Institute of Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

POLIS (Political Studies)

2015, No 02

Topic: Russia's dramatic dilemmas

CONTENT:

 

PRESENTING THIS ISSUE

Presenting this issue (p. 7-8)

Address of political scientists of INION RAS (p. 9)

 

THEME OF THE ISSUE: RUSSIA'S DRAMATIC DILEMMAS

Gorshkov M.K., Petukhov V.V.

Foreign Policy Orientations of the Russians: a New Turn (p. 10-34)

Abstract. The authors’ research interests are focused at the analysis of the actual views of the Russians on the international reality and the place of Russia in it. The scholars pay special attention to the long-term dynamics of foreign policy orientations and views of citizens that have undergone serious transformation during the last few years under influence of the revaluation of Russia’s place in the world and the character of its relations with the states of near and far abroad as well as of the revaluation of the international status of the state in the 21st century, as changes in the domestic politics. In order to achieve this goal, the authors gradually solve several research tasks, studying – on the basis of extensive sociological data – the Russians’ core values in the sphere of the country’s foreign policy strategy, its relation to the Western states, cooperation and collaboration. The authors formulate an important idea: if some 10‑15 years ago, the category of the “West” was associated largely with the United States, nowadays, Europe as presented by NATO and the EU is perceived by Russians as an integrated with the U.S.A. symbiosis that is antagonistic to Russia. While backing the foreign policy course of the state leaders, the Russians, however, worry about the escalating tensions with the West. Most of them believe that Russia and the United States are coming back to the Cold War times. It was revealed that the level of mass confidence to the Europe, especially to the EU, is decreasing, that eventually leads to an increase of the number of Russians who doubt in ability of our state to be part of the European civilization and believe that modern Russia has a special vector of development. While speaking on the goals of the global policy of Russia, citizens tended to support the idea of Russia’s revival as a great power. But this idea is not associated with the revanchist sentiments or the nationalistic hysteria. The bulk of Russians consider that the status of the leading world power should be achieved by Russia not by means of an aggressive foreign policy, but by solving political, social, economic, and cultural problems, by guarantying of welfare and safety to its citizens. Evaluating the impact of the recent foreign policy developments on the mass Russian consciousness, the authors draw a conclusion that the myth of the “Russian imperialism,” triggered by events in the Crimea and South-Eastern Ukraine, is seriously excessive. Today, we are witnessing a dropping number of those Russians who believe that the goal of Russia’s revival as a superpower is realistic. Today, Russians tend to stick to a more realistic goal for Russia to join the most economically developed and politically influential world states. Post-reform generation of our citizens actually have no illusions about the real intentions of some Russia’s international partners in the world. At the same time, they are devoid of a “besieged fortress” syndrome. The vast majority of Russians support the idea of international cooperation, but only such a cooperation that has a positive impact on the well-being of the state. This attitude seems to remain dominant in the near future.
Keywords: Russia; sociological survey; public opinion; foreign policy priorities; Cold War; the West; the East; Europe; great power; global threats

Turovsky R.F.

Russia’s Local Self-Government: the Agent of the Government in the Trap of Insuffi cient Funding and Civil Passivity (p. 35-51)

Abstract. Local self-government is analyzed in this article from the point of view of “principal – agent” theory which the author considers most relevant for state-municipal relations in nowadays Russia. The author concludes that local self-government ceases to fulfill its immanent duties of local community agent and becomes an agent of state power, both federal and regional instead. The study of revenues and expenditures of local self-government has revealed that the principal confines the financial autonomy of its agent and at the same time cannot supply it with necessary resources by way of budget transfers. As a result the agent faces its diminished authority which may be seen in the examples of healthcare where local self-government has ceased its functioning and housing and communal services which have become much less financed. The study of the most well-to-do part of local self-government such as cities and townships, and regional capitals in particular, shows the decreasing level of their financial autonomy. Under such circumstances the introduction of city-manager model which means de facto submission of the cities to the regional authorities looks very logical. Recently both abolishment of direct mayoral elections and governors’ interference with direct elections have led to the change of the most municipal heads, especially representatives of oppositional parties and powerful local groups of elite. In many cases bureaucrats from the regional executive power have become municipal heads instead. As city administrations turn to branches of regional governments it complies to financial realities but at the same time cuts their links with local communities.
Keywords: local self-government; “principal – agent” model; “patron – client” relations; interbudgetary relations

Bronzino L.Yu.

