Field experiments have provided ample evidence of ethnic and racial discrimination in the labour market. Less is known about how discrimination varies in multi-ethnic societies, where the ethnic composition of populations is different across locations. Inter-group contact and institutional arrangements for ethnic minorities can mitigate the sense of group threat and reduce discrimination. To provide empirical evidence of this, we conduct a field experiment of ethnic discrimination in Russia with a sample of over 9,000 job applications. We compare ethnically homogeneous cities and cities with ethnically mixed populations and privileged institutional status of ethnic minorities. We find strong discrimination against visible minorities in the former but much weaker discrimination in the latter. These findings demonstrate how institutions and historical contexts of inter-group relations can affect ethnic prejudice and discrimination.
Taking the individual data from the European Social Survey of 2004 and 2010, the authors of this paper investigate how employment type (permanent, temporary or informal employment) affects subjective well-being in respect to employment protection legislation across European countries. Our study outcomes are in line with previous research disclosing the negative impact of being temporally or informally employed on subjective well-being. The additional contribution of this study is the rigorous analysis of how employment protection legislation (EPL) moderates this effect by applying the multilevel modeling approach for 27 countries. In countries with strict EPL temporary and informal workers are significantly less satisfied with their lives than permanent employees. In countries with liberal EPL no significant decreasing effect from temporary or informal employment on people’s subjective well-being was found.
Which reaction takes the upper hand: a “rally around the flag,” born of geopolitical success, or grievance over economic misfortune? By means of a survey experiment, we aim to explore the mechanisms of blame and credit when a rally around the flag coincides with a major economic downturn, and we estimate the effects of the Crimean events and the economic crisis on how Russians assess the performance of federal political institutions. Our findings suggest that economic hardships are attributed exclusively to the government and the State Duma, while it is only the president who benefits from the rally around the flag. Moreover, the president receives an additional benefit when the “patriotic unity” priming meets the “economic hardship” priming, thereby resulting in a double rally around the flag effect. This suggests that the president stands apart from state institutions when responsibility is assigned, and he is the only one to enjoy national consolidation around him, which is further reinforced by poor economic conditions. Spotlighting the president increases his popularity and consequently increases the costs of political divides, while the legislature and the government can be exploited as scapegoats for policy failures.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, subjective well-being of the Russians was growing due to growing incomes and strengthening optimism about the future. However, the worsening economic situation following the crisis in 2008 did not cause the expected fall in subjective well-being rates. One plausible explanation is the growth of national pride. In this paper, it is tested whether or not national pride positively and causally affect happiness and life satisfaction of Russians. Possible compensatory properties of national pride — its hypothetical stronger effect for individuals with low incomes and poor health — are also being investigated. Data: integrated database of the World Values Survey and the European Values Study containing survey data for Russia from 1990 to 2017. Methods: linear regression with instrumental variables. Results: the effect of national pride on subjective well-being is positive and statistically significant (β = 0.26, p-value < 0.001), the effect persists while using instrumental variables (β = 0.92, p-value < 0.001); the effect is stronger in the period after 2008, as well as for people with low incomes.
Environmental protest has become the main form of political protest in Russia in 2018-2019. The decision to open a landfill for waste disposal at Shies station in the Arkhangelsk region caused dissatisfaction of residents with the policies of regional elites and strengthened the position of environmental protest in the whole country. In the article we identify the politicization of environmental discourse using the case of the landfill at Shies. We show how the political decision of the authorities, which was excluded from the public discussion and competing discourses, has led to the dominant discourse construction of an environmental problem as a political one among citizens. Based on 19 semi-structured interviews with residents of the Arkhangelsk region we conclude that the politicization of environmental discourse and high political mobilization occurred due to three main mechanisms that worked simultaneously. Citizens assess the decision as illegitimate, unfair and attributed responsibility to certain political leaders.
Among the goals of social policy there is a specific one that welfare states are particularly interested in. This goal refers to a decrease in inequality levels, and consequently, an increase in subjective well-being. But does a successful social policy in fact offset the effects of inequality on subjective well-being? This question has long been an important feature of the research agenda but few give a straight answer to it. This work tests a hypothesis assuming that in regions with relatively low levels of average household income and high levels of inequality social policy can reduce negative effects of inequality by redistributing large budget shares between health care, education and social programs. Two sources of empirical data were used in the study: (1) results of a survey conducted in 34 Russian regions representing the population of these regions, (2) objective indicators measuring the extent of social policy tools used in the regions under consideration. To evaluate whether regional social policy is capable of compensating for inequality effects the authors test Bayesian hierarchical models with uninformative and informative prior distributions. The authors conclude that expanding the scope of social policy tools in health care can compensate for the negative effects of the perceived inequality on subjective well-being.
