2019 Sp2

 TOPIC OF THE ISSUE

POST-COMMUNISM: RELOAD OR REVERT. CASE STUDIES FROM THE BALKANS AND CENTRAL ASIA

Honorary Issue Editor: Doo-Seung Hong

Issue Editor: Stephan E. Nikolov

Peaface

Introduction

  • Author(s): Stephan E. Nikolov
  • Language: English
  • Page Range: 166-180
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The Russian Expert Community and Government: Models of Interaction and Performed Expert Functions

  • Author(s): Aleksander Sungurov
  • Page Range: 181-199
  • Keywords: expert community; models of interaction of experts and government; civic responsibility; policy decision
  • Summary/Abstract: The article discusses the main forms of interaction between government institutions and the representatives of the expert community, as well as the preconditions for civil responsibility. The study, conducted in the period 2013–2018, includes 125 semi-structured interviews with experts from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian regions, the major part of whom held managing positions in government bodies at federal or regional level, or were employed in academic work at universities, or by non-governmental organizations. Ten focus group discussions were also conducted in the course of this research. The analysis of the interview texts was made using Werner J. Patzelt’s category scheme of content analysis and the QDAMinerLight program.Along with two previously known models of interaction between experts and governmental structures – the linear autonomic model and the model of virtuous reason, two new models are proposed. One is the paid result model, according to which remuneration may consist not only in money but also in the increased symbolic capital of the researcher employed to perform expertise. The other is the initiative expertise model, where projects for policy decisions are designed without the participation of governmental structures.
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The Power-Sharing Model in Theory and Practice: Lessons from Post-Conflict Macedonia (2001–2019)

  • Author(s): Mirjana Maleska
  • Page Range: 200-213
  • Keywords: VMRO-DPMNE; Macedonia; Ohrid Peace Agreement; Bosnia; Kosovo; Albania; Serbia; SDSM; NATO
  • Summary/Abstract: The Ohrid Peace Agreement, signed between the central government in Skopje and the guerrilla army of ethnic Albanians after the armed ethnic conflict in Macedonia in 2001, has largely changed the constitutional framework of the previous political system. The so-called Westminster, or majoritarian, democracy established by the 1991 Constitution, which favoured the country’s ethnic majority (the Macedonians amount to 64% of the population), was fundamentally changed. A new model has been set up, known in political theory and practice relevant to such situations, as power-sharing.  In the last 18 years, this model has demonstrated its advantages as well as its disadvantages. Under the umbrella of the so-called international community, which invested in the stabilization of this part of the Balkans (especially in Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia), this model of ethnic quotas and proportionality, decentralization, preferential policies and right of minority veto, contributed to inter-ethnic peace and a fragile balance of power. But the past 19 years has been a sufficiently long time for a critical assessment of the model, which has turned out to be largely reduced to corrupt governance. On February 9, 2015, the opposition party, Social Democratic Alliance (SDSM) publicly released a total of 36 packets of illegally made recordings of telephone conversations, including those of the Prime Minister, government ministers, holders of high public offices, mayors, deputies, the parliamentary speaker, opposition leaders, judges, the public prosecutor, civil servants, journalists, editors and media owners. These recordings had been made by the national intelligence services, at that time controlled by the ruling right-wing party VMRO-DPMNE (IMRO-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity). As a result of this massive abuse of human rights, after the elections in December 2016, VMRO-DPMNE was unable to form a government and the mandate was handed to the party with the second largest number of votes, SDSM (Social Democratic Union of Macedonia). A new coalition government, composed of SDSM and the party of ethnic Albanians, Democratic Union for integration (DUI), was able in two years to solve the most difficult and persistent problems – the country’s disputes with neighboring Bulgaria and Greece, and to fast-track the country’s membership in NATO and the EU. For the first time, citizens were divided not along ethnic lines but along ideological and political ones. They were either pro-Western or anti-Western (which meant pro-status quo). We have yet to see whether the thesis will be confirmed that, when citizens feel more secure, they are more inclined to be tolerant toward minorities, more sensitive to ethnic diversity and ready to adapt to the situation.
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Instead of a Polity – Ample Ethnic Pockets Elsewhere

  • Author(s): Stephan E. Nikolov
  • Page Range: 214-231
  • Keywords: Bulgaria; population; depopulation; “Alcek model”
  • Summary/Abstract: The growth trend of the Bulgarian population, especially between the 19th and 20th centuries, persisted for a long time, until the 1960s. As early as the 1980s, demographists and sociologists (e.g., M. Minkov) warned of an impending demographic crisis. But the measures taken (child birth allowances, housing for young families with two or more children, strict restriction on abortion on request, and the introduction of the so-called “single’s tax”) did not lead to positive results. After the democratic changes that commenced in 1989-90, new factors of population decline were added to the old ones. Here we shall point out one of them – the growing emigration of people of working and childbearing age. Data analysis has shown that emigration accounts for 1/3 of the population decrease. Bulgarians working abroad already surpass in number those employed in the economy of Bulgaria by more than 300 thousand.Is it possible to repeat what we call the “Alcek model” in the 21st century? There are many examples of compact “pockets” of Bulgarian emigrant population in different parts of the world. There the emigrants have jobs, purchase property, give birth to children who later attend local schools. This implies they have little intention of returning to Bulgaria. Our forecast is that, with time, the prospects that these large groups of people, in their best age span, would return are declining. They will never contribute to overcome the impending economic and demographic crisis in the country of origin. By now, the only link of generations of Bulgarian grandchildren to their ancestral home is through Skype. The Bulgarian ethnos will not disappear, but will continue to exist in a modified form, as has happened to other nations since the time of the near-mythical Alcek.
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Civil Society in New Democracies: What Is Old and What Is New in the Relationship between the State and Civil Society?

  • Author(s): Aneta Cekik
  • Page Range: 232-254
  • Keywords: civil society; interest groups; democratization' Macedonia; Montenegro; Serbia
  • Summary/Abstract: Civil societies in the post-Communist new democracies are largely regarded as underdeveloped and not sufficiently influential in national politics. After the initial stages of democratization, when the role of civic mobilization and pluralistic associations was recognized in several instances, the predominating picture has become that of a weak civil society. This evaluation is even more relevant with regard to the new East European democracies. These conclusions are derived predominantly from research on the NGO sector, while other associations, such as trade unions and business associations, are far less studied. The analysis in this article is based on fresh empirical data on the political behavior of civil society and interest groups in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The author focuses on classic themes in interest groups literature, including the characteristics and structure of the populations of national interest groups, their organizational characteristics and their relationships with political institutions. The analysis shows that, sharing similar contexts of democratization, Europeanization, and with a shared past in a federal state, interest groups in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia show remarkable similarities. Most of the research findings are in line with the literature on interest groups in old democracies, but there are a number of differences that indicate the rather poor quality of the relationship between the state and civil society.
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Detecting Power in Power Projection: The Case of Uzbekistan

  • Author(s): Farkhod Tolipov
  • Page Range: 255-275
  • Keywords: power projection; pillars of power; soft power, hard power; reproduction of power; political regime; ideology; Soviet syndrome; absenteeism; cult of personality; Uzbek model; paternalism; Uzbekistan;
  • Summary/Abstract: The term “power projection” is more often than not used to describe the extension (or application) of national power beyond state boundaries for the purpose of exerting influence on other states. In this paper, the term is used not only in this sense but also, primarily, to describe the internal (intra-state) sweep and employment of power. The term “power projection” can be relevant for studying the nature of power in a positivist perspective, through observation of its “traces” and manifestations. In being projected, power displays itself, is revealed. Political power in Uzbekistan, as in other Central Asian countries, is a very sophisticated phenomenon. Its ontology and epistemology are addressed here in a dialectical perspective. The paper analyses pillars of political power in Uzbekistan such as the cult of personality, the omnipotent Presidential Apparatus, the ubiquitous security agency, absenteeism of the demos, and opportunist political parties, all of these taken as variables that help detect nuances of power. The Uzbekistan context also provides evidence of, so to speak, “power by default” – a phenomenon that is less exposed to relational theory of power than to behavioral theory. The above-mentioned “pillars of power” are examined in this perspective. Finally, sacralization as a means of power projection is considered in the context of Uzbekistan.
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A Modern Interpretation of Marxist-Leninist National Policy (On the Example of the National Minorities Issue in Uzbekistan)

  • Author(s): Kamola Saipova, Usmonzhon Butaev
  • Page Range: 276-290
  • Keywords: national policy; national minorities; Turkestan; Soviet power; Marxism-Leninism; law
  • Summary/Abstract: The aim of the article is to present a modern interpretation of the national policy of the Soviet government on the example of the issue of national minorities in Turkestan in 1917. The authors analyze a large amount of scientific material, including the documentation of congresses and resolutions of the government of Turkestan. Based on the research results, the authors conclude that the policies on national minorities under the administrative command system was contradictory and inconsistent. In general, the dynamics of the impact of the system on the sphere of national life turned out to be negative. Due to false ideological attitudes, the domination of administration, the poor scientific basis of policy, the national policy of the administrative-command system was, essentially and objectively, a denationalizing policy. The authors present a modern interpretation of this issue.
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“How We Understand Populism?” Popular Responses to Populist Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Author(s): Maja Bojanić, Valida Nikšić
  • Page Range: 291-311
  • Keywords: populism; post-conflict society; ethno-nationalist populism; Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Summary/Abstract: The new populist tendencies that characterize much of the modern globalized world have not bypassed the new democracies in the post-Communist countries. The pattern of populism tends to adjust to different societal contexts and while much research, both theoretical and empirical, on this phenomenon has been conducted in the countries of the European West, literature is scarce concerning the rise of populism in the European periphery. Additionally, populism has existed in the United States and South America, but its recent manifestation in the former Socialist states, starting from the 1990s, remains greatly under-researched. In fact, populist tendencies in national politics are especially interesting to study in post-transition countries that experienced destructive conflicts in the period following the collapse of Communism. Bosnia and Herzegovina is precisely such a country. Hence, the purpose of this article is to analyse and clarify the specificities of modern populism in the Bosnian political sphere, which is marked by ethnic divisions and ethno-nationalist tendencies rooted in the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords which ended the 1992–1995 war. More precisely, this study will explain the ways in which populism generates power for the ethno-nationalist elites and reinforces their political and economic supremacy. Applying discourse that emphasizes the permanent antagonisms between the three major ethnic groups, fear, belligerence and the “us” vs. “them” paradigm, right-wing populists rely on prosaic rhetoric which undermines the country’s re-integration and societal healing, as well as its Euro-Atlantic integration. Against the backdrop of classical works on populism, we examine the populist behavior and tendencies of major populists in terms of the following indicators: the role of language and culture; ethnicity (the “us” vs. “them” discourse) and promotion of cultural harmony through emotions and simple language (the focus here is on ethnic harmony), coupled with anti-establishment discourse. Moreover, this study will investigate how such parties construct “the people” based on ethnicity and religion, whether their organization tends to adapt to current political trends in a “chameleon-like” way in order to achieve success, be influential in politics and connect with other parties, and what is the observed level of populism. In order to do so, we have conducted twelve interviews with respondents from the general public of voting age and of mixed ethnic backgrounds (18 years and above) across Bosnia and Herzegovina, since the parties in question hold significant power across the land.
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Roma, Crime and Politics in Contemporary Bulgaria

  • Author(s): Petar Cholakov
  • Page Range: 312-328
  • Keywords: ethnicity and crime; ethnic conflicts in contemporary Bulgaria; integration of Roma; political parties and ethnic conflicts; ethnic entrepreneurs
  • Summary/Abstract: This paper tackles the issue of “Roma crimes” in Bulgaria and, specifically, how these are used by the ethnic entrepreneurs. First, I examine trends and outline important problems related to the collection of data on these crimes. There is a lack of consensus among the experts in the field as to whether the data are reliable and credible enough to allow studying this phenomenon, particularly in a comparative perspective, and especially in the new millennium. There are significant negative stereotypes among the Bulgarians towards the Roma. Although the latter make up a small percentage of the population, they are the main recipients of social benefits, while their contribution to the state budget is negligible. In the second part of the paper, I explore several case studies. These demonstrate how and why the public’s attention is focused on the criminal activities of Roma. This study also sheds light on how political parties and politicians are involved in the matter. Regardless of whether Roma “criminality” is diminishing or not, the protests that followed the events in Katunitsa in 2011 revealed that Bulgarian society is becoming less and less willing to put up with this ethnic minority’s brushes with the law. In my view, the problem is not that the populist radical right-wing parties promote a zero tolerance policy toward criminals, but that these political formations are prepared to use the stain of “illegal activities” and place it as a stigma on the ethnic group as a whole. The dire conditions in the ghettoes create time bombs. In order not only to dismantle these “explosives” but to entirely prevent their (further) appearance, the Bulgarian government must urgently improve its integration strategies, policies, and measures.
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Internet Addiction among Youths of Uzbekistan

  • Author(s): Azamat Seitov
  • Page Range: 329-343
  • Keywords: Internet; addiction; counteraction; social portrait; sociological data on Uzbekistan; sentences
  • Summary/Abstract: The paper argues the need to monitor the phenomenon of Internet addiction among young people. The author proposes using Kimberley Young's method, and recalculates this psychological scale. The Internet-addiction risk group consists of young males, mostly in the age span from 16 to 20 years. More than 80% of the respondents access the Internet every day, which is associated with the proliferation of various kinds of gadgets. Young people are aware that the growth of Internet addiction is a problem, which indicates their readiness to jointly counteract against such a threat.
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Religious Terrorism in the Context of Conflictological Discourse

  • Author(s): Vladimir Baturin, Sumbat Shakirov
  • Page Range: 344-372
  • Keywords: religious terrorism; social conflict; conflict potential; escalation of conflict potential; activity approach; social activity; counter-activity; object-object paradigm
  • Summary/Abstract: The aim of this article to enhance knowledge of the nature of religious terrorism, one of the most inhumane ways of solving vital problems. Traditionally, the methodology of naturalism has predominated in studies on this type of social conflict. Moreover, the naturalist approach views this subject of research as it would any other. An alternative methodology is the activity approach. Clearly, there can generally be no conflicts outside the social activity of people. All arguments about the conflict (collision) of needs, interests, goals, positions, opinions, etc., are a figurative metaphor characteristic of the naturalistic approach. Undoubtedly, all the above-mentioned, so-called “components” of clashes, cannot exist outside their carriers. And their true role is manifested only in the concrete activity of people.The activity approach is applied here to analyze the causes of the conflict potential of modern globalization processes. The latter are a kind of triggering mechanism for an truly avalanche-like flow of problems in the economic, socio-political, cultural, spiritual and other spheres of life of the modern global community. At the same time, the article focuses on religious and terrorist activities among Muslims. In this perspective, the article provides an analysis of the peculiarities of the religious situation in Kazakhstan, which serves as the basis for individual manifestations of this kind of excesses on the country’s territory.The conclusion is that religious terrorism is an international phenomenon. It is associated with the activities of individuals who have blind, fanatical faith in certain religious ideologies. The terrorists, by their actions, are opposed to practically the whole world around them.
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Women from Кosovo in ISIS: Quest for Identity, Community, and Protagonism

  • Author(s): Tatyana Dronzina, Yavor Raychev
  • Page Range: 373-388
  • Keywords: ISIS; women; Kosovo; motivation
  • Summary/Abstract: This article is about women from Kosovo who have taken part in ISIS. The authors look for an answer of the question as to why a radical interpretation of Islam by a terrorist group, and a “State” based on a primitive mediaeval understanding of the Sharia, attracted women from this small, predominantly Muslim, but secularly oriented nation, making them become part of a war waged thousands of kilometers away from their motherland? Why did they voluntarily sacrifice money, time, resources, and in some cases their lives, in the name of a cause that cruelly stigmatizes individuals of their own sex? We argue that the various incentives impelling them to join ISIS can be reduced to three: the quests for community, for identity and for protagonism. On the basis of eight female life stories, we argue that these incentives are involved in any choice, but in different constellations and with different relative weights.
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A Tribute to Prof. Alеxander Fedotov (1956–2018)

  • Author(s): Stephan E. Nikolov, Doo-Seung Hong
  • Page Range: 389-400
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Sociology in Korea: Past and Present

  • Author(s): Doo-Seung Hong
  • Page Range: 401-409
  • Keywords: sociology; South Korea
  • Summary/Abstract: Over the past 60 years, the discipline of sociology in South Korea (hereafter Korea) has developed rapidly, as seen by the number of academics engaged in sociological research and teaching, the volume of research papers presented at conferences and seminars, and the number of research committees in the Korean Sociological Association.
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The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as Liminal Space and Heterotopia

  • Author(s): L. A. Atanasova, Lyudmila Atanasova
  • Page Range: 410-424
  • Keywords: DMZ; South Korea; North Korea; heterotopia; liminal space
  • Summary/Abstract: The Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea is often described as the most heavily guarded border on the planet, and the one with the largest presence of military force on both sides. It is a place of constant tension that may potentially explode, triggering a disastrous war. At the same time, it is associated with hope for peace. In South Korea, the DMZ is perceived in various, often contradictory ways: as a symbol of the tragic destiny of the Korean people, divided by ideology, politics and geopolitical interests; as an area of conflict, emphasizing the otherness of everything that lies beyond it, as a contact point between long-alienated brothers, as an ecological haven for rare plant and animal species, etc.The current study analyses the border and the area along it as a liminal space, exploring the different meanings with which the DMZ is endowed in South Korean society. The liminal properties of the space are shown to contribute to the DMZ’s function as a heterotopia that reflects and inverts certain relations within society. Applying the results of the analysis, the April 2018 summit between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South Korean President Moon Jae In, held at Panmunjom in the DMZ, is shown to contain ritualistic elements related to the liminality of the venue. Their meaning is interpreted in the perspective of recent political and diplomatic developments in the relations between the two countries.
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Sociological Analysis of the Korean Film Train to Busan: A Scenario for the Future of Modern Society

  • Author(s): Rumiya Tangalycheva
  • Page Range: 425-441
  • Keywords: Korean film; Yeon Sang-ho; modern society; capitalism; scenarios of a future
  • Summary/Abstract: The paper focuses on the sociological analysis of images of the future of modern society presented in Train to Busan, filmed by the South Korean movie director Yeon Sang-ho. The content analysis of this Korean film reveