Hiring and Promoting Young Civil Servants: Weberian Ideals versus Russian Reality
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.
How do Russian leaders balance the need to decentralize governance in a socially and politically complex country with the need to guarantee political control of the state?
Since the early 2000’s Russian federal authorities have arranged a system of political control on regional elites and their leaders providing a ‘police control’ of special bodies subordinated by the federal centre on policy implementation in the regions. Different mechanisms of fiscal federalism and investment policy were used to ensure regional elites’ loyalty and a politically centralized but administratively decentralized system was created.
Asking clear, direct and theoretically informed questions about the relationship between federalism, decentralisation and authoritarianism, this book explores the political survival of authoritarian leaders, the determinants of policy formulation and theories of federalism and decentralization, to reach a new understanding of territorial governance in contemporary Russia. An important work for students and researchers in Russian studies and regional and federal studies.
The book is dedicated to the great German sociologist Max Weber. This volume contains eleven papers originating from a symposium organized by Aleksanteri Institute in 2007. The scholars from Russia, Finland and other countries discuss various aspects of Weber's heritage and its relationship to Russia.
The book presents a broad interdisciplinary view comcerning different aspects of civil service reforms in several countries, including Russia, in the context of transformation of role of state and character of its relations with civil society, what is taking place now in the leading coutries of the world. The main historical concepts of bureaucracy and contemporary searches new (post-Weberian) model of it are considered In the first - theoretical - part of book. The second part is devoted to inter-countries' comparative analysis of history and modern condition of civil service in Creat Britain, USA, Canada, France, Germany. The final section in each countries' paragraph is "The lessons for Russia". The subject of the third part is the Russian bureaucracy in historical and contemporary aspects. The American, English, Canadian, Rfzakh and Russian codes of civil servants' conduct applied to the monograth.
It is argued that Weberian concepts such as 'charisma of reason' and 'patrimonial bureaucracy' can be applied to the Soviet system at different stages of its evolution. Neo-Weberian theories which are not based directly on Weber's ideas can also be relevant for the study of Soviet society. But theoretical approaches of historical sociology should be complemented with more empirically oriented social history of the Soviet period.
The author considers the hypothesis that under certain circumstances mistrust acts as the driving force for political development whereas trust, especially in its essential paternalistic forms, preserves the unsatisfactory status quo. The problem analyses as a part of general trend in the contemporary world towards declining prestige of public institutions and taking into account the Russian specifics.
The article discusses several approaches to the study of Soviet society drawing on Max Weber’s theoretical models or following a broadly-understood Weberian tradition in historical sociology. Weberian perspectives have been used for the analysis of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath. The early Bolshevik Party has been characterized as a community of “ideological virtuosi” while its further development has been described either as “incomplete rationalization” or as a re-traditionalization. In the article, it is argued that employing the post-Weberian multiple modernities approach allows us to overcome some of the difficulties that have emerged in this case. In particular, the article focuses on Johann Arnason’s analysis of the Soviet model of modernity. For Arnason, the Soviet model incorporated both the legacy of imperial transformation from above and the revolutionary vision of a new society. He claims that communism represented a distinctive version of modernity rather than a deviation from the modernizing mainstream. In recent historical studies of the Soviet period, two approaches have been formed stressing the modernity of the Soviet regime or its neo-traditionalist aspects. The distinction between these approaches has been discussed by Michael David-Fox. The article considers the parallels between the new historical studies of Soviet society, on the one hand, and both Weberian and post-Weberian sociological perspectives, on the other.
Leo Tolstoy and Max Weber on value neutrality of university research The problem of value neutrality of science is considered on the basis of works by Leo Tolstoy and Max Weber. In the first part of the article, the statements on the value neutrality of scientific knowledge and university teaching by Weber and Tolstoy are made explicit and analyzed in a comparative perspective. In the second part, the central problem of Tolstoy and Weber, that is, a rational choice of the value paradigm, is studied systematically. Differences in their assumptions and conclusions are shown. In the third part, a historical commentary to the context of Tolstoys and Webers works is given. The works are treated as episodes in a wider modern history of the value neutralization of the scientific knowledge and university teaching. The specifics of this process are tightly connected with the fundamental principles of the modern research university (the Humboldtian model of university).