The Mythologies of Capitalism and the End of the Soviet Project
The purpose of the Mythologies of Capitalism and the End of the Soviet Project is to show that in order to understand popular disillusionment with democratization, liberalization, and other transformations associated with the attempts of non-Western societies to appropriate the ideas of Western modernity, one must consider how these ideas are mythologized in the course of such appropriations. Olga Baysha argues that the seeds of post-revolutionary frustration should be sought in pre-revolutionary discourses on democracy, liberalism, and other concepts of Western modernity that are produced outside local contexts and introduced through the channels of global communication and interpretations of politicians, activists, and experts
This article explores how actor-network theory has redescribed the concept of modernity. B. Latour provides a radical critique of modern rationality by undermining its basic opposition between nature and culture. What he offers instead is relational approach to techno-science. From this point of view, all the actors are initially hybrid entities, and the ontological regime of modernity emerged as an unsuccessful attempt to purify and to divide them into clearly defined 'subjects' and 'objects'. The main paradox of modern rationality is that while it was trying to produce an illusion of two different realms (nature and culture), the number of hybrids was increasing dramatically. To tackle this problem, Latour offered a quite utopian alternative - the Parliament of Things. In the end of the article, it is stated that there is a danger for ANT of being modernist itself. And it is rejection of reductionism that distinguishes actor-network analysis from the other theories of modernity.
This article examines special features of pleasure gardens (amusement parks) in the late imperial Russia and demonstrates them as sociocultural phenomena. The author attempts to broaden the horizon of the urban leisure studies by addressing to the experience of amusement parks and urban history studies gained by the foreign colleagues. Pleasure gardens appeared to be remarkable phenomena in the urban space of the late imperial Russia in both, a province and capital cities. They managed to become the fin-de-siècle translators of the developing mass culture and were also a place where high culture met the low. The author stresses the significant contribution of the pleasure gardens into the leveling of the audience tastes and into the leisure democratization.
The author elaborates that in the transition from a previous political system into a liberal democracy, there is an ever-present threat of the encroachment of authoritarianism into the democratization agenda. This chapter argues that the conditions for “authoritarian syndrome” can be found in the form that democratization takes and in the culture of a given transitional state. The focus here is on the latter and on the social, political, and economic dynamics that can lead a transitional society to reject democratization. Russia, a transitional state where echoes of authoritarianism and great power aspirations are always on the surface of politics, is presented as a case study.
The article examines the experience of China's investment policy aimed at creating favorable conditions to attract investment, particularly foreign direct investments, to the most important country's industries. In recent years, this policy (the establishment of free economic zones, trade liberalization, the establishment of an appropriate legislative framework, state support for investors) has brought noticeable positive results, but with the beginning of the global financial crisis allowed to avoid the most painful consequences. This experience taking into account all its particularities can be useful for our economy.
The article examines the impact of culture on the formation of institutions of political democracy in transitional societies. Special attention is paid to the negative influence of authoritarian syndrome on the democratization process, to the conditions of activation of the authoritarian syndrome and ways to overcome it.
Russia is a country of great complexity—eighty-nine subject regions, ethnic diversity, economic variance across regions, the power struggle of Moscow versus the regions—and multiple realities—urban versus rural, rich versus poor, and cosmopolitan versus provincial, just to name a few. Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation explores Russia's complexity and the meanings of the country's internal borders, the future of its agricultural spaces, the development of its political parties, and the effect of its federal organization.
The contributors examine stratification, citizenship, federalization, democratization, the politics of culture and identity, and globalization. These essays show how political leaders within Russia and scholars and policymakers from outside must accept the country's complexity and view uncertainty as a positive development rather than a liability. The authors explore how Russian experience can enhance theory political science, sociology, geography, and economics.
The article examines the main trends in the study of the Stalinist period and the phenomenon of Stalinism in connection with the mass opening of the archives.