Vol 21, No 3 (2019)

Political process in contemporary Russia: Prospects and trends

The Image of Russia in the Russian Television (Research Conducted in 2017-2019)

Vinogradova N.S.


The image of Russia is one of the key components for determining the self-identity of the population, the growth of trust in the government, and an understanding of current politics and economics conducted in the country. The purpose of this study is to identify the image of Russia in Russian political and non-political television programs for the period of 2017-2019. The research methodology included content analysis of Russian television programs. Quantitative and qualitative methods, including case studies, were used to interpret the data. The image of a country consists of a spatial (territorial) image, an image of a population, an image of power, and an image of a leader. In the analysis, subjective, objective, spatial, temporal and communicative sections were identified. The performed analysis made it possible to identify some features of the formation of the image of Russia in TV shows. The resulting image is directly dependent on the event context and is its reflection. The underlying parameters, such as political culture, are not considered. The main topics raised in TV shows were the conflict in Ukraine, conflict in Syria, sanctions and international relations of Russia, the USA and the EU, election of the President of the Russian Federation and the election of the President of the United States. The image of the country is translated as strong, cognitively complex, dynamic. Most of the messages are positive, since they are focused on the domestic audience, the policy of the channels themselves is designed to show the diversity of opinions, but, at the same time, to raise the country’s prestige in the eyes of the audience. The negative characteristics of the image involve the comments of foreign politicians and experts, which are broadcast on Russian television. Changes in the spatial image due to the reunification with Crimea are shown most vividly. This topic has been relevant for a period of five years. The political leader is represented as strong both in the international arena and in dealing with domestic issues.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):397-408
pages 397-408 views

“Our Home - Russia” as the Movement of Bright Centrism (1995-1999)

Stepanov A.A.


The article deals with the political movement “Our Home - Russia” (NDR) as the first attempt of the creation of the “party of power” in post-soviet period. The aim of this work is to analyze the experience of the NDR and the reasons of the failure of this project. In the course of the study, the historical genetic method, M. Duverger’s partological analysis, and A. Gramsci’s theory were used. The author turned to the political science literature on parties and elections in the Russian Federation and used NDR’s materials and publications of federal mass media as primary sources. In 1995 the movement was created with the experience and the basis of the preceding pro-Kremlin project the “Democratic Choice of Russia” (DVR). Unlike the DVR, it was built on the B. Eltsin’s initiative who needed the support in the State Duma all the time. The prime minister V. Chernomyrdin headed this union and members of political and financial elite of federal and regional levels became its leaders. Despite their strength the movement did not become full-fledged «party of power» because of the communists` domination in the Duma and the lack of large electoral support. The «Our Home - Russia» like DVR could not make effective regional divisions and spread its influence among people masses. The inner split, weakness of Chernomyrdin’s figure and the absence of due president’s support were the causes of its fail in the parlamentary elections of 1999. Nevertheless, the NDR became the first centrist movement in post-Soviet Russia, which retained loyalty to the Kremlin to the end. The union worked out new forms, for example, drew public organizations to its side and for the first time used «name tactics» in the 1995 elections. These developments were useful in the creation of the next, much more successful pro-regional project - the «United Russia».

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):409-420
pages 409-420 views

Political processes in the modern world

Youth Engagement in Nigerian Politics: Age and Gender Differentials (as Perceived by Ijebu-Ode Community)

Olubela A., Iyunade O., Ogunsanya A.


The importance of youth involvement in political and developmental processes of society can hardly be exaggerated. However, despite the large percentage of young people in Nigeria and the historical importance of intergenerational continuity with an emphasis on national identity, very little is really known about the degree of youth engagement in the country’s politics. Therefore, this study, in the form of a descriptive survey, analyzes gender and age differentials of youth participation in Nigerian politics. A random sampling technique was used in selecting 200 youths from 5 political wards (40 from each ward) in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. Additionally, a self-structured questionnaire was designed and used for data collection, while a t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were employed to test the three hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed no significant gender difference ( t = 1.56, P > 0.05) or age difference ( t = 1.44, P > 0.05) among the young population of Nigeria actively engaged in politics in the country. Conclusively, the authors recommend that efforts should be geared towards fighting illiteracy and unemployment in the country, as these are known to be main reasons for vandalism, senseless violence, anarchism, racketeering, and cultism among the Nigerian youth, while realistic political organizations under control and leadership of the young population should be formed.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):421-429
pages 421-429 views

Agrokor: Political Aspects of the Crisis of Croatia’s Biggest Conglomerate

Zubovic M.


