Sociology (including Demography and Anthropology
Language policy and usage in the post-communist region have continually attracted wide political, media, and expert attention since the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. How are these issues politicized in contemporary Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine? This study presents a cross-cultural qualitative and quantitative analysis of publications in leading Russian-language blogs and news websites of these three post-Soviet states during the period of 2004–2017. The most notable difference observed between Ukraine and the two Baltic countries is that many Russian-writing users in Ukraine’s internet tend to support the position that the state language, i.e. Ukrainian, is discriminated against and needs special protection by the state, whereas the majority of the Russian-speaking commentators on selected Estonian and Latvian news websites advocate for introducing Russian as a second state language. Despite attempts of Ukraine’s government to Ukrainize public space, the position of Ukrainian is still perceived, even by many Russian-writing commentators and bloggers, as being ‘precarious’ and ‘vulnerable’. This became especially visible in debates after the Revolution of Dignity, when the number of supporters of the introduction of Russian as second state language significantly decreased. In the Russian-language sector of Estonian and Latvian news websites and blogs, in contrast, the majority of online users continually reproduce the image of ‘victims’ of nation-building. They often claim that their political, as well as economic rights, are significantly limited in comparison to ethnic Estonians and Latvians. The results of Maksimovtsova’s research illustrate that, notwithstanding differences between the Estonian as well as Latvian cases, on the one hand, and Ukraine, on the other, there is an ongoing process of convergence of debates in Ukraine to those held in the other two countries analyzed in terms of an increased degree of ‘discursive decommunization’ and ‘derussification’.
In America today, two communities with sub-Saharan African genetic origins exist side by side, though they have differing histories and positions within society. This book explores the relationship between African Americans, descendants of those Africans brought to America as slaves, and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who have come to the United States of America voluntarily, mainly since the 1990s. Members of these groups have both a great deal in common and much that separates them, largely hidden in their assumptions about, and attitudes towards, each other. In a work grounded in extensive fieldwork Bondarenko and his research team interviewed African Americans, and migrants from twenty-three African States and five Caribbean nations, as well as non-black Americans involved with African Americans and African migrants. Seeking a wide range of perspectives, from different ages, classes and levels of education, they explored the historically rooted mutual images of African Americans and contemporary African migrants, so as to understand how these images influence the relationship between them. In particular, they examined conceptions of ‘black history’ as a common history of all people and nations with roots in Africa. What emerges is a complex picture. While collective historical memory of oppression forges solidarity, lack of knowledge of each other’s history can create distance between communities. African migrants tend to define their identities not by race, but on the basis of multiple layers of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic affinities (of which African Americans are often unaware). For African Americans, however, although national and regional identities are important, it is above all race that is the defining factor. While drawing on wider themes from anthropology and African studies, this in-depth study on a little-researched subject allows valuable new understandings of contemporary American society.
Contributors to this volume discuss a variety of ways the African past (African history) influences the present-day of Africans on the continent and in diaspora: cultural (historical) memory as a factor of public (mass) consciousness; the impact of the historical past on contemporary political, social, and cultural processes in Africa and African diaspora.
This volume is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).
This book is based on the collection of articles centered around Russia and its policies. The articles are grouped under three parts. The first part contains articles on international relations, Russian foreign policy, and the situation in the world. The main themes they cover include Russian policy in Asia and the Eurasian integration — in which Moscow plays the most active role.
The second part looks at the theorization of Russia’s internal processes, issues concerning reforms to the communist system, its troubled transition from Communism, and analysis of the country’s current political regime. While elaborating on various reforms and transition from the communist system, the author has suggested certain alternatives concepts. Many of the articles analyze the shortcomings and inconsistencies of the modern Russian political system.
The third part is devoted to current issues in Russian politics, the democratization process, growing authoritarian tendencies, mass protests, and that evaluate the programs and policies of individual leaders. The book will be of interest to those specializing in Russian foreign and domestic policy as well as to all those interested in following the developments of this country, its role in the world, and the global situation in general.
