Vol 25, No 2 (2023): Political Science in Search of New Approaches


Political Science in Search of New Approaches: Introducing the Issue

Mchedlova M.M.


The editorial board introduces the issue devoted to the problem which occurred as a result of the exhausting traditional heuristic potential of political knowledge, including concepts, theoretical and methodological approaches, and ideological emphasis. The changing traditional theoretical framework questions the legitimacy of traditional political practices, the legitimacy of institutions, goals and subjects of the political process. Based on the ideas of I. Wallerstein, we are making attempts to “feel the elephant” of political reflection on the dramatically changing political reality.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):287-292
pages 287-292 views


After Post-Modernity: Discussion Points Against the Background of Global Transformations

Evstafiev D.G., Tsyganova L.A.


The transition of the basically local military-political crisis in the Western Eurasia into the real focus of global geopolitical transformations and civilizational confrontation. That has brought to the agenda the issue of degradation of the principles of universalities that were the basis for globalization in both: socio-political and socio-economic spheres thus demonstrating deepening interaction between them. The world is facing the perspective of competition of different models of development and their political and social localization that reflect the specifics of social-economic environment. The fact that global transformations became the result of interaction of the objective and subjective, contextual factors as well as sometimes were brought to reality through the interaction of political leaders brings us to the conclusion that the world is nowadays within the transitional era that contains several points of bifurcation of political nature that in turn drive for different models of socioeconomic development. The sharp nature of ongoing transformations reflects the situation when most of the paradigms and instrumental models that were regarded as axiomatically universal like institutional governance and representative democracy started to lose their relevance as political and socio-political management tools. The same is true about a bulk of global economic tools such as the universal protected nature of economic interdependence and international trade. But all that was the basis for the globalization. The system of global political and economic relations that has resided quite recently in the environment of nearly total universality started to lose synergy and integrity while forming complex localized formats in which political and socio-cultural factors play the leading role ahead of economic basis and socio-economic relationships. The research drives to the conclusion on the possibility of emergence of the two competing models claiming a global status the specifics of interaction between them and the key differences between them.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):293-307
pages 293-307 views

Political Theology of Contingency: Reading Materialists with Carl Schmitt

Rebrov S.A.


Political theology is one of the most problematic spheres in modern political theory. The clash of positions between supporters of individual interpretations of this discipline, on the one hand, is a serious problem, however, in this sense, the absence of strict definitions opens an opportunity for the most unusual forms of interaction between politics and religion. Even in the case when religion acts exclusively as an analogy of any other worldview position. The study relies on a comparative historical analysis of various definitions of political theology; the method of philosophical deconstruction is used for a general description of the possible combination of the principles of political theology and materialism. This research considers the possibilities of a conceptual combination of the principles of political theology and materialistic philosophy, the foundations of which in both cases are the concept of the specific angle, which at the worldview level can acquire a characteristic of God as a political founder.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):308-318
pages 308-318 views

New dilemmas of the «just war» theory

Shanchenko E.P.


Referring to the classical tenets of the “just war” theory, the author also analyses its modern versions. While the research the author arrives at the conclusion that some political scientists have modernized the theory of “a just war” according to the modern times. For instance, due to the existence of new actors on the international arena, there were created a new version, which allows to include non-state actors for the analysis (which consequently led to abolition of such principles as legitimacy of authorities, “last resort” criteria and also led to the implementation of the preventive actions) as well as the principles just post bellum. It is interesting to note that some political scientists associate the theory of “a just war” with the issue of global leadership of the USA. Throughout the history the participants and the aims of the wars have undergone serious changes, so that nowadays they do not sound “just” (for example, theory of punitive war). Analyzing in detail the postulates of the theory of “just war”, the author turns to historical events - the “Arab Spring”, the confrontation between the USA and the USSR, modern information wars. The author arrives at the conclusion that the use of the theory of “just war” for the analysis of modern events remains relevant, however, requires the introduction of new postulates in the norms of the theory, in particular, the addition of the principles of jus ad bellum and jus post bellum.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):319-329
pages 319-329 views

“The Law of the Politics - When Creating Something New, One Should Rely on What Has Been Achieved, Not Diminish the Old”: for the 100th Anniversary of A.M. Kovalev

Kovalenko V.I., Sobolev V.A.


