Grassroots Political Campaign in Russia: Alexey Navalny and Transmedia Strategies for Democratic Development
This chapter analyzes the transmedia strategies of opposition candidate Alexey Navalny’s campaignduring the 2013 Moscow mayoral election. The goal is to highlight how the use of information and com-munication technology contributed to the development of democratic practices in Russia. His westernized,grassroots political campaign was a novelty in the country, involving online fundraising, door-to-doorcanvassing, engagement of volunteers, digital projects, and meetings with voters, for instance. The argu-ment is that, although Navalny lost the election, his candidacy represented advancement in terms of boththe use of new media and the promotion of democratic development in the midst of autocratic Russia. If the progress will be maintained, it remains to be seen. The theoretical framework includes the realityof the Russian political scenario and the conceptualization of transmedia storytelling strategies in thecontext of participatory politics. The methodological approach is based on the transmedia analyticalmodel by Gambarato (2013).
What will be the image of a society, if we consider it in the context of life plans of its citizens? How strong is the social commitment to achieve greater well-being through the implementation of life goals in the society? The results of the study show that only 52% of Russians have a conscious and being realized life goals, while the other part of society does not see and/or set any life goals for the future. The proportions of the population with utilitarian, idealistic and mixed goals, identified based on the criterion of connection with material consumption and orientation on themselves or on others are estimated. It is shown that subjectively expected income growth associated with the implementation of utilitarian and mixed life goals is comparable with the average income in Russia. The contribution of individuals’ social status components and self-evaluation of the past achievements to the differentiation of the population by the presence and absence of goals, idealistic and utilitarian nature of goals, by the social nature of the lack of goals is measured. The survey was carried out on the basis of a representative sampling for the Russian Federation in 2017. The overall size of sampling is 700 people.
Characterizing countries as ‘great powers’ or ‘superpowers’ is deeply rooted in the contemporary socio-political discourse and public consciousness. The fundamental public good a superpower provides is its preventive character, however estimating the benefits of this type of good is complicated. This article develops an approach to measuring the public cost of superpower status as a specific type of public good. It is based on an experimental solution to the classical budgetary dilemma, in which the additional cost of maintaining superpower status is weighted against two alternatives – ‘economic’ (i.e. investment in public well-being) and ‘humanitarian’ (e.g. investment in health provisions). Two types of experimental situations are tested: 1) a short-term program with a ‘soft’ model of a superpower (a moderate program maintaining national sovereignty in international relations) and 2) a long-term program with a ‘hard’ model of a superpower (i.e. an enforced program of total military parity with the West). The findings suggest that society has a bipolar world outlook with a large share of the public supporting an understanding of the state’s power either as ‘external’ (centered on gaining an international force) or ‘internal’ (centered on economic and humanitarian wellbeing of citizens). Depending on the type of experimental situation the additional strengthening of superpower status was unconditionally supported by 32–40% of respondents. Conditional support (i.e. on one of the economic or humanitarian programs) was expressed by 40–49%. On average, the upper limit of the acceptable cost of additional strengthening of the superpower was estimated at 1 million rubles per capita (for economic programs), and 1000 saved lives (for humanitarian programs). For the economic alternative this translates into a cost of 3–10% of GDP (depending on the type of experimental situation). For the humanitarian alternative, approval can be granted by investing in medical centers with an efficiency of about 1000 saved lives per year. Finally, the study revealed that support for different types of superpower programs is conditioned by a number of social and demographic characteristics. Male and older age respondents are more likely to support superpower ambitions. Professionals are more likely to support the ‘soft’ versions of the superpower, and higher income groups tend to prefer the ‘harder’ version.