Working Title: From Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Social Liability
Subtitle: A Socio-Legal Study of Corporate Liability in Global Value Chains
A number of recent events in the last decade have renewed interest in Russian discourses on international law. This book evaluates and presents a contemporary analysis of Russian discourses on international law from various perspectives, including sociological, theoretical, political and philosophical. The aim is to identify how Russian interacts with international law, the reasons behind such interactions, and how such interactions compare with the general practice of international law. It also examines whether legal culture and other phenomena can justify Russia's interaction in international law. Russian Discourses on International Law explains Russia's interpretation of international law thrugh the lens of both leading western scholars and contemporary western-based Russian scholars. It will be of value to international law scholars looking for a better understanding of Russia's behaviour in international legal relations, law and society, foreign policy, and domestic application of international law. Further, those in fields such as sociology, politics, pholosophy, or general graduate students, lawyers, think tanks, government departments, and specialised Russian studies programmes will find this book helpful.
Liberalism in Russia is one of the most complex, multifaced and, indeed, controversial phenomena in the history of political thought. Values and practices traditionally associated with Western liberalism—such as individual freedom, property rights, or the rule of law—have often emerged ambiguously in the Russian historical experience through different dimensions and combinations. Economic and political liberalism have often appeared disjointed, and liberal projects have been shaped by local circumstances, evolved in response to secular challenges and developed within often rapidly-changing institutional and international settings. This third volume of the Reset DOC “Russia Workshop” collects a selection of the Dimensions and Challenges of Russian Liberalism conference proceedings, providing a broad set of insights into the Russian liberal experience through a dialogue between past and present, and intellectual and empirical contextualization, involving historians, jurists, political scientists and theorists. The first part focuses on the Imperial period, analyzing the political philosophy and peculiarities of pre-revolutionary Russian liberalism, its relations with the rule of law (Pravovoe Gosudarstvo), and its institutionalization within the Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadets). The second part focuses on Soviet times, when liberal undercurrents emerged under the surface of the official Marxist-Leninist ideology. After Stalin’s death, the “thaw intelligentsia” of Soviet dissidents and human rights defenders represented a new liberal dimension in late Soviet history, while the reforms of Gorbachev’s “New Thinking” became a substitute for liberalism in the final decade of the USSR. The third part focuses on the “time of troubles” under the Yeltsin presidency, and assesses the impact of liberal values and ethics, the bureaucratic difficulties in adapting to change, and the paradoxes of liberal reforms during the transition to post-Soviet Russia. Despite Russian liberals having begun to draw lessons from previous failures, their project was severely challenged by the rise of Vladimir Putin. Hence, the fourth part focuses on the 2000s, when the liberal alternative in Russian politics confronted the ascendance of Putin, surviving in parts of Russian culture and in the mindset of technocrats and “system liberals”. Today, however, the Russian liberal project faces the limits of reform cycles of public administration, suffers from a lack of federalist attitude in politics and is externally challenged from an illiberal world order. All this asks us to consider: what is the likelihood of a “reboot” of Russian liberalism?
This book examines the waves of protest that broke out in the 2010s as the collective actions of self-organized publics. Drawing on theories of publics/counter-publics and developing an analytical framework that allows the comparison of different country cases, this volume explores the transformation from spontaneous demonstrations, driven by civic outrage against injustice to more institutionalized forms of protest. Presenting comparative research and case studies on e.g. the Portuguese Generation in Trouble, the Arab Spring in Northern Africa, or Occupy Wall Street in the USA, the authors explore how protest publics emerge and evolve in very different ways – from creating many small citizen groups focused on particular projects to more articulated political agendas for both state and society. These protest publics have provoked and legitimized concrete socio-political changes, altering the balance of power in specific political spaces, and in some cases generating profound moments of instability that can lead both to revolutions and to peaceful transformations of political institutions.
The authors argue that this recent wave of protests is driven by a new type of social actor: self-organized publics. In some cases these protest publics can lead to democratic reform and redistributive policies, while in others they can produce destabilization, ethnic and nationalist populism, and authoritarianism. This book will help readers to better understand how seemingly spontaneous public events and protests evolve into meaningful, well-structured collective action and come to shape political processes in diverse regions of the globe.
This report summarizes the results of a German-Russian dialogue project, which was implemented and designed by inmedio peace consult gGmbh (Berlin) and the Institute for Law and Public Policy, ILPP (Moscow) and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office under the ‘Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia’ Programme. Using a mediative dialogue approach, 20 experts from academia, thinks tanks and NGOs as well as journalists and cultural exchange/dialogue practitioners met near Moscow in September 2018 and in Berlin in November to analyse and reflect on the Russian and Western narratives on what went wrong since the end of the Cold War regarding the deterioration of Russian-Western relations.
This book provides a critical account of the third sector and its future in Europe. It offers an original conceptualization of the third sector in its European manifestations alongside an overview of its major contours, including its structure, sources of support, and recent trends. It also assesses the impact of this sector in Europe which considers its contributions to European economic development, citizen well-being and human development.
The Third Sector As A Renewable Resource for Europe presents the findings of the Third Sector Impact (TSI) project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7). It recognises that in a time of social and economic distress, as well as enormous pressures on governmental budgets, the third sector and volunteering represent a unique ‘renewable resource’ for social and economic problem-solving and civic engagement in Europe.
One of the key developments in 20th and 21st century history has been the demographic revolution, or demographic transition, which radically changed the course of fundamental demographic processes involving the birth rate, mortality and migration. These changes have had, and continue to have, a significant effect on all aspects of life in modern and developing societies, including their economies, social relations, culture and political life. In addition, they greatly influence the crucial sphere of international relations, and create unprecedented challenges for international security.
Demographic change affects the international situation both directly and indirectly, through the social processes experienced by all societies which embrace this change.
Miscommunicating Social Change analyzes the discourses of three social movements and the alternative media associated with them, revealing that the Enlightenment narrative, though widely critiqued in academia, remains the dominant way of conceptualizing social change in the name of democratization in the post-Soviet terrain. The main argument of this book is that the “progressive” imaginary, which envisages progress in the unidirectional terms of catching up with the “more advanced” Western condition, is inherently anti-democratic and deeply antagonistic. Instead of fostering an inclusive democratic process in which all strata of populations holding different views are involved, it draws solid dividing frontiers between “progressive” and “retrograde” forces, deepening existing antagonisms and provoking new ones; it also naturalizes the hierarchies of the global neocolonial/neoliberal power of the West. Using case studies of the “White Ribbons” social movement for fair elections in Russia (2012), the Ukrainian Euromaidan (2013–2014), and anti-corruption protests in Russia organized by Alexei Navalny (2017) and drawing on the theories of Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Nico Carpetntier, this book shows how “progressive” articulations by the social movements under consideration ended up undermining the basis of the democratic public sphere through the closure of democratic space.
While workers movements have been largely phased out and considered out-dated in most parts of the world during the 1990s, the 21st century has seen a surge in new and unprecedented forms of strikes and workers organisations. The collection of essays in this book, spanning countries across global South and North, provides an account of strikes and working class resistance in the 21st century. Through original case studies, the book looks at the various shades of workers’ movements, analysing different forms of popular organisation as responses to new social and economic conditions, such as restructuring of work and new areas of investment.
