Middle class as a precondition of a sustainable society: fifteen years later
The focus of this book - the middle class of post-Soviet countries
The chapter examines the size, composition and characteristics of the middle class in contemporary Russia
This paper represents an initial report on findings fro a study aimed at analyzing several key aspects of middle class development in the Russian regions, namely:
• Federal and regional government programs to stimulate the growth of the middle class (content, tools of implementation, effectiveness); • Behavioral strategies and economic behavior (consumption patterns, propensity to save, investment) of different sections of Russian middle class; • Middle class value orientation and political preferences (including preferences for democracy).
The selection of regions for our study was made after consultations with the leading Russian experts on regional problems: Irina Busygina, Leonid Smirniagin, Nikolai Petrov, and Rostislav Turovsky. Their expertise and readiness to help us significantly aided us in choosing our case studies. The criteria we used in selecting regions were the following:
• A relatively high level of urban development (this excludes backward regions); • Variation in the level of socio-economic development: region-donor versus region-recipient of federal financial assistance; • Political orientation of the regional government: democratic versus authoritarian.
Socio-economic development in the Arab world is an important element of global pattern changes in the early 21st century. They show a complex interaction of processes in the masses of the new young "Internet generations" and the elites, and somewhat forgotten gastarbiters. Matrix of kingdoms and republics, oil and non-oil countries make situation more complex for the region than for any separate country. From our viewpoint the political spring in the Arab world requires, first of all, the analysis of the Arab society, its nature and characteristics that distinguish it from societies of the Christian tradition of Europe and the Americas. And is it revolt of the middle class in one oil country or a rebellion of tribes? The new middle class, the information revolution and the dispossessed masses, including migrant workers in the background of the huge concentration of wealth of the ruling regimes represent the socio-economic reality of the Middle East that will be present in international politics in the next decade. And finally - to what extent the lesson of Lybia can be applicable to other oil countries? What may be lessons for other elites?
The article presents the basic results of empirical check of the model of infl uence of valuable heterogeneity of a society on social dynamics. According to the author of the theoretical model (M. Urnov), this infl uence is caused by presence in a society of the groups, being in referential relations, that is relations in which one groups play a role of samples, and others - imitators. Thus the model of an elementary particle of social changes is a certain pair of the social groups connected by the referential relation.
Features of investments in human capital made by Russian middle class representatives are analyzed in this article. It is shown that despite higher level of investments compared to other social groups, middle class itself is characterized by recent negative trends in regards to human capital which could affect perspectives of the country in general.
Along with the fast growing economy, the term «BRICs» was coined to represent the newly emerging countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China. The enhanced economy in these countries has largely improved peoples life; at the same time, it has also strongly influenced the transformation of social structure, norms and values. However, as the worlds attention centers on their economic development at the micro level, the social changes at the micro level have often been neglected, and a specific comparative study of these four countries is even more rare. This handbooks contributing authors are leading sociologists in the four countries. They fill the gap in existing literature and examine specifically the changes in each society from the perspective of social stratification, with topics covering the main social classes, the inequality of education and income, and the different styles of consumption as well as the class consciousness and values. Under every topic, it gathers articles from authors of each country. Such a comparative study could not only help us achieve a better understanding of the economic growth and social development in these countries, but also lead us to unveil the mystery of how these emerging powers with dramatic differences in history, geography, culture, language, religion and politics could share a common will and take joint action. In general, the handbook takes a unique perspective to show readers that it is the profound social structural changes in these countries that determine their future, and to a large extent, will shape the socio-economic landscape of the future world.
This handbook's contributing autors are leading sociologists in the four countries. They fill the gap in existing literature and examine specifically the changes in each society from the perspective of social stratifications.
This paper represents an initial report on findings for a study aimed at analyzing several key aspects of middle class development in the Russian regions (subjects of Federation - oblasts, krays, autonomous republics), namely: Federal and regional government programs to stimulate the growth of the middle class (content, tools of implementation, effectiveness); Behavioral strategies and economic behavior (consumption patterns propensity to save, investment) of different sections of Russian middle class; Middle class value orientation and political preferences (including preferences for democracy).
Based on the data of European Social Survey we made a research of the opinion of the middle class on the welfare and social assistance, the main functions of the state in resolving a number of social issues in different countries with different models of social policy. The results of investigation showed that the population's vision of the role of the government in solution of the social problems, as well as of its general functions is different in various countries. Besides we can speak about a certain difference of attitudes of the middle class and working class regarding the social support program.
social policies, Middle class, working class, Public opinion, welfare
This article analizes the middle class in Russia
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.