CHANGE OF REGIME
This issue, entitled Change of Regime, focuses on the analysis of various forms and mechanisms of transition from authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. This task has become highly relevant in the last decade when the optimistic hypothesis of "transition" as a linear process of going from authoritarianism to a consolidated democracy collapsed under the weight of experience. In quite a few countries, including Russia, there have developed "hybrid regimes" combining democratic administrative procedures and mechanisms and authoritarian ones. In the absence of a generally recognized theoretical model of regime transition, the analysis of the historical experience of regime change in individual countries and transformation of individual institutions — which is the focus in this issue — acquires particular importance.
FAILURE OF TRANSITOLOGY
Philippe C. Schmitter. Reflections on "Transitology" — Before and After
The noted American political scientist opens his article with an overview of the main themes and ideas of the book Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies (1986), which he wrote in collaboration with Guillermo O'Donnell. The book examines situations in which transition begins, possible scenarios of the development of events, factors and paths of transition, the impact of the international context, and the significance of the political entity in which transition occurs. This is followed by a discussion of the corrective amendments that life itself has introduced in transitologists' initial concepts over the last quarter of a century and then some.
Galina Mikhalyova. Regime Transitions: Main Transitological Concepts
The article addresses the best-known theoretical and methodological approaches, which emerged at different periods of time, to the analysis of the causes and course of regime transitions and the chances for the strengthening of democratic institutions and guarantees of returning to autocracy at each of the phases of liberalization and democratization, and also the characteristics of the democracy consolidation phase. The author examines systemic, structural and cultural approaches, the actors' action theory, and synthetic neo-constitutional theories.
Irina Busygina. "Convenient in Use": How the Russian Political Regime Proves Its Attractiveness
The article examines the thesis that the viability of the Russian political regime manifests itself, in particular, through keeping up an attractive image of itself. This strategy is one of the sources of the regime's stability: it demonstrates an ability, not expected by quite a few of its critics, to present itself as an imperfect yet the best of possible alternatives. As a result, firstly, the political reforming of the "new" authoritarianism is more difficult than it was before and, secondly, the launching of reforms is postponed in time, which automatically leads to a further piling up of problems.
Sergei Ryzhenkov. Dilemmas of Changes in Segmentary Societies: A Russian Projection
The article deals with problems of transformations of political regimes in segmentary (non-homogeneous) societies. It is the probability of development in Russia of a transformation process under pressure "from below" which makes this subject relevant. Based on a number of studies of transformations in nonhomogeneous societies, dilemmas are formulated which politicians have to resolve in the period of creating institutions of a new political regime. The success of democratization is more probable if, during that period: (1) the actors do not allow weakening of the center's administrative powers; (2) nationwide parties are the main political powers in the transition; (3) national elections are held prior to elections in the regions; and (4) the electoral system does not stimulate the politicization of ethnicity. Successful establishment of democracy does not mean that the problems related to non-homogeneity of society will be automatically solved, for the actors will continue bargaining over issues concerning ethnocultural differences; however, this will be happening in democratic political conditions.
THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS
Alexander Baunov. On the Role of Mythology in Political Processes
Science and philosophy emerged as a critique of myth, but they have not supplanted it and exist in parallel with myth. In today's Russia, people not only of conservative, loyalist and patriotic but also of liberal mindset think mythologically. Analyzing the main mythological constructions prevailing in modern Russian discourse, the author regards the conspiracy view of history as the most widespread and dangerous one. The conspiracy theory makes the world look complete and cozy even where it offers absolutely fantastic explanations. Members of the technological intelligentsia are fond of conspiracy theory versions, since in the technological world everything is "according to drawings," and this technological principle of material production can be easily extended to history. But history is not production. History is a realm of spontaneous cyclones and anticyclones.
Andrei Lankov. The General Has Done His Work, the General Can Go: The Rise and Fall of the "Dictatorship of Development" in South Korea
The article focuses on the events that led to the removal of the South Korean military regime from power in 1987. In 1961—1987, South Korea was a typical "dictatorship of development" characteristic of East Asia. Its military regimes succeeded in scoring record-breaking levels of economic growth. This, however, resulted in the emergence of a middle class, as well as the creation of a numerous politically active intelligentsia. In the course of time, it was these strata of society, whose very existence was made possible by the success of authoritarian modernization, that challenged the forces which had been so successful in carrying out this modernization.
