Abstract. The article explores the notions of post-city and post-city studies in the imaginal-ontological context and outlines the basic ontological models that help us imagine a large city of Modern and describe its radical spatial transformations. The author introduces the concept of co-spatiality, which determines the prospects for phenomenological studies of post-urban realities, and discusses the importance of the phenomena of borderlineness and post-nomadism in the formation of the post-urbanism and non-urban forms of settlement. The urban space ceases to be a city space in the traditional sense; it is rather divided into numerous "fractals" coexisting with space, constantly updated local situational events that can be interpreted ontologically and semantically in a variety of ways. The space of a big city, a megalopolis of the mature Modernity, is primarily an apophatic negativity of the growing and expanding movement, as if it denies that it grows parallel to the phenomenology of complete and local dissociation. The phenomenon of co-spatialitiy(ies) can be considered as the key discourse, taking into account the ontological point of view when analyzing the concept of post-city / post-metropolis. At the same time, the dynamic development of large cities of late Modernity led to the emergence and development of the phenomenon of interdimensionality. On the one hand, the physical representation of the urban environment is some sort of a "bait", a manifestation of the sociocultural and communicative appeal of large cities; on the other hand, they indicate, as a rule, a meta-visualization of emptiness, dis-communication and the formation of powerful ontological zones of "invisibility", which can occur parallel to coexisting communication flows, boundaries, nodes and places. Post-urbanism, apparently, should act, for the most part, as a boundary concept that describes and characterizes the boundary worlds of the accompanying spaces, only touching upon, but not intruding deeply into the dominant visual, sound and verbal affects of the physical reality of cities.
The study - within the complex of theories of comparative political science - of certain separate aspects of post-Soviet countries' political evolution opens before the researchers substantial possibilities for the augmentation of knowledge. However, the disposable democratization models prove to be insufficient to enable adequate analysis of the transformations of the political regimes in respective societies. Pointing to the necessity of further steps in developing the "research cycle" of studying post-Soviet politics, the author raises a number of questions related to the democracy and democratization concepts and attempts to find out what are the answers in the light of the political development experience of the countries that have emerged on the territory of the former USSR. In his article, the author has: (a) considered cognitive prospects of the models of democracy in post-Soviet society; (b) analyzed the explanation capacities of different approaches to the study of democratization; (c) defined specific characteristics of the transformation process that political regimes in post-USSR undergo; (d) formulated some propositions on how (and, partly, why) there is the formation of political competition and of political institutions going on in the post-Soviet expanse. In conclusion, the author shares his considerations about the researchers' agenda and about new tasks facing the researchers.
The article is devoted to the study of evolution of public perceptions of new Russia's borders through the analysis of their representation in Russian printed media. "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" was chosen as a focus newspaper. The study is based on a database of publications collected through screening of this edition in four periods: 1994-1995, 2000-2003, 2008-2012 and 2013-2014. The newspapers "Sovetskaya Rossiya", "Zavtra" and "Novaya Gazeta" were used as the sources of additional information. The authors discovered that modernized East-West dilemma serves as a framework of these representations. Russia faces a fundamental choice between two vectors. The Western (European) vector means the rapprochement with the EU and NATO, adoption of their values and development models. The Eastern (Eurasian) one implies total or partial reintegration of post-Soviet space and creation of new autonomous center of power within upcoming multipolar world. Debates about the future of newly formed borders and the whole post-Soviet space, about building relations with former union republics on the one hand and the EU and NATO on the other, about aims and composition of regional integration projects etc. has invariably focused on the analysis of this dilemma. Since the 1990s there have been changes not only with the balance between two vectors within the media political discourse (non-contradicted in early 1990s they turned in the middle of 2010s into opposite sides of a dichotomy while the eastern vector appeared to be a dominant one) but also with their proper understanding. This article concerns with the Eastern part of two-faced discourse that reflects the transformation of Eurasian integration from the process of mutual attraction of Russia and other post-Soviet republics after a long period of coexistence as parts of a single state to one of the basic forms of global war between East-Russian and collective West. The issue of identity, state building and "battles of memories" which influence the perception of post-Soviet borders are considered in the same context. The final section assesses the possibility of usage of semantical approach to the analysis of meanings (words and senses) forming political language.
