Institute of Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

POLIS (Political Studies)

2015, No 01

Topic: Politics and education

CONTENT:

  

PRESENTING THIS ISSUE

Presenting this issue (p. 7-8)

 

THEME OF THE ISSUE: POLITICS AND EDUCATION

Gutorov V.A.

Politics and education: Historical tradition and modern transformations (p. 9-29)

Abstract. The article focuses on summarizing the rich and diverse discussion devoted to the powerful intellectual tradition of thinking about education and politics together, starting with Plato, Aristotle, Confucius and continuing through Machiavelli, Rousseau, W. von Humboldt, Emerson, Dewey to contemporary times. They all recognized both the meaning of public education, and the need itself to educate the younger members of society, whether for the purpose of reproducing the social order or for the purpose of radically transforming it. Contemporary political philosophy is no exception to this historical pattern. The last few decades have witnessed a revival of interest in the topic of citizenship, and in the particular contribution that different types of educational institutions such as schools and universities can make to secure the enjoyment of civil and politial rights. Recent philosophical debates on citizenship and education between the supporters of globalization and neoliberal world order and the resolute opponents of these perspectives are distinctive in that they reflect a number of serious concerns related to the political, cultural, and social conditions of the contemporary world. The author develops his own contribution to ongoing debates on politics and education by offering a detailed analysis of the recent conceptions of civic and political education which are aimed at reinforcing democratic tradition in the modern society. The most important work in this area is J. Dewey’s book Democracy and Education and its subsequent interpretations in various political and educational theories (N. Chomsky, R.M. Unger etc.) testifying that each model of democracy needs of different kind of educational involvement. 
Keywords: education; politics; political philosophy; citizenship; Greek polis tradition; democracy; liberal institutions; left radicalism; national state; globalization; civil and political rights  

Achkasov V.A.

Transitology – scientifi c theory or ideological construct? (p. 30-37)

Abstract. The article argues that the idea of «democratic transition» during the 1990s served in the post-Communist as an intellectual compensation for the collapse of the ideals of socialism. It gave its advocates hope that societies that refused socialist ideas of the welfare state would get the chance to join its capitalist version when running the neoliberal recipes. In fact, it turned out that its practical sense was to ensure maximum transparency of the post-socialist economies and their integration into the global capitalist division of labor as a «supporting cast»: on the one hand, as suppliers of cheap but skilled labour, raw materials and energy, and on the other as markets for Western goods and disposal area for hazardous waste. Thus, at the beginning of the new century it was increasingly noted that the concept of «transition», mobilized in the late 1980s – early 1990s for the analysis of world events and as a base of American policy of «world democratic revolution», was outdated and needed serious revision. The authors who hold this point of view sometimes justifiably criticize modern reality in most countries of the «third wave» as not corresponding even to the minimum criteria of liberal democracy. Today transitology as a subdiscipline studying the trends of diverse political transformations of the turn of the XX – XXI centuries no longer aims at constructing a universal model of democratization. Transition is understood as «a project with an open ending», involving a multiplicity of ways – as of transition and its results. Therefore, the «end of transition paradigm» is not identical to the «end of transitology».
Keywords: liberal democracy; democratic transition; «world democratic revolution»; «post-Communist world»; «end of transitology»

Eremeev S.G.

Education in the modern political agenda (p. 38-43)

Abstract. The article touches on the contradictions between the market model and the social and welfare models of the state which remain unresolved especially in the educational sphere both in the developed and developing and post-communist countries including Russia. The special object of analysis is the educational aspect of new liberal ideology in the Western Europe as like as the ideology of Republicans in the USA identified as neoconservatives and compassionate conservatives. The new ideological perspectives of evolution of education and some educational projects in the globalization era are also discussed. Globalization of education refers to the worldwide discussions, processes, and institutions affecting local educational practices and policies, first of all, the national school systems. Today, many nations choose to adopt policies from the global superstructures in order to compete in the global economy. There is a constant dynamic of interaction: global ideas about school practices interact with local school systems while, through mutual interaction, both the local and the global are changed. 
Keywords:education; school systems; ideology; new liberalism; neoconservatives; globalization; state; market economy; national educational projects

 

POLITICAL THEORY

Fedotova V.G.

