School of Autocracy: Pensions and Labour Reforms of the First Putin Administration
In Cultural and Political Imaginaries in Putin’s Russiascholars scrutinise developments in official symbolical, cultural and social policies as well as the contradictory trajectories of important cultural, social and intellectual trends in Russian society after the year 2000. Engaging experts on Russia from several academic fields, the book offers case studies on the vicissitudes of cultural policies, political ideologies and imperial visions, on memory politics on the grassroot as well as official levels, and on the links between political and national imaginaries and popular culture in fields as diverse as fashion design and pro-natalist advertising. Contributors are Niklas Bernsand, Lena Jonson, Ekaterina Kalinina, Natalija Majsova, Olga Malinova, Alena Minchenia, Elena Morenkova-Perrier, Elena Rakhimova-Sommers, Andrei Rogatchevski, Tomas Sniegon, Igor Torbakov, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, and Yuliya Yurchuk.
The drive for “authoritarian modernization” provides incentives for the government to bypass democratic institutions and circumvent public discussions, similarly to what happened in education reform in the 2000s; or, alternatively, the government would go for a partial policy compromise, which may have satisfied major interest groups at the expense of policy efficiency, similarly to the case of the 2000-2001 pension reform. However, the 2000-2001 labor reform in Russia (analysed in this chapter) was adopted with the genuine use of democratic mechanisms and procedures. Moreover, the reformers proved successful in the process of selecting among policy alternatives and building a coalition to support the reform, which they managed to accomplish with only relatively minor compromises. This case study demonstrates that the government can squeeze unpopular reforms through the parliament without relying upon an “authoritarian modernization” model if its policies are backed by a strong and popular president and when its efforts to secure the support of various actors prove enough to build a broad informal coalition of supporters. The case of labor reform is also revealing because there were two full-fledged attempts at this reform in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and only the latter succeeded. This allows us to trace the ultimate policy success back to the factors that conditioned it in the second try but were lacking in the first attempt, and to consider some effects of policy learning.
Corruption, fake news, and the “informational autocracy” sustaining Putin in power
After fading into the background for many years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia suddenly has emerged as a new threat—at least in the minds of many Westerners. But Western assumptions about Russia, and in particular about political decision-making in Russia, tend to be out of date or just plain wrong.
Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin since 2000, Russia is neither a somewhat reduced version of the Soviet Union nor a classic police state. Corruption is prevalent at all levels of government and business, but Russia’s leaders pursue broader and more complex goals than one would expect in a typical kleptocracy, such as those in many developing countries. Nor does Russia fit the standard political science model of a “competitive authoritarian” regime; its parliament, political parties, and other political bodies are neither fakes to fool the West nor forums for bargaining among the elites.
The result of a two-year collaboration between top Russian experts and Western political scholars, Autocracy explores the complex roles of Russia’s presidency, security services, parliament, media and other actors. The authors argue that Putin has created an “informational autocracy,” which relies more on media manipulation than on the comprehensive repression of traditional dictatorships. The fake news, hackers, and trolls that featured in Russia’s foreign policy during the 2016 U.S. presidential election are also favored tools of Putin’s domestic regime—along with internet restrictions, state television, and copious in-house surveys. While these tactics have been successful in the short run, the regime that depends on them already shows signs of age: over-centralization, a narrowing of information flows, and a reliance on informal fixers to bypass the bureaucracy. The regime’s challenge will be to continue to block social modernization without undermining the leadership’s own capabilities.
Into the Red explores the emergence of a credit card market in post-Soviet Russia during the formative period from 1988 to 2007. In her analysis, Alya Guseva locates the dynamics of market building in the social structure, specifically the creative use of social networks. Until now, network scholars have overlooked the role that networks play in facilitating exchange in mass markets because they have exclusively focused on firm-to-firm or person-to-person ties. Into the Reddemonstrates how networks that combine individuals and organizations help to build markets for mass consumption. The book is situated on the cutting edge of emerging interdisciplinary research, linking multiple layers of analysis with institutional evolution. Using an intricate framework, Guseva chronicles both the creation of a credit card market and the making of a mass consumer. These processes are placed in the context of the ongoing restructuring in postcommunist Russia and the expansion of Western markets and ideologies through the rest of the world.