The article is devoted to the study of evolution of public perceptions of new Russia's post-Soviet borderzone through the analysis of their representation in Russian press. "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" was chosen as a focus newspaper. The study is based on a database of publications collected through screening of this edition in four periods: 1994-1995, 2000-2003, 2008-2012 and 2013-2014. The newspapers titled "Sovetskaya Rossiya", "Zavtra" and "Novaya Gazeta" were used as the sources of additional information. It has been found that modernized East-West dilemma serves as a framework of these representations. Russia faces a fundamental choice between two vectors. The Western (European) vector means the rapprochement with the members of the EU and NATO, adoption of their values and development models. The Eastern (Eurasian) one implies total or partial reintegration of post-Soviet space and creation of new autonomous center of power within upcoming multi-polar world. Debate about the future of newly formed borders and the whole post-Soviet space, about building relations with former union republics on the one hand and the EU and NATO on the other, about aims and composition of regional integration projects etc. has invariably focused on the analysis of this dilemma. From the 1990th there were changes not only with the balance between two vectors within the media political discourse (non-contradicted in early 1990th they turned in the middle of 2010th into opposite sides of a dichotomy while the eastern vector appeared to be a dominant one) but also with their proper understanding. This article concerns with the Western part of two-faced discourse that reflects the transformation of collective West from focus of consolidation, source of economic and political modernization and a role model to key geopolitical rival which de facto plays a role of the Evil on the world political map.
The review discusses a book written by Pippa Norris (Norris P. Why Electoral Integrity Matters. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2014. 297 p.) who currently is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Her book seeks to answer the question what happens when elections violate the international standards of electoral integrity. The author basing on elaborate and diligent empirical study comes to some important conclusions about the ability of ordinary citizens to estimate electoral integrity and the political consequences of fraudulent or rigged elections. Firstly, ordinary citizens are usually aware of many types of electoral malpractices and therefore can make reasoned judgments about the quality of contests in their countries. Secondly, high level of people skepticism with regard to electoral integrity is linked to the legitimacy of a political system. Thirdly, lack of legitimacy entails certain consequences for patterns of voting and political participation, as well as, protest activism. Fourthly, doubts in electoral integrity can trigger political violence in some cases. Such an outcome is highly likely in hybrid regimes. Finally, fraudulent or rigged contests under certain circumstances can push changes in a political system itself. The reviewed work has a big deal in understanding the linkage between elections and political processes on micro- and macro- levels. The book, undoubtedly, will be useful to those who are interested in electoral studies, problems of democratization and understanding of protest political activity.
Moral principles being disregarded and legal norms being blurred as well as the absence of efficient legal mechanisms in modern Russian society are fraud by heavy losses. It is evident that Russia is still far away from turning respect for law into tradition and integral part of legal culture. The concept of legal consciousness, emphasizes the author, contains two basic ideas: first, solidness of law, and, second, trust among the people. Statistical data and the author's analysis demonstrate that one of the most important goals in the current period remains the reformation of the judicial system towards its radical democratization, real independence of courts, overcoming the confrontation between citizens and legal structures.
This study examines the ethics of political consultants in Russia using the materials of 73 interviews with election campaigners (political consultants, chiefs of staff, field workers, lawyers, etc.). The study suggests that it is impossible to speak of Russian political consultants as a single community sharing common values. This professional group is heterogeneous and includes people with different perceptions of norms and ethical boundaries. Based on the analysis of the interviews, a classification of political consultants’ professional taboos was developed: universal human morality, ideological orientation, professional orientation, procedural taboos, and legal boundaries. Interestingly, some of the informants used the rhetoric of justification when talking about ethical restrictions. The existence of certain standards of behavior was justified by the fact that the informant was somehow different from the “correct” political consultants (professional biography, belief system, etc.). The absence of ethical boundaries in several cases could be interpreted as a norm and a sign of professionalism, as opposed to as an anomaly.