Nikolai Silayev. Outsourced Democracy
The article focuses on the process of democratization in Georgia in the post-Soviet decades. The connection of this process is examined with the politico-economic model established in the country and changes in that model. The problem of democratization is placed in the context of the institutional capability of the state, the evolution of formal and informal institutions of enforcement and the transformation of trust networks. The contradictory influence of external factors on the process of democratization is analyzed.
Stefan Troebst. Lemkin and Lauterpacht: Pre-and Post-Holocaust Careers of Two International Lawyers from Lvov
The German historian provides a brief overview of the dissimilar lives of the two legal scholars of Jewish origin who enriched international law with the concepts of "genocide" and "crimes against humanity." The author is interested, in particular, in why and how their study at Lvov University in the period between the two world wars determined these lawyers' attention to the interests of the individual as opposed to the interests of the state.
Paloma Aguilar. Judiciary Involvement in Authoritarian Repression and Transitional Justice: The Spanish Case in Comparative Perspective
Why have some democracies made considerable progress in prosecuting dictatorship-era human rights violations or in publicly exposing the truth about repression while others still have amnesty laws that prevent, or at least hinder, even the judicial review of such abuses? This article compares Spain, Chile and Argentina to understand the impact of their contrasting histories of repression on how they have dealt with their violent pasts. The author assesses whether a greater degree of legal repression and direct judicial involvement in repression explains why there is more resistance to prosecuting those responsible for human rights violations, establishing truth commissions or annulling the political sentences of the past during democratization. Once democracy has been consolidated, different dynamics may emerge, but this history of judicial complicity has proved to be a key factor in understanding the continuous lack of judicial accountability in Spain.
Maria Snegovaya. Russian Neopatrimonialism and the Prospects for Democratization
The author believes the popular notion that the current Russian political system is similar to the bureaucratic authoritarian regimes that were widespread in Latin America in the second half of the 20th century to be wrong. In contrast to the mostly pro-modernization Latin American regimes, the Russian system is a reaction to the Yeltsin era modernization. The systems are also fundamentally different in terms of the characteristics of the main agent of changes (military juntas as opposed to a nomenklatura dominated by the former KGB), the type of bureaucratic elite and the system's relations with big business. On account of the distinctive features of the Russian system, it is not the bureaucratic authoritarian regimes of Latin America but neopatrimonial regimes particularly characteristic of the pre-capitalist countries of Equatorial Africa that appear to be its closest analogues. Accordingly, the conclusions concerning the prospects and specific features of the future democratization of the Russian authoritarian system are also different.
Susanne Buckley-Zistel. Reviewing the Past and Repairing Injustices: A Global Perspective
The article examines instruments normally used to overcome the consequences of a dictatorship or civil conflicts experienced by the country in the past such as tribunals, truth-finding commissions, memorization of the past, compensations, and lustration. The question is raised of how universal these instruments bearing an imprint of the liberal notions of guilt and punishment that have become established in the West actually are and of how they are to be used in countries with different cultures.
Yevgenia Lyozina. Memory, Identity, Political Culture, and Postwar West German Democracy
The analysis offered in the article centers on the problem of the relationship between the public attitude towards the Nazi past and the democratization of West German political culture. The society of the postwar FRG had for many years to revise the fundamentals of its national identity in the light of the consequences of the civilization gap caused by the Nazi dictatorship. As a result, the substance and content of the polemic around the problem of national self-determination in the West German context turned out to be inseparable from understanding the country's national history, above all the history of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. The article describes processes related to the transformation of the public attitude towards the National Socialist past influenced the establishment of democracy and the democratization of West German political culture.
Joachim Gauck. Construction Without Plan
A chapter from a book of memoirs by the former East German human rights activist, the current President of the FRG, who was Federal Commissioner in charge of the records of the former East German State Security Service (Stasi). In describing how access to the secret service archives was opened, Gauck gives special attention to the resolution of the acute conflict between the demands of justice and "revolutionary morals," on the one hand, and the need strictly to follow the principles of the rule of law, on the other.
Roland Jahn. "We Are Not Heralds of the Absolute Truth."
