Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

POLIS (Political Studies)

2015, No 03

Topic: Manuscripts don't burn!





Presenting this issue (p. 7-8)



Oganisyan Yu.S. The Great Patriotic War - an Unfinished War? (9-26)

Abstract. Author analyzes the causes and consequences of the Great Patriotic War. By describing Stalin and Hitler as historical actors in the field of “Realpolitik”, the author reveals the similarities and differences between their ideologies, social roots, political and military objectives of totalitarian regimes personified by them. Democratization of the world order became the main outcome defeat of fascism. In Russia, this process from Khrushchev’s Thaw until  post-Soviet reforms including all its flaws and regressions resulted in failure of totalitarianism; in Europe – in the fall of fascist, authoritarian regimes and establishment of social statehood; in “The Third World” – in the collapse of colonialism. The continuity between Nazi expansionism and Ostpolitik of the West during and after the “Cold War” is shown in the article. Analyzed are the problems of correlation between war and politics, different ways and forms of their interactions. In this regard studied are the coup d’état in Ukraine committed with the Western contribution, as well as anti-Russian policy of propaganda, diplomatic and sanctions “wars”. While dealing with the following international crisis, Russia is forced again to protect its right for sovereignty and the role of an independent actor of the world politics.

Keywords: war; Nazism; Realpolitik; world order; Ostpolitik; Ukrainian crisis; Russian sovereignty; Stalin; Hitler

Simonia N.A., Torkunov A.V. New World Order: from Bipolarity to Multipolarity (27-37)

Abstract. Studied in the article are international political processes taking place since the end of World War II. It is shown that the modern world is in a state of transition to a multipolar world order – a process based on the foundation components left from the era of bipolarity. Analyzed is the phenomenon of “superpower leadership” and its transformation at the turn of 1980‑1990s, descent, sometimes painful, of superpowers to the ranks of “ordinary” great powers, search for grounds for building relations between them on an equal footing. Marked are the symptoms of the shift of the global centre of power and influence in the 21st century from the USA to China. Evaluated is development of Russian-American relations, as well as claims of the European Union on the role of another large and influential centre in the future multipolar world.

Keywords: Russia; USA; EU; China; Middle East; Asia-Pacific Region; foreign policy; world order; crises 



Introduction to the rubric (38-39)

Panov P.V. Institutionalism(s): Explanatory Models and Casuality (39-55)

Abstract. The explanation is assumed as an essential feature of political studies as a special genre of political discourse. Two explanatory models, which have been developed in institutional political studies, are discussed in the article. Rational choice institutionalism and sociological institutionalism differ fundamentally in the understanding of social reality and the nature of social institutions. Deductive-nomological model inherent in rational choice institutionalism meets the requirements of logical positivism to a greater extent. Studied phenomenon is explained by applying general laws to it, i.e. by showing what happens in accordance with these laws in certain conditions. At the same time, such an explanatory model reveals some limitations. Firstly, “universalist claims”, which are inherent in rational choice institutionalism, fall under suspicion. Another serious problem is the inability to explain the phenomenon of rationality as such. Finally, the phenomenon of rationality requires taking into account the social context, since the explanation based on rationality is not just a logical abstraction suitable for any empirical material. On the contrary, it is suitable for the specific social context in which people act rationally. Sociological institutionalism uses such explanatory models as categorial schemes that are muchmore flexible in comparison with deductive-nomological logic. They allow us to specify the concepts used, split them, if necessary, into several components as well as to enter new concepts that fix those phenomena of empirical reality that previously were not perceived as significant ones. 

Keywords: explanatory model; rational choice institutionalism; sociological institutionalism; causality; conditions; deductive-nomological model; categorial scheme 

Patzelt W.J. Morphology and Casuality (56-71)

Abstract. In the article morphology is considered as a basic research program for general evolutionary theory that is a main approach to the explanation of any organized structures either historic, or existing today. The author explores the key morphological concepts that can be used in the analysis of multilayered causality and of different rhythms of development in biological, social and cultural reality. In particular, the meanings of such concepts as homology, homonomy, analogy, morphologic and other with their possibilities to biotic, cultural, institutional evolutionary processes are analysed. The author demonstrates the explanatory potential of the concepts of memes and memeplexes as a cultural forms (culturally coded patterns) that shape and reproduce reality, as well as provide transmission of cultural and social structures from one generation to another with some forms of variation. The author claims that the analysis of cultural tradition or the analysis of practical memetic reproduction can be performed through probability calculation method with three main criteria: structure’s location in a new generated structure, structure’s special quality and existence of transitional forms. The asymmetry of morphological architecture of any complex cultural structure is a key concept for studying (evolutionary) morphological dynamic. It allows to examine the character and possible direction of the evolutionary changes. The author also makes a point of Aristotle’s idea of four causes for the morphological analysis. 