When the conglomerate Agrokor, the biggest privately-owned company in Croatia and the Balkans, found itself on the verge of bankruptcy in 2017 due to its outstanding debts, the whole Croatian economy was under a threat of collapse. Since Agrokor accounts for 15% of the country’s economy and employs approximately 60000 people, the situation was particularly alarming for the government, which decided to intervene by starting the bailout process. Taking into consideration the fact that Agrokor’s biggest creditors were Russian banks Sberbank and VTB, the crisis also had certain political implications. In the midst of the critical situation, the Croatian leadership had to coordinate the country’s domestic and global policies, attempting to find a common ground with Russia and surmount the crisis.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):430-438
pages 430-438 views

Water Governance and Water Management Systems in the Tekeze River Basin

Kumie G.A.


The fact that a lot of fresh water resources in Ethiopia are shared between several sovereign states creates a difficult situation in terms of water governance and management. Since there is no central agency that can regulate the utilization of water, the autonomous riparian actors pursue their respective interests. Water is shared at local, national and international levels; and difficulty in water supply management arises from lack of coordination between local, national and international authorities. Most of the Ethiopian rivers are trans-boundary, i.e. shared by several sovereign states. The purpose of this paper is to examine water governance and management systems in the Tekeze River basin. The author uses the qualitative research method to critically examine the existing scarce literature sources and governmental policy documents. The findings of the study revealed the absence of any kinds of bilateral agreements among the riparian states of the Tekeze River basin. As the water governance system in the region is highly politicized, there exists a certain clash of interests between the Tekeze River nations. The constant conflict in the region disrupts cooperation needed for facility maintenance in the Tekeze River basin. The problems in the area arise due to the following factors: no demarcated boundaries between the basin states; no effective water governance system, and, as a result, no efficient and cooperative utilization of fresh water resources; lack of institutional and legal arrangements between the major riparian states.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):439-449
pages 439-449 views

Geopolitical Situation in Northeast Asia: Development of Sino-Russian Relations

Zreik M.


The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature and characteristics of Sino-Russian relations since 1640 where diplomatic and commercial relations were established in the far east of Siberia. A historic background will be given, in order to highlight the real reasons behind this good relation that is turning into an alliance. The paper will shed the light on important events and dates that occurred in this relation, such as the year 1858, which had disputes on the border. The author shows that the relations between China and Russia have been faced with twists and turns since its beginnings because of geographical, cultural, historical and political interdependence. This paper analyses the relationship between Russia and China in the light of international political changes as the world enters a new stage of international order, especially after the decline of US influence and China's announcement of its One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR) and its political, cultural and economic openness to the world.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):450-459
pages 450-459 views

Militia Participation in Counterinsurgency: The Impetus of Civilian Joint Task Participation in Combating Boko Haram in Nigeria

Gana M.L.


Since 2013, the north of Nigeria has witnessed an increased involvement of the militia group ‘Civilian Joint Task Force’ (CJTF) in combating the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram. The mobilization of the Civilian Joint Task Force brought a tremendous success to the counterinsurgency operation. Before the CJTF’s engagement, the antiterrorism efforts of the government were marred by negligent performance. In addition to helping decrease the attack frequencies and number of fatalities caused by the insurgent group, the militia succeeded in expelling Boko Haram fighters from the towns and villages they had previously occupied. However, the unprecedented participation of the Civilian Joint Task Force in the counterinsurgency campaign has raised certain suspicions of the public in regards to the CJTF’s ulterior motives. This paper, therefore, explores the motives that triggered people’s participation in the Civilian Joint Task Force with the aim to combat the Boko Haram insurgent group. The current paper is a qualitative research, designed as a case study. The empirical data were collected by means of an in-depth interview involving 13 respondents, among who were the members of the CJTF, community leaders and government officials in Yobe State, Nigeria. The findings show that people’s participation in the CJTF is voluntary, with the main motivation being the necessity to defend the community due to the state’s failure to provide adequate protection. The article points out an urgent need to demobilize and deradicalize the participants in order to prevent the CJTF from further jeopardizing local communities’ peace and stability.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):460-469
pages 460-469 views

Some actual problems of political science

Combating Corruption in the Countries of Anglo-Saxon Tradition (Using Examples of Great Britain, India, Singapore and the USA)

Strakhov A.P.


