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Полис ; 30.03.2006 ; 1 ;

© Некоммерческое Партнёрство «Редакция журнала ПОЛИС (Политические Исследования)» 2006 №1


Yu.S. Pivovarov. – Russian Power and Public Policy (A Historian’s Notes about the Reasons of Unsuccess of the Democratic Transit).

The article offers a historical interpretation of the reasons of the failure of still another Russian transit. Being sure that notwithstanding all reforms the “essence” of Russian politics has remained and what is going on now is not only and not simply return to the Soviet times, but return as such, return to what always was, the author sees the sources of such state of things in the specific properties of the Russian System itself, whose determinative characteristic is powercentricity. According to his conclusion, at the present time the Russian System is in the process of transition to a new historical form of its existence, whose main particular characteristic is realization of authority powers through a particular new growth – “power plasma”, where conflicts will proceed without destroying society. As a most important dimension of the “power plasma”, the author reckons a corruption mechanism working by means of the “power party”.

I.I. Glebova. – Political Culture of Modern Russia: Images of the New Russian Power and the Social Splits.

The motif of the article is to substantiate the thesis that Russia’s Westward drift that was going on in the 1990s has not resulted in the appearance of the civil form of life on Russian soil, which would base itself on a liberal political and economic system. In the author’s estimation, during the past two decades, a new type of sociality has taken shape in our country, which presents a complex “alloy” of modernity with elements of the past. One of the main characteristics of this new sociality is coexistence of two mutually inimical ways of cultural disposition. It is argued in the article that in a situation of wide split, with the irreconcilable, antagonistic character of the main subcultures’ mutual relations, it is no other actor than supreme power that consolidates society, keeps together its components. Such split makes the power (as reality and as imaginary phenomenon) absolutely needed for the socium, thus reproducing the principle of social integration “from top downwards”, traditional for Russia.

A.A. Kazantzev. – Three Scenarios of a “Coloured” Revolution in Russia (Modelling the Net Dynamics of the Russian Polity).

Is revolution possible in modern Russia? Under what conditions may it take place? In search of answers to these questions the author turns to analysis of the net dynamics of the Russian political system. The model of revolutionary net dynamics, which he offers, is based on the hypothesis that what is inherent in the Russian political system at all its levels, are value-based integration, dualistic “vision of the world”, and institutions of an imperial type. In society like this, revolutions inevitably take the form of “transformation from within human spirit”. This means that reasons of revolutions in Russia should be sought rather in the sphere of social consciousness than in real social practices. At that, the “switches” of social macro-processes leading to revolution, are here to be found in the centre of the system. In other words, revolutions in Russia are possible almost anytime, but efficient and tough power can almost anytime avert them. According to the author’s conclusion, today a re-volution can be “started up” by: (1) partial liberalization of the regime, with the latter happening to completely lose its ability to function; (2) an intra-elite split provoked by a “revolution from up”; and, finally, (3) by unexpected death (natural or violent) of head of state, with no legitimate “successor” available.

M.M. Sokolov. – The Russian National Unity: Analysis of the Political Style of a Radical-Nationalist Organization.

The article offers an original interpretation of style distinctions between three segments of Russian radical-nationalist movement of the 1990s, embodied respectively by the Russian National Unity (RNU), the National-Bolshevist Party, and the skinheads. Regarding political style as a series of demonstrative conversions, of a certain specific kind of resources into political influence and vice versa, the author articulates a hypothesis according to which the style of right-radical organizations was determined by the nature of those kinds of capital that their adherents had possessed. On analyzing from this angle the RNU’s political style, he comes to the conclusion that it harboured rational strategy aimed at converting the ability for violence into political capital and at applying the latter as resource for doing violence. The author accounts for the flowering of this style in the 1990s by relating it to the crisis of the Russian state which found itself unable to realize its monopoly of violence and to successfully integrate specialists in doing it.

D.Sh. Tkachyov. – Particular Features of the Functioning of Institutions and Social Nets on the Post-Soviet Expanse.

The article presents an attempt to use heuristic potential of the neoinstitutional approach supplemented with cognitive methods, for explaining the specific character of the transitory societies that came into being on the territory of the former Soviet Union. On analyzing the functioning of social institutions and social nets on the post-Soviet expanse, the author comes to the conclusion that many of the problems arising before the CIS countries in the process of the transit, are called forth by an institutional revolution going on in them. Among most important consequences of such a revolution, he reckons: the gap between formal and informal institutions; institutional forms appropriating contents inappropriate to them; deinstitutionalization of a number of spheres of life; and, finally, steep rise in the importance of the role of the social nets, which, on the one hand, help the keeping of social order, facilitating individuals’ and groups’ adaptation to the changed conditions, but, on the other – hamper the process of institutional transformation.

O.I. Zaznayev. – Typology of Forms of Government: Rectification of Mistakes.

To this day the question of typology of forms of government has not yet found adequate solution. The numbers of types being singled out range between two types and several dozens of types, nor is there unanimity as to which type this or that country should be attributed to. Analyzing the situation as it has formed, the author comes to the conclusion that the reason of such discordance roots not so much in the object itself being classified, as in the “traps” awaiting researchers who disregard logical rules and procedures. On stating some of the most widely spread mistakes (choosing an inessential criterion of typology; jump on the ladder of abstraction; overlap of division units; disparity of division; conceptual stretching; replacement of logic of classification by logic of gradation) and on doing “rectification work” on them, the author proposes his own typology of forms of government (presidential, parliamentary, semi-presidential and semi-parliamentary systems), which, in his view, removes classification problems.

V.S. Kot. – Conceptualization of Political Community.

The design and contents of the article consist in analysis of political community as one of the basic notions of political science, latently present in quite a number of other political-science and sociological concepts and possessing considerable instrumental value not only for empirical analysis of political change and stability, but also for normative determination of questions of political research. On analyzing interpretation of this notion by F.Tцnnies and M.Weber, as well as its modern explications, the author comes to the conclusion that political community is a specific particular form and method of self-organization of individuals who get associated for achieving common ends and construct their mutual relations on the basis of concord, in dimensions of social communities and poli-tical-legal systems.

A. von Brinkman. – Unauthoritative Laws (To the Psychology of Russian Executive Power) (Foreword by I.L. Belenky).

The article by A. von Brinkman, a Russian jurist of the beginning of the 20th century, which originally appeared in the “Russkaya mysl” journal in 1907 (its republication is now presented for the readers of this issue of the Polis), contains the formulation of an original vision of the course of our country’s history – vision unordinary for the Russian historical science. The thesis of contrariety of the state power and the “soil” (“the people”), shared to this or that extent by many historiography schools, was amplified by the author, receiving additional complexity and being reinterpreted in consequence of the introduction into the coordinate system, of distinction between supreme power proper and executive (“administering”) one and, what is especially important, of ideas of political contradictions between certain particular strata of the power and society. In the article by A. von Brinkman, all this is conceptually, but, at that, metaphorically described through opposing the “oprichnina” and the “zemshchina”, the dialectics of whose relations exactly gave rise to such a significant phenomenon of New Time Russian history, as “unauthoritative laws”.

A.A. Kara-Murza. – The First Sovietologist among the Russian Emigration: Semyon Osipovich Portugeys.

The article offers analysis of the idea content of the heritage of one of the most interesting thinkers among Russian йmigrйs, who remains to this day hardly known in his native land. On considering and estimating O.S.Portugeys’ ideas of the motive forces of the October revolution, his interpretation of the essence of the Bolshevist regime and of the Bolshevist epoch’s objective-historical substance, the author demonstratively proves that Portugeys may rightfully be regarded as one of the founders of scientific Sovietology.

Political Science in Russia: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Materials of a Scholarly Seminar).

In this issue of the journal, we acquaint our readers with an abridged version of the shorthand record of a scholarly seminar on history, modern problems, and prospects of the development of our country’s political science, held on December 8, 2005, in Moscow. Participants of the discussion were: T.A.Alekseyeva (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) (MSIIR), F.M.Burlatzky (Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences) (ISL RAS), D.M.Vorobyov (the Polis journal), A.A.Galkin (Institute of Sociology, RAS), V.K.Yegorov (Science Organization Department of the RAS), M.V.Ilyin (MSIIR), I.B.Levin (Institute of World Economy and International Relations) (IWEIR RAS), A.I.Nikitin (MSIIR), S.P.Peregudov (IWEIR RAS), V.A.Tumanov (ISL RAS), K.G.Kholodkovsky (IWEIR RAS) e.a. The seminar was presided over by V.V.Smirnov, Vice-President, International Political Science Association.

V.V. Lapkin, V.I. Pantin. – Conception of Evolutionary Complication of the World Political System

(A View from Russia).

It is the concept of global politics worked out by the well-known American researcher G.Modelski, its methodological principles and prognostic potentialities, that are critically analyzed in the article. The authors point to the high heuristic potential of Modelski’s approach to historical development of the world political system as to an integral non-linear evolutionary process, seeing in such approach a kind of intellectual challenge. In answer to this challenge, the authors offer their own vision of the main stages of the genesis and development of the global political system and retrace evolutionary continuity-succession of world centres from Roman empire through Arab caliphate and Byzantium to the cities of Northern Italy and further to the Netherlands, Great Britain and the USA. As still another research alternative, the authors put forward a hypothesis of shortening of the duration of world evolutionary cycles and are considering from this angle the prospects of world political development in the nearest decades.

T.I. Zaytzeva. – In Defence of Russian Liberalism.

The motif of the article is to substantiate the thesis that Russian liberalism is an original, self-sustained phenomenon differing in essence from the western analogues. Holding that genuine liberalism may be only conservative, the author argues that the conservative-liberal value system definitively took shape in the beginning of the 20th century in the conception of the authors of the “Vekhi” and was the result of an organic synthesis of the westernists’ and the Slavophils’ ideas. In the author’s estimation, the discrepancies between the Russian and the Western liberals are underlain by the divergence in the interpretation of person, which entailed differences in the approaches to liberty and to correlation of person and society, of person and the state.

© Некоммерческое Партнёрство «Редакция журнала ПОЛИС (Политические Исследования)» 2006 №1

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