Сунгуров Александр Юрьевич
Нездюров Александр Леонардович
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“Russia-EU Relations and the Common Neighbourhood: Coercion vs. Authority” by Irina Busygina is an exceptional study despite the fact that the author herself claims it to be “yet another book” on the relations between Russia and the European Union (EU). Not only is it acute and timely, for it thoroughly depicts how the relationship between the two entities has rapidly slipped into a severe conflict since March 2014. It also traces how this long-lasting rivalry has been steadily unwrapping in the countries belonging to the Common Neighbourhood (CN), with a rather unconventional case study of Turkey included into the analysis alongside with the more expected cases of Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
The exceptionality of the book however has less to do with what is being studied (in this sense, it is “yet another book”, indeed, it is much more about how the EU-Russia relations are approached theoretically. Busygina herself states that this book is, first and foremost, about power and power types present in the international arena and between different states and non-state actors, while the relations between the EU and its Eastern neighbour in the CN serve as a unique case to test the proposed framework. In fact, studying the power types practiced by Brussels and Moscow with regard to each other and the countries lying in between, allows the author to actually look beyond the instances of these power relations and to grasp their roots in the domestic political arrangements of the Russian state and the EU’s institutional environment.
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.
In spite of increasing funding and the establishment of special budget instruments, government policy aimed at the economic development of di erent parts of Russia’s territory has not demonstrated signi cant success. is article suggests that one of the causes for these shortcomings is the in uence of the bureaucracy, which disempowers every new mechanism for resolving current economic problems in the Russian regions, even if doing so has a negative impact on the economic development of the country as a whole. is issue has not been a priority for Russia’s powerful presidency.
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.
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.
Исследование посвящено взаимосвязи внешней и национальной политики в СССР. Мы изначально проводим периодизацию национальной политики и обнаруживаем чередование разных типов политики. Волны «мягкой» политики, предполагающей больше прав этническим меньшинствам, сменялись волнами «жесткой» политики, основанной на той или иной форме русификации. Для выявления причин чередования мы применяем геополитическую теорию Рэндалла Коллинза, которая предполагает подчинение национализма задачам внешней политики. Согласно данному подходу, мирное время способствует политике поощрения развития этнических меньшинств, в периоды геополитического обострения государства склоны проводить политику ассимиляции, в интересах этнического большинства. Мы составили базу данных по участию СССР во всех военных конфликтах с 1926 года и сопоставили ее с волнами национальной политики. Мы находим подтверждение теории Коллинза: обе «жесткие» волны национальной политики совпадают с периодами геополитического обострения: сер.1930-х – сер.1950-х гг. и сер.1970-х – сер.1980-х гг. В Заключении обсуждается возможность экстраполяции наших выводов на постсоветский период истории России.