The study analyzes the contribution of Alexander Kovalev to science and education, who stood at the origins of political science since its institutionalization in Russia. The contours of his general political and philosophical concept of social development are determined, original approaches to the interpretation of the categories “power” and “politics”, the laws of politics and political activity, and a number of basic concepts of political science are reconstructed. The role of A. Kovalev in substantiating the importance of political science, its structure and its place in the system of social and humanitarian sciences is highlighted. His persistent desire to establish the foundations of politics with the way of production of public life is noted and thereby more fully highlight the ideological and methodological aspects of political science knowledge, to link the philosophy and theory of political science with the variety of its instrumental dimensions. A. Kovalev’s interpretation of the problem of interrelation and interdependence of system-wide and individual needs and interests in public life, natural and spontaneous in the political process, the importance of the moral principle in politics is revealed. The question is raised about his development of the problem of the correlation of natural and social, the dialectics of civilizational and formational in social development, the correlation of innovations and traditions in political life, the scientific responsibility of a political scientist. Particular attention is paid to the qualities of A. Kovalev as an organizer of science, teacher and mentor, who educated many dozens and even hundreds of political scientists who confidently took their place in the formation and development of political science in the country. It is emphasized that the scientific merits of A. Kovalev are inseparable from his highly moral civil position, responsibility for the fate of the Motherland.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):330-347
pages 330-347 views


“At home among strangers”: GR-management as political governance in the arsenal of “non-political” agents

Degtyarev A.A.


The topic under consideration is still in the orbit of the domestic discussion of political scientists and specialists in Government Relations (GR). And there is no agreement among them yet regarding the subject field of the discipline being studied. Opinions differ, referring GR to applied political science, sociology of communications, or corporate management. This article analyzes the problems of defining the subject of GR-management as an applied political science discipline, as well as its categorical apparatus. The peculiarity of GR as a type of political management is that the goal-setting unit of the activities of GR managers and corporate lobbyists is located in an “internal” and “non-political” environment (economic, social, etc.), which may be associated with maintaining the competitiveness of the firm and obtaining economic profit by it. But the means to achieve these goals are already located in the “external” socio-political environment, in which the field of political behavior of interested actors is formed. And here we are faced with the phenomenon of “inversion” of the particular interests represented in public policy, when in order to promote them it is necessary to convert the goals of the economic strategy into adequate private issues when building a common public agenda, and into specific tasks of the strategy and tactics of an already special GR campaign.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):348-367
pages 348-367 views

Strategy as a Political Phenomenon and Concept

Belozerov V.K.


Modern science doesn’t sufficiently disclose the essence and content of strategy (political strategy), even though the term and its derivatives actively circulate in theoretical and political discourse. This highlights the necessity to establish terminological clarity regarding the understanding of strategy. This article reveals the genesis of strategy as a practical management activity and as a science, as well as shows its connection with the military sphere. For a long time, the development of strategy as a science was closely connected to military affairs. The political component in strategy appeared in the 19th century, and has been gradually expanding. To separate political strategy from military and give it an independent scientific status, various authors have attempted to develop such concepts as higher strategy, grand strategy, and state strategy. Throughout time two approaches to understanding strategy emerged: the first focuses mainly on goal-setting, and the second - on coordinating goals with the ways and resources required to achieve them. According to the author, strategy in politics means a purposeful and long-term action program implemented to achieve a designed result. Military strategy acts not only as the highest level of military art, but also as an integral component of state strategy. At the turn of the 2010s attempts were made to conceptualize political strategy, but they did not find further development. The generation of a full-fledged concept of political strategy seems to be heuristic and promising in both theoretical and practical domains.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):368-376
pages 368-376 views

Integration of Migrants Through the Lens of a Constructivist Approach to Ethnicity

Varshaver E.A.


The article rethinks the integration of migrants through the lens of constructivist studies of ethnicity. It is done on the basis of the theoretical language developed by the author, which builds upon other constructivist languages. It is pointed out that ethnicity is the organization of differences around categories, membership in which is predominantly inherited. Categories, according to language, are organized in the form of categorizations, classifications, and taxonomies; categories are associated with attributes, which include stereotypes, indicators, norms, characteristics of relationships with other categories, as well as discourses. Together, categories and attributes form the construction of ethnicity, which is a typical object of analysis and description. Individuals constantly evaluate the surrounding phenomena in terms of conformity with the construction of ethnicity, which is why the construction of ethnicity changes. Integration is a change in the construction of ethnicity or re-categorization of individuals in the space of the dichotomy «migrant» - «local» without changing the construction of ethnicity. In the course of integration, «migrant» categories may be re-categorized as «local»; «local» categories may change the attributes associated with them to include attributes previously associated with «migrant» categories; categories and attributes may not change, while re-categorization occurs at the individual level. How exactly integration will take place depends on a variety of factors that characterize the construction of ethnicity and go beyond it. The construction of ethnicity in Russia is a vernacular taxonomy, which implies the existence of a general category (‘Rossijane’, ‘Russkie’), which includes other categories - defined as the «local» ones. Most of the «migrant» categories correspond to identical in name «local» categories. The integration of migrants in Russia thus takes the form of an individual transition from the category of «Tajik migrants» to «local Tajiks». The language created and studied for applicability to the integration of migrants is analyzed for pros and cons and directions for further work are identified.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):377-396
pages 377-396 views

Political Administration VS Political Competition Under Neo-Authoritarian Rule

Nisnevich Y.A.


