Today’s Russia is a hostile environment for genuine political activity, and especially for movements that aim at changing the current power structure. This is due to the factually limited manoeuvre space of oppositional actors who face obstacles in the form of repression, surveillance and restricted access to the public sphere. Moreover, society is largely apolitical, with political activity often considered futile, immoral, or dangerous. In this profile, we portray the electoral campaign of the opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, who built a popular movement around his bid to participate in the 2018 presidential elections. Although the campaign failed to build up sufficient pressure for Navalny to be granted access to the elections, and despite the strong hierarchy inside his campaign, we argue that it contributed to the politicization of parts of the younger generation in the country’s provinces – which may have greater long-term effects than any concrete projects envisioned or controlled by the campaign’s strategists.
In the early 1990s, the Russian public held overwhelmingly favorable attitudes toward the United States; in recent years, attitudes toward the United States have been overwhelmingly unfavorable. Analysts often trace this dramatic change to (1) the emergence of Russian-American conflicts such as those in former Yugoslavia and (2) Russian leaders’ attempts to escape blame for their country’s failures by attributing them to a powerful external enemy. We point to another major factor of Russian anti-Americanism that preceded the international conflicts and the government-led anti-American propaganda: (3) disillusionment, or an emotional and ideological dissatisfaction with the outcome of pro-Western reforms that started among the liberal elites and then spread among the general public. Using data from the New Russian Barometer surveys, we analyze the dynamics of attitudes toward the United States from 1993 to 2009. We find that mass disappointment in the perestroika outcomes preceded the spread of anti-Americanism in Russia and that anti-American sentiment was stronger and occurred earlier among the elite than among the mass public. Furthermore, those (especially better-educated) people who express disappointment with the outcomes of pro-Western reforms prove significantly more anti-American. Our findings illustrate a general ideological phenomenon that may explain the growth of anti-Americanism in unsuccessful democracies worldwide.
Following a normative approach that suggests international norms and standards for elections apply universally, regardless of regime type or cultural context, this book examines the challenges to electoral integrity, the actors involved, and the consequences of electoral malpractice and poor electoral integrity that vary by regime type. It bridges the literature on electoral integrity with that of political regime types.
Looking specifically at questions of innovation and learning, corruption and organized crime, political efficacy and turnout, the threat of electoral violence and protest, and finally, the possibility of regime change, it seeks to expand the scholarly understanding of electoral integrity and diverse regimes by exploring the diversity of challenges to electoral integrity, the diversity of actors that are involved and the diversity of consequences that can result.
This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners of electoral studies, and more broadly of relevance to comparative politics, international development, political behaviour and democracy, democratization, and autocracy.
The roots and routes of cultural evolution are still a mystery. Here, we aim to lift a corner of that veil by illuminating the deep origins of encultured freedoms, which evolved through centuries-long processes of learning to pursue and transmit values and practices oriented towards autonomous individual choice. Analyzing a multitude of data sources, we unravel for 108 Old World countries a sequence of cultural evolution reaching from (a) ancient climates suitable for dairy farming to (b) lactose tolerance at the eve of the colonial era to (c) resources that empowered people in the early industrial era to (d) encultured freedoms today. Historically, lactose tolerance peaks under two contrasting conditions: cold winters and cool summers with steady rain versus hot summers and warm winters with extensive dry periods (Study 1). However, only the cold/wet variant of these two conditions links lactose tolerance at the eve of the colonial era to empowering resources in early industrial times, and to encultured freedoms today (Study 2). We interpret these findings as a form of gene-culture coevolution within a novel thermo-hydraulic theory of freedoms.
Since three decades, scholars focus on generalized interpersonal trust as the key component of social capital and there is wide consensus that trust in strangers is the prime indicator of how general people’s trust in others is. However, little work with a specific focus on trust in strangers has been conducted in a comparative, multilevel framework. The few existing studies are inconclusive because of deficiencies in both conceptualization and test strategy. Filling this gap, this article examines the determinants of trust in strangers on the broadest country base ever used in the study of trust, drawing on global cross-cultural evidence from the fifth and sixth rounds of the World Values Surveys--the first international surveys to include a direct question on trust in strangers. Reaching beyond conventional wisdom about the sources of generalized trust, we demonstrate that human empowerment at the country level is a forceful moderator of well-known individual-level determinants of trust. Specifically, in countries with lagging human empowerment, institutional trust, trust in known people and material satisfaction are the only individual-level characteristics that enhance trust in strangers. We also detect an unexpected negative effect of education where human empowerment is lagging. In sharp contrast, in countries with advanced human empowerment, a much broader set of individual-level characteristics increases trust in strangers. This set includes ethnic tolerance, membership in voluntary associations, social movement activity, emancipative values, subjective well-being, age and education. These insights inform a multilevel theory of trust, showing that human empowerment operates as a contextual activator of individual trust promoters.