This paper analyzes the “shadow price” of social transformation. For the first time, an attempt was made to determine the approaches to measuring this value with regard to nonmarket phenomena and processes, and to apply these approaches in an empirical analysis, based on a representative survey in Russia (N = 1,000) using experimental situations. Specifically, it quantitatively evaluates (1) the degree of divergence between the real and the ideal structure of the time budget of several important domains of social life; (2) the ratio of social ills to social benefits; (3) individual public welfare functions; and (4) the social cost, legitimated by citizens, of reproducing two fundamental public goods: “the capacity to maintain ‘superpower’ status” and “the well-being of the future generations.” The authors introduce and operationalize the novel concept of the socially suboptimal product of labor, that is, the product resulting from alienated (or unwilling) labor, and conversely, the product that could potentially result from using unutilized willing labor. In doing so we support the idea of distinguishing productive and unproductive forms within both the notion of labor and the notion of leisure. Aggregated estimates of these values show the share of gross domestic product (GDP) that could be optimized due to a redistribution of the time budget of the population between the main areas of life, according to ideal social preferences. The balance of social benefits and social ills resulting from the life experiences and activities of individuals is empirically evaluated. We consider this balance, which is the sum of impacts of the social environment on the individual, as a suitable model for explaining how individuals make decisions about whether or not to participate in public life. “Individual public welfare functions” are assessed empirically, demonstrating that individual utility depends on personal and collective consumption. Empirical testing covered a wide range of nation-building areas with public investment in relevant types of merit and public goods. Then the authors propose and test on empirical data an opportunity cost approach to evaluating socially legitimate amounts of funding for the fundamental social benefits “superpower” or “additional power” of the nation. The cost of the public good “well-being of the future generations” is calculated for the Russian sample. Finally, the estimates of the discount rates of human lives and “healthy and prosperous years of life” were obtained for Russia for the first time. The findings of the study are relevant for the efficient management of complex socioeconomic systems. The authors strongly believe that revealing the structure of existing social preferences and estimating their impact on various areas of social life will help improve policymaking by explicitly taking into account the specifics of the real social contract between the state and society.
This chapter discusses the impact of transmedia campaigns aimed at achieving a certain level of government policy change. Transmedia campaigns comprise a series of coordinated activities and organized efforts designed to achieve a social, political, or commercial goal by means of multiple media platforms. The Great British Property Scandal and Food, Inc. transmedia campaigns are considered to introduce the argument that this kind of multiplatform campaigning can actually produce concrete results in the political sphere. Moreover, this chapter focuses on the in-depth analysis of the transmedia strategies of the Fish Fight campaign to demonstrate how exactly transmedia strategies collaborate to influence policy change. The research findings point to the effective role of transmedia storytelling strategies in raising awareness in the political sphere through public participation in supporting relevant issues, influencing policy change.
The article is focused upon slow reading, its inner structure and its historical fate in context of late modernity. The slow reading is placed into the flow of life activity as a practice incorporated into it and treated as ongoing action aimed at achieving the understanding which includes reconstruction and appropriation of text and context. Various contextual properties and aspects of this practice are considered through such cases as reading scientific and scholarly texts, translating, reading sacred texts, poetry and news. Then contemporary decline of slow reading is discussed in perspective of ecology of occupations and inscribed into general trend of displacement of slow ways of doing by fast ways, connected with domination and expansion of capitalist rationality and ever-increasing advance of capitalist modes of time use in all areas of human life activity.
This book presents the history of globalization as a network-based story in the context of Big History. Departing from the traditional historic discourse, in which communities, cities, and states serve as the main units of analysis, the authors instead trace the historical emergence, growth, interconnection, and merging of various types of networks that have gradually encompassed the globe. They also focus on the development of certain ideas, processes, institutions, and phenomena that spread through those networks to become truly global.
The book specifies five macro-periods in the history of globalization and comprehensively covers the first four, from roughly the 9th – 7th millennia BC to World War I. For each period, it identifies the most important network-related developments that facilitated (or even spurred on) such transitions and had the greatest impacts on the history of globalization.
By analyzing the world system's transition to new levels of complexity and connectivity, the book provides valuable insights into the course of Big History and the evolution of human societies.