Nikita Sokolov, Managing Editor of Otechestvennye Zapiski, interviews Roland Jahn, Federal Commissioner Preserving the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives), about the aims and methods of his department's work. The interview also touches upon the question of applicability of such experience in other countries.
OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE
Otfried Hoffe. Does Democracy Still Have a Future?
This text is an introduction to the book Ist die Demokratie zukunfrsfahig? Uber moderne Politik
(Minchen: Verlag C. H. Beck, 2009) by the noted German philosopher Otfried Hoffe, a translation of which is being prepared at Delo Publishing House. The apparent impotence of the West's policy in the face of acute social, economic and ecological problems of a global character has undermined the faith of many people in democratic values. Basing himself on the premise that responsibility for the future is the main legitimizing condition of every state system, the author states that democratic regimes successfully withstand rivalry from autocratic regimes that are their alternatives. Thereby democracies demonstrate that they are capable of assuming responsibility for the future and thus legitimize themselves.
Kirill Velikanov. On Conventional, Direct and Electronic Democracy
The article offers an overview of the main concepts of e-democracy. Based on specific examples, an analysis is given of various approaches, methods and instruments aimed at significantly improving the existing institutions of (self-)organization of society and the state, making them more democratic, expanding the direct participation of citizens in public decision-making, and ultimately creating radically new institutions following the direct deliberative democracy paradigm that builds on and further develops the experience of ancient Athens.
Anna Krasteva. From the Post-Communist Citizen to the E-Citizen
The article provides an analysis of transformation of Bulgarian society from the state of universal "formal membership" of the Communist period via the enthusiasm of the early post-Communist years to the current dual state of the "citizen in the Net." The pathos of getting rich, the destruction of initial ideals, the development of a protest movement instead of the trade union movement, the radicalization of political populism, the Western project for Eastern Europe and its transformation are illustrated by the Bulgarian experience, yet parallels with Russia's post-Communist development are easily discernible.
Alexander Rubtsov. Formulas for an Outcome
In the author's opinion, the sharpest polemic in Russia occurs where a formula for a transition (way out, outcome) from the situation that has developed — progress plans and possible scenarios of development of events in case of implementation of some tactical programs or others — comes up explicitly or implicitly. Normally these scenario constructions are not only not presented expressly in a debate but are not even thought through at all by those in dispute, remaining a vague prognostic background which nevertheless determines many things. Yet bifurcation logic, to which the political process now seems to be subject, places the "black box," in principle concealing dynamic causal relationships, between small input signals and avalanche output effects. In entering such a process, it is the idea of variation rather than that of selection which is important. Scenarios should rather be explored as a spectrum of options so that participants in the process and stakeholders could orient themselves in outcome patterns, choose those acceptable to themselves and begin to negotiate, bargain and set up coalitions. In all likelihood, there is no need to write a new, "non-authoritarian" constitution. The norms blocking authoritarianism and dictatorship should be unpacked, revealing their meaning and operationalizing the procedures for enforcing them and punishments for their non-observance, rather than reshaped. In politics, the observance of the results of such unpacking should be enforced by reliance on the current law.
THE LAST ARGUMENT: CONTINUING THE TALK
Boris Yudin. Death in the Age of High Technologies
Turning to the history of medicine, the author shows that doctors for many centuries avoided contacts with dying patients. It was only in the mid-19th century that, in response to the panic over premature burials panic that seized society, that the situation began to change, and soon medical certification became required for pronouncing the death of a patient. This institutional contact of a doctor with a dying patient prompted medical people to try and prolong the life of a dying person so as to postpone the hour of death as much as possible. As a result, death became an increasingly regulated process and its advent became a consequence of decisions made by doctors. This technologization of the process of dying was an essential prerequisite for the development of transplantation of vital organs — the heart, the lungs, the liver, etc.
THE LAND OF OZ
Malcolm Muggeridge. The Result of Immersion
OZ introduces the reader to excerpts from the book Chronicles of Wasted Time by the English journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, one of the greatest in the 20th century. Chronologically, this philosophic autobiography covers the period from the turn of the past century to the first few years after the end of World War II; the author, however, often includes flash-forwards to later periods of his life as well. Despite the great popularity of the book in the West, its translation into the Russian language has been made only now. It will soon be brought out by a Moscow publisher.