Russia first introduced Internet regulation in 2012 with site blockings and then progressed to personal data retention and ban on VPNs. This makes an interesting case because online media had spread and established a parallel political agenda in Russia in the 2000s, before the onset of regulations. The focus of this study is the contents and dynamics of media coverage of Internet regulation in Russia over years, particularly the topics covered and the countries involved. It uses topic modeling and social network analysis to analyze 6,140 texts from Russia's largest mass media collection. The automatic modeling approach helps obtain reproducible evidence on the structure and actors of the otherwise highly politicized discourse. The study demonstrated, first, the growing interest of Russian media to Internet regulation, with comparable shares of state-controlled and private media in this discourse. Second, it revealed the structure of 50 topics arranging into nine clusters, from gambling to international relations, with one dominant network segment spanning over five clusters. Third, it identified groups of countries by their appearance in the texts and co-appearance in one text as 'communities' of countries that can 'put on the map' the discourse on certain topics of Internet regulation in Russia.
By permitting early resignations of the governors of Russia's regions, followed by their participation in premature elections, the federal center seeks to facilitate their long-term political survival. This study uses the data from 2013-2015 gubernatorial elections in order to reveal the Kremlin's motivations for this strategy. The analysis demonstrates that in contrast to the previous periods of Russia's political development when the federal center tended to reward the governors for electoral deference the current strategy is aimed primarily at long-term risk-aversion. This signifies a shift in the order of priorities of the Kremlin's policy toward the regions.
Can a society’s overall level of happiness change? Until recently, it was widely held that happiness fluctuates around set-points, so that neither individuals nor societies can lastingly increase their happiness. However, data from surveys carried out in Russia from 1982 to 2011 show that happiness fell substantially following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and has begun to rise again only recently. Additional data sources, including suicide rates and indices of negative affect expression, confirm these shifts. Contrary to set-point theory, we find that the recent increase has been driven as much by generational replacement as by mean reversion among individuals. The collapse of communism led to a permanent drop in subjective wellbeing among mid-life cohorts that was subsequently never fully recovered. Happiness can be substantially and permanently impacted by life-events, including those affecting society as a whole, and societal-level happiness can rise or fall over time as a result.
The authors seek to contribute to academic debates on migration studies by examining the role of Islam in the integration of Muslim migrants into a multicultural society with a long-standing Islamic component. This study examined some transformations in the religious practices of both Muslim labor migrants and Russian indigenous Muslims in the situation of large migration flows from Central Asia to Russia. The results demonstrate that these transformations take place in both directions by bringing some Central Asian practices into the life of Russian Muslims and vice versa. The authors also pay special attention to the formation of solidarity between and inside these two quasi-communities. They conclude that social solidarity on the basis of common religion is formed inside migrant communities despite ethnic differences rather than between autochthonous Muslims and migrants.
This article reports evidence of misspecification of the measurement model for the index of emancipative values, a value construct used as a key explanatory variable in many important contributions to political science. It shows that the scale on which the index is measured is noninvariant across cultural zones and countries in the World Values Survey. In addition, it demonstrates that the current index composition mixes different value dimensions and their actual associations with various political outcomes, in particular the index of effective democracy. However, an analysis using a novel approximate Bayesian approach shows that at least one specific subdimension of emancipative values, known as pro-choice values, truly exists and may be validly measured and compared cross-nationally. The article also contributes to the recent discussion on whether emancipative values are a reflective or a formative construct by providing thought experiments and empirical evidence supporting the former interpretation.
The article reviews the results of changing the survey mode from PAPI (paper and pencil interviewing) to CAPI (computer assisted personal interviewing) in some panel household surveys in different countries. Based on a number of experimental and non-experimental studies within the panel household surveys, we explored the effect of using CAPI on data collection process as a whole and data quality, in particularly. We showed that CAPI has a number of advantages over PAPI. Using of CAPI leads to the reduction of the fieldwork duration. In addition, CAPI is positively perceived by respondents and interviewers, does not have a negative effect on response rates and panel attrition rates. Moreover, it reduces missing data. At the same time, some studies suggest that using CAPI may lead to the increase of measurement error in sensitive and open-ended questions. Researchers should also take into consideration some technical and practical issues related to programming, training and selection of interviewers, as well as the choice of hardware and software used in CAPI.
The paper aims to explore the relationship between religion and politics in Russia from a spatial perspective. The rise of political influence of the Russian Orthodox Church can be partly explained by the alliance of the Church and the Kremlin: the latter openly declares its’ commitment to “traditional values’ and the former demonstrates unconditional loyalty to the regime. Unsurprisingly, one can observe the increase of Vladimir Putin’s electoral support among the most religious Orthodox regions in the recent elections. Paradoxically, new Russian “Bible Belt” is made of formerly “red”, communist regions. We argue that it is not a coincidence. Using a comparative historical approach, we demonstrate that those regions of Central, South and Volga Russia belong to the historical core of the Russian state. Thus, the rejection of communism in the Center would lead to the rejection in the core as well; the Kremlin’s conservative agenda was first of all accepted right there. The comparison with the most studied “Bible Belt” – in the protestant regions in the US South – reveals very similar historical background in the making of the religious belts: belonging to the historical core, prevalence of exploitive labor, the Civil War’s cleavage and political realignment. Finally, we examined some recent social-demographic indicators and revealed how political religiosity may affect not only electoral behavior but also highly debated family, marriage and sexual education policy in those belts.
