This article considers the experiences of four groups of young people (from Germany, Estonia, Russia and the UK) whose ‘mode of being’ is reduced or distorted in different ways as a result of misrecognition or stigmatisation. It argues that the responses young people make to this form of social subordination are enabled or constrained by the recognition status - misrecognition, absence of recognition or stigmatisation - they experience. It demonstrates that the experience of misrecognition and stigmatisation, in some cases, may constitute a resource to act and stimulate social change but that the institutional response to it may also work to re-embed the stigma or misrecognition that young people’s action sought to counter. It argues that stigmatisation and misrecognition are more than the accumulation of negative representations of individuals or groups. They reflect the configuration of power relations that underpin the institutionalisation of the labelling of specific groups as unworthy of respect and deny them the opportunity to participate equally in social life. The outcome of the struggle for recognition is thus not a matter of young people ‘choosing’ a positive identity or showing the desire to engage but the willingness of society to open itself to that engagement.
This article analyzes the historical period from 2000 to 2020, during which the PRC carried out a systematic penetration into Africa. The strengthening of China’s position in Africa is explained by four obvious groups of reasons: geopolitical, ideological, financial and economic, trade and logistics. The authors tend to highlight the 5th group of stratageme nature. China’s stratagem on Africa has not been a dogma, but has evolved at every stage of Sino-African relations over the past two decades.
The authors divide China’s activities in Africa into fourhistorical period, logically linking them with the years of presidency of the three chairmen of China: Jiang Zemin (1993-2003), Hu Jintao (2003-2013) and Xi Jinping (2013 to the present). Each of these periods is discussed in the article from the point of view of evolution stratageme rationale of Chinese foreign policy towards Africa, and also correlated with the moveof China to the global level of interaction with the rest of the world.
Over the past 20 years, China has not only strengthened its position on the African continent, but, along with the United States, has earned a well-deserved reputation as a pan-African political actor. The difference is that China is still significantly inferior to the United States in terms of its military presence on the African continent. PRC leaders recognize this fact and aimto correct the balance of power in the region. In recent years China started encouraging African countries to jointly create military-political and at the same time economic interstate associations.
Hierarchical topic modeling is a potentially powerful instrument for determining topical structures of text collections that additionally allows constructing a hierarchy representing the levels of topic abstractness. However, parameter optimization in hierarchical models, which includes finding an appropriate number of topics at each level of hierarchy, remains a challenging task. In this paper, we propose an approach based on Renyi entropy as a partial solution to the above problem. First, we introduce a Renyi entropy-based metric of quality for hierarchical models. Second, we propose a practical approach to obtaining the “correct” number of topics in hierarchical topic models and show how model hyperparameters should be tuned for that purpose. We test this approach on the datasets with the known number of topics, as determined by the human mark-up, three of these datasets being in the English language and one in Russian. In the numerical experiments, we consider three different hierarchical models: hierarchical latent Dirichlet allocation model (hLDA), hierarchical Pachinko allocation model (hPAM), and hierarchical additive regularization of topic models (hARTM). We demonstrate that the hLDA model possesses a significant level of instability and, moreover, the derived numbers of topics are far from the true numbers for the labeled datasets. For the hPAM model, the Renyi entropy approach allows determining only one level of the data structure. For hARTM model, the proposed approach allows us to estimate the number of topics for two levels of hierarchy.
Hydra is regarded as the largest Russian-language online marketplace for illicit goods with no less than four million Euro of annual revenue. In this paper, we pro- vide a qualitative analysis of the unique organization of the Hydra cryptomarket. The theoretical framework for this study draws on information asymmetry and assumptions of signaling theory. Data collected include longitudinal parsing and non-participant observation from 2019 to 2021. Hydra is a monopolistic market- place with no alternatives of the same scale in Russia, and exhibits considerable differences with regard to international cryptomarkets. In the analysis, we present the three themes: physical stashes, formalized rules, and the architecture of the Hydra market. Contrary to the reliance on the postal system for delivering drugs in- ternationally, Hydra introduces a novel delivery method called stashes, which puts buyers at higher risks to get caught by law enforcement agents and makes them more “active” in obtaining drugs. Buyers not only have to choose and pay for drugs; they also need to go out in the streets and personally look for their purchased stuff. While elaborated formalized rules enabled by strong sanctioning mechanisms (e.g., fines) cover every possible aspect of interaction connected to the marketplace us- age, a multilayered platform architecture allows for the emergence of complex hi- erarchies and segregation between users. Hydra also provides automatic services related to drug selling (instant purchases, non-mediated disputes, etc.). In addition, personal communications between actors are confined by the architecture, so that visible public communications give buyers the only substantial grounds for decision- making. These findings raise questions considering the role of credibility signals, asymmetry of information, and formalized rules in resolving issues of product quality, stable exchange processes, and communication processes.