This research aims to establish the effect of aspiration level and social comparison on life satisfaction in Russia. Unlike previous studies, it is argued that in their financial aspirations individuals orient themselves not to a single ideal income figure but rather to an inherently socialcomparative space of prosperity. Depending on their life experience they will aim at either approaching the higher border or the center of this space, or at getting farther from the lower borderline. The results of multilevel regression modeling run on data from Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), Wave 25 show that, in line with previous research, the higher up are one’s aspirations, the lower is their satisfaction with life. Interestingly though, the exact mechanisms are rather different for individuals who have lived through the economic crisis of the 90s fullaged and their younger compatriots. It was also found that social comparison with generalized other have a higher effect on one’s subjective wellbeing than with specific income groups (the rich, middle class or the poor). Moreover, the negative effect of the aspiration level is alleviated by higher poverty rate in the region: the individuals experience lower reduction in life satisfaction if they are more financially deprived people around them.
Migration is an important and rapidly growing phenomenon in the modern world. Many countries are facing problems with integration and adaption of migrants to new living conditions. Subjective well-being (SWB) can be considered as an indicator of how successfully migrants are adapted and integrated into the host society. Levels of migrants’ SWB are often determined by the same factors as for other people—good health, high salary, employment and youth make them happier. Nonetheless, migrants’ decision to migrate is often led by economic motives, which leads them to overvalue economic characteristics of countries and regions of destination and undervalue non-economic factors. This paper aims to estimate the effects of the economic prosperity (measured by gross regional product) and social capital of Russian regions (measured by general social trust and relative size of the community of the migrant’s compatriots) on the life satisfaction of migrants. In addition, we analyze possible effect of the inclusion of the migrants’ country of origin into Eurasian Customs Union. To answer the proposed questions we employed data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey—Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) and statistics provided by Russian Federal State Statistics Service. The main method of analysis is a cross-classified multilevel linear regression modeling. The results show that the economic performance of a region has no effect on the life satisfaction of a migrant. It appears that social factors play a greater role—the effects of general social trust and the relative size of the community of a migrant’s compatriots in a region are positive and statistically significant. We found that inclusion of the country of migrants’ origin into the Eurasian Customs Union positively and significantly affects the life satisfaction of migrants. We associate this effect with a decrease in the economic and psychological costs of migration.
Work is essential to human life and an integral part of life satisfaction. The article considers factors impacting the role of job satisfaction as part of life satisfaction. The study is based on a representative survey conducted in 2019 in 38 Russian regions. The study shows that the contribution of job satisfaction to life satisfaction is dependent on a region. Job satisfaction among respondents with higher education diplomas and respondents living in the cities not being regional centers gives greater contributions to life satisfaction. Intrinsic work motivation increases the contribution of job satisfaction to life satisfaction. Individuals with high material well-being levels are more likely to link job satisfaction and life satisfaction with each other. The presence of a partner decreases the role of work in life. Moreover, contrary to our expectations, men and women do not differ in the contribution of job satisfaction to life satisfaction, although it was initially assumed that this relationship should be stronger among men. However, separate analysis by region analysis shows that regions substantially differ in terms of gender. Thus, the contribution of job satisfaction to life satisfaction is heterogeneous across different social and demographic groups but almost all groups show a strong interrelationship.
Using a new measure of “comprehensive democracy,” our analysis traces the global democratic trend over the last 116 years, from 1900 until 2016, looking in particular at the centennial trend’s cultural zoning. As it turns out, democracy has been proceeding and continues to differentiate the world’s nations in a strongly culture-bound manner: high levels of democracy remain a distinctive feature of nations in which emancipative values have grown strong over the generations. By the same token, backsliding and autocratization are limited to cultures with under-developed emancipative values. In line with this finding, public support for democracy neither favours democratization, nor does it prevent autocratization in disjunction from emancipative values. On the contrary, public support for democracy shows such pro-democratic effects if – and only if – it co-exists in close association with emancipative values. The reason is that – in disconnect from emancipative values – support for democracy frequently reverts its meaning, indicating the exact opposite of what intuition suggests: namely, support for autocracy. In conclusion, the prospects for democracy are bleak where emancipative values remain weak.
