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 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.
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.
The purpose of the article is to analyze the social competitiveness of young people in the context of their ideas about their socio-cultural environment. The socio-cultural environment in the study is represented by the respondents’ perceptions about the predominance of a certain type of society at three levels: Russia as a whole, the region, the enterprise (educational institution). The social competitiveness of young people has only scarcely been studied by sociologists. In the article, this phenomenon is seen as the ability of social actors to achieve their goals in a society in the conditions of competition with other people. The empirical basis of this research is a representative survey, conducted in 2016 in the Krasnoyarsk Territory using formalized interviews among 1000 respondents. The article shows that the most competitive youth are those who perceive their socio-cultural macro environment (Russian society) as either pre-industrial, feudal or industrial, capitalistic one. It is established that there are two opposing in their meaning forms of the moral and value environment of the young people in the region, each of which ensures the high social competitiveness of a certain part of the youth. In particular, the socio-cultural environment of the competitiveness of young people corresponds to the contemporary state of Russian society. On the contrary, many adult actors continue to live in the socio-cultural context of the past era. It is concluded that the socio-cultural environment of the activity is specific for various social actors, and the identification of mechanisms of determination of social success is a promising area for further research.
The primary elections of United Russia party serve as a tool for party organization and voter mobilization. In the run-up to the 2016 national legislative elections, the strength of United Russia’s regional political machines was tested in a massive campaign of intra-party elections. This study traces the history United Russia’s primaries in 2007-2011, which allows for arriving at a better understanding of the multiple roles played by quasi-democratic institutions in an authoritarian political context. On the basis of these findings, we employ United Russia’s capacity to mobilize voter turnout in primary elections as an indirect indicator of the strength of party-controlled political machines. Our analysis of the results of the 2016 Duma elections in 83 regions of Russia demonstrates voter turnout in the spring 2016 party primaries of United Russia to a significant extent explain cross-regional variation in party success.
: This paper focuses on transformations of gender attitudes in a set of Arab societies covered by the Arab Barometer. We analyze age and cohort differences in thirteen countries using generalized additive modeling (GAM). We argue that stagnation or even retrogression of gender attitudes revealed by our analysis in some societies may be caused partly by an ideological shift of the 1970sand 1980s, from largely secular and socialist-oriented national movements of the 1950s and 1960s to the more conservative period often associated with the rise of political Islam. On the other hand, the youngest cohorts in those societies that have long promoted conservative gender attitudes are getting somewhat more liberal, although they remain slightly less gender egalitarian compared to other societies.
We test our assumptions using the example of Yemen. The current territory of that country used to exist in 2 separate states between 1967 and 1990: the South supported by the Soviet Union and the North influenced by Saudi Arabia and the Western bloc. We trace the support for gender egalitarianism across generations in the two parts of Yemen and show that the secular socialist ideology made a profound imprint on the attitudes of a whole generation and made those who were in their twenties back in the 1960s more egalitarian than the young people these days. The same is true, to varying extent, for the other countries of the region that had some socialist experience.
This review highlights sociological approaches to the definition and measurement of cultural consumption. Studies regarding this issue are based on the supposition that cultural preferences depend on social position and, therefore, reflect social structure. Nevertheless, despite the long history of cultural consumption research and the existence of numerous studies addressing this topic, the notion is still vague. Several approaches may be found in the literature. Cultural consumption is analyzed as a part of lifestyle that is dependent on class structure. This framework is related to the distinction between highbrow and lowbrow activities and tastes, where each set of choices is only relevant for a particular class. Criticism and further development of this approach is related to the reevaluation of both the structure of cultural consumption and the basis for distinction. More recent studies have addressed not only the symbolic value of cultural products but have also looked at the range of cultural preferences and the intensity of cultural activities. Along with this, papers tackling the modes of cultural consumption are also present. However, existing papers vary in terms of employing these approaches. On the one hand, the definitions are different; studies analyze practices, tastes, or experiences. On the other hand, researchers use different variables and scales to measure cultural consumption.