The end of socialism in the Soviet Union and its satellite states ushered in a new era of choice. Yet the idea that people are really free to live as they choose turns out to be problematic. Personal choice is limited by a range of factors such as a person’s economic situation, class, age, government policies and social expectations, especially regarding gender roles. Furthermore, the notion of free choice is a crucial feature of capitalist ideology, and can be manipulated in the interests of the market. This edited collection explores the complexity of choice in Russia and Ukraine. The contributors explore how the new choices available to people after the collapse of the Soviet Union have interacted with and influenced gender identities and gender, and how choice has become one of the driving forces of class-formation in countries which were, in the Soviet era, supposedly classless.
The book will of interest to students and scholars across a range of subjects including gender and sexualities studies, history, sociology and political science.
Intended to bridge the gap between the latest methodological developments and cross-cultural research, this interdisciplinary resource presents the latest strategies for analyzing cross-cultural data. Techniques are demonstrated through the use of applications that employ cross-national data sets such as the latest European Social Survey. With an emphasis on the generalized latent variable approach, internationally prominent researchers from a variety of fields explain how the methods work, how to apply them, and how they relate to other methods presented in the book. Syntax and graphical and verbal explanations of the techniques are included. Online resources, available at www.routledge.com/9781138690271, include some of the data sets and syntax commands used in the book.
The Report predicts that the coming five years will witness the five countries keep improving in national innovative competitiveness, with China and Russia maintaining their strong growth momentum, India growing at a moderate rate, and Brazil and South Africa gradually picking up speed and climbing out of the trough. It estimates that the five countries’ national innovative competitiveness will be keeping steady growth by 2030.
The General Reports part presents a comprehensive analysis of the current status and achievements of STI cooperation between China and other BRICS countries and proposes priority areas of BRICS STI cooperation to provide valuable decision inputs for the BRICS countries to accelerate the improvement of their national innovative competitiveness. The Country Reports part respectively analyzes and makes predictions on the national innovative competitiveness of the BRICS countries based on a survey of their STI development and STI cooperation within the BRICS framework. The Thematic Reports part focuses on four thematic areas closely related to STI, i.e. digital economy, financial inclusion, energy, and agriculture, and offers detailed analysis of the STI development and potential of the countries in relevant areas, providing additional inputs for a further understanding of the national innovative competitiveness of the BRICS countries.
This book combines the approaches of history and criminology to study parricide and non-fatal violence against parents from across traditional period and geographical boundaries, encompassing research on Asia as well as Europe and North America. Parricide and non-fatal violence against parents are rare but significant forms of family violence. They have been perceived to be a recent phenomenon related to bad parenting and child abuse often in poorer socioeconomic circumstances – yet they have a history, which provides insights for modern-day explanation and intervention. Research on violence against parents has concentrated on child abuse and mental illness but, by using a rich array of primary and secondary documents, such as court cases, criminal statistics, newspaper reports, and legal and medical literature, this book shows that violence against parents is also shaped by conflicts related to parental authority, the rise of children’s rights, conflicting economic and emotional expectations, and other sociohistorical factors.
This article concerns the Islamic community in contemporary Russia and the dynamic identities of Muslim migrants there. The focus of this study is the religious and wider social practices of those Muslim migrants who are considered leaders of local micro-communities, enjoy respect within their religious community, and have steadfast religious authority within their circles. These practices are considered in their local religious and migrant contexts through the prism of such concepts as religious individualism, everyday lived Islam, and tactical religion. The author shows multiple ties that emerge between the region’s Muslims, specifically between unofficial local leaders, and other believers who need this authority to elaborate their everyday Muslim practices in the context of migration and the authority crisis in Russian Islam. This study emphasizes the importance of the everyday in the formation of individual religiosity and shows how a local Muslim environment builds up around certain key figures outside the mosque.
Cultural sociology must catch up in taking seriously recent initiatives in the sociology of culture and cognition, represented by the works of Omar Lizardo, John Levi Martin, Stephen Vaisey, and others. However, aiming at progress in cultural analysis, these theories are partly driven by an epistemic logic alien to cultural theorizing, making the very concept of culture redundant. To identify this anti-cultural strain within the ongoing cognitive turn in sociology, I propose an ideal-typical model—‘the informational theory of communication,’ which reduces culture to information. Although many cognitive scientists and sociologists of culture and cognition are aware of the limitations and counter-productivity of this model, and it might not exist in a pure form, I argue that, first, it is still clearly traceable in many of their arguments, and, second, that it can be seen as a cultural logic underlying a substantial part of their arguments. I posit that replacing this logic of explanation with the Durkheimian model of sui generis synthesis, the concept of emergence, and the idea of ‘boundary conditions’ not only allows us to integrate the insights of cognitive science into sociology, but also opens a way for sociology to contribute to the cognitive sciences.
Sociologists have argued that high-stakes tests open the door to high levels of educational inequality at transition points: in a high-stakes testing regime, parents and students are able to focus all energy and resources on test preparation, thus enhancing pre-existing inequalities in academic performance. But arguments about a special role for high-stakes tests are often prosecuted without explicit comparisons to other types of tests and assessments, usually because information on other tests is not available. In this article, we analyze a unique dataset on a contemporary cohort of Russian students, for whom we have PISA and TIMSS scores, low-stakes test scores, and high-stakes test scores. We compare the role each test plays in mediating socioeconomic background inequalities at the important transitions in the Russian educational system: the transition to upper secondary education and the transition to university. We find evidence in favor of a special role for the high-stakes test at the transition to university, but we also find evidence that gives cause to question the standard assumption that high-stakes tests should be a primary focus for those concerned about inequality of educational opportunity.
The paper deals with fertility levels in some republics of the North Caucasus (Dagestan and Karachay-Cherkessia) where, as in some other post-Soviet regions, there has been a serious intensification of religiosity and at the same time weakening of the traditional family unit in recent decades. The goal of the paper is to ascertain whether these trends affect fertility, whose decrease is apparently stalling in the North Caucasus over the last decade. One reason to turn to this question is that in some regions of the North Caucasus the fertility level has been considerably higher since the pronatalist state policy was implemented in 2007 than in Russia as a whole. This raises the question as to whether higher fertility in the North Caucasus is mainly related to a higher demand for the state financial support granted to parents following the birth of the second (or a subsequent) child or if it can be rather accounted for by the specific cultural characteristics of that part of Russia. Our field survey held in the two republics of the North Caucasus in 2016 showed that the religiosity of respondents is related to higher fertility regardless of family policy issues. The relation between religiosity and higher fertility is arguably independent from the observance of traditional family norms which impose gender hierarchies. This suggests that an Islamic revival within a given society can support fertility whether or not traditional norms of family organization are preserved there. The conclusion for state pronatalist policy is that its outcome may be related to the cultural characteristics of the population among which such measures are implemented, apart from economic parameters that drive the demand among some families for financial support after childbirth.
Commentary on the article by Nemtsov et al.(2019, this issue)
The paper examines the content of ABC-books published for Russian-speaking children in Latvia, Estonia and Poland in 1920’s, and explicates the nexus between socio-cultural context and representation of social environment and child’s interactions to explore strategies of adaptation offered to children. The textbooks were quantified using a target codifier. The results are embedded in the context of theories of intergenerational cultural transmission and integration of minorities. The textbooks published for Russian-speaking children in Poland and Estonia exemplify a classical post-figurative type of intergenerational transmission to ensure group cohesion protecting from assimilation. The model of transmission in ABC-books published in Latvia is based on encouraging a child to establish values and guidelines independently. Thus, Latvian ABC-books allow a child to join a network of tenuous relationships for integration into a dominant culture. So, the study provides a retrospection to strategies of the Russian-speaking minorities’ consolidation and integration into the dominant societies.
This article was born while I was working on my contribution to the Second Moscow International Conference on Opposition to Anti-Semitism, Racism and Xenophobia (October 29-30, 2018). The subject of the conference suggested greater emphasis on antisemitism among other outcrops of xenophobia. The article is based on the materials of the Levada Center 2018: reports on quantitative and qualitative studies of the state and dynamics of public opinion carried out on order of the Russian Jewish Congress to be quoted at the conference. What is even more important is the fact that I completely agree with the theoretical approaches used in the studies mentioned above and the definitions of xenophobia and anti-Semitism found in the reports of the Levada Center. At the same time, “forecasting trends and crises” (which is one of the three aims of the conference) might provide far from identical results; this depends on specific scientific approaches.
The article carries out macro-analysis that takes into account the impact of historically long stages or cycles of ethno-political processes on the dynamics of xenophobia. This analysis allows me to specify assessments based on sociological polls that cover comparatively short historical periods. I have arrived at a comprehensive interpretation of the results of sociological ranking of different ethnic phobias of Russians based on my analysis of the fundamental changes of ethnopolitical situation in Russia in the 1990s vs. the early 2000s. This article covers the ethnopolitical trends that cropped up in Russia and that are connected with the global processes we can observe here and now in the age of populism, to use one of popular definitions. I have also analyzed the essence of populism and its impact on the dynamics of xenophobia.
In the 2000s, the ethnopolitical situation in Russia started changing: the relationships between the ethnic territories and the center as well as ethnic separatism of the autochthonous colonized peoples and anti-Semitism were pushed aside by new problems created by migrants and other isolated ethnic minorities (Gypsies, for example). The rise of national-populism as one of the political movements in Russia and in other countries of the global North is explained by the changes in the basic characteristics of ethno-political situation and the resultant dynamics of xenophobia. I have relied on Russian examples to show that populism has many faces and that its impact on the dynamics of xenophobia is highly ambiguous. National-populism may be responsible for the growth of xenophobia while social populism might transform ethnic, racial and religious phobias into civic protests.
Field experiments have provided ample evidence of ethnic and racial discrimination in the labour market. Less is known about how discrimination varies in multi-ethnic societies, where the ethnic composition of populations is different across locations. Inter-group contact and institutional arrangements for ethnic minorities can mitigate the sense of group threat and reduce discrimination. To provide empirical evidence of this, we conduct a field experiment of ethnic discrimination in Russia with a sample of over 9,000 job applications. We compare ethnically homogeneous cities and cities with ethnically mixed populations and privileged institutional status of ethnic minorities. We find strong discrimination against visible minorities in the former but much weaker discrimination in the latter. These findings demonstrate how institutions and historical contexts of inter-group relations can affect ethnic prejudice and discrimination.
Objectives. To assess disparities in mortality by socioeconomic status in Germany.
Design and participants. We analyse a large administrative dataset of the German Pension Fund (DRV), including 27 million person-years of exposure and 42 000 deaths in 2013. The data cover the economically active population, stratified by sex and by East and West.
Outcome measures. Age-standardised mortality rates and Poisson regression mortality rate ratios (MRRs).
Results. The risk of dying increases with decreasing income: the MRRs of the lowest to the highest income quintile are 4.66 (95% CI 4.48 to 4.85) among men and 3.06 (95% CI 2.90 to 3.23) among women. The impact of income attenuates after controlling for education and other explanatory variables, especially for females. In the fully controlled model for females, individual income is a weaker predictor of mortality, but there is a clear educational mortality gradient. In the fully controlled model, the MRRs of the unemployed to the employed are 2.09 (95% CI 2.03 to 2.15) among men and 2.01 (95% CI 1.92 to 2.10) among women. The risk of dying is around half as high among foreigners as among German citizens. The socioeconomic disparities are greater among East than West German men.
Conclusions. Low socioeconomic status is a major determinant of excess adult mortality in Germany. The persisting East-West differences in male adult mortality can be explained by the higher socioeconomic status of men living in the West, rather than by contextual differences between East and West. These differences can be further monitored using DRV data.