Interpretations of historic events are an important part of the contemporary political discourse in the EU countries. Politics of memory have become a key issue in identity politics in “new” Europe in the process of nation building and are on the rise in “old” Europe where nation-states, regions aspiring for autonomy and supranational structures promote diverse historic narratives. Attempts to bring together and reconcile different interpretations of the past in school textbooks are undertaken on the EU level and sponsored by several member states. The leader here is Germany, a country where politics of memory are an inherent part of the political discourse. A revision of national“big narratives” and attempts to take in positions of various groups of the contemporary multicultural societies is a phenomenon of the 21st century. A persistent need for effective mechanisms to maintain social stability is enhanced by mass discontent over the prospects of the European integration process and by a rise of “new nationalism” in some of the better off regions of “old” Europe. Education plays a key role in the formation of the European memory culture, but a consensus on values needed to promote a shared culture is undermined by the current difficulties of integration processes due to Brexit and to contention over migration regulation. This brings in diverse and sometimes non-compatible priorities of memory politics onto the national agenda (as in the case of Catalonia and Spain), and the “struggle for identity” becomes a key political issue for communities aspiring for more autonomy and independence. Opinion polls, questionnaire surveys, school curricula and expert assessments of textbook contents provide the empirical basis for this study. The author demonstrates how reinterpretations of history and newly constructed images of the past are used to reconsider the governance agenda and to legitimize “new nationalism” in the European public opinion.
The article is concerned with the role and the development of governance effectiveness evaluation practices. Taking into account importance and topicality of this issue to the Russian institutional context, the key features of the new theoretical and methodological base for contemporary administrative reforms are carefully examined in this paper, particularly advantages and disadvantages of different evaluation models, its significance for the Russian political and public administration system. The prospects for further studies are also highlighted.
The article investigates the main global trends in the development of government effectiveness evaluation practices, as well as evaluation methods and key stages of their development. Against the background of global trends, special attention is given to the analysis of practices of public administration effectiveness evaluation in the United States of America, which is the leader in the field of effective management.
The paper argues that the fi nancial system stability has become a target variable for the Federal Reserve System, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, and, since at least 2008, the monetary policies has been largely driven by the consideration of general volatility levels. The author develops a quantitative model of a central bank’s typical response to volatility changes showing the presence here of a statistically stable relationship. Firstly, the paper depicts central banks’ response to the subprime crisis with non-conventional monetary policy options outlined. We begin with the theory of quantitative easing and review the academic background making cases for and against QE. It is concluded that these programs are not necessarily highly effi cient themselves even with persuasive proofs of a central bank’s commitment. Sofar, the quantitative easing should be treated merely as just one of the tools used to infl uence market’s rate expectations. General empirical effi ciency of monetary innovations is also discussed. Secondly, the author specifi es the problem to be solved. Arguably, there is a reason to assume that a central bank’s reaction function changes once the zero-bound is approached and new tools are utilized. We assume that a stable link has developed between fi nancial market’s stability and monetary policy stance, i.e. aggregate level of volatility is now a policy target variable and rate expectations (altered by the means of QE) are a new macrofi nancial policy instrument. Description of the analytical model used to establish and quantify the link is then presented. We use a Farlie-Gumbel-Morgenstern copula built on non-normal distributions, with the latter obtained as a solution to a variational problem. A hidden function is then constructed based on the estimates of the copula function. The relationship can be used by practitioners in order to determine the timing or conditions appropriate to expect a policy change given central bank’s behavioristic pattern. It is assumed that in all cases monetary policy has been successful in achieving its immediate goals so far, and marketobserved rate expectations were seen acceptable for the respective central bank.
The main aim of this article is to analyze the role of conservatism in the political development of the right-wing populism on the material of the UK case. The ideational approach to the right-wing populism, emphasizing the ideological closeness of the Conservative Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) as the British version of the European right-wing populism, allows us to focus on their interactions. On the one hand, conservatism has emerged as an ideological and programmatic resource for the UKIP through the use of the Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant rhetoric, populism, and “playing the referendum card” on the “European issue” in the parties’ competition process. This combination is reflected during the UKIP’s evolution from the Eurosceptic “single-issue” to the right-populist party, while conservatism, trying to move to the center of the political spectrum, has lost its monopolistic position on the right flank of British politics. On the other hand, the reaction of conservatism in response to the establishment of the UKIP as a third force in British politics was expressed in the implementation of the main programmatic element of UKIP - a referendum on the membership in the EU, which led to the disorientation of the UKIP and the loss of its conceptual basis. The main findings are: (1) dominance of the traditionalist or modernizing line in the Conservative Party determines the limits of possibilities of the right-wing populism; (2) the role of conservatism in the political development of right-wing populism is dual. On the one hand, right-wing populism uses the ideological and programmatic practices of conservatives, on the other hand, it loses its conceptual basis and electoral support when conservatism implements the main elements of its program.