We introduce a set of concepts and general guidelines for what we call Contentious Episode Analysis (CEA). In the footsteps of Dynamics of Contention (DoC), we attempt to develop a conceptual framework that improves upon the concepts originally introduced by McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly (2001). Our analytical strategy is similar to that of DoC in that we also propose to decompose the episodes into their component elements—actors, actions, sequences of actions, pairs of actions—that can then be recombined in a systematic way. We suggest that contentious episode analysis holds out the promise to go beyond the narrative approach by infusing it with the rigor and explicitness, while maintaining a dynamic quality. At the same time, CEA aims to move beyond a narrow focus on protest activities by challengers by incorporating into the analysis a broader set of action repertoires by a broader set of actors.
In the Print published article, the funding source was missed in the acknowledgements section. The correct acknowledgement is given in the paper.
A widely neglected phenomenon consists in the fact that large population segments in many countries confuse the absence of democracy with its presence. Significantly, these are also the countries where widespread support for democracy coexists with persistent deficiencies in the latter, including its outright absence. Addressing this puzzle, we introduce a framework to sort out to what extent national populations overestimate their regimes’ democratic qualities. We test our hypotheses applying multilevel models to about 93,000 individuals from 75 countries covered by the cross-cultural World Values Surveys. We find that overestimating democracy is a widespread phenomenon, although it varies systematically across countries. Among a multitude of plausible influences, cognitive stimuli and emancipative values work together as a psychologically activating force that turns people against overestimating democracy. In fact, this psychological activation not only reduces overestimations of democracy; it actually leads toward underestimations, thus increasing criticality rather than accuracy in assessments. We conclude that, by elevating normative expectations, psychological activation releases prodemocratic selection pressures in the evolution of regimes.
Do voters punish governments more severely during international economic crises or do they discount exogenous shocks as they recognize the government’s limited “room of manoeuvre”? The current literature provides conflicting answers to this question. This study argues that in such contexts citizens’ economic perceptions are less likely to predict their sanctioning behavior but that, nonetheless, governments experience a higher cost of ruling. We show that in the paradigmatic case of Italy, government popularity during the Great Recession, while being hardly explained by economic evaluations, suffers a stronger decline as a function of time in office. We account for this increased cost of ruling by economic policy debates and other political events, such as cabinet crises and large-scale scandals.
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.
This article considers the “territoriality” of civic institutions. Is the “frontier thesis” – according to which areas of new settlement exhibit higher levels of individualism, political activism, and civic organisation – a description only of the western United States, or is it a manifestation of a more generalisable phenomenon found in other global frontier regions? In order to do this, we examine data on the nature of civic institutions in frontier zones in four countries: Brazil, Russia, Canada and the USA. Taking a wide range of survey items, we find that voluntary activity, social trust, tolerance of outgroups, and civic protest are not unique to the American historical experience, but generalised legacies of frontier life. We suggest that the experience of settlement is conducive to the formation of norms of community solidarity and cooperation, and this observation should encourage a new wave of comparative frontier studies.
We measured if a gamified design of a web survey can improve accuracy in understanding of risk and risk calculation among adolescents aged 11–15 years. We collected data from 213 respondents. They were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions: a traditional web survey and a gamified web survey (gamified design). The gamified design increased risk understanding and accuracy in risk calculation in cognitively demanding questions. A positive effect of the gamified design varied depending on the risk literacy of the participants. In addition, the gamified design increased perception of risk as more serious and at the same time slightly decreased the ratio-bias effect (the effect with a larger denominator producing higher risk evaluation than a smaller denominator).
The article examines two important aspects of data quality in self-completion surveys of young people, taking advantage of a unique data source: Understanding Society: the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study. Young persons aged 10–15 are asked to complete a self-administered paper questionnaire at annual intervals. The number of completed interviews varies over waves from 4,049 to 5,020. Data are also collected from parents, providing important explanatory covariates for our analysis. Stronger parent-child relationship and higher mother’s involvement in education were associated with lower item nonresponse rate and lower inconsistency throughout waves. We also found some evidence for a negative panel conditioning effect with an increase of social desirability bias and measurement errors in the subsequent waves. There was a higher level of inconsistent responses and a higher probability of social desirability bias throughout waves in more sensitive items.
This paper aims to explain the alternation of phases in the Soviet nationalities policy through developments in foreign policy, demonstrating the alternation of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ waves. Drawing upon Randall Collins’ geopolitical theory within a broader historical macrosociology perspective, I examine the effect of geopolitical tensions on the patterns of nationalities policy. Collins argues that geopolitical stability positively affects multiculturalism, while periods of geopolitical tension are associated with assimilation. I test Collins’ theory using a dataset on USSR engagement in international conflicts between 1926 and 1991. The results conform to our theoretical expectations: international security issues have a significant effect on Soviet nationalities policy.