This article reveals the specifics of social and cultural deformations in the life world of Russian people in general, compared to similar deformations among the population of several eastern regions of the country. These are territories representative of the Ural (Tyumen Province), Western (Tomsk Province) and Eastern Siberia (Krasnoyarsk Region). Social fears recorded within the “Regional socio-cultural portrait” method (Center for the Study of Social and Cultural Change, the Institute of Philosophy of the RAS) are considered to be factors of life world deformation. This study was carried out in the entire country of Russia in 2015, in Tyumen and Tomsk Provinces in 2016, in the Krasnoyarsk Region – in 2014. Three essential characteristics of life world – which have not been previously evaluated within this particular context – were highlighted for analysis: control locus, temporal stability (degree of pessimism/optimism) and life satisfaction as one of the key parameters of its harmony. The differences between the life world of Russians in general and that of those who inhabit the country’s eastern regions are determined within the context of the aforementioned characteristics. It is revealed that fears in the face of social dangers have a considerable deforming effect on the population’s life world. Determined are two types of deformations: nationwide and regional. The first type includes fears while facing ecologic threats and oppression due to age and gender. The latter’s level is generally much higher than the equivalent values obtained in the country’s three eastern regions. Fears while facing other sorts of threats and dangers, which are highlighted in the study, are considered to be specific regional deforming factors. The following conclusion is made: social fears deform the control locus, the harmony and temporal stability of the life world of the entire country’s population to a considerably greater degree compared to respondents from Tyumen and Tomsk Provinces, as well as the Krasnoyarsk Region. Revealed is a certain distinctive “Ural-Siberian” regional specificity of life world deformation, namely the sense that superiors in the workplace represent one of the social institutions of government. It is assumed that such specifics can be explained by regional frontier peculiarities.
This article compares social welfare attitudes in two major societies with the postsocialist social welfare regime, Poland and Russia. The aim of the article is to identify the differences in the ‘request for welfare’ among Poles and Russians at the beginning of the Great Recession of 2008 and after its end in 2016-17 by comparing the countries between themselves and in time. The European Social Survey (ESS) data of the 4th and 8th rounds (2008, 2016) are used to contrast the expectations of the scope of welfare, justice in distributing unemployment benefits for various target groups as well as opinions on the negative moral and social consequences of the welfare state. In both countries, the majority support a society with low inequality, but Poles believe much more often that social benefits have negative moral consequences. More Russians expect unconditional financial support from the state and have lower views of the role of social benefits in reducing inequality. Linear regressions also show that the ‘request for welfare’ in Poland is higher among the lower educated respondents and those with high score on the basic value of Security, while in Russia these links are not significant. To sum up, expectations of the comprehensive role of the welfare state are much more widespread in Russia as compared to Poland, despite the market reforms and despite both countries representing a common type of the welfare state.
From 2005 to 2011, the Bulgarian police force collected donations exceeding $90 million from a host of individuals, corporations, foreign governments, persons undergoing criminal investigations, and convicts. After condemnation both domestically and internationally, the practice became completely illegal in 2013. Nevertheless, in 2015, the government lifted the donation prohibition, allowing foreign governments and international and state organizations to donate to the Interior Ministry. Differentiating between utilitarian and moral models of corporate social responsibility is important, since genuine donors create higher value through their prosocial deeds than self-interested ones. Given Bulgaria’s excessive spending on public order and the ambiguous nature of donations to public servants, we seek to understand the corporate motivations for donating to the police. To address this question, we draw upon theories of corporate philanthropy, social exchange, and entrepreneurial orientation and use unique face-to-face interview data from 2011 to 2013 with police officers and businesspeople. Our qualitative findings point to multifaceted drivers of philanthropy beyond those considered in the dominant strategic-instrumental perspective. We argue that donations to the police can be an expression of business executives’ altruistic values, a desire to forge strategic alliances, enhance status in social hierarchies, a form of political reconciliation, or a protection payment. Lastly, we present descriptive statistics of money donated to the Interior Ministry, discuss the potential socioeconomic consequences, and propose policies to reduce police reliance on private financing.
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.
This study investigates the effect of country-level emancipative forces on corporate gender diversity around the world. Based on Welzel’s (Freedom rising: human empowerment and the quest for emancipation. Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013) theory of emancipation, we develop an emancipatory framework of board gender diversity that explains how action resources, emancipative values and civic entitlements enable, motivate and encourage women to take leadership roles on corporate boards. Using a sample of 6390 firms operating in 30 countries around the world, our results show positive single and combined effects of the framework components on board gender diversity. Our research adds to the existing literature in a twofold manner. First, our integrated framework offers a more encompassing, complete and theoretically richer picture of the key drivers of board gender diversity. Second, by testing the framework empirically, we extend the evidence on national drivers of board gender diversity.