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This edited volume addresses the set of politically challenging issues that the advent of populist movements raised for individual nation states and the whole Europe.
Based on critical engagements with the extant scholarship in comparative politics, political philosophy, international relations, regional studies and critical geopolitics, this collection of chapters offers the interpretation of the contemporary populism as illiberal nationalism, and underscores its deeply political challenge to the post-political core of the EU project. The contributors discuss the deep transformations within the fabric of contemporary European societies that makes scholars rethink the post-Cold War hegemonic understanding of liberal democracy as the dominant paradigm destined to expand from its traditional hotbed in the West to other regions. This edited volume intends to stretch analysis beyond the conventional accounts of populism as an anti-elite and extra-institutional appeal to the general public for the sake of its mobilization against incumbent power holders, and look for more nuanced meanings inherent to this term.
The chapters in this book were originally published in European Politics and Society and the Journal of Contemporary European Studies.
The COVID-19 crisis has provided an opportunity to re-evaluate how the federal relations work in authoritarian Russia. In particular, the crisis has confirmed that the regional governors are an integral part of maintaining the stability of the nondemocratic regime. Since the whole system and thus, the political careers of the incumbent governors depend on Putin’s popularity, they are interested in maintaining it, even at the expense of their own popularity with the population. In Spring 2020 the regional governors have demonstrated both loyalty and willingness to shield Putin from political responsibility for unpopular measures associated with the epidemic.
The interaction between Russia and Gulf countries represents the story of ups and downs, severe conflicts and sharp warmings that can largely be explained by the permanently changing role and place of each of these players at the global and Middle Eastern political arenas. After Russia's “return” to the Middle East in 2012–2015, Moscow's foreign policy towards the Gulf can be explained in terms of a bargaining strategy. On the one hand, Russia is trying to underline its importance and relevance to the GCC by putting forward diplomatic and political initiatives. The Kremlin uses its direct or indirect presence in the key regional conflicts such as the Syrian, Libyan and Yemeni civil wars as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear issue. On the other hand, Russia is interested in building up stronger economic cooperation with the GCC, drawing bigger volumes of investments from the Gulf to Russia’s broken economy, as well as coordinating efforts with Saudi Arabia in the global oil market. While, in the near future, the qualitative evolution of Russia’s relations with the GCC is hardly possible, there are still options for their deepening within the current level of interaction between Moscow and the Gulf.
Tajikistan is one of the main migrant origin countries in the post-Soviet space, with about one million labour migrants living and working in Russia. The country also represents one of the most remittance-dependent economies in the world. By exploring how and why the Tajik government has been seeing and engaging with labour migrants since 1991, this article analyses the development of emigration policy in this country. In doing so, the article proposes to de-reify the state and account for complex policy processes, with many actors directly and indirectly involved in both policy-making and implementation. Four aspects are analysed: shifts occurring in emigration policy-making over time and under the influence of different domestic actors; the actual assistance offered to labour migrants; the impact of Russia as the main host country; and the influence of international organisations in the context of the nascent global migration governance. This complex environment explains why over time Tajikistan’s emigration policy moved from a laissez-faire phase, through a proactive, then a “messy”, to a reactive one; why the Tajik authorities have followed often contradictory pathways of (non)involvement with labour migrants; and why there is a distinction between declared policies and informal practices performed by the state.
The chapter overviews the development of the EU-Russia cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). Taking as a starting point the agreement to create the four common spaces in 2003, including the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice, the paper traces how the incorporation of the visa-free regime prospects into the Road Map for the Common Space has had a lasting impact on all further collaborative attempts before the freeze of cooperation in early 2014. Being an instance of policy conditionality which the EU often applies to the countries whose membership prospects are off the table, visa waiver prospects has restructured relations between the EU and Russia from being equitable (as initially presupposed by the common spaces) to strictly hierarchical. Moreover, with time passing by the EU was able to use this instrument not only in relation to the areas of cooperation directly linked to visa arrangements but also to the issues of security and justice which had been initially left to the network governance approach in the Road Map – a subtler and less hierarchical mode of the EU external governance. This creeping approach reached its climax in late 2013 when the Commission stopped hiding its resolve to use policy conditionality and coupled it with the value-loaded rhetoric of classical political conditionality, effectively bringing the cooperation on the verge of a stalemate. Paradoxically, the major breakthroughs in EU-Russia cooperation in JHA owe exactly to this policy conditionality whereas the network governance mode has borne almost no fruit to this day.
This book examines the projects of administrative and territorial reconstruction of Arab countries as an aftermath of the “Arab Spring”. Additionally, it looks into an active rethinking of the former unitary model, linked by its critics with dictatorship and oppression.
The book presents decentralization or even federalization as newly emerging major topics of socio-political debate in the Arab world. As the federalist recipes and projects are specific and the struggle for their implementation has a pronounced variation, different case studies are presented. Countries discussed include Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
The book looks into the background and prerequisites of the federalist experiments of the “Arab Spring”, describes their evolution and current state, and assesses the prospects for the future. It is, therefore, a must-read for scholars of political science, as well as policy-makers interested in a better understanding of previous and current developments in the Arab countries.
The research studies the features of coverage of the Syrian conflict by Russian media. In scientific discourse, there are a number of works studying the information support for the civil war in Syria, which is explained by its specificity – a multilateral, multi-level protracted conflict creates an opportunity for a varied interpretation of events and causal relationships. The way events in Syria are presented in various regions of Russia is of particular interest. In the course of this study, a database of media articles, both federal and regional (Dagestan, Tatarstan, Chechnya), was collected. The articles were then analyzed from the point of view of the prevailing semantic codes, which made it possible to identify how the Syrian conflict is framed, as well as the similarities and differences of different regions’ frames.
This article examines intra-regional (‘home-grown’) and externally-driven (‘imported’) frameworks of regional migration
governance in post-Soviet Eurasia. It argues that whether regional migration governance originates from internal or external sources makes an important difference. It shows that intra-regional migration governance develops around economic rationality, whereas externally-driven regional migration governance tends to prioritise linkages between migration and security and, albeit less systematically, issues of migrants’ rights. The article demonstrates how intra-regional migration governance started to emerge as part of regional integration processes, becoming institutionalised within organisations such as the Eurasian Economic Union. It also shows how alternative versions of regional migration governance have been promoted by international organisations via, in particular, Regional Consultative Processes. It concludes with a reflection on competition and complementarity between these partially overlapping regimes of regional migration governance in Eurasia.
The article studies the influence of the Arab Spring on the rise of terrorist activity in countries of the Sahel. For decades this region has been one of the most unstable in Africa and in the Afrasian instability zone. However, in the 2010s the Sahel experienced unprecedented growth of terrorist activity: by 2015 the number of terror attacks in the region had multiplied 7 times in comparison with 2010 statistics. The aim of this research is to find factors and mechanisms of terrorism’s spread in the region with quantitative methods. Conducted analysis has shown that there are several trajectories of the Arab Spring’s influence on terrorist activity in the Sahel. For instance, collapse of government structures in Libya during Arab Spring was a trigger for activation of Tuareg and Islamist terrorist movements in Mali and Niger. In Chad sudden rise of terrorist attacks is connected to so called “ISIS factor” when groups pledging allegiance to ISIS (like Boko Haram) aim to prove their ability to fight and to be “useful”. Finally, in Burkina Faso revolutionaries were able to repeat a classic Arab Spring scenario of 2011 and to overthrow the regime of Blaise Compaoré. However, the fall of an authoritarian regime in Burkina Faso in 2014, just like in Libya, Yemen, or Egypt, has led to the inability of new government to guarantee security. As a result, a previously very calm and peaceful nation experienced explosive rise of terrorist attacks.
