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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.
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.
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.
Rich data from social network sites (SNS) attracts the attention of psychologists and sociologists interested in interpersonal dynamics, friendship networks, and social capital. The presented study explores the effect of network structural features and psychological characteristics of SNS users on changes in their friendship networks. The data from the representative and diverse sample of 375 Russian Vkontakte SNS users from Vologda city was used. Two waves of network data collection allow us to estimate changes in the size of the friendship networks. Regression analysis reveals similarities in the factors responsible for the changes in networks for users who attract or reject friends. We discuss possible explanations of this phenomenon, as well as limitations of the study and further research directions.
This article studies housing rents in St. Petersburg from 1880 throuhg 1917, covering an eventful period of Russian and world history. Digitizing over 5,000 rental advertisements, we construct a state-of-the-art index — the first pre-war and pre-Soviet market data index for any Russian city. In 1915, a rent control and tenant protection policy was introduced in response to soaring prices following the outbreak of WWI. We document official compliance, rising tenure duration, and strongly increased affordability for workers. While the immediate prelude to the October Revolution was indeed characterized by economic turmoil, rent affordability did not dominate.
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.
The paper explores changes in interpretations and perceptions of masculinity in the context of peripheral and transit societies. Using the qualitative methodology of participant research and semi-structured interviews, I describe this question with the example of youth street workout community in Makhachkala, the capital of the republic of Dagestan (Russia). This republic with a complex ethnic and religious composition is currently going through a socio-economic, political and cultural transformation associated with the transition from socialism to capitalism and inclusion in the globalized world. My thesis is that within the community, young Dagestan men and adolescents solve the problem of successful masculine socialization in conditions of perceived habitual insecurity.
Online social networks have become an essential communi- cation channel for the broad and rapid sharing of information. Currently, the mechanics of such information-sharing is captured by the notion of cascades, which are tree-like networks comprised of (re)sharing actions. However, it is still unclear what factors drive cascade growth. Moreover, there is a lack of studies outside Western countries and platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In this work, we aim to investigate what fac- tors contribute to the scope of information cascading and how to predict this variation accurately. We examine six machine learning algorithms for their predictive and interpretative capabilities concerning cascades’ structural metrics (width, mass, and depth). To do so, we use data from a leading Russian-language online social network VKontakte capturing cascades of 4,424 messages posted by 14 news outlets during a year. The results show that the best models in terms of predictive power are Gradient Boosting algorithm for width and depth, and Lasso Regression algorithm for the mass of a cascade, while depth is the least predictable. We find that the most potent factor associated with cascade size is the number of reposts on its origin level. We examine its role along with other factors such as content features and characteristics of sources and their audiences.
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.
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.
This book constitutes revised selected papers of the 9th International Conference on Analysis of Images, Social Networks and Texts, AIST 2020, held in Moscow, Russia, in october 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the conference was held online.
The 14 full papers, 9 short papers and 4 poster papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 108 qualified submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on natural language processing; computer vision; social network analysis; data analysis and machine learning; theoretical machine learning and optimization; process mining; posters.
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.
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.
Building on contemporary social science, we intend to go beyond current Russian studies by creating a new paradigm in the field. In this chapter, we develop the conceptual starting points of this new paradigm and specify our methodological approach to modernity and modernization. We intend to show that Anthony Giddens’ structuration theory gives us instruments for methodological specifications that broaden the horizon towards more comprehensive research programmes. Previous approaches do not seem to find ways to examine both structures and agencies at the same time. Russia’s development is explained either as an inevitable structural process, or only as a result of the intentions of the actors. We argue that it is essential to be able to study modernization both as a representation and as a broader analytical category referring to basic structural challenges.