Elites - the Choice for Modernization
Nature abhors a "vacuum" - the new power elite arrives at the time of major social and political transformations and endeavours to shore up its position within the country and obtain support from outside. New power groups, which are active at times of revolution and who replace, push aside or even depose the old elites and impose their own control over the state machine and position themselves as new power elite.There are themselves not immune to social transformation, especially in the first decades of coming to their new commanding role. Unless its claims are given legitimacy it is unable to implement its positive programme, which it immediately claims as the national programme. Every country "acquires" a new functioning elite - political, financial and intellectual - from revolution or a change of regime. The old elite may lose control and depart or upon luck may merge into a new combination of social strata of particular country. We also believe that the composition and the structure of elites is the country-specific and reflect one’s country history.
The article is devoted to analysis of discursive practices of public representation and discussion of the political course of “modernization” announced by president Dmitry Medvedev. It is focused at interpretations of the idea of modernization by the leading Russian politicians as well as at the role of the notions about collective past, present and future in its ideological justification and contestation.
The chapter focuses on one of the ways to communicate with the sacred popular among contemporary Russian Orthodox believers – written appealing to the saints (letters and notes). Although not happy at all about this habit, the Church managers allow to publish these letters in the parish newspapers and web-sites and in other church mass-media. Analysis of publications of the letters addressed to Saint Xenia of Petersburg proves that the Church publishes them as a part of its advertising campaign targeted on those people who prefer irregular religiosity (pilgrimages, letters to the saint, etc) to traditional regular parish life. The chapter develops Peter Berger’s metaphor of religious market.
The article concerns the problem of the Russian absolutist monarchy of the XVIII - the beginning of XX-th centuries in a comparative perspective. The social function of absolutism consisted in national integration, cultural unification and social transformation of traditional society by using of legal and coercive measures. The crucial problem is the changing role of the bureaucracy which could be the main protagonist of reforms or, just the opposite – its main opponent. From this point of view the author summarizes positive and negative aspects of absolutist reforms making outlook on the comparative experience of other absolutist empires of Europe and Asia.
The article is concerned with results of content analysis of textbooks for high school in the area of social and human sciences. The author uses the typology of values introduced by S. Schwartz which consists of two value axes — “conservation — openness to change” and “selfassertion — caring about people and nature” — and describes values that underlie each subject area and then compares these values with results of mass surveys of the values of Russians.
The rport consists of two parts: The cat that walks by himself? Russian foreign policy at the beginning of the twenty first century by Adam Balzer, and Russia's uncertain future: internal dynamics and possible trajectories by Nikolay Petrov.
This book seeks to “re-think democracy.” Over the past years, there has been a tendency in the global policy community and, even more widely, in the world’s media, to focus on democracy as the “gold standard” by which all things political are measured. This book re-examines democracy in Russia and in the world more generally, as idea, desired ideal, and practice. A major issue for Russia is whether the modernization of Russia might not prosper better by Russia focusing directly on modernization and not worrying too much about democracy. This book explores a wide range of aspects of this important question. It discusses how the debate is conducted in Russia; outlines how Russians contrast their own experiences, unfavourably, with the experience of China, where reform and modernization have been pursued with great success, with no concern for democracy; and concludes by assessing how the debate in Russia is likely to be resolved.
Considering specifi city of modernization processes in Russia, caused both by internal problems and Russias place in global economy, the author brings an attention to the question of features of standard-values system of Russian reformers. Results of the analysis of 12 values-blocks forming a basis of the variety of the standard-valuable systems of Russians are given.