Keywords: morphology; general evolutionary theory; causality; homology; homonomy; homodynamy; analogy; homoanalogy; meme; memeplexes; morphological architecture 

Fomin I.V. Integrating the Humanities: Semiotics or Memetics? (72-84)

Abstract. The article explores semiotics and memetics as two concepts that both seek to play the role of transdisciplinary integrators for humanities. Semiotics with its theoretical and methodological concepts allows to study not only texts in natural languages, but any pieces of semiotic reality. So in prospect it can play in the humanities the role that is similar to that played by mathematics in natural science. However, nowadays semiotic research methods exist only as number of stand-alone methods dispersed in various disciplines, traditions and fields of study. In order to come to function as an integrative methodology semiotic concepts that are in use should be properly reflected from this transdisciplinary point of view. The concept of sign, which is a basic concept of semiotics, is not an exclusive notion that can become an elementary category for the analysis of cultural reality. In social sciences and humanities one can find a whole range of concepts that try to grasp and represent some abstract elemental forms in which culture is brought to existence, developed and reproduced. In this range one can find words like myth, idea, image etc. The meaning of those concepts in some aspects can seem rather similar, but for some reason they exist parallelly and always leave an impression that there is some difference between them that does not allow them to be converged. The concept of meme is one of the newest ones in this set of notions. According to memetics (study of memes), any cultural information is composed of memes, in the same way as biotic information is composed of genes. But is memetics capable of going beyond this primary vision? Can it be a functional theoretical and analytical tool? Can it be complemented with the   concepts of semiotics? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these two theoretical and methodological frameworks? 

Keywords: methods of humanities; morphology; meme; memetics; semiotics; evolutionary institutionalism; transdisciplinarity 



Makarenko B.I., Lokshin I.M. Modern Party Systems: Scenarios of Evolution and Trends of Development (85-109)

Abstract. The article undertakes a comparative analysis of party systems concentrating on the evolution of parties and party systems since the World War II and particularly in the last decades of the XX century following drastic redefinition of political regimes; it also analyzes modern trends in development of parties in countries that either underwent democratization or ended up with political regimes in which one or more parties operate. The comparison is based on a set of quantitative criteria evaluating the efficiency of party system. Outlined are three scenarios; for each scenario analyzed are functions of political parties and trends of its evolution. The first scenario is tentative limitation of political pluralism; the second is “linear” development of multiparty systems; and the third is long-term period of limited competition in party space. 

Keywords: political parties; party systems; political development; democratization, transitional societies; post-communist space. 

Fedotova V.G. Is There a Chance for Global Social Democracy? (110-126)

Abstract. Analyzed in the article are conceptual foundations of the core projects and ideas of social democracy in order to categorize the models of global social democracy. The author understands democracy as a recognition of objective interests of different social groups, the basic part of which democracy should meet by means of compromise between those who present different interests. Therefore, social-democratic worldview becomes a goal for a researcher; when achieved, it allows to bjectively examine the ideology as an expression of the interests of certain social groups or countries. Displaying the inextricable link between social democracy and capitalism, the author notes that the transformation of capitalism into its global form has inspired reflection on the global social democracy. 

Keywords: national social democracy; global social democracy; the idea of a global social democracy; the poor countries; the rich countries; social contract 



Solovyov A.I. Government Decisions: the Conceptual Space and Dead Ends of Theorization (127-146)

Abstract. The article notes the contradictions between conceptual approaches to the study of the process of public decision-making and relevant theoretical schemes. In this regard, disclosed are the bases of this type of cognitive conflicts, grounded are the principles of selection of the most rational approaches which, on the one hand, enable to reduce the uncertainty in the process of formulating public goals, and on the other hand, to explain the essence of multivariance of theoretical interpretations in this process. The author, in the framework of this paradigm, discloses specific features of the state as a decision-making actor and as a special, internally segmented space which produces various schemes and combinations for the development and implementation of political goals. 

