Not only in totalitarian societies is the economy subordinate to ideology. Socialism, conservatism, and liberalism are certain sets of ideological, political, and economic programs.
If elites continue to encourage the racist demagogues of the right, they will live in societies fundamentally transformed beyond their control. Where unpredictable authoritarian leaders take power, elites can lose their liberties and ultimately even their wealth.
For the majority of neo-modernists the question of democracy and authoritarianism is drifting into the background, giving way to an issue they consider much more important, namely the border between order and chaos in international relations.
Aiming to spread democracy, the U.S. has meddled in foreign countries’ politics for decades. Russia just returned the favor.
Like any ideology, patriotism comes along with an illusion of being part of “a big common cause.” However, illusion here is not deception, but an objective necessity, something that has to be hidden for society to continue to exist and at the same time adequately conceived at a conscious level.
In the future, a duumvirate may emerge in Central Asia, in which China will provide investment and resources, and Russia will contribute security and geopolitical stability.
Despite its deep crisis of identity, spawned by nihilistic elites who are both unable to give a sense to existence and to act in favour of the common good, France is marked by a discreet renewal.
As the European Union hangs in the balance, both sides seem to be thinking of past golden ages instead of planning for the future.
If there is anything the last two years should have taught us, it is that the unthinkable can happen — separatism, disintegration, even wars — and that it can happen very quickly.
The policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are typically viewed as the determining factor for everything that happens within or in connection with Turkey. And, doubtless, a president with such a single-minded desire for power, glory and a place in history does have a significant impact on a country’s course. However, Turkey is an example of how the world is changing in general, and objective factors play a no-less-crucial role than subjective ones in that process.
Since July 2014, when Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down over the Donbas, the European Union has demonstrated an unprecedented level of solidarity with Ukraine that extends far beyond macroeconomic and technical assistance.
The Valdai Discussion Club hosted the 5th meeting of the Valdai Middle East dialogue, «The Middle East: From Violence to Security.» The following is a summary of the discussions and conclusions reached by its participants.
The very idea of “the national” takes a peculiar form in Russia. The nation’s intellectual and political elites obstinately look away from grassroots concerns and demands, and focus instead on a set of “eternal Russian questions”.
In the fall of 2015, Russia resolved to raise the stakes in Syria by launching an air campaign at the request of Damascus.
U.S. policymakers confront a paradox in Eurasian politics: more pluralistic Central Asian states are more prone than the region’s solidly authoritarian states to ethno-nationalist violence.
Faced with a crisis, the Russian authorities are trying to convince their people that all of Russia’s troubles come from abroad, but its main battles are also won there.
How long can the degradation of the Soviet empire, which started in 1962, continue? Pulling through hardships with minimal losses while avoiding making the same mistakes, is the immediate task that Russia is facing and with which it is able to cope.
A majority of people in the Middle East either share extremely conservative views regarding democracy and women’s rights, or feel the need for political and social reform and call such aspirations “democracy,” while real knowledge of how democracy works is still rudimentary.
With the growing undercurrent of instability and severe pressure from the West, the Russian government has only further consolidated its control
China is still overall a global free-rider on a system whose original creators and beneficiaries cannot now afford to maintain without help. The question that cannot now be answered is what price the West and the U.S. in particular will be prepared to pay for help.
Instead of chauvinism and chaos Russia needs a third alternative. And that is a combination of moderate patriotism and moderate liberalism manifesting itself in the commitment to freer life by law, without corruption, but with mature self-government.
We have almost forgotten that politics should have a value component (the fascination with perestroika proved to be short-lived). The absence of value guidelines beyond accounts of benefits and costs turns politics into a nasty parody of itself and deprives it of power and functionality.
Ethnic nationalism cannot be a strategic ally of the forces interested in Russia’s modernization. Realizing the impossibility of a purely elitist modernization, these forces will inevitably need mass support and national consolidation. Consequently, they will need nationalism, although of a different strain – the civic one.
If the Arab Spring were to bring about meaningful changes to Arab societies, what is needed is a political order that is not only democratic but also inclusive. To be credible, the Arab world, including its Islamists, will have to tread the long and painful path of consensus building. This method is inclusive and hence more enduring than electoral democracy.
The human rights debates, which have been high in the past two decades, have proven futile. They increasingly make it clear that it is impossible to change attitudes that are enrooted in centuries-old specific cultural, religious, and other underpinnings.
The paradox of the modern world is that democratization of society has ironically led to voters' loss of power and the rise of social inequality while globalization liberated the elites but deprived them of legitimacy and capacity to govern.
Changes are sweeping the world, denying opportunities for the countries to focus on anything in earnest. They have only time to react to new and unexpected twists and turns, but no time to contemplate and devise strategies.
The presidential campaign in Iran got underway on April 21. No matter how events unfold in the Middle East, one thing is certain: Iran will remain at the center.
The elites tended to overestimate the potential and prospects of the protests; the opposition leaders underestimated the possible effects of their actions. This was the background against which political developments unfolded in 2012. And there is no reason to expect that anything will change fundamentally in the upcoming months.
Notwithstanding Russia’s specificity, it is high time to remove religion from federal authority and include religious communities in the system of institutions that constitute civil society.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In the old days coal miners took a caged canary down into mines. If the canary suddenly dropped dead, that meant that the deadly gas, carbon monoxide, was slowly seeping into the shaft... An order of magnitude increase in killing rampages in America over the last several decades is like canaries suddenly starting to drop dead all around us. It is an early indicator of much worse troubles to come.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.