The chapter traces and explains responses to deinstitutionalisation reforms in the Russian regions. Three parallel policy shifts are taken into account: deinstitutionalisation (DI), public sector reform, and social provision reform. Considered together, they shed light on the logic behind childcare reform implementation at the regional level in the broader context of social policy transformations in Russia. Taking a neo-institutional perspective, the chapter studies compliance and resistance as two types of responses to the federal demand to introduce a new institutional design. Three institutional changes are in focus: (1) the restructuring of public providers with an emphasis on support services and the temporary placement of children; (2) changes to which ministries are in charge of alternative care; and (3) downsizing public sector agents traditionally responsible for this type of care and outsourcing social services to NGOs. The chapter seeks to identify regions that either comply with or resist these reforms, exploring how regional contexts explain variation in responses. The chapter’s empirical analysis reveals regional patterns of resistance and compliance as well as exceptional cases and the socioeconomic contexts which account for them.
This book analyses the threats to academic freedom in the twenty-first century across the globe, and the various ways to face them.
PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Scholars of international relations and Russian politics actively debate whether some “grand strategy” underpins Russian foreign policy choices in the Putin era. For instance, prominent American military historian Williamson Murray argues that President Vladimir Putin has proven himself a masterful tactician who “maneuvers in the present with little regard for the future” and lacks a strategic vision. Andrew Monaghan at Chatham House emphasizes that an analysis of strategy involves “attempting to see all parts of the whole and how they relate to each other. Thus, a full discussion of Russian strategy might involve the exploration of a wide range of evolving, detailed issues—economic, military, social, and political.”
In point of fact, attempts to rebuild an image of Russia as a “great power” have led to the reduction of Russian influence in the post-Soviet region. In particular, the more Russia has acted as a “great power,” the less credible has been its promise to respect the national sovereignty of the former Soviet republics, the less reason the latter have had to trust Russia. Without trust, it is challenging, if not impossible, to sustain influence. The main problem of all post-Soviet integration projects is that Russia cannot commit credibly. Specifically, an approach to integration based on (relatively) equitable relations within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) (similar to the EU model) has very low chances of success. Because the partners do not trust Russia, they insist on integration projects that are limited at best. Russia is more likely to be successful in using asymmetric bilateral bargains than the multilateral institutions to dominate in the post-Soviet region.
Non-beverage alcohol was a major cause of preventable mortality of working-age males in Izhevsk (Russia) in 2003–2004. The Russian government has since taken measures to reduce availability of non-beverage alcohol. Yet, some types of non-beverage alcohol still remain available for consumers. The aim of this study was to assess the availability and sources of non-beverage alcohol in Udmurtia.
A survey of adults on the streets of Izhevsk and its environs was performed on workdays to assess non-beverage drinking patterns in 2018. The questionnaire included questions about socio-demographic status and alcohol use, including non-beverage alcohol consumption and drinking patterns.
One hundred and sixty-eight people were questioned, of whom, 28% reported consuming non-beverage alcohol. Non-beverage alcohol consumers were more likely to be single, unemployed or retired, younger or older than 19–29 years, have lower educational status and income, have hangovers and drink moonshine.
Non-beverage alcohol consumption still took place at Izhevsk, a typical Russian city, in 2018, and its availability was still high. Untaxed and cheap medicinal non-beverage alcohol consumption seems to have become the major source of non-beverage alcohol consumption. Further regulation of non-beverage alcohol may be required in Russia.
How does centralisation affect public goods provision in Russian municipalities? Drawing on the evidence
from 68 interviews with municipal elites in four Russian regions, we demonstrate that, first, centralisation
through excessive regulation encourages the provision of a higher quantity of public goods but does not
encourage their quality. Short time horizons and haste lower the quality of goods even further. Moreover,
centralisation favours municipalities with higher state capacity. Finally, risk-averse behaviour by officials
leads to a lower quality of public goods.