Keywords: the state; concepts; theories; decision-making; political system; public administration; the regulatory regime 



Grigorieva Ye.I., Zaripova Z.R., Kokarev K.P. How Good Are the Journals in Which You Publish Your Articles? (147-159)

Abstract. The main goal of this article is to explain the bibliometric indexes of journals which are used for their evaluation. Considered are indexes calculated by the Russian Science Citation Index (RSCI) and published on the page “Analysis of journals’ publication activity”. Five types of impact factors calculated by RSCI are discussed in details. Demonstrated is the difference between impact factors based on twoyear and five-year periods. Special attention is paid to the self-citation; shown is the difference between impact factors calculated on the basis of self-citation and without it. Explained is the essence and rules of application of the new Herfindahl-Hirschman index that measures heterogeneity of companies where the authors work and spreading of journals in which articles from the journal have been cited. The Hirsch index for journals is considered. All indexes are illustrated by concrete examples. 

Keywords: bibliometric indicators; impact factor; self-citations; the Herfindahl-Hirschman index; the Hirsch index (h-index); Russian Science Citation Index 

Chugrov S.V. Scientific Article: a Fruit of Creative Art, Craft, or Relevation? (160-176)

Abstract. This review is a journal version of a chapter in the monograph “Genres, Journalists, Creativity” (ed. by Dr. Nikita Shevtsov), Head of the Department of International Journalism, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia. A limited amount of copies of the book has been just issued by the MGIMO-University Publishing House. Recommendations that contain this article are addressed largely to graduate students and beginners. Didactic explanation of some facts is addressed to those who “try their wings”, and is definitely not for experienced scholars and the most respected masters. Authors of academic articles can apply different methods of academic investigation, for example, such kind of comparative analysis as binary comparison, which allows uncovering general and specific traits in evolution, for example, of two countries or two national phenomena. One can make use of other types of comparative studies, such as regional analysis (to compare two regions) or crosstemporal analysis (to compare two different periods in the development of one country). At the stage of conceptualization, standard research design involves determining variables for analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. In any case, while proving or disproving a hypothesis one should provide the extension of knowledge and he/she should have a clear idea of what is the end of the research. If findings contradict conventional wisdom, it is necessary to clarify the reasons for this. Appropriate academic style, which is determined by traditions and codes of research, is analyzed here in detail. Particular attention the researchers should pay to their conclusions, which cannot be equated to abstracts. Conclusions and abstracts obtain different functions. Conclusions must demonstrate what the scholar has received as an output, and the abstract should demonstrate what the author of an academic article has invested as his/her input. 

Keywords: scholarly article; research; academic journal; methodology; variables; language; style 
Third «Berdyaev Readings» Forum - 2015. Kaliningrad  (177-177)

Timofeyeva L.N. Russian Government and Bureaucratic State by V.P. Makarenko (178-184)

Abstract. The reviewed monograph (Makarenko V.P. Russkaya vlast’ i byurokraticheskoe gosudarstvo, chast’ 1: monografiya [Russian Government and Bureaucratic State, part 1:Monograph]. Rostov-on- Don. Publishing House “March”. 2013. 652 p.) is devoted to application of the theory of bureaucracy developed by the author to analyze the relationship between the Russian power and the bureaucratic state, interest groups and the government of modern Russia. Author’s critical perspective on the methods used by Russian and foreign scientists in the analysis of Russian history, the Russian state, Russian government and its bureaucracy allows to get a deep insight into the nature of these phenomena and to reveal their essence. The author analyzes emergence of corporate and other types of relations between interest groups and state officials, as well as how they are studied by modern political science and praxis. 

Keywords: V.P. Makarenko; Russia; Russian government; bureaucracy; opposition; criticism 

Nemirovsky V.G. Traumatized society and its phantoms (185-189)

Abstract. The subject of this critical review is a new monograph by Zhan Toshchenko (“Phantoms of Russian society.” Moscow: Center for Social Forecasting and Marketing. 2015. 668 p.), which continues a series of his publications analyzing the deformation of the mass consciousness of modern Russian society. The new study is an attempt to overcome inefficiency of a number of approaches used to analyze Russian society in transition. In this case, the original methodology has been used, resulting in reasonable criteria used to select existing in it phantom types: authority, capital, and glory, as well as socio-psychological characteristics of personality. Toshchenko displays the sources of deformations in the public consciousness of the Russian society, which occurred over the past three decades. In the opinion of the author, they are related to a serious trauma of the society and gave birth to its anomie. Today, widely spread are simulation processes that replace real activity in all its forms and at all levels of social organization. It is important that the author of the book explores not only the reasons of the mentioned deformations, but he makes an attempt to forecast the further developments. At the same time the monograph combines academic objectivity with journalistic presentation rich in metaphors and images. 

Keywords: traumatized society; scientific mythology; the mass consciousness; phantom personality types


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