The author proposes an annular model of the global geopolitical expanse – an analytical construction raised by the seeking to explain the correlation between the continental masses of Eurasia and their surroundings by virtue of: 1) developing H.J. Mackinder’s ideas of concentration of the expanses around the geographical pivot of history and of the existence of crescent-structures; 2) being guided by A.P.Karpinsky’s conceptions of concentric location of continents “obliquely relative to the meridian”; 3) taking into consideration the views of A.L. Wegener e.a. concerning the drift of the continents and the pulsatory redistribution of the continental masses of the Pangaia protocontinent and the compressing envelopment of the Pacific ocean by those masses.
The article analyzes practices of public commemoration of the centenary of the February and October revolutions in Russia. It reconstructs the symbolic strategies and historical narratives of the key mnemonic actors – the ruling elite, the Communists, the Russian Orthodox Church, the “Conservatives”, the Liberals etc. The analysis is based on recent texts of the politicians and public intellectuals from these groups. The research combines an analysis of discourses and commemorative practices. A commemoration of a historical event is considered as the political process the outcome of which depends on interaction of mnemonic actors who 1) have certain political aims and take particular position against the other actors, 2) selectively use the common repertoire of symbolic resources and take part in its transformation.
By the results of analysis, the commemoration of the centenary of the revolution(s) takes part in the context of a fragmented memory regime. This conclusion is based not only on significant discrepancy between the competing narratives, but also on the presence of several mnemonic warriors who use this symbolic chance for promotion of their own political agenda and seek to delegitimize their opponents. According to surveys, the same discrepancy about the revolution is revealed in the public opinion. However, the official project to celebrate “conciliation and concord” of the Reds and the Whites is facilitated by the fact that almost all major mnemonic actors (with exception of the Yabloko Party) share the “patriotic” and anti-Western discourse of the incumbent elite. Besides, the authority has as an influential ally as the Russian Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, in the context of the fragmented memory regime oppositional actors can impede a public demonstration of “conciliation and concord” even without large resources. This suggestion is well supported by the case of local opposition to a construction of the memorial to Conciliation in Crimea which was designed as a central event of the official commemoration.
The article presents the results of the study of public commemoration of the centenary of the February and October revolutions in Russia as the episode of politics of memory. It compares historical narratives of the key mnemonic actors – the ruling elite, the Communists, the Russian Orthodox Church, the “Conservatives”, the Liberals etc. The analysis is based on recent texts of the politicians and public intellectuals from these groups.
The historical narratives are compared by five criteria: 1) the main idea (that usually follows from the mission / political program / identity); 2) the plot (that is usually focused on the story about tragedy and trauma that Russia experienced in the 20th century); 3) the events that come as causally linked elements of the narrative; 4) the main actors; 5) the lessons that should be leant.
It is concluded that actually the commemoration of the centenary of the revolution(s) took part in the context of a fragmented memory regime. However, the discrepancy of competing interpretations have not brought an open public conflict because the mnemonic warriors either experienced a lack of resources for more active propaganda, or partly shared the attitudes of the ruling elite. As a result, by avoiding the official commemoration the latter escaped direct public discussions, and could turn the commemorative process to the “peaceful” path.
In this critical review of the issue of the almanac Essays on Conservatism (Institute of Socioeconomic and Political Research, ISEPR), which offers a deep insight in the contemporary history of conservatism, the author analyzes the current state of conservatism as a political movement in the United States on the basis of the Essays devoted to this subject, and of the recent presidential elections in the USA. The author proceeds from the fact that, existing in a competitive political environment, conservatism faces challenges of a changing public demand for policies, due to both the socio-economic situation and changing demographic composition of the population. The author shows how radicalism increased in response to frustration of the society and analyzes the roots of the radical and powerful demand for right populism in the United States in general. For decades, democratic political regimes provided stability both in politics and economics: population of these counties profited from integration, globalization, “open economy”: therefore, dominant position of establishment – the political “center”, left- and center-right parties was accepted without doubt. However, the last decades changed this trend. American conservatism, on the one hand, found a new base of support that helped Republican candidates win in the elections; on the other hand, conservatism deepened the divisions and contradictions in American society, and thus came into a conflict with a number of other traditional settings of conservatism. The author concludes that after the presidential elections of 2016, American conservatism faces serious top-down redefinition.