The article analyses current trends of deteriorating of Russian human capital during the protracted systemic economic crisis that creates additional risks of decrease in quality of Russian human capital. Current trends in the social stratification of the society are investigated. Especially, the author examines the role and scope of the Russian middle class. A conclusion is made that in this county the middle class has a minor place in the social structure as compared with the developed countries. Moreover, its growth is suspended due to insufficient social and economic opportunities to achieve upward mobility in society. Special attention is given to approaches to the definition of poverty and its transformation in the modern Russian history. It is concluded that the official tool (the subsistence minimum) does not allow to adequately assess the extent of poverty and size of the underclass. Special attention is paid to the situation with changes in social status and behavior of the poor, i.e. to the growth of underclass. The author comes to a conclusion that current trends can have critical importance, thus putting under question the success of the whole strategy of so much needed large-scale structural reforms. At the same time, the author emphasizes the fact that the attempts targeted at solving the problems of poverty will not achieve the desired outcome without major overhaul of the national public administration system. The looming deterioration of the quality of Russian human capital cannot be fixed only by spot programs aimed at fighting poverty. Without major changes in the institutional basis of the modern Russian society such actions will inevitably turn out inefficient both from the point of view of allocated resources and, most importantly, from the point of view of social results.
The paper examines the evolution of the U.S. national interests in the Arctic, its economic and military strategies in the High North, as well as assesses the U.S.-Russia relations in the region. The Trump administration did not produce any official Arctic doctrine or fresh ideas regarding its High North strategies. In terms of economic strategies, the Trump administration lifted Obama’s ban on the development of oil and gas deposits in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as offshore fields in the Chukchee and Beaufort seas. Trump also decided to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. This decision undermined one of the most important pillars of Obama’s Arctic strategies. The U.S. military strategy in the Far North aims, on the one hand, to contain Russia with the help of strategic and conventional arms and, on the other hand, to protect American economic interests and implement freedom of navigation principle in the region. Similar to other Arctic powers, the United States modernizes its nuclear and conventional forces trying to make them more compact, better equipped and trained. As far as the international aspects of the U.S. Arctic strategy are concerned, the Trump administration simply continued policies launched by Barak Obama, although there was some decrease in Washington’s interest for multilateral diplomacy in this region, including international institutions. As for the U.S.-Russia relations in the Arctic, they still remain very controversial and include both elements of competition and cooperation. There is a lack of trust between Moscow and Washington in the regional security sphere. The Trump administration continues Obama’s sanction policies with regard to Russia, including the oil and gas industry sector. However, the USA may be interested in the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) shipments from the Russian Arctic (especially in winter time). Moreover, both countries favor coast guard cooperation to prevent poaching and increase the safety of navigation in the Bering Sea and Strait. The U.S. and Russia are willing to enhance Arctic research and education cooperation. Some arms control/ confidence- and security-building measures can be suggested in bilateral and multilateral formats.
2019 will be the latest in a series of difficult years for Russia, owing to the synergyof three long-term negative factors. The first is the dismantling of the global order,the departure of world politics from the whole complex of rules, principles, agree-ments, institutions and even values that were developed since the end of the Sec-ond World War. The second is the concern or resistance of a significant number ofthe world’s leading players to Russia’s persistent moves to restore its status as a worldpower in the last decade (Kobrinskaya, 2018). The third factor is that in the forma-tion of Russia’s foreign policy, domestic political and socio-economic factors, whichdirectly and indirectly determine the country’s position in world politics, includinghow it is perceived abroad, are increasingly asserting themselves.Under the influence of these factors, three trends have emerged that will largely de-termine Russia’s position in the world community: the instability of its relations withthe West; the strengthening of its ties with China; and the deepening crisis and con-flictual state of the entire complex of international relations.