Our research bears on two critical issues for contemporary Russia: federal–regional power relations; and whether Moscow can modernize institutions and address dissatisfaction with social service delivery, a major political issue. It is the first comprehensive study of a major 2015 reform that ended the state monopoly over service provision and initiated outsourcing (contracting out) to socially oriented non-profits (SONPOs) and other nonstate organizations. We find substantial interregional variation. Statistical tests of economic, political, and institutional explanations show that only the economic helps to explain variation across Russia's regions. We rely on comparisons of six regions, drawing on semi-structured interviews to gain a contextualized understanding of their varied implementation strategies. Key findings are that regional leaders demonstrated agency in crafting diverse strategies, while the Center showed flexibility. Whether Moscow can modernize public services remains unclear, though there is some evidence of improvement since the beginning of the outsourcing reform.
This article analyses how global governance frameworks and knowledge claims are
translated to fit local contexts. It specifically looks at harm reduction initiatives targeting
injection drug users utilising the case of Tajikistan. In the 1990s, this post–Soviet
Central Asian country became exposed to an inflow of cheap and easily available heroin
from Afghanistan. While Tajikistan mainly became a transit country, some parts of the
local population also became addicted. To tackle the negative consequences of heroin
addiction, starting from the 1990s international donors proposed the country adopt
a range of harm reduction measures, including providing access to opioid substitution
therapy and establishing drop-in centres where single-use needles and syringes would
be distributed. This article discusses how donor-promoted harm reduction initiatives
were localised in Tajikistan, why and with what outcomes. It argues that instead
of a full acceptance or rejection of knowledge promoted by international actors, a
complex translation process can be observed on the ground. International norms are
thus localised by taking into account societal attitudes towards injection drug users,
the changing nature of legitimate expertise, evolving national legislation and everyday
practices, against the background of other conflicting global governance regimes and
local geopolitical priorities.
The authors introduce ongoing child welfare reform in Russia, consider the international and national context, as well as the main drivers of these reforms and their current results. In addition, a literature review of field is also provided. Child welfare reform in Russia builds on the idea of every child’s right to grow up in a family. The main aim is to deinstitutionalize the child welfare system by promoting adoptions and fostering, restructuring the remaining residential institutions into home-like environments and creating community-based family support services. The chapter introduces the main concepts and terminology used to describe the child welfare system, the research questions of the volume, and employs a neo-institutionalist framework as the theoretical framework of the book. The volume analyses how reform is implemented, which echoes a fundamental change in the ideological premises of child welfare policy. Thus, the reform has shifted the course of the child welfare policy in Russia. The volume examines how the reforms are affecting the institutions and practices of child welfare in Russia, what kind of institutional change has followed the shift in the ideals, and what are the intended and unintended consequences of these reform processes. Finally, the chapter gives a brief overview of the chapters in the volume.
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Scholars of international relations and Russian politics actively debate whether some “grand strategy” underpins Russian foreign policy choices in the Putin era. For instance, prominent American military historian Williamson Murray argues that President Vladimir Putin has proven himself a masterful tactician who “maneuvers in the present with little regard for the future” and lacks a strategic vision. Andrew Monaghan at Chatham House emphasizes that an analysis of strategy involves “attempting to see all parts of the whole and how they relate to each other. Thus, a full discussion of Russian strategy might involve the exploration of a wide range of evolving, detailed issues—economic, military, social, and political.”
Russian policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moscow’s actions in the region have began to acquire a less ideologically driving and more pragmatic character. However, the Arab Spring and conflict in Ukraine have underscored a more aggressive policy on the part of Russia, the quintessence of which was military intervention in an armed conflict far from its borders, in Syria. Largely Russian intervention to Syria was a tool for Kremlin to resolve internal problems, and a bargaining chip in relations with global and regional actors. At the same time the declining in public interest in foreign policy, as well as the high costs of military presence in the Middle East, in the short term will force the Kremlin to respond to demands from domestic audiences. The resolution of this problem will define the future of Russia in the MENA region. It will either be an ‘honest broker’ in regional conflicts, or have to be content with the role of ‘junior partner’ to Washington, Beijing or other actors.