The article introduces new perspective on political symbolization as a state of political reality. Availability of symbolic influence in political context implies common knowledge; nevertheless, it does not reflect predetermined reaction to following information. Therefore, we have to discern between semantics (meaning of the language) and sense of the conversations (meaning of the speech itself). The article draws substance of political symbolization from the theory of the symbol, introduced by German romantics, who highly valued symbols as a matter of human aesthetics. Author exposes the contradiction between the use of the symbol’s “privileged status” in the dimension of aesthetics and neglect of its very essence within social sciences. Political symbolization is conceptualized in terms of multiplicity of unstated meanings in communication within political context. These findings of the article have the significant implication: political symbolization is a rare and unpredictable phenomenon; it becomes “visible” as if it has been happening in the reality, but still in collective perception due to dispositions of interpreters political symbolization is presented more essential than the viscera of life.
Authors develop a new conceptual approach to the study of corruption and effectiveness of anti-corruption regulations of public service. Basing our hypothesis on the conducted thorough analysis of effective models of conflict of interest at public service, authors assume that there is a “missing factor” in modern corruption studies. This “missing factor” is “corruption market”, particularly, its size, type and nature. Conflict of interest regulations’ aim at controlling key channels of corruption behavior, and corruption market in its turn determines prevailing channels of existing corruption behavior. Thus, misidentification of corruption market’s type is the main reason for failure of anti-corruption policies, no matter how new and effective models are imported.
Corruption market’s size is defined as a number and average price of corruption deals. The nature of corruption market depends on the side, capable of setting the final price of corruption deal. Resulting from institutional characteristics of public administration, corruption markets are either seller’s or buyer’s markets. Seller’s corruption markets are sensible to ethic regulations of public service, and the only effective way of tackling buyer’s corruption markets are “cut-red-tape” reforms and introduction of compliance-based regulation of conflict of interest. Type of corruption market encompasses 3 dimensions: quality of institutions, scope of regulations and degree of regulations. Basing on the introduced model, authors identify and analyze 8 types of existing corruption markets. Each type of corruption market has its own transformational dynamics and, consequently, own opportunities for anti-corruption policies.
A new conceptual model of corruption market evolution is introduced in the article. Transformations of corruption markets depend on several factors. The key factors are personalization of political regime, “new public management” reforms of public administration, populist policies and creation of rentier states, and set up of the Welfare State.
An attempt has bee undertaken in the article to apply Kant's cognitive pattern of aesthetic theory for analyzing particularities of political ideology. Connecting the discursive approach to ideology proposed by Althusser, and Kant's theory of aesthetics as critique of the judgment ability (Kritik der Urtheilskraft), one formalizes in a new way the concept of ideology in categories of "the beautiful - the ugly" and of "the lofty - the profane" and overcomes the stable stereotype of ideology as "false consciousness". What appears especially important in this connection is not so much how this or that ideology describes the world, as how it "locates" in this world the socio-political agents.
Maintain autocratic regimes is widely acknowledged to require elites loyalty. However, loyalty of which elites is more important to establish high voting for an autocrat and high turnout? As elections in electoral autocracies are designed to demonstrate superiority of the autocrat over his rivals – Russian subnational elections serve to legitimatize the leadership of a pre-decided race favorite rather than establish fair competition. Even given that there is no intrigue in the election outcome, do conflicts still influence the result of voting? And which conflicts prove to be the most influential on the elections result? Basing on empirical evidence of gubernatorial election in Russia we explore how conflicts between the governor and the elites at municipal and regional levels affect incumbents elections outcome. We collected electoral data in 43 regions and 1402 municipalities and coded qualitative data on conflicts between governor and elites. We find that conflicts between governors and the mayors of regional capitals have the only robust negative effect on both governors electoral result and turnout. In the regions with this conflict, governors receive up to about 16 percentage points lower support and 15 percentage point lower turnout. The explanation to the finding bases on the logic of mobilization machinery performance. Encouraging loyalty of these mayors secures smoother political machinery in the most electorally significant areas of the region (regional capitals) and thus has the most pronounced impact on the outcome of an electoral campaign. This finding provides another confirmation of the paramount role of covert rather than open inter-elite competition for electoral autocracies maintenance.