Head of the School — Daniil Alexandrov
16 Soyuza pechatnikov Ulitsa
14a Promyshlennaya Ulitsa
17 Promyshlennaya Ulitsa
Relations between the EU and Russia have been traditionally and predominantly studied from a one-sided power perspective, in which interests and capabilities are taken for granted.
This book presents a new approach to EU-Russia relations by focusing on the role of images and perceptions, which can be major obstacles to the enhancement of relations between both actors. By looking at how these images feature on both sides (EU and Russia), on different levels (bilateral, regional, multilateral) and in different policy fields (energy, minorities, regional integration, multilateral institutions), the book seeks to reintroduce a degree of sophistication into EU-Russia studies and provide a more complete overview of different dimensions of EU-Russia relations than any book has done to date. Taking social constructivist and transnational approaches, interests and power are not seen as objectively given, but as socially mediated and imbued by identities.
This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners of European Foreign Policy, Eastern Partnership, Russian Foreign Policy and more broadly to European and EU Politics/Studies, Russia studies, and International Relations.
Availability of alternative information is often said to induce social discontent and to give rise to protest forms of political participation. But does this relation really exist, and is it universal? In contrast to previous studies, where generalized Internet use is most often a proxy for online information consumption and general political participation is a proxy for protest participation, we render a test of relationship specifically between online news consumption and protest participation. We explore self-reported cross-sectional data for 48 nations. The analysis provides empirical evidence that the likelihood of individual protest participation is positively associated with online news consumption. The study also shows that the magnitude of the effect varies depending on a political context: surprisingly, despite total control offline as well as online media, autocratic countries demonstrated effects of online news higher than in hybrid regimes where civilians usually have the access to Internet media that provide information which is alternative to the pro-government news agenda.
The much-maligned lines Eur. H.F. 1410–17 are treated in this article as a psychologically veritable conclusion – should we not wish to follow N. Wecklein and bluntly round off at 1404 – of the Amphitryon–Heracles–Theseus scene in which they are most at home where the tradition has them, at the very end, and not, as G. Bond would attempt to prove, immediately after 1253. Along the way to 1417 certain minor critical comments are offered.
Chapter presents a balance sheet of the effects of Russia's trajectory on the state property rights and the rule of law in light of international comparisons. It draws certain parallels between Russia and its post-Soviet neighbors, as well as authoritarian states of the Middle East, and reaches rather gloomy conclusions. There are copious evidence for the argument that during 2000's and especially the 2010's Russia experienced major institutional decay with regard to its legal and economic environment, which coincided with the decline of political freedoms due to increasing authoritarian trends. The chapter observes that the recent rise of the predatory state in Russia is deeply founded in its past in a path-dependent manner, and is reflected in the attitude and perceptions of many Russian citizens.
The advent of personalized medicine and wide-scale drug tests has led to the development of methods intended to automatically mine and extract information regarding drug reactions from user reviews. For medical purposes, it is often important to know demographic information on the authors of these reviews; however, existing studies usually either presuppose that this information is available or disregard the issue. We study automatic mining of demographic information from user-generated texts, comparing modern natural language processing techniques, including extensions of topic models and deep neural networks, for this problem on datasets mined from health-related web sites.
This article examines the discourses of water pollution and protection in the Soviet Union in the 1950s-1960s. It explores discursive practices which sprung up related to two paper and pulp plants, one located on the shore of Lake Baikal and another production unit in Svetogorsk on the border with Finland. These two discourses provide deep insight to pro-industry and nature protection claims which characterized Soviet water pollution and protection discourses in the 1950s-1960s. The paper contends that discussions about pulp production near Baikal were influencing the conditions in other, far located regions and stimulated engineering of water treatment facilities. The development of such facilities became a compromise between supporters and defenders of increasing pulp industry production, but in practice did not result in solving the problem of water pollution. In analyzing this issue, I consider discussions around the Baikal pulp plant and first attempts of introducing advanced water treatment in an industrial city of Svetogorsk and beyond, also discussing contacts with the West, in particular with Finland and their effects on Soviet water management.
The article focuses on analyses of transformation processes in Brazil and Russia from the viewpoint of the multiple modernities theory. Shmuel Eisenstadt’s study of the Latin American version of modernity is characterised along with interpretations of his ideas in the works of contemporary sociologists. The peculiarities of modernisation in Brazil are singled out including the impact of orientation to external centres of liberal modernity. The modernising dynamics of Russian society is discussed on the basis of Johann Arnason’s sociological theory. It is argued that Arnason’s analysis of intercivilisational encounters and imperial modernisation is essential for understanding transformation processes in Russia.
The issue of capital city relocation is a topic of debate for more than forty countries around the world. In this first book to discuss the issue, Vadim Rossman offers an in-depth analysis of the subject, highlighting the global trends and the key factors that motivate different countries to consider such projects, analyzing the outcomes and drawing lessons from recent capital city transfers worldwide for governments and policy-makers.
