Hierarchy and Power in the History of Civilizations: Cultural Dimensions. Introduction.
The human history has evidenced various systems of hierarchy and power, various manifestations of power and hierarchy relations in different spheres of social life from politics to information networks, from culture to sexual life.
A careful study of each particular case of such relations is very important, especially within the context of contemporary multipolar and multicultural world. In the meantime it is very important to see both the general features typical for all or most of the hierarchy and power forms, and their variation. This set of issues has been treated by a series of international conferences titled ‘Hierarchy and Power in the History of Civilizations’ held in 2000–2006. Most articles of this volume were originally presented at the 4th conference of this series (Moscow, 2006). Needless to mention that all those presentations have been substantially re-worked for the publication in this volume.
In his article Vladimir Kantor explores the destiny of Russia intelligentsia within the context of cultural crisis that took place at the turn of XIX and XX centuries, analyzing the Vekhovs, a group of leading intellectuals who ran a collection of essays, titled "Vekhi", studying their relationship towards that Russian cultural phenomenon. To author, the intelligentsia is considered as a critical factor in the development of Russian history. Within a context of the struggle around the "Vekhi", by referring to famous philosophical and literature books, published in 1909, the author focuses on relationships between intelligentsia and ordinary people, their attractive and repulsive interaction, which represents the key theme of the Russian destiny. Any historical movement occurs through tragedy; heroes who move the history have to sacrifice themselves to provide that movement. Confirmation to that idea would be rejection and exclusion of the Russian intelligentsia from the country's mentality throughout a number of generations which ultimately led to its tragic being.
Modern capitalism favors values that undermine our face-to-face bonds with friends and family members. Focusing on the post-communist world, and comparing it to more 'developed' societies, this book reveals the mixed effects of capitalist culture on interpersonal relationships. While most observers blame the egoism and asocial behavior found in new free-market societies on their communist pasts, this work shows how relationships are also threatened by the profit orientations and personal ambition unleashed by economic development. Successful people in societies as diverse as China, Russia, and Eastern Germany adjust to the market economy at a social cost, relaxing their morals in order to obtain success and succumbing to increased material temptations to exploit relationships for their own financial and professional gain. The capitalist personality is internally troubled as a result of this "sellout," but these qualms subside as it devalues intimate qualitative bonds with others. This book also shows that post-communists are similarly individualized as people living in Western societies. Capitalism may indeed favor values of independence, creativity, and self-expressiveness, but it also rewards self-centeredness, consumerism, and the stripping down of morality. As is the case in the West, capitalist culture fosters an internally conflicted and self-centered personality in post-communist societies.
The paper aims to investigate the process of establishing distribution network. The paper takes network paradigm as a main basis of investigation looking at the development of distribution networks in Russian chemical industry.
In this paper the public-private wage gap is estimated by means both of the OLS and the quantile regression, which will provide a more complex picture of the distribution of the public-private sector wage gap. The author finds the existence of significant public-private wage gap (about 30%) considering both observable and unobservable characteristics of workers and jobs. Using the decomposition based on quantile regression helps to answer the question about the nature of the wage differences. The author comes to the conclusion that the main reason for the gap is the institutional mechanisms of public sector wages in Russia. The analysis is based on the data from Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) 2000-2010.
The Working Paper examines the peculiarities of the Russian model of corporate governance and control in the banking sector. The study relies upon theoretical as well as applied research of corporate governance in Russian commercial banks featuring different forms of ownership. We focus on real interests of all stakeholders, namely bank and stock market regulators, bank owners, investors, top managers and other insiders. The Anglo-American concept of corporate governance, based on agency theory and implying outside investors’ control over banks through stock market, is found to bear limited relevance. We suggest some ways of overcoming the gap between formal institutions of governance and the real life.
We review the transition of the Russian banking sector focusing on the interplay between ownership change and institutional change. We find that the state's withdrawal from commercial banking has been inconsistent and limited in scope. To this day, core banks have yet to be privatized and the state has made a comeback as owner of the dominant market participants. We also look at the new institutions imported into Russia to regulate banking and finance, including rule of law, competition, deposit insurance, confidentiality, bankruptcy, and corporate governance. The unfortunate combination of this new institutional overlay and traditional local norms of behavior have brought Russia to an impasse - the banking sector's ownership structure hinders further advancement of market institutions. Indeed, we may now be witnessing is a retreat from the original market-based goals of transition.
UK corporate tax reform, corporate tax in Russia and tax relief system were considered and described in the article. Also it was made an attempt to apply UK experience of innovative activity encouragement through corporate tax regulation to Russian economy.