The article discusses the replacement of political competition with political administration in order to maintain the power of the ruling political actors and ensure the tenure of the ruling regime under neo-authoritarian rule in a number of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The administration of all key arenas of the political sphere is implemented through special political technologies and informal practices of political corruption. A pseudo-multiparty system with a dominating ruling party is being constructed in the party-political arena. In the media arena, the most influential mass media are being “nationalized”. In the arena of personnel, through political nepotism, adherents of the ruling regime are placed in key political and administrative positions of public power. In the electoral arena, the institution of elections is transformed into a procedure for the formation of public authorities by manipulating the voting procedures. In the legislative arena, the ruling party provides political administration of legislative and parliamentary activities in general. In the judicial arena, through the administrative regulation of the judiciary personnel, the judicial system is integrated into a single system of neo-authoritarian rule aimed at providing judicial protection for the ruling regime from the discontent of the citizens and using courts for political purposes. To demonstrate the appearance of democratic legitimacy, all neo-authoritarian regimes imitate the work of the basic institutions of democracy.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):397-422
pages 397-422 views

The Problem of the Left-Right Divide in Modern Russia Through the Lens of Social Constructivism

Zhigadlo K.V.


By the beginning of the 2010s, Russia has developed a party system and an electoral culture for which the ideological spectrum is not critically important. However, the high-profile political processes, the events of recent years and the leap in the development of social media have contributed to the reactualization of the ideological spectrum in the field of unconventional politics. At the same time, new social movements were formed. In this regard, questions about the left-right divide and about the semantic content of the concepts of left and right wings themselves acquire new relevance. The author of the article tries to determine which Russian ideological and social movements, political parties and associations of a different type today can be attributed to each wing of the left-right continuum, and what are the essential divisions between the different sides of it today. For this purpose, a discourse analysis of the publications of certain public opinion leaders who directly relate themselves to one or another camp in social media was carried out. Various interviews and speeches of these individuals, as well as program documents of some parties and movements were also used for this analysis. In order to clearly identify various personalities and groups on the basis of their position in the ideological spectrum, the author relied on the methodology of social constructivism. The author concludes that the conceptualization of the right-wing established in Russian political science, referring this concept mainly to liberals, is largely outdated by now. There are splits within the left and right movements themselves along the line of attitude to the state and etatism, no less acute and fundamental than the very division between these movements.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):423-433
pages 423-433 views


Cancel culture towards Russia and how to deal with it

Rustamova L.R., Ivanova D.G.


Cancel Culture originated in Western society and was initially interpreted as a social phenomenon, but over time it began to acquire an increasing political dimension. Its main distribution platform are social networks, where, due to the almost instantaneous reaction on the part of society to information stuffing, the “cancellation culture” has become truly global. Since 2022 cancel culture is a tool for managing socio-political phenomena that can be used for foreign policy purposes. The authors make an attempt to conceptualize and operationalize this term, formerly used in publicjournalistic discourse. They also set themselves the task of identifying the subjects of dissemination of cancel culture and suggesting mechanisms to combat its negative manifestations.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):434-444
pages 434-444 views

Russian Civilization: Civilizational Approach in Political Theory

Mchedlova M.M., Bukin O.A.


Discussions about the applicability of the civilizational approach in political science correlate with methodological and discursive rethinking of linear philosophical and political interpretive projects. The search for new epistemological and ontological optics of modern political constructions is largely focused on the value-symbolic parameters underlying the civilizational approach. The civilizational paradigm is one of the conceptual schemes of political theory, which makes it possible to interpret political institutions, processes, and world politics through the lens of more stable and deeper factors - value systems and culture. Becoming the identifying basis of politics and the legitimizing ideological and semantic content of instrumental strategies, the civilizational approach appeals to the multiplicity and equality of the paths of historical and political formation. In political discourse, the relevant intentions are the plots of ensuring the completeness of sovereignty, historical memory and falsification of history, a common value-semantic space, national unity, and many others. The point of concentration of scientific and ideological-political search is the definition of the civilizational status of Russia. According to the authors, giving Russia a civilizational status allows us to offer adequate explanations of its socio-political ontology and phenomenology, stable and transient parameters, invariant and innovative characteristics. The emphasis is on the metaphysics of Russian statehood as determined by the specifics of civilization.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):445-454
pages 445-454 views

Study of the Axiological Foundations of Russian Statehood: Prospects for the Application of Politico-Textological Analysis

Sorokopudova O.E., Mironov D.V.