This chapter seeks to provide a detailed account of the policy process that led to the adoption of the pension reform in Russia in 2001. Focusing on the major actors involved in the elaboration of the reform concept and their preferences, I show that the 2001 Russian pension reform appeared to be a compromise squared for the liberal insiders of Kasyanov’s government and, most of all, for Mikhail Dmitriev, a major driver and proponent of the market-oriented reform. As the 2000-2001 attempts to reform pensions in Russia were not the first of such endeavours, a previous attempt to introduce a model of privatization into the Russian pension system, carried out by the “young reformers” government in 1997-1998, is also examined in this chapter. This analysis helps us to identify the network of policy actors involved in the bargaining at the turn of the century (namely, distinguishing the “old” bureaucracy from the Ministry of Labour and the liberal reformers who were invited by Anatoly Chubais from the outside to elaborate the reform). Also, I show how the “window of opportunities” which opened when Vladimir Putin became the Russian president in spring 2000, in fact, limited the liberal reformers’ room for manoeuvre as the newly elected president chose to stake on the “old” bureaucracy as the backbone of the regime in the earliest stage of his presidency.
The article questions the structural approach to autocratic transition that sees government as knowingly and purposely building autocracy, and contributes to the tradition emphasizing the plurality of possible regime developments and the role of contingency therein, by providing a more systematic treatment of such contingency. We offer a path-dependent theory of political change and use insights from cognitive institutionalism to show how ad hoc policy reform practices become accepted as a trusted way of interaction by political actors and how they “learn” their way into autocracy. This intuition is substantiated with a case-study of the labour reform in Putin’s Russia. The early 2000s marked a surge in uncertainty in Russian politics caused by the succession crisis and the profound political turnover it triggered. This uncertainty could have resolved in a number of ways, each leading to a different political development. We trace the actual way out of this uncertainty and show that the major factor to condition further regime trajectory was the way social reforms were conducted. The course of these reforms determined the ruling coalition and the institutions that ensure credible commitment within its ranks (the dominant party), and contributed to crowding out the political market and opposition decay.
The 68th chapter of the Ethiopian dynastic treatise Kəbrä nägäśt ‘the Nobility of the Kings’ is of considerable interest due to the occurrence of the term mädḫänit interpreted either as ‘Savior’ (in the feminine!) or as ‘Salvation’. The contents of that chapter is focused on a specific ‘essence of Salvation’ (‘ənqwä baḥrəy, literally ‘mother-of-pearl’) created ‘in the abdomen of Adam’ and transmitted from generation to generation. It should be noted that in medieval Ethiopian Christian theology the term baḥrəy ‘pearl’ denoted the Second Hypostasis represented in the unity of His. A parallel to such a concept of ‘Salvation’ transfer was found in Islamic tradition, viz. in legends about the emission of light from ‘Abdallāh, Muḥammad’s father, which gave evidence of his engagement in procreation of a future prophet. Similar ideas appeared to influence the early Shī‘ite doctrine.
This article builds on research demonstrating that high levels of economic and physical security are conducive to a shift from Materialist to Postmaterialist values---and that this shift tends to make people more favorable to important social changes. This article updates this research, demonstrating that:
(1) These value changes occur with exceptionally large time-lags between the onset of the conditions conducive to them, and the societal changes they produce---as previous work implies but does not demonstrate. The evidence suggests that there was a time-lag of 40 to 50 years between when Western societies first attained of high levels of economic and physical security after World War II, and related societal changes such as legalization of same-sex marriage. (2) A distinctive set of “Individual-choice norms,” dealing with acceptance of gender equality, divorce, abortion and homosexuality, is moving on a different trajectory from other cultural changes. These norms are closely linked with human fertility rates and require severe self-repression. (3) Although basic values normally change at the pace of intergenerational population replacement, the shift from Pro-fertility norms to Individual-choice norms is now moving much faster, having reached a tipping-point where conformist pressures have reversed polarity and are now accelerating changes they once resisted. We test these claims against data from 80 countries containing most of the world’s population, surveyed from 1981 to 2014.
Cosmetic items do not provide functional advantages in games, but, nevertheless, they play an important role in the overall player experience. Possessing predominantly socially-constructed dimensions of value, cosmetic items are chosen, discussed, assessed, and valuated in an ongoing iterative collaborative process by communities of players. In our study, we explore the case of Dota 2 and apply Topic Modeling to community-discussions data gathered from Reddit.com. We describe social experiences related to the valuation of cosmetic items in interaction and collision of various logics, including artificial scarcity, decomposition of visual effects, and connectedness to the game lore. Our findings connect the collective experience of players in the game and on online community platforms, suggesting that non-utility-based social value construction becomes an important part of game experience.