Distinctions of political cultures and the international conflicts (p. 44-54)

Abstract. The dramatic events in Ukraine frustrate the world order that seemed to have just been established and do not offer any conceptual evaluations of it. The crisis is mostly considered to be of purely political nature and is discussed far less thoroughly than, for example, the Cold War used to be analysed. This article offers a review of the positions of certain American researchers who only partly share the Washington’s point of view on the Ukranian crisis or disagree with it completely, though all fear the imminent changes. The study of their positions brings us to the understanding of concrete distinctions of the Russian and Western political cultures. All in all, Russia’s geopolitical position, clearly underpinned by the determination to protect the country’s national interests, clashes with the Western concept of democratic transformations, which, in turn, covers a desire for expanding the sphere of Western influence. The author attempts to demonstrate that the decisive concepts in interpreting the «West vs non-West» conflict are those implying conservation, in the West, of the idea of non- Western countries’ modernization catching up with the West. This vision is not adequate to the reality of many non-Western countries, and first of all of Russia and China, being deeply involved in national modernization models borrowing the experience both of the West and of the non-West on the basis of the use of their own culture as resource of development. From this point of view, democracy does not present itself as a ready-made project, but is built by each country with due regard for possibility of its adoption by the masses. The problem is thus raised of the Russian traditional values being an annoying obstacle for the West. It is demonstrated that such values are inherent in the West likewise, and their renunciation would have led to anomy in the period of transition to the modern. Analyzing contemporary Western political and, still more attentively, political-science discourse, the author distinguishes in it – and criticizes – a visible trend of reducing the concept of Europe to the bounds of the EU. To sum it up, both political cultures – the Russian and the Western – contain common elements, but differing dominants. Their serious and reciprocal discussion may produce upheavals capable of preserving from irrevocable changes.
Keywords: Russia; the West; modernization; Ukraine; the USA; Europe; values; modernity  

Pushkaryova G.V.

Cognitive mechanisms of political reality construction (p. 55-70)

Abstract. In accordance with methodological principles of sociology of knowledge, construction of political reality may be considered as a process of general political knowledge formation. The politics gains reality properties for an individual soon as he learns concepts and symbols, used in the society’s culture to identify specific sphere of political relations. This provides grounds to interpret political reality as symbolic and intersubjective, that is existing only due to human ability to create jointly shared systems of knowledge about authoritative relations in the society by means of signs and symbolic constructions. The paper analyzes cognitive mechanisms creating commonly shared beliefs, values and ideas of political institutional orders. The paper explores the impact of these cognitive mechanisms in shaping and constructing political reality.
Keywords: political reality; intersubjectivity; cognitive mechanisms; political cognitive structures  

Yanitzky O.N.

Humanitarian catastrophe (p. 71-84)

Abstract. A humanitarian catastrophe is still insufficiently investigated phenomenon in social sciences. The main topics of the article are humanitarian catastrophe as a form of all-embracing risk society, its specific social order and ways of life, its uncertainty and turbulent character, a barrier role of modern bureaucracy in mitigation of the catastrophe’s consequences, and the limits of rehabilitation of affected population and ecosystems. Seven major features of the above phenomenon have been identified and analyzed: first, risks engendered by the catastrophe equally embrace an institutional system of a society, habits of life, natural and man-made ecosystems; second, every catastrophe has a dynamic character: in the course of its development some of its agents loss their power while others gained more strength. As a rule, starting as a local conflict the catastrophe gradually acquires an international character; third, the processes of socio-ecological metabolism generated by a catastrophe have no definite space-time margins; fourth, these processes generates so-called unintended consequences and have an uneven and probable character; fifth, the above catastrophes are of two kinds: a sharp overall destruction (with recurrent after-shocks) of a natural and human community and its long-term ‘peaceful’ extinction which is risky as well; sixth, a behavior of bureaucratic machine responsible for the render of humanitarian assistance is an important indicator of value system of a given society; seventh, the author came to the conclusion that the majority of economic and socio-political catastrophes are not the ‘unintended events’ but presents by themselves a cumulative effects of a long chain of daily events. In the end, any long-term catastrophe is a humanitarian one. 
Keywords: all-embracing risk society; bureaucracy; humanitarian catastrophe; social order; time-space dimension of; post-catastrophe period; rehabilitation

 

ORBIS TERRARUM

Neklessa A.I.

Apertures to the future: the culture of complicacy and of self-organization (p. 85-110)

Abstract. Each individual human inhabitant of the Earth is just the least possible unit of the social universe which is nowadays in the course of historic transit to a new, unstable, perhaps permanently mobile condition. The world arrangement that was established in the epoch of Modernity, is in crisis, and its foundation, i.e. national state, is inalterably losing its past actuality. Humanity, abiding its fate in the situation of struggle for the future, produces innovational forms of political organization of society: the world regulating organs, countries-systems, various subsidiary autonomies and separatist formations (quasi-sovereign states), geoeconomic integries, states-corporations, hardly formalized politically influential communities (anthropo-social structures) etc. In the disperse trans-frontier milieu, it is the factor of socio-cultural gravitation that is gaining ever growing importance. The crisis of the phenomenon of national statehood affected both the genetic constructions of Modernity culture and, as well, those territories (also embraced/seized by the said culture), which pretty often just simulated the institutions of national state, with no spare time to create anew its foundation, i.e. civil society. The final (inasmuch as identifiable by now) attainments of the planetary system which is forming in the meantime, are: a) the highly organized transnational neonomadical community (New North) and b) the territories of neoarchaization, that are controlled by field commanders, are making use of the prescriptions/resources of the «trophy economics» and are «allotted» with metastases of the culture of death. The process ofcomplication of the social cosmos is accompanied by axiological and gnoseological crisis, stimulates radical reorganization of the research process, especially in sociohumanitarian disciplines. What is to be observed are: renovation of the structure and of the character of intellectual corporations, of the methodology of khowledge-action-direction; development of high humanitarian technologies (high hume); revaluation of the role of non-material assets; genesis of the complexly organized personality, assimilation by the said personality of the new cognitive spaces, as well as codes of highly adaptive self-organization. It is the Big Bang – a large-scale anthropological and social revolution – that awaits the anthropological universe in a not so remote future.
Keywords: crisis of the future; anthropological revolution; sociocultural upheaval; identity; direction; intellectual corporations; non-material assets  

Malakhov V.S.

Immigrants as social agents: allochtones and autochtones (p. 111-125)

Abstract. The fact that a significant portion of the populations of industrialized countries is of immigrant origin («allochthons») provokes sharp public debate and political tensions. Conservative politicians stress the issue of social disintegration, which is considered inevitable due to the alleged cultural incompatibility of the newcomers with the indigenous («autochthonous») population. This paper is focused on allochtones as social subjects in terms of their incorporation into the receiving countries’ social institutions. Allochtones shape a new electorate, become members of the existing political parties and create new ones; integrate into the existing structures of civil society (especially NGOs); and form organizations of their own. Since labor migration in Russia is in its initial stage, there is no ‘second generation’ of immigrants in this country. Trying to imagine how the descendants of migrant laborers may become social agents in the Russian context, I refer to the experience of Western European countries – mainly the UK, France and the Netherlands. In particular, I explore the conditions that brought about the transformation of the newcomers from an «invisible» group into a visible and active component of public life, taking into consideration the forms of their political participation. This study finds that the political behavior of newcomers does not exhibit any features that would indicate their inability or unwillingness to integrate into the institutions of the host country. Allochtones are divided along the same ideological boundaries as the local population; in their voting behavior they generally reproduce patterns of the autochthonous population’s electoral behavior (attitudes toward the political system, motivations for voting the way they do, etc.). The only difference is their ideological preferences: allochtones tend to vote for the left. However, as allochtones enter the middle class, the number of these newcomers who vote for center-right parties increases. Moreover, a significant part of those coming from Asia (not only from Islamic countries), due to their allegiance to ‘traditional values,’ could be considered as potential electorate for local conservatives. As for the parties which claim to represent allochtones (whether on ethnic or religious grounds), they remain tiny organizations and do not enjoy any significant support of the people they aim to represent.
Keywords: immigration; immigrants; social action; social interaction; political participation; electoral behavior; immigrant integration; «allochtones»; «autochtones»; the Great Britain; the Netherlands; France; Russia  

Zagladin N.V.

The new world and old paradigms of its cognition (p. 126-135)

Abstract. The article deals with the problem of inadequate forecasting ability of modern socio-political and socio-economic science, as well as with its inadequate ability to deal with global and regional crises. The author studies this problem in a conceptually wider context by analyzing the impact of cognitive paradigms on socio-political processes. Particular attention is paid to ideological aspects of development of the Western civilization, as well as to civilizational approach to the world development.
Keywords: civilization; crises; forecasting; paradigm; scientific thinking; ideology

 

RUSSIA TODAY

Shestopal Ye.B.

Quarter of a century of russian political reforms from a psychological point of view (p. 136-150)

Abstract. One can find different opinions concerning the beginning of political transformation in contemporary Russia. One group of scholars date this process from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, others – from the last years of Perestroika, the third – from its start in 1985. Whenever the date to take as a starting point, we have a substantial historic period that fits a quarter of a century, especially if we try to trace noninstitutional change, transformation of political mentality of Russian citizens who were born in the USSR and live in new Russia. The article describes transformation of citizens’ psychology under the changing political context during about a twenty five years period. Change of political concepts, images and values were chosen for analysis from a huge number of different psychological phenomena. On the basis of data from the study carried out by the author during all this period, she makes an attempt to give a periodization of political optics’ changes in the course of political transformation in Russia. These data brings the author to a conclusion that currently we became witnesses of the end of this twenty-five year period and an emergence of a clearly new condition of psychological state of Russian society that will definitely influence political process in nearest future. 
Keywords: Russia; political transformation; psychology; values; images; concepts; political preferences; democracy  

Dagbaev E.D.

Regions and new eastern policy of Russia (p. 151-157)

Abstract. The article specifies new factors that define capabilities and potential of Russian regions development. Alteration of the state foreign policy, related to the turn to the East, may involve a high demand on natural resources and some technology innovations on the part of the Far East and the Baikal region. In this case sociocultural and political factors, as well as image components of the region that need to be improved, may become important factors. As a result, an identification matrix is being formed, compliance with which may turn the region into a self-sufficient economic entity. The author analyzes the potential and capabilities of the Republic of Buryatia which has all the chances for the economy growth and implementation of its competitive advantages. An authoritarian model of a political regime in the current situation is not an obstacle for a foreign-economic activity, as it lets minimize political conflicts; and a sociocultural identity and work on the regional image have good prospects. In general, the author justifies an actual task in the regional development of Russia – necessity of an accelerated development of the state’s eastern regions.
Keywords: regional development; regional identity; regional development model; regional political regime; identification matrix

Zular Yu.A., Kozlov D.V., Shmidt S.F.

Political processes in Siberian regions (p. 158-164)

Abstract. The purpose of the article is concerned with the description of political processes in the Siberian regions. Political processes are analyzed as part of the modernization process. According to the authors it is possible to discuss and describe different stages of perception of the phenomenon of regionalism. First, regionalism has seen from the point of view of the resistance against the modernization process if modernization was described as the centralization of the state. The next stage connected with development of more sophisticated approaches to the phenomenon of regionalism. For example we can discuss the possible use of «new regionalism» concept to describe the dynamics of regional processes. The authors use the path dependence theory connected first of all with different types of Soviet socialist industrial modernization to analyze the dynamics of the political process. In particular, the background of Irkutsk region` political polycentrism connected with it. According to the authors of the article there are some links between some periods of Russian history concerned the relations between the Centre and regions/ These relations always have been characterized by the ideology of building «vertical of power». These ideas are clearly manifested in the modern designation of governors by the Centre. Unlike the «alien» governors regional parliaments were the original «training centre» for regional policy. The article also examines the possibility and potential impact of outside factors connected with the today` geopolitical changes in the world and then with the socio-economic and political changes in the Eastern regions. Contemporary outside challenges can lead to the actualization of the «Eastern vector» of Russian foreign policy that will affect the redistribution of the center of gravity in Russia from the Central Russia to the Eastern regions. Also we can say about upgrade and creation of new meanings and senses concerned power ideological concepts of «moral conservatism» and «nationalization of the Russian elite». In terms of «turn to East» these ideologies can be perceived and evaluated by Russian Eastern partners as corresponded with traditional Eastern values.
Keywords: regionalism; Siberia; the political process; the Governor; the path dependence; geopolitics; Eastern vector

 

VERSION

Savoysky A.G.

USA and Russia: historical injustice from the times of Tocqueville (p. 165-172)

Abstract. Historical justice is now to be reestablished in what concerns the interpretations by the French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville of the USA and Russia. For Americans, in his opinion, freedom was above all; for Russians, it was commitment, duty, service to the Fatherland and certainly not slavery, as translations and quotes testify. The time has come to rehabilitate the reputation of Tocqueville’s works as well as the Russian people from the charges fabricated in the 1st third of the XIX century against Russia for inclination towards slavery and despotism. This politico-linguistic research testifies that the individual interest and a choice of actions without restriction of force are routine in America. This, in particular, still serves as an explanation of some essential features of the American mentality and the free access to weapons. The concept of slavery has always been peripheral for the Russian people. The error of translation and quotation occurred because of negligence of authors to the meaning of nuances of the French word servitude. In the original Tocqueville’s text, there is no term slavery as well as no direct indications of slavery in the Russian Empire. For Russians, the service to their Fatherland, liability to the Homeland, the obligation, responsibility, but not slavery, remained the core and constant cultural attributes through centuries. 
Keywords:Russia; USA; Tocqueville; freedom; slavery; obligation; responsibility; service

 

REFLECTING ON MATTERS IN PRINT

Semenenko I.S.

Evolutionary cycles and problems of forecasting political changes (p. 173-178)

Abstract. The author reviews the recently published monograph (Pantin V.I., Lapkin V.V. Istoricheskoe prognozirovanie v XXI veke: Tsikly Kondrat’eva, evolyutsionnye tsikly i perspektivy mirovogo razvitiya [Historical Forecasting in the XXI Century: Kondratieff Cycles, Evolutionary Cycles and Prospects of the World Development]. Dubna: Phoenix+. 2014. 456 p.) and comes to the conclusion that it represents an original view on the key methodological problems of modern social sciences regarding analysis and forecasting of political changes.
Keywords: crises; scientific forecasting; Kondratieff cycles; reforms; counter-reforms  

Potapov V.Ya.

National and international security: political and military aspects (p. 179-184)

Abstract. Colonel-General Vladimir Potapov shares his impressions of the book by Academician Andrei Kokoshin, the dean of the Faculty of World Politics of the M. Lomonosov Moscow State University «Politico-Military and Military-Strategic Challenges to Russian National Security and International Security» (Moscow: HSE Publishing House, 2013). Much attention in this work Kokoshin paid to the relationship between politics and military strategy. Of particular note is the importance of his thesis about the need to take full account of feedback between politics and military strategy that in the political decision-making on the use of military force, one must consider purely military factors, opinions, estimates of military professionals. In practice, this is not always the case in our country. Politics plays certainly a dominant role in this relationship. It can interfere in military operations in almost all phases of the military strategy. But this, as noted by Kokoshin, must be well thought-out, good policies. In his new book, Kokoshin presents his vision of contemporary strategic stability, its various politico-military, operational and strategic, scientific and technical aspects.
Keywords: Russia; Kokoshin; national and international security; defense; politics; military factors  

Popkov Yu.V.

On archaization in social transformations (p. 185-190)

Abstract. The author of the review analyzes a new book by a political sociologist Chimiza Lamazhaa «Archaization society. Tuvan phenomenon» (St. Petersburg, 2013), which reveals the place and role of archaisms in the process of social transformations. Specific effects of archaization are described in detail with the Republic of Tuva as an example; its past and present history are also discussed. This book convincingly shows that connection between the past, present, and future is a significant and even universal philosophical and general political problem actively discussed throughout the history of philosophy. Applied to Tuvan society, this actualization turns out to be exceptionally actual and is especially enhanced during periods of transformational changes. Ch. Lamazaa credibly demonstrates that the increased interest in historical memory is one of the essential characteristics of a modern society. Not long ago, the modernization process was assumed by many researchers as a rejection of the heritage of the past. Now a belief is growing that it is impossible to understand our present and future without our past.
Keywords: Russia; archaization; Tuva; social transformations; Ch. Lamazhaa; clannishness; historical memory

 

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