Almost two hundred years ago the first research institution specialized in the field of Oriental Studies, i.e. the Asiatic Museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg, now known under the name of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, was found. The core of the Middle-Eastern part of its funds was acquired by the Russian government in two lots, in 1819 and 1825, from Jean-Baptiste Louis Jacques Rousseau, originated from the family of French diplomats and jewelers. This was his father Jean-François Xavier, who began to collect Oriental manuscripts by AD 1757 in Ispahan. The first lot of their collection included not only 484 manuscripts, but also 16 old-printed books. 11 of them were for the first time identified in the Library of the Institute and described by the author of that article. Among them five were published in Aleppo by the typography of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch (the Psalter in two damaged copies, the Four Gospels and the Evangeliary in 1706 and the 34 Homilies of St John Chrysostom in 1707), three in Rome (the Four Gospels in 1591 and the Canon of Medicine of Avicenna in 1593 by the Typographia Medicea and the Arabic-Latin Psalter by the Typographia Sauariana) and two more in Constantinople by the pioneer of Islamic printing Ibrāhīm Müteferriqa (the cosmographic work Ğihān-nümā and the Persan-Ottoman dictionary in two volumes Ferheng-i Shuʿūrī). As a result this collection of old-printed books gives a rather detailed impression about the development of typographic art in Arabic characters in the Orient as well as in Europe.
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.
Being neighbors, China and Central Asian states face common problems, which require collective response and leadership. In this article, we explore to what extent China’s increased engagement in the region since the dissolution of the USSR has included attempts to lead cooperation to address some of these common problems. We answer our research question by exploring observable leadership efforts, such as institutional development, financial support, moral or belief supply, and unilateral exemplary activities. The analysis shows that in three selected issue areas, namely counter-terrorism, infrastructure development, and water management China has made certain efforts to lead, but the scope and character of its efforts have varied significantly between different issue areas and over time. This variation can be explained in the light of China’s evolving foreign policy interests, the specificities of the Central Asian states, and the role of Russia as the other prominent external actor. While earlier China’s initiatives focused on Central Asia and Russia, the more recent ones either include Central Asian states among other members or focus only on some of them. Joining China’s projects helps Central Asian states to improve their international standing and diversify their foreign relations, but also affects regional geopolitical structure.
The article presents a study of the reasons and motives for the emergence of educational requests from managers of a modern University. It was found that managers ' educational requests contradict real needs, and their motives are associated with weak and strong knowledge, which depends on their age and professional experience, and not on the University profile. Thus, the authors presented a variant of interaction between pro- ject teams based on strong knowledge.
Co-playing, or playing video games together, is a social practice that enriches relationships and game experience by providing the players with informational and social support. This study explores how co-playing integrates into friendship in two small (6–7 people), male communities of adolescent and adult friends. Both communities are local and school-based; both focus on co-playing Dota 2. The study focuses on the leadership in these small networks, compares their co-playing patterns, and the ways in which co-playing affects the relationships in both communities, enhancing their bonding social capital. We apply network analysis and personal interviews to compare and contrast how the co-playing communities emerged, are maintained and evolve along with the friendship. The main conclusion is that such co-playing communities emerge around a single Dota 2 enthusiast in the early secondary school as a common pastime, but co-playing video games increases bonding social capital among the community members. Network analysis demonstrates the differences in leadership in the teen and adult communities. The research shows how video games are embedded in collective everyday friendship and how co-playing communities function in support of such a relationship. The findings could be further tested against female and mixed co-playing communities.
