For the Communists, the 1990s is a story about tragic consequences of the lost “golden age” – the Soviet period. For the National-Populists, it provides a background for constructing their identity as the only defenders of the Russian people, whose interests were neglected by the Soviet, as well as by post-Soviet elites. For the National-Patriots, it is a challenge that needs to be responded. The image of “the hard 1990s” plays an important role in shaping watersheds in Russian politics, as it facilitates constructing common enemies – “the Liberals”, “the oligarchs”, and “the West” – for political groups with rather different programs.
The research has also revealed interesting differences in the ways the memory about recent past is used as a political argument. In spite of the fact that the Communists, the National-Populists and the National-Patriots share negative interpretations of the 1990s, the do not support the idea of strict contrast between “the hard 1990s” and “the stable 2000s” that is typical for Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric.
The article analyzes the transformation of the regional political regime in Moscow Oblast from the decentralized type to the centralized one. Centralized subnational authoritarianism is understood as the implementation of the federal center policy to incorporate regional and local elites into the system of national electoral authoritarianism. The authors examine the institutional context of transformations: the reform of urban development authorities, understood as the process of redistributing rental flows, and the limitation of political autonomy by transforming the procedure for occupying elected offices. The transformation of formal institutions made the political process more predictable, though it led to a number of unobvious results, which included the increase in the importance of informal procedures in the political process. In turn, it led to restriction of the access to political participation. The results of the elections (Moscow Regional and State Duma campaigns of 2011 and 2016, and the governor election of 2018) show that the mayors being ‘old-timers’ managed to provide better electoral results for the ruling party than the newly appointed loyal mayors. The authors conclude that dismantling of old ‘political machines’ has led to the reduction of electoral support for the ruling party in the Moscow region on average. Thus, political centralization, which made the political process more predictable, led to the unforeseen consequences such as the decrease in the ability of municipal authorities to provide electoral support for the ruling party.
Information openness of public advisory councils is an important, but underexplored indicator of their role in public policy, reflecting their activities, as well as the feedback mechanisms between citizens and councils. Scholars usually point out low information quality on federal and regional levels, but the reasons for such situation are studied rarely, especially in comparative perspective. The paper attempts to fill in this gap, by revealing the conditions leading to greater information openness. We have selected St. Petersburg as a case and gather an original dataset on 46 public councils. The key research method used is the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. The framework is built on two expectations about the impact of councils’ autonomy (in website management and general organization) and the role of councils (“intermediary” or “expert”) on information openness.
Due to the lack of data and other limitations, the results have not revealed any conditions which can be considered a guarantee for better openness. However, we make a preliminary conclusion that the differences in the autonomy and roles are important conditions. The autonomy of councils, understood as their longevity and share of participants from nongovernmental organizations, seems to be the most crucial factors, regardless of the role they play. In some cases, an independent website and high openness of the related government agency may be important as well. Nevertheless, deep case studies of particular cases can enrich our knowledge on this topic. A valuable contribution of this paper is the framework of analysis that can be used for other cases and research strategies.
This article focuses on the problems of incumbency, one of the key issues in shaping various authorities in government, but one that is insufficiently developed in Russia – particularly when it does not concern the federal government. Examining elections in regional legislatures and the participation of regional and municipal deputies in those elections, the author focuses on a number of neglected aspects. First, the issue of the advantages of incumbency is integrated into the framework of comparative cross-regional analysis. Second, incumbency is examined in light of the problems of multi-level elections and therefore these two aspects are combined. Third, the article demonstrates how the advantages of incumbents in one level of government are converted in the elections of a different level of government. And fourth, it shows how certain changes in the electoral system and the heightened role of political parties in the regional arena affect the participation and endurance of incumbents in representative bodies.
The purpose of this article is to analyze the centrifugal tendencies in 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain by demonstrating that certain differences in the configurations of factors have led to varying degrees of the loss of autonomy. The main conclusion is that for the configurations leading to less autonomy, there is a low level of economic development, a low volume of EU funding, and an absence of local languages as a factor of identity. The cases of Andalusia, Asturias, and Galicia are of particular importance in these configurations. For the configurations that lead to greater autonomy, two patterns are identified. The first group (Catalonia and the Basque Country) demonstrates a link between centrifugal tendencies and three conditions: the existence of regionalist parties in the parliaments of Autonomous Communities (AC), a high level of economic development and a high level of identification with a regional language. The second group of cases (Valencia and the Canary Islands) demonstrates the added importance of funding under the EU regional policy programs for the period from 2014 to 2020. The scientific novelty of the article lies in its analysis of the dynamics of centrifugal tendencies in Spain via crisp-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (csQCA).
This project aims to test the concept of economic voting in the recent Duma election in Russia in 2016. The key idea is to find an explanation how the change in the standard of living in previous five years had affected the support of the “party of power”. According to the standard theory of economic voting, voters do reward government for economic growth and punish for economic crisis. However, the accession of Crimea and the Ukrainian crisis have caused the opposite effect: the rise of patriotism and trust to current political regime and president Vladimir Putin personally. Using the OLS method, we will test the impact of various indicators on the share of votes gained by the “United Russia” party across regions. We find that social and economic predictors matter, but in theoretically unexpected way: poor regions reward government. We call this effect as “poverty trap”.
This article shows the problem of the correlation of official and unofficial culture in Soviet cultural discourse. This distinction is not obvious and becomes part of the tactics of the artist himself in a dialogue with the authorities, acting as his reaction to the existing political situation. The artist makes a choice either in favor of cooperation with the authorities, or takes the side of the opposition to the existing regime. Soviet case shows "rules of the game" in every possible way lowered the importance of unofficial culture, making accent on the official culture, through which the achievements of socialist construction were demonstrated. Nevertheless, this could not stop the development of such a vivid phenomenon of Soviet art of the 20th century as nonconformism.
Currently, non-democracies are showing a significant interest in e-participation tools, i.e. in various online mechanisms for citizen participation in public policy, such as epetitions and e-consultations. Such instruments can be found in a vast range of countries from the post-Soviet space to the Middle East. This leads to new interpretations of the role ICT play in regime dynamics, and describes the peculiarities of contemporary authoritarianism. While the Internet has long been considered a liberation technology, it is currently viewed as providing stability of the authoritarian regime. In these circumstances, e-participation is becoming another pseudo-democratic institution, adapted as a tool for authoritarian consolidation. Although the number of works aimed at understanding this phenomenon is increasing, the research agenda is far from being complete. This paper, first, summarizes what we know and do not know about e-participation in authoritarian contexts, and second, outlines several prospects for further research. In this regards, the author considers e-participation as a policy, institution and process.
As a policy, e-participation is the result of the global innovation diffusion and policy learning. The most likely recipient of this innovation among non-democracies is a regime dependent upon internal and external legitimation, as well as having sufficient state potential for reforms. Quite often, e-participation becomes a window-dressing for a repressive Internet-policy and does not go beyond websites.
At the same time, e-participation can become a full-fledged institution of authoritarian consolidation, performing the same functions as other institutions, such as information gathering and monitoring the elites. For this, online mechanisms must have a certain institutional design and manipulation menu. It eventually helps dictators to channel Internet protests into the spaces that are fully controlled by the government.
E-participation in non-democracies as a process remains an underexplored issue. The evidence prove that the use of such mechanisms indeed makes citizens consider the government to be more legitimate. However, it is to be further explained who, why and with what result is engaged into non-democratic e-participation.
The author argues that a stronger integration between comparative authoritarianism and e-participation studies would be beneficial for both areas of research.