Политические изменения в глобальном мире: теоретико-методологические проблемы анализа и прогнозирования
Assessing the nature, factors and alternatives of contemporary social change is a key challenge for contemporary social science requiring methodological approaches fit to interpret the radical transformations of the institutions and the habitat, of the individual’s mentality and modes of behavior. The way development has been perceived exclusively within the capitalist Western-oriented model is being reconsidered, and the principal methodological approaches of qualitative research in the field are being scrutinized. The critical characteristics of contemporary development are clearly manifested in the political sphere: the emergence of new institutions and new actors transform political spaces and reframe the conventional understanding of politics. The authors test the possibilities of achieving a methodological synthesis in studying political change and propose approaches to overcome the “methodological nationalism” which has so far dominated political science. This revision can be achieved, it is argued, by adequately using the understated cognitive potential of identity studies and by introducing into the research framework, alongside institutions and collective actors, the spatial and the individual, personal dimensions of political development. The edited volume presents the results of the research project funded by the Russian Foundation for the Humanities № 12-03-00306a “The methodology of analyzing political and sociocultural development and forecasting social and political change in the modernization context”.
Mass political protests in recent years, since the events of the "Arab Spring" 2010-2011 years, when citizens' political actions covered the Middle East and North Africa, and ending with the latest developments in Ukraine are an important factor of political changes. At the same time, once it has arisen, protests continue and preserve its influence on political developments in the US and Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand and many other countries from all continents of the world. This allows some researchers speak of the emergence of a new phenomenon - the phenomenon of protest groups of individuals or communities protest (protest publics). The last are not only factors, but also the actors of political changes in modern polities that requires clarification of existing methodological approaches and research tools of political change, as well as the roles of the different driving forces (actors and factors) in the process.