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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.
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.
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.
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.
This book analyses the threats to academic freedom in the twenty-first century across the globe, and the various ways to face 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.
To measure the effects of peer influence and peer selection on drinking behavior in adolescence through a rigorous statistical approach designed to unravel these interrelated processes.
We conducted systematic searches of electronic databases, thesis collections and conference proceedings to identify studies that used longitudinal network design and stochastic actor-oriented modeling to analyze drinking behavior in adolescents. Parameter estimates collected from individual studies were analyzed using multilevel random-effects models.
We identified 26 articles eligible for meta-analysis. Meta-analyses for different specifications of the peer influence effect were conducted separately. The peer influence effect was positive for every specification: for average similarity (avSim) mean log odds ratio was 1.27 with 95% confidence interval [0.04; 2.49]; for total similarity (totSim) 0.46 (95% CI = [0.44; 0.48]), and for average alter (avAlt) 0.70 (95% CI = [-0.01; 1.41]). The peer selection effect (simX) was also positive: 0.46 (95% CI = [0.28; 0.63]). Conversion log odds ratio values to Cohen’s d gives estimates from 0.25 to 0.70, which is considered as medium to large effect.
Advances in methodology for social network analysis have made it possible to accurately estimate peer influence effects free from peer selection effects. More research is necessary to clarify the roles of age, gender, and individual susceptibility on the changing behavior of adolescents under the influence of their peers. Understanding the effects of peer influence should inform practitioners and policy makers to design and deliver more effective prevention programs.