Specifics of Migration from Russia to Europe in the Course of Crisis: the Flight of the Creative Class (p. 52-67)

Abstract. Russian emigration has its own specifics related to the fact that for the general population a “crisis” is a part of a purely European phenomenon. The poorest part of the society is sure that Europe (European values related to human rights, market economy and liberal democracy) is failing, and this is manifested by the “crisis”. So for traditionally the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, migration seems pointless. However, the statistical analysis suggests that migration to Europe from Russia is well gathered after the presidential election. It is specifically predominant amongst the middle class. Russian migrants in Europe tend to already have higher education, higher-paying jobs, own their own homes and are used to quite a high level of material and cultural consumption. All of this the migrant is ready to leave for the sake of (sometimes illusory) prospects in Europe. Thus, the desire to leave Russia is expressed, and, increasingly, is undertaken by those who are the backbone of the Russian society. These are people who are sufficiently secure at home and their desire to emigrate is not related to any kind of financial distress. As it is shown in the quantitative analysis carried out by the author, current migration is related to political reasons – the lack of the freedom of speech and the overall inability to influence the political destiny of the country. This general conclusion was made based on extensive research which sought to determine the nature of the Russian migration to Europe. It is defined as representing a kind of “new wave of dissent”, caused primarily not due to economic distress, but rather, because of the political futility of the regime in the eyes of the middle class.
Keywords: migration to Europe; creative class; social protests; protest moods; statistical analysis

Simonov K.V.

Does Russia Need a Bipartisan System? (p. 68-77)

Abstract. Evolution of Russian political system on its current stage is characterized by search for a model capable of preserving and maintaining stability of its institutions, as well as achieving higher levels of political competition. This problem could be solved by forming a bipartisan model under which, from the one side, the winning party gains the full authority for implementation of its policy; from the other side, strong opposition serves as a factor containing authoritarian tendencies. In the author’s opinion, despite the stereotypes, bipartisan system can be formed in Russia. The author analyzes key challenges of Russian political system, advantages of a bipartisan system, Western experience of bipartisanship.
Keywords: bipartisan system; political system; electoral system; elections; political regime; political competition; elite

 

POLITICAL THEORY

Vasileva V.M., Vorobyev A.N.

Corruption Markets (p. 78-96)

Abstract. Authors develop a new conceptual approach to the corruption studies and effectiveness of anticorruption regulations of public service. Basing our hypothesis on the study of effective models of conflict of interest regulation, authors assume that there is a “missing factor” in the modern corruption studies. This “missing factor” is a “corruption market”, particularly, its size, type and nature. Conflict of interest regulations’ aim at controlling key channels of corruption behavior, and corruption market in its turn determines prevailing channels of existing corruption behavior. Thus, misidentification of corruption market’s type is the main reason for the failure of anti-corruption policies, no matter how new and effective models are imported. Corruption market’s size is defined as the number and average price of corruption deals. The nature of corruption market depends on the side, setting the final price of corruption deal. Resulting from institutional characteristics of public administration, corruption markets are either seller’s or buyer’s type. Seller’s corruption markets are sensible to the ethic regulations of the public service, and the only effective way of tackling buyer’s corruption markets are “cut-red-tape” reforms and compliance-based regulation of conflict of interest. Type of corruption market encompasses 3 dimensions: quality of institutions, scope of regulations and degree of regulations. Basing on the introduced model, authors identify and analyze 8 types of existing corruption markets. Each type of corruption market has its own transformational dynamics and, consequently, own opportunities for anti-corruption policies. A new conceptual model of corruption market evolution is introduced in the article. Transformations of corruption markets depend on several factors. The key factors are personalization of political regime, “new public management” reforms of public administration, populist policies and creation of rentier states, and set up of the Welfare State.
Keywords: corruption market; corruption deal; quality of institutions; scope of regulations; degree of regulations; conflict of interest; public service; patronage networks; seller’s market; buyer’s market; demand and supply of corruption

 

ORBIS TERRARUM

Ide K.

Negotiations Between the USSR / Russia and China on Border Settlement (Article Two) (p. 97-116)

Abstract. The author, an experienced Japanese diplomat and analyst, does not consider Russia / USSR-China border negotiations to be ordinary border talks, not only because they were held by two superpowers, but also because they were closely connected to changes in foreign policy strategy of both countries. The survey and reflection on these negotiations give us great insights into the nature of the two great powers’ attitude towards their border and their mutual relations as a whole. In this article, the author analyzes in detail the progress of the negotiations between the Soviet Union / Russia and China since 1965 till their success in 2004. The diplomat describes all zigzags, twists and turns as well as diplomatic vicissitudes that accompanied the border negotiations. The author presents a broad background of complex and contradictory political processes that took place in the world. After World War II, the Soviet Union and China went through immense political transformations, which resulted in a major change in foreign relations. Both sides faced the challenges that were dramatic in strategic terms, as well as in terms of security considerations. In other words, the negotiations were closely intertwined with issues of domestic policy and strategic security issues. The author describes the specific characteristics of the Soviet (Russian) and Chinese approaches to negotiating tactics. The manner, in which the two superpowers – USSR / Russia and China tried to resolve these issues and came to a compromise, can give essential indications and lessons to the international community. 
Keywords: Russia; USSR; China; border; negotiations; strategic partnership; disputed territories

Korotayev A.V., Isayev L.M.

Political Geography of Modern Egypt (p. 117-136)

Abstract. Between 26 and 28 May 2014 p.esidential elections were held in Egypt. The majority of voters (96.91%) voted in favor of ex-Defense Minister Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, whereas only 3.09% of the votes were cast for the leader of the Egyptian legal leftist opposition, Chairman of the Egyptian Popular Current Hamdeen Sabahi. It is known that the main opponent to the election of a new president was the banned Muslim Brothers movement, whose de facto leader Mohamed Morsi was ousted as a result of the “June 30 Revolution,” and the action of the constitution (adopted in December 2012, during his reign) was suspended. The Muslim Brothers urged their supporters to boycott the presidential elections in 2014. Our mathematical analysis of the results of the May 2014 Egyptian presidential elections shows that the level of support by the Egyptians of the Muslim Brotherhood in the first five months of 2014 grew very noticeable (especially in Middle Egypt), and a more or less high level of support of the al-Sisi regime was only observed in May 2014 in most provinces of the Delta as well as in Port Said.
Keywords: Egypt; Muslim Brothers; elections; referendum; al-Sisi; army

Khenkin S.M., Kudryashova I.V.

The Integration of Europe’s Muslims in its Political Aspects (p. 137-155)

Abstract. The article discusses the problem of Muslim political integration into European society, which cause considerable controversy both in political science community and among general public, and is insufficiently studied in Russian historiography. Analyzing the issue the authors follow the logic of Rokkan-Hirschman model, explaining the impact of the center-periphery polarity on the creation of boundariesand membership in the nation-state. It is shown that Muslim immigrants form today the inner periphery of European polities which generates a new socio-cultural and socio-economic cleavage. They point out that over time there appeared a human right based liberal-democratic paradigm, which now underlies the different immigration policies of European authorities. This policy of unmanaged multiculturalism allowed immigrants to remain a closed community (inner periphery) within the country of residence. The growth of Islamic extremism prompted the European governments to intensify work on political integration of Muslims and to tighten the immigration policies in a number of aspects. The authors believe the participation of Muslims in the political life of European countries is becoming more significant. They take part in national and local elections, enter the national representation bodies and hold demonstrations so as to defend their interests. Much attention is given to the analysis of intercultural communication. It is noted that in Europe now exists an extensive layer of moderate Muslims to varying degrees integrated into Western society. A hybrid identity has become widespread and many consider themselves to be representatives of both a European country and Muslim community. However, in a heterogeneous environment Islamist influence grows and although they often hold moderate positions they do not always share Western values, but support Sharia-guided lifestyle. On the other hand in the wake of the global economic crisis anti-immigrant sentiment has intensified and strengthened the right-wing nationalist forces. The authors come to a conclusion that in spite of existing challenges the democratic ideals and practices are supported by a large part of Muslims, which makes their political integration into European society quite possible.
Keywords: Muslims; Europe; Islam; political integration; immigration policy; nation-building; centers and inner periphery; multiculturalism; hybrid identity; tolerance; xenophobia; right-wing radicals

 

Lutsenko S.I.

Pluralism, Tolerance and Freedom in Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (p. 156-161)

Abstract. The author analyzes the democratic model based on the principles of pluralism, tolerance and freedom of thought through the prism of decisions taken by the European Court of Human Rights. Nonconflict interaction between individuals and groups with different views on self-identification stands as a prerequisite for social cohesion and civil society. It is claimed that freedom of expression is not absolute due to state-driven containing factors – “implied limitations”. Ideals and values of a democratic society should be based on dialogue and compromise of both the state and the citizens. Mission of the state consists in determination of “game rules” which allow it to act as a guarantor of principles of pluralism and tolerance towards the parties to the conflict.
Keywords: democracy; pluralism; freedom of expression; model; implied limitations; European Court of Human Rights

 

DIXI!

Ivanov P.M.

Clash of Civilizations or Sustainable Development? (p. 162-172)

Abstract. The third millennium caught mankind unawares: problems of global transformation of the modern world, huge problems of a planetary scale appeared (for who could expect such a prompt fall and disintegration of a huge superpower – the USSR?). Solution of these problems requires new fundamental approaches to construction of a harmonious scientific and methodological framework of a world order in the XXI century. Third millennium arrived together with understanding of coherence and interdependence of people, countries, nations, etc. The world appeared before us as global, i.e. as complete, uniform and common to all with its new threats and challenges. However, unsystematic, wild and arbitrary globalization, not based on management, can develop into process dangerous to the world community. The author proves that there is a controllable way of development of the human civilization – unlike wrong, in the author’s opinion, S. Huntington’s statement that the world is due for a long way of inevitable collisions of civilizations, i.e. – a way to nowhere. At a present stage of development the mankind doesn’t manage to produce the mechanisms capable of removing the accruing conflicts in the world community and at the same time solving real problems of globalization at the supranational level. As theoretical bases of such mechanisms this work offers in the first case – the new concept of a sustainable development, cornerstone of which is directing globalization processes into controllable course, and by doing so – overcoming of the accruing conflicts; and in the second case – the concept of formation of global system of the “Center – Periphery” relations within which the solution of the specified globalization problems is possible. “Globalization paradigm” offered in this article (unlike “civilization paradigm” of S. Huntington) is a way to a sustainable development of the world community, the answer to the question in the headline of this article. The author demonstrates that sustainable development is not a utopia, but also it is not a reality yet, and transition to such reality can’t be neither easy, nor fast. 
Keywords: globalization; sustainable development; global system of relations “Center – Periphery”; conflicts; global transformation of the world; new world order; the international supranational formations; great powers

Tkhagapsoyev Kh.G.

Interpretation of Social Space – Time in the Context of Civilizational Process (p. 173-180)

Abstract. The paper examines the processes and the mechanisms of the formation of social space and social time in a civilizational context. The author proposes a model assessing the development of social space – time from preindustrial societies, where it was determined predominantly by the implications nature and geography had for societal development and by the specific characteristics of local cultures – and industrial society, where the diffusion of industrial technologies, material artefacts and forms of social regulation became the main trend influencing this development – through to the present day, when the multiplication of identities forming new social spaces and the communicative, project-oriented and virtual transformative activities of the individual and small groups are gaining priority importance. 
Keywords: social time; social space; social transformations; identity; civilizational process; information society; network society; globalization

 

REFLECTING ON MATTERS IN PRINT

Korgunyuk Yu.G.

Electoral Corruption. Medical Record (p. 181-186)

Abstract. The paper reviewed the monograph of Yu.A. Nisnevich “Electoral Corruption in Russia: Political and Legal Analysis of Federal Election Campaigns in 2003‑2012” (Moscow, 2014). It outlines both the advantages of the book (thoroughness and particularity of the presentation, wide source base) and its shortcomings (reduction of electoral corruption to the abuse of the ‘administrative resource’, gaps in the presentation, an arguable interpretation of some facts). 
Keywords: corruption; elections; political parties; political history of Post-Soviet Russia

Lebedeva M.M.

Food as a Mirror of Global Political Development (p. 187-190)

Abstract. The critical essay considers from a point of view of a political scientist how biopolitics (in nutrition sphere) reflects sociocultural development of the world. Focusing on the studies by a prominent sociologist Sergey Kravchenko (Kravchenko S.A Sotsiokulturnaya dinamika edy: riski, uyazvimosti, vostrebovannoct gumanisticheskoi biopolitiki [Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Food: Risks, Vulnerabilities, Demand for Humanistic Biopolitics]. oscow: MGIMO-University. 2014. 128 p.) the changes in the sphere of biopolitics in the contemporary world are discussed. On one hand, in the field of food production, one can observe the expansion of the assembly line as it occurs in other fields of production. On the other hand, in food production and consumption, such phenomena as ‘Coca-colonization’ and ‘bananization’, described by Sergey Kravchenko, are also observed. All of these mean deviation from national traditions, and even more – it turns into a challenge. Agreeing with Sergey Kravchenko on the necessity to make use of the humanistic approach in the sphere of biopolitics, the author of the essay proposes to consider this approach as part of global governance. For this purpose, the initiation of a series of negotiations is proposed.
Keywords: biopolitics; world politics; global governance; food; humanistic biopolitics; Sergey Kravchenko 
See more: http://www.politstudies.ru/en/index.php?page_id=489