Dmitry Tolstolutsky, Tatiana Syomina. Nature. Power. Man. The Problem of Survival
The journal continues to publish essays by participants in the competition of historical research papers by senior high school students "Man in History: Russia, 20th Century," annually conducted by the International Society "Memorial." The essay Nature. Power. Man. The Problem of Survival by students of School No. 23 of the settlement of Krasnogornyatsky, Oktyabrsky District, Rostov Region, won a prize at the 14th Competition, which was finalized in May 2013. Drawing on archival materials, the authors trace the events in the life one man and his family between 1887 and 1944, reflecting, as if in a mirror, the history of the whole country.
Andrei Olkhovatov. British Sailors in the Russian North during World War I
The article features some of the aspects of the daily activity of the British Arctic Squadron during World War I. The squadron was assigned to defend the sea transportation routes connecting the north of Russia with the countries of the Entente, in the first place, with Britain. The article is based on memoir literature with emphasis on the everyday life of British sailors in the conditions of the Russian North.
Alexei Muraviev. A Century-Long Social Elevator
Ye. M. Yukhimenko. The Rakhmanovs: Old Believer Merchants, Philanthropists and Collectors. Moscow: TONCHU Publishing House, 2013, 518 pp.
This new book by Yelena Yukhimenko, leading research fellow at the State Historical Museum, is devoted to the Rakhmanovs, a family of entrepreneurs who inscribed several pages in the history of Russian business. The book is based on documents and archival photographs collected by the researcher. Offering a detailed reconstruction of the life of the Rakhmanov family, the book answers the question of who the Russian Old Believers are, what they aimed and strove for and what role they played in the establishment of capitalism in Russia in the early 20th century. In this book, the reader will find not just records of several generations of this famous Old Believer family but a true chronicle reflecting the history of Russia through the prism of family life.
Vasily Kostyrko. A Review of the Books:
Michael Tomasello. Istoki chelovecheskogo obshcheniya [Origins of Human Communication]. Translated from the English by M. V. Falikman, Ye. V. Pechenkova, M. V. Sinitsyna, Anna A. Kibrik, and A. I. Karpukhina. Moscow: Yazyki Slavyanskikh Kultur, 2011, 328 pp.
I. A. Melchuk. Yazyk: otsmysla k tekstu [Language: From Meaning to Text]. Moscow: Yazyki Slavyanskoi Kultury, 2012, 176 pp.
Ye. N. Panov. Paradoks nepreryvnosti: Yazykovoi rubikon: O nepreodolimoi propasti mezhdu kom-munikatsiyei u zhivotnykh i yazykom cheloveka [The Continuity Paradox: The Language Rubicon: On the Unbridgeable Gulf between Animal Communication and Human Language]. Moscow: Yazyki Slavyanskikh Kultur, 2012, 456 pp.
The review features a series of books on the origin and organization of language brought out by the Yazyki Slavyanskoi Kultury publishing house. In our own day, the study of this problem presupposes mandatory use of data of ethology — the scientific study of the natural instincts of man and animals, namely, a comparison of the principles underlying animal communication systems and human language and at least an approximate assessment of their possible kinship.
For this reason, the review includes the work by I. A. Melchuk, which is a popular exposition of the Meaning-Text theory developed by the author. The work very laconically depicts the properties distinguishing human language from animal signals — the presence of meaning in linguistic units, which makes it possible to speak about what cannot be seen and what cannot be pointed at, morphology, syntax, etc.
The studies of the origin of language present different points of view. Michael Tomasello believes that observations over the gesture communication of chimpanzees and infants make it possible to shed light on certain preconditions of the emergence of language. The latter, according to the author, is impossible without altruistic behavior and the ability to share the intentions of the communication partner. Tomasello endeavors to prove that language in our ancestors was preceded by gestures, since apes use them for making a personal contact and infants master gestures before they master language.
Yevgeny Panov focuses attention on the differences between language and animal communication systems, which, in his opinion, are wrongly described by contemporary ethologists. Animal signals are devoid of meaning in the linguistic sense: they only make it possible to draw attention to what is already present, and the reactions of other members of the same biological species are set by the context. According to the author, it was not in the course of gradual evolution of animal communication systems but as a result of a steplike transformation of biological structures most likely related to the development of consciousness that language emerged.