The article examines the experience of combating corruption in Great Britain, India, Singapore and the US. Despite all the differences, these countries have a common trait that was formed in the course of their historical development: they all share certain elements of the Anglo-Saxon tradition in the cultural, political and legal spheres. The purpose of the research is to examine the influence of these elements on anti-corruption policies. The analysis has revealed that the countries under review apply similar approaches, institutional mechanisms and ideologies to counter and eliminate corrupt behavior, which can be attributed to the shared factor of the Anglo-Saxon tradition. At the same time, the effectiveness of the measures used to eradicate corruption largely depends on economic conditions, behavioral attitudes, behavior patterns that are historically rooted in society, etc. In this context, the cultural component is of particular importance. The aforementioned countries’ analogous anti-corruption practices and tools can substantially vary under the influence of historically established national and cultural characteristics, significantly deviating from their original British roots. In addition, success in the fight against corruption directly depends on whether certain public institutions, whose cultural and behavioral nature dictates them to resist the introduction of new anti-corruption measures, remain present.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):470-502
pages 470-502 views

Theda Skocpol’s Theory of Revolution

Shults E.E.


The article analyzes several ideas suggested by American political scientist Theda Skocpol in regards to the theory of revolution. From the author’s point of view, Skocpol’s attitudes are noteworthy both in terms of studying the history of political science and understanding the current state of “the theory of revolution” as a scientific direction. The author critically examines the classification of “generations of the theory of the revolution contributors” offered by J. Goldstone, according to which T. Skocpol belongs to “the third generation”. At the same time, the key provisions of Skocpol’s concept continue the ideas of the first and second generations, as is suggested by Goldstone. The author highlights the importance of the conceptual provisions related to the questions of social system failures and the reasons and consequences of revolutions in the context of revolutionary modernization.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):503-512
pages 503-512 views

Formal and Real Efficiency of Memory Policy (as Exemplified by Historical Cinematography of the Cold War Period)

Belov S.I.


The article attempts to record and evaluate formal criteria for determining the effectiveness of the Cold War era Soviet films (box office revenue in the USSR, box office sales in the socialist countries, foreign currency take, number of viewers, number of positive letters from the audience to the authorities, number of professional favorable reviews, prizes and awards, positive evaluation of the Cinema Arts Council) as a tool for implementation of “memory policy” in the Soviet Union. During the period in question, there was no adequate system for assessing ideological work in the USSR. Formal criteria mainly focused on the number of viewers, ignoring the quality of message assimilation by the audience. Through the example of Soviet historical films, the article examines the practice of building collective and cultural memory in the context of pursuing a political objective. The author also proposes a list of criteria for assessing cinema as a tool for forming long-term ideas about the past, shaping an enemy’s image, and implementing the national memory policy.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):513-524
pages 513-524 views

E-Government Towards the Establishment of Responsible and Efficient Public Administration

Sergeeva S.L., Denisov A.S.


The publication analyses the current directions of development of e-government and its meaning for the formation of open and accountable public institutions involved in administration processes. The goal of the study is to reveal the potential of e-government in creating responsible and efficient government. The authors applied analytical methods such as system and network approaches, sociological, statistical, empirical methods (ranking and scaling). The research is based on the fundamental conceptual documents and strategic decisions adopted in Russia, the structures of the European Union and the basic research carried out by UN institutions. The article provides the summary of the monitoring results of the development of e-government and original analysis of its role in improving the processes of public administration. Based on the analysis of empirical materials, the article shows that e-government contributes to the implementation and transformation of the concept of “good governance” into the concept of “collaborative public governance”. In this regard, the creation of an increasingly open government that seeks to increase its transparency to make documents and data more accessible, facilitating public control and supervision, becomes a central issue. An open government data platform created through e-government is a tool to increase transparency and participation that can also lead to more efficient use of resources and improved provision of public services. The authors conclude that a data-based approach could be proposed as an updated concept of public administration based on the principles such as efficiency, inclusiveness, responsibility, reliability and openness, leading to the establishment of responsible and effective public administration. The authors suppose that contemporary states need to re-evaluate their governance models so that they comply with these principles and meet the needs of people for more responsive and inclusive public services. To achieve a positive effect, electronic technologies should be applied to specific social conditions and ensure their proper regulation.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):525-537
pages 525-537 views

The Use of Internet Technologies for Mobilizing the Voter Base: Features, Subjects and Prospects

Antonov D.E.