Pereboom and Caruso propose the quarantine model as an alternative to existing models of criminal justice. They appeal to the established public health practice of quarantining people, which is believed to be effective and morally justified, to explain why -in criminal justice- it is also morally acceptable to detain wrongdoers, without assuming the existence of a retrospective moral responsibility. Wrongdoers in their model are treated as carriers of dangerous diseases and as such should be preventively detained (or rehabilitated) until they no longer pose a threat to society. Our main concern in this paper is that Pereboom and Caruso adopt an idiosyncratic meaning of quarantine regulations. We highlight a set of important disanalogies between their quarantine model and the quarantine regulations currently adopted in public health policies. More specifically, we argue that the similarities that Pereboom and Caruso propose to substantiate their analogy are not consistent—despite what they claim—with the regulations underlying quarantine as an epidemiological process. We also notice that certain quarantine procedures adopted in public health systems are inadequate to deal with criminal behaviors. On these grounds, we conclude that Pereboom and Caruso should not appeal to the quarantine analogy to substantiate their view, unless they address the issues and criticism we raise in this paper.
Ethnicity-targeted hate speech has been widely shown to influence on-the-ground inter-ethnic conflict and violence, especially in such multi-ethnic societies as Russia. Therefore, ethnicity-targeted hate speech detection in user texts is becoming an important task. However, it faces a number of unresolved problems: difficulties of reliable mark-up, informal and indirect ways of expressing negativity in user texts (such as irony, false generalization and attribution of unfavored actions to targeted groups), users’ inclination to express opposite attitudes to different ethnic groups in the same text and, finally, lack of research on languages other than English. In this work we address several of these problems in the task of ethnicity-targeted hate speech detection in Russian-language social media texts. This approach allows us to differentiate between attitudes towards different ethnic groups mentioned in the same text – a task that has never been addressed before. We use a dataset of over 2,6M user messages mentioning ethnic groups to construct a representative sample of 12K instances (ethnic group, text) that are further thoroughly annotated via a special procedure. In contrast to many previous collections that usually comprise extreme cases of toxic speech, representativity of our sample secures a realistic and, therefore, much higher proportion of subtle negativity which additionally complicates its automatic detection. We then experiment with four types of machine learning models, from traditional classifiers such as SVM to deep learning approaches, notably the recently introduced BERT architecture, and interpret their predictions in terms of various linguistic phenomena. In addition to hate speech detection with a text-level two-class approach (hate, no hate), we also justify and implement a unique instance-based three-class approach (positive, neutral, negative attitude, the latter implying hate speech). Our best results are achieved by using fine-tuned and pre-trained RuBERT combined with linguistic features, with F1-hate=0.760, F1-macro=0.833 on the text-level two-class problem comparable to previous studies, and F1-hate=0.813, F1-macro=0.824 on our unique instance-based three-class hate speech detection task. Finally, we perform error analysis, and it reveals that further improvement could be achieved by accounting for complex and creative language issues more accurately, i.e., by detecting irony and unconventional forms of obscene lexicon.
Proliferation of misinformation in digital news environments can harm society in a number of ways, but its dangers are most acute when citizens believe that false news is factually accurate. A recent wave of empirical research focuses on factors that explain why people fall for the so-called fake news. In this scoping review, we summarize the results of experimental studies that test different predictors of individuals’ belief in misinformation.
The review is based on a synthetic analysis of 26 scholarly articles. The authors developed and applied a search protocol to two academic databases, Scopus and Web of Science. The sample included experimental studies that test factors influencing users’ ability to recognize fake news, their likelihood to trust it or intention to engage with such content. Relying on scoping review methodology, the authors then collated and summarized the available evidence.
The study identifies three broad groups of factors contributing to individuals’ belief in fake news. Firstly, message characteristics—such as belief consistency and presentation cues—can drive people’s belief in misinformation. Secondly, susceptibility to fake news can be determined by individual factors including people’s cognitive styles, predispositions, and differences in news and information literacy. Finally, accuracy-promoting interventions such as warnings or nudges priming individuals to think about information veracity can impact judgements about fake news credibility. Evidence suggests that inoculation-type interventions can be both scalable and effective. We note that study results could be partly driven by design choices such as selection of stimuli and outcome measurement.
We call for expanding the scope and diversifying designs of empirical investigations of people’s susceptibility to false information online. We recommend examining digital platforms beyond Facebook, using more diverse formats of stimulus material and adding a comparative angle to fake news research.
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.
How are candidates without official party affiliation able to succeed in authoritarian elections? We analyzed 1,101 independents who took part in city council elections in Russia’s regional capitals between 2014 and 2018. We found that independent candidates’ electoral fortunes depended both on their personal resources enabling them to attract voters’ support and pre-electoral deals with the regime. We also discovered that the chances of being elected were higher for those formally independent candidates who were the regime’s hidden representatives. For the latter group, the chances to win the race were boosted mostly by pre-electoral deals, rather than their personal resources.
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.