The First Russian Revolution demonstrated that there was considerable interest in democracy in the Transbaikal, Amur, and Maritime Regions in 1905–1907, which was widely shared across the empire and in East Asia. Democracy was understood as economic welfare, social justice, civil liberties, popular representation, decentralization, and national self-determination. Like elsewhere in the empire, protests started with economic demands, but many trade and professional political unions, strike committees, and soviets developed political programs. In Vladivostok, unrests among soldiers and sailors erupted into major riots with numerous casualties in October 1905, despite the attempts of Military Doctor Mikhail Aleksandrovich Kudrzhinskii and other intellectuals to make the movement peaceful. In Blagoveshchensk, the Amur Cossack teacher Mikhail Nikitich Astaf’ev joined a group of intellectuals who attempted to turn the municipal duma into a provisional government. In Nikolsk-Ussuriysky, Doctor Nikolai Vasil’evich Kirilov presided over the founding congress of the Ussuri Peasant Union, which discussed the introduction of rural revolutionary self-government. In Chita, Social Democrats under Anton Antonovich Kostiushko-Voliuzhanich took over much of the Transbaikal Railway. Tsyben Zhamtsarano and other Buryat intellectuals assembled for congresses demanding indigenous self-government. The recognition of these territories as the Russian Far East had already begun, but the loosely united Transbaikal, Maritime, and Amur Regions remained part of Siberia or North Asia for contemporary observers. The unity of Siberia from the Urals to the Pacific was reinforced by Siberian Regionalism which attracted the support of regional liberals and moderate socialists and consolidated through joint activities of Siberian deputies.
The ability of social media to rapidly disseminate judgements on ethnicity and to influence offline ethnic relations creates demand for the methods of automatic monitoring of ethnicity-related online content. In this study we seek to measure the overall volume of ethnicity-related discussion in the Russian-language social media and to develop an approach that would automatically detect various aspects of attitudes to those ethnic groups. We develop a comprehensive list of ethnonyms and related bigrams that embrace 97 Post-Soviet ethnic groups and obtain all messages containing one of those words from a two-year period from all Russian-language social media (N=2,660,222 texts). We hand-code 7,181 messages where rare ethnicities are over-represented and train a number of classifiers to recognize different aspects of authors’ attitudes and other text features. After calculating a number of standard quality metrics, we find that we reach good quality in detecting intergroup conflict, positive intergroup contact, and overall negative and positive sentiment. Relevance to the topic of ethnicity and general attitude to an ethnic group are least well predicted, while some aspects such as calls for violence against an ethnic group are not sufficiently present in the data to be predicted.
This chapter reports on services created and implemented by a writing center in a large public university in the USA to assist to pre-service teachers and in-service teachers with academic writing as professional development activities while they are pursuing their degrees. Academic writing is a style of written communication that has become acceptable in institutions of higher education (Craswell, 2005). The services include: 1) a series of workshops to teach the requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association [APA], 2010), 2) a series of workshops around conceptualizing a research project and submitting a paper to a conference, 3) writing support circles, and 4) individual consultations. The chapter provides a description of each of this service, including the purpose and the design, highlights outcomes of these professional development services, and discusses challenges in its design and implementation.
An important role of digital inequality for hindering the development of civil society is being increasingly acknowledged. Simultaneously, differ-ences in availability and the practices of use of social network sites (SNS) may be considered as major manifestations of such digital divide. While SNS are in principle highly convenient spaces for public discussion, lack of access or dom-ination by socially insignificant small talk may indicate underdevelopment of the public sphere. At the same time, agenda differences between regions may signal about local problems. In this study we seek to find out whether regional digital divide exists in such a large country as Russia. We start from a theory of uneven modernization of Russia and use the data from its most popular SNS “VK.com” as a proxy for measuring digital inequality. By analyzing user activi-ty data from a sample of 77,000 users and texts from a carefully selected sub-sample of 36,000 users we conclude that regional level explains an extremely small share of variance in the overall variation of behavioral user data. A nota-ble exception is attention to the topics of Islam and Ukraine. However, our data reveal that historically geographical penetration of “VK.com” proceeded from the regions considered the most modernized to those considered the most tradi-tional. This finding supports the theory of uneven modernization, but it also shows that digital inequality is subject to change with time.
Over the last two decades city-twinning became quite popular in Northern Europe. This form of coining transborder communality took place particularly in the Nordic countries with their long-standing cooperative experience but included also the Baltic States and Russia. Twinning is viewed by many North European municipalities as an instrument available for both solving local problems and ensuring sustainable development. In some cases it has amounted to a kind of local foreign policy (paradiplomacy).This contribution aims at a critical examination of city twinning through four examples (Tornio–Haparanda, Narva–Ivangorod, Imatra–Svetogorsk, and Valga–Valka). It is argued that city twinning can bridge the ‘trust gaps’ that have traditionally existed at the boundaries of nation-states, and create shared spaces across national borders. In particular, the study seeks to explain whether the causal mechanism behind the examined phenomena is the agency of the cities themselves, or whether these phenomena merely reflect the wider policies of the states to which these cities belong. City twinning is also examined in light of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.