Supply chain management is rather new scientific field that reflects the concept of integrated business planning. This concept should be experts and practitioners in logistics and strategic management. Today, integrated planning to become a reality thanks to the development of information technology and computer technology. At the same time to achieve a competitive advantage is not enough high-speed, low-cost data transfer process. In order to effectively apply information technology tools necessary to develop a quantitative analysis of the effectiveness of supply chain management. The mam element of this tool are optimization models that reveal the complex interactions, the wave and the synergies that arise in supply chain management. In this article we consider one of the classes of such models - the so-called dynamic models of conveyor systems, processing of applications.
Uncertainty is a concept associated with data acquisition and analysis, usually appearing in the form of noise or measure error, often due to some technological constraint. In supervised learning, uncertainty affects classification accuracy and yields low quality solutions. For this reason, it is essential to develop machine learning algorithms able to handle efficiently data with imprecision. In this paper we study this problem from a robust optimization perspective. We consider a supervised learning algorithm based on generalized eigenvalues and we provide a robust counterpart formulation and solution in case of ellipsoidal uncertainty sets. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed robust scheme on artificial and benchmark datasets from University of California Irvine (UCI) machine learning repository and we compare results against a robust implementation of Support Vector Machines.
The paper focuses on the concept of ‘financial strategies’ and addresses two problems: first, how to define the concepts of financial strategy and strategizing, and second, how to operationalize them into indicators for empirical research. The introduction to this new concept is based on the conviction that strategizing (which is understood as a specific attitude to life held by people who do not live for the moment, think about their future even if it is rather uncertain, set long-term financial goals and act towards achieving them), is an intrinsic factor in the financial behavior of people. It is argued that it is not possible to define financial strategy or to operationalize it objectively and universally since people operate in very different circumstances; i.e. in different institutional environments or at different stages of life, etc. The solution must be found in the interactionist sociological perspective with the emphasis on the construction of the interpretation of a situation: how individuals themselves make sense of financial strategizing in their own environment, the options they perceive and the constraints they feel.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.
The article is devoted to the study of the authoritarianism prevalent in the mass consciousness of Russians. The article describes a new approach to the consideration of the authoritarian syndrome as the effects of the cultural trauma as a result of political and socio-cultural transformation of society. The article shows the dynamics of the symptoms of the authoritarianism, which appear in the mass consciousness of Russians from 1993 to 2011. This paper proposes a package of measures aimed at reducing the level of the authoritarianism in Russian society.
This work looks at a model of spatial election competition with two candidates who can spend effort in order to increase their popularity through advertisement. It is shown that under certain condition the political programs of the candidates will be different. The work derives the comparative statics of equilibrium policy platform and campaign spending with respect the distribution of voter policy preferences and the proportionality of the electoral system. In particular, it is whown that the equilibrium does not exist if the policy preferences are distributed over too narrow an interval.
The article examines "regulatory requirements" as a subject of state control over business in Russia. The author deliberately does not use the term "the rule of law". The article states that a set of requirements for business is wider than the legislative regulation.
First, the article analyzes the regulatory nature of the requirements, especially in the technical field. The requirements are considered in relation to the rule of law. The article explores approaches to the definition of regulatory requirements in Russian legal science. The author analyzes legislation definitions for a set of requirements for business. The author concludes that regulatory requirements are not always identical to the rule of law. Regulatory requirements are a set of obligatory requirements for entrepreneurs’ economic activity. Validation failure leads to negative consequences.
Second, the article analyzes the problems of the regulatory requirements in practice. Lack of information about the requirements, their irrelevance and inconsistency are problems of the regulatory requirements in Russia.
Many requirements regulating economic activity are not compatible with the current development level of science and technology. The problems are analyzed on the basis of the Russian judicial practice and annual monitoring reports by Higher School of Economics.
Finally, the author provides an approach to the possible solution of the regulatory requirements’ problem. The author proposes to create a nationwide Internet portal about regulatory requirements. The portal should contain full information about all regulatory requirements. The author recommends extending moratorium on the use of the requirements adopted by the bodies and organizations of the former USSR government.