The objective of the paper is to reveal сross-country and gender differences in values and the actualization of three achievement motives across the world: namely, high earnings, career growth and interesting work. Achievement motivation contributes to improving the quality of work and thus contributes to both the growth of the welfare of the worker and the economic growth of the country. In previous studies, it was shown that the achievement motives are more widespread among men, and it is easier for men to put these motives into practice. At the same time, it is expected that in countries with high levels of individualism, GDP per capita and gender equality, women would show more interest toward work and thus have more desire to achieve. In our work, we have tested this hypothesis. The International Social Survey Program (2015) serves as a dataset, and the sample includes the employees. Multi-level logistic regression analysis showed that the motives for high income and career growth are more important for men, while the motive of interesting work is of higher significance for women. However, interesting work is more important for women in almost all countries, whereas higher importance of income and career motivation for men is observed only in some countries. At the same time, the motives for high income and a good career are more attractive to men than women, and there was no gender difference in the realization of the motive for interesting work. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, the gender gap, both in the importance of high income and career growth and in the success of their realization turned out to be higher in countries with high levels of individualism, GDP per capita and gender equality than in less wealthy countries with opposite characteristics. Thus, higher rates of individualism, economic well-being and gender equality do not necessarily lead to the like-mindedness of men and women in achievement motives and the equality of their opportunities in the labor market.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the role of the concept of “revolution” in the modern left discourse. Using the method of theoretical reduction, K.Chmel identifies three main currents in the modern left thought that determine the approaches of the left to the revolution in the context of the contemporary state of the world of politics and allude to such canonical left-wing philosophers as K.Marx, M.Heidegger and B.Spinoza. His hypothesis is that the failure of the left to define revolution stems from the lack of an adequate conceptual apparatus. If earlier the right had to borrow from the language of the left, today the opposite is true, and “constructions” of the left, in fact, do not go beyond the reaction to the victorious neoliberalism. Even the methods of the struggle of the left for their agenda are dominated by the system of liberal democracy rather than by the ideas formulated by the left movement itself. This applies not only to the electoral resistance in the form of elections, but also to non-electoral resistance, the highest form of which is protests with a limited negative agenda. As a result, there is no place for revolution with its pathos of liberation and radical social transformations either at the level of theory or in practice. According to the author, the reasons for the inability of the modern left political thought to define revolution in the context of the contemporary state of the world politics lie in the refusal of the left to turn to the concepts with a positive tone and their reorientation towards the strategy of providing a response to the dominant right political project.
This paper discusses the success factors of self-nominees at the municipal level of today’s Russian politics. Based on the empirical data from the elections to the representative bodies of Russia’s regional administrative centers held in 2014–2018, it is shown that the electoral performance of independent candidates was directly dependent on their bargains with local branches of the United Russia party. We also discovered a connection between the electoral success of self-nominated candidates and a number of their personal characteristics, in particular, the presence of incumbent status, the possession of a high level of education, and the presence of administrative, social or economic capital at their disposal. The results indicate that, on the one hand, the success of self-nominees at the municipal level depends on agreements with pro-regime political forces, which is consistent with the logic of the political process in electoral authoritarian regimes. On the other hand, even in conditions of limited competition, those candidates having solid status attractive for voters will have more chances for being elected.
The literature on group differences and social identities has long assumed that value judgments about groups constitute a basic form of social categorization. However, little research has empirically investigated how values unite or divide social groups. The authors seek to address this gap by developing a novel measure of group values: third-order beliefs about in- and out-group members, building on Schwartz value theory. The authors demonstrate that their new measure is a promising empirical tool for quantifying previously abstract social boundaries. Results from a midwestern sample show an important dichotomy such that in-groups were attributed the more positive and altruistic transcendence and openness values, while out-groups were associated conservation and enhancement, the value domains revolving around a self-focus and social restraint. Furthermore, religious attendance and political ideology also emerged as strong predictors of value boundaries, whereas socioeconomic indicators were less influential. Significance and implications are discussed.
Quality of life and one’s subjective evaluation of one’s own happiness and well-being are the conventional focus of psychology and sociology. However, a genetic factor has recently been found to affect the subjective evaluation of well-being. The contribution of heredity to a personal level of happiness and life satisfaction has been estimated at 30–50% in twin studies. Individual genes associated with these traits have been identified, but the available data are rather discrepant. In this work, alleles of the monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) were tested for association with well-being components, such as happiness, health, dangers of living environment, and stress, in Russian men. Trait assessments were based on questionnaires filled out as part of the World Values Survey. It is shown that, among the uVNTR-3R allele carriers, the proportion of men who have high levels of stress, feel unhappy, and live in unsafe environments is lower. The results are discussed in the context of the gene plasticity concept, which provides a possible explanation for how expression of genes related to behavior changes in different environmental conditions.
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.
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.
Authoritarian regimes differ by the degree to which the leader is constrained in his ability to influence the decision-making process. It has been argued that unlimited executive can either lead to adverse economic policy outcomes or improve economic performance. In this work, I reassess the effect of executive constraints on economic performance. While most of the previous research in this area focuses on regime typologies, I use observable indicators of power personalisation in 90 autocratic countries from 1960-2010 and estimate their effect on economic performance. I focus on power concentration, the extent of the decision-making power of chief executives and leaders’ ability to dismiss the elites form political institutions as the indicators for measuring leaders’ ability to influence the decision-making process. I discover that countries, where leaders are able to stay in office longer and are able to change the cabinet, concentrate more power in their hands and tend to be more opportunistic. The results imply that strong leaders establish such power-sharing mode that allows them to act in a self-interest way.
The paper is devoted to the issue to what extent mass media produces strong attitudes in an authoritarian political environment. A growing body of research scrutinize how contemporary autocracies use media to promote legitimizing messages and undermine opposition. This study contributes to the literature by showing whether public opinion formed under authoritarianism is strong in the face of counter-framing. While Russian state-owned TV-channels extensively promoted the idea that Donald Trump’s victory will be positive for Russian-American relations, we run an experimental study with various treatments. We revealed two major findings: (1) participants are strongly exposed to counter-framing, (2) those who watch news on state-owned TV-channels are more susceptible to the counter-framing effect.
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).