Политический плюрализм как конституционный принцип и социальная реальность
Legal pluralism and the experience of the state in the Caucasus are at the centre of this edited volume. This is a region affected by a multitude of legal orders and the book describes social action and governance in the light of this, and considers how conceptions of order are enforced, used, followed and staged in social networks and legal practice. Principally, how is the state perceived and how does it perform in both the North and South Caucasus? From elections in Dagestan and Armenia to uses of traditional law in Ingushetia and Georgia, from repression of journalism in Azerbaijan to the narrations of anti-corruption campaigns in Georgia - the text reflects the multifarious uses and performances of law and order. The collection includes approaches from different scholarly traditions and their respective theoretical background and therefore forms a unique product of multinational encounters.
Intergovernmental Reforms in the Russian Federation: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? is a critical analysis of Russia’s intergovernmental reform program which began in the early 1990s. It assesses the effects of a broad range of reforms adopted over two tumultuous decades during which the Russian Federation experienced significant, and at times drastic, political regime changes, coupled with a similarly turbulent economic growth trajectory. This environment reshaped intergovernmental relations, requiring certain fiscal responsibilities to be delegated to the subnational levels. These reforms, however, were not always accompanied by the kinds of administrative and political structures required to support a truly devolved system of intergovernmental fiscal relations. As this study indicates, in recent years there has been a tendency to recentralize some powers that had been granted to subnational governments under earlier reforms—a trend that may call into question the future of fiscal decentralization in the federation. Moreover, the current global economic downturn has had a significant effect on Russia’ economic growth, largely because of the country’s overdependence on oil, gas, and mineral exports. It is likely that in the present economic climate the political regime will be inclined to further limit subnational autonomy.
The notion of globalization is relatively imprecise, and can be used loosely to embrace a large variety of different modern phenomena. Theorists abuse the G-words (a term of William Twining to demonstrate radical changes, or at least the changes which seem to be radical to some philosophers. Generalized references to new (quasi-)realities allow theorists to escape a long and laborious examination and comparison of legal phenomena in the past and in the present. This new kind of reductionism does not seek to describe complex systems through one or several prevailing elements as the classical scientific paradigm does. On the contrary, it is claimed that the growing complexity of the world requires a multidimensional approach which tries to embrace every aspect of reality.
The article discusses the contemporary state of political regional science in Russia. The author outlines three approaches towards the key notion of political region (political administrative, political system and political sociological), based on its own region-making factors, such as administrative borders, political interests and political identities. The author points out two main parts of political regional science; these are comparative federalism and regionalism on one hand and cross-regional comparative politics on the other hand. The key concepts of political regional science are intergovernmental (or inter-level in broader sense) relations and regional politics. The successful development of Russian political regional science needs for the integration with the Western political science and the resolution of contradictions with some of its traditions.
This article describes the results of sociological research on estimation of condition and development prospects of federalism in Russia, which was conducted by ZIRCON Research Group in January - May 2011. The opinion of population and elite groups of four regions about the foundations of Russian federalism development, administrative-territorial system of the Russian Federation and its principles, relations between subjects-regions and federative centre is presented. The results of the research indicate that at the moment a request for political and administrative autonomy of the subjects of the Federation is not obviously formulated by either citizens or regional elite groups. Regional identity is not a common phenomenon. The authors mark out necessary factors of federalism development: expansion of economic self-dependence of regions, existence of ethno-national or regional identity of citizens, democratization and decentralization.
This article focuses on the American experience of guaranteeing decisional independence of judges. Historically the United States turned to be the pioneer in the area of legislative regulation of the status of judiciary power. With forming the normative base of both functioning of judiciary and the status of judges the following factor (which was repeatedly emphasized by the Founding Fathers) was taken into consideration: actual separation of powers is impossible without independent judiciary, and thus institutional independence of judiciary is impossible without decisional independence of individual judges. The article includes some comments of American judges regarding the essence generating prestige and institutional independence of the American judiciary and the qualities necessary for a good judge. The article also describes the doctrine of judicial activism.
This article is about alternative strategies of constitutional transformation in the period of elaboration of the Russian Constitution of 1993. The author analyses historical origins of basic constitutional principles such as parliament democracy, separation of powers and different forms of government and their interpretation during political crisis of the period under consideration.