The article analyses the role of internet technologies in the process of voter base mobilization. One of the consequences of the reforms carried out in Russia will be mediatization of the electoral process. Modern approaches to understanding electoral mobilization are based on classical elitist concepts and the theory of mass society. Such perspective fails to identify individual actors of mobilization impact and analyze their own strategies. The author suggests a different way of looking at the problem: from the perspective of the neo-institutional approach. “Mobilization impact” can be interpreted as a form of subject-object interactions between different participants of the electoral process. The author identifies three main goals of mobilization interactions: attracting new supporters, encouraging a specific form of political activity, and prompting the choice of a certain position in the ballot. The author’s other objective is to assess the pattern of Internet technologies usage in the process of electoral mobilization. In the conclusion, the author pinpoints possible tendencies in the development of the voters’ Internet mobilization technologies. The perspective suggested by the author allows him to draw conclusions about what forms work with voters will assume as a result of the development of Internet communication technologies.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):538-548
pages 538-548 views

The Concept of Liberty in the Yan Fu’s Works

Lobova A.A.


The article undertakes the analysis of the receptions of liberty in China on a sample of the translation of John Stuart Mill's “On Liberty” by Yan Fu. It is shown that in the Yan Fu' interpretation of liberty undergoes fundamental semantic changes in accordance with the ideological Chinese traditions, in particular with neo-Confucianism. Yan Fu puts collective liberty above the individual one, views the citizen only as part of a united nation. To understand the process of adaptation the new European concept, it is important to bear in mind that the translation and understanding of European thought were conducted within the framework of power relations between China as a colony and Western countries as metropolises. The linguistic aspects of the reception of liberty do not simply reflect the cultural and political realities of China in the late XIX - early XX centuries; it also changes them. Yan Fu tried to combine different types of European and Chinese ideas, in order to change the collective Chinese identity and process the collective memory.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):549-557
pages 549-557 views

Academic Life

The Image of a Political Leader in the Russian Political Studies

Ivanov V.G., Ivanova M.G.


The article reviews Russian political science studies related to the image of a political leader. The authors distinguish philosophical, historical, political, psychological and sociopolitical approaches and schools. The authors examine both theoretical and practice-oriented developments in this field of research. The main methodological branches pertinent to the studies of a political leader’s image are political psychology and political sociology, which are analyzed separately. The article reviews the works of both well-known political scientists in this field and young researchers. The authors believe that the collected and systematized material can prove useful for political scientists researching the problems of political leadership.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):558-576
pages 558-576 views

About and Based on the Book by Mikhail Taratuta “Russians and Americans”. Book review: Taratuta M. America and Russia. We are so Different. Moscow: Alpina Publisher; 2019. 318 p

Bubnova N.I.


In her review of Michail Taratuta’s recently published volume “Russians and Americans”, Natalia Bubnova offers a thorough analysis of how the book depicts the troubled state of affairs in the U.S.-Russia relations, the historic and cultural factors that formed the national identities of Americans and Russians and the resulting differences in the mentalities of the two peoples, as well as the state of the current domestic life in the United States and Russia, the particularities of their health care and educations systems, their special features of gender relations, the functioning of local charity organizations, etc. Having lived and worked for many years in America, Taratuta, on a whole number of topics, focuses primarily on the United States. These include the ongoing political schism under the Trump’s Administration, the migration crisis and racial contradictions, the gun control problem, and the rise of both the left- and right-wing radicals. While siding with Taratuta’s assessments on a number of issues, Bubnova offers an alternative viewpoint on others, yet acknowledges the importance of the book’s overall perspective on the United States as a vibrant, resourceful and dynamic society, and not necessarily aggressive or conspiring against Russia. Though proceeding from an assumption that Americans and Russians have few similarities, Taratuta simultaneously believes that it is imperative to overcome the current confrontation, for which he blames both sides. The review points out to the social trends - some of which are reflected in the book - which, despite the political alienation, nevertheless manifest certain signs of cultural rapprochement.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019;21(3):577-591
pages 577-591 views

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