The study of the historical and axiological foundations of Russian statehood is directly related to problems of national and civic identity and addresses the task of ensuring and protecting political sovereignty and national independence. Based on the analysis of a large corpus of works by Russian thinkers, writers, poets, religious and state figures of the 19th century, the content of such basic values as “freedom”, “truth” and “justice” was reconstructed, which maintained their significance throughout the history of Russia, but were substantively transformed in the public ideological-political discourse. The research was conducted based on the database of the National Corpus of the Russian Language (NCRL). In total, work was done with more than 7500 documents created during the period from 1801 to 1900. The main research methods, in addition to the general scientific methodology, were content analysis and politico-textological analysis. The concept of “freedom” was significant throughout almost the entire history of Russia, and in the 19th century, various aspects of it were addressed not only by thinkers and public figures of different ideological orientations, but also by publicists, poets, and writers. Interestingly, the legal and rational understanding of freedom was almost always combined with a moral and even religious content in the works of the authors of this period. The concept of “truth”, despite being used in its substantive sense much less frequently in the 19th century than in previous centuries, still retains its important axiological value in the Russian intellectual tradition and represents a complex moral-social ideological complex. “Truth” as a socialpolitical concept combines both the values and meanings of the Orthodox righteous way of life of each individual and the principles and goals of a truly just social and state system. The concept of “justice” is a cornerstone of the Russian vision of an ideal social and state structure, along with truth and freedom. The specificity of the domestic ideological-political discourse of the 19th century is that the concept of justice is inseparably linked with both the individual and society and the state, receiving moral justification for the necessity of following this principle first and foremost in the name of the common good, and then, as a consequence, in the name of one’s own well-being.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):455-470
pages 455-470 views


The Politization of the Mass Consciousness of the Russian Youth in 2022: Possibilities of Evaluation on the Basis of Statistical Analysis

Popova O.V., Grishin N.V., Suslov S.I.


The politicization of the mass consciousness of young people is revealed in this study by such parameters as the level of interest in politics, readiness for certain actions to protect interests, priority sources of political information, assessment of the correctness of the direction of development of the situation in the country, as well as the relations of some of these characteristics with the level political trust. The empirical basis of the study is the results of a massive online survey of Russian youth conducted in November 2022. The method of conducting the survey was an online survey. The data were processed using traditional methods of statistical analysis: simple and combined grouping of data, analysis of standardized residuals, correlation analysis, calculation of new variables, multiple regression analysis, multivariate scaling. By modeling a new variable, it was possible to identify high rates of youth interest in politics. It has been established that the level of youth interest in politics is associated with the availability and size of material and social resources of representatives of this group. Positive and negative factors influencing the level of youth interest in politics have been identified. Since, according to the results of the analysis, the levels of political trust and interest in youth politics turned out to be unrelated, it can be argued that the rational component in the formation of political trust among young people is rather weak. The relationship between the level of political trust of young people and the willingness to take certain potential actions to protect their interests has been revealed. Two sets of related potential action strategies have been identified that young people can use to protect their interests.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):471-485
pages 471-485 views

Heuristic Potential of Applying the Assessment Index to Regional Public Programs in the Field of Youth Policy

Kalashnikova S.K., Andriiv I.I.


The aim of the research is to determine the possibilities and limitations of applying indices for assessing regional youth policy in the Russian Federation. The article contains a detailed analysis of domestic and foreign scientific literature on current methods for evaluating state youth policy and possibilities of applying indices in this sphere. The comparative analysis of the use of indices for assessing youth policy in the CIS countries was conducted. The authors propose an index of complex evaluation of regional state programs based on the correlation between the data on the budgeting of the youth policy sphere in the subjects and the migration indicators of this age group. As a result of empirical research, the authors have identified groups of regions of the Russian Federation with different levels of funding of the investigated sphere and the degree of sufficiency of budgetary provision to maintain a neutral balance of youth migration.

RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2023;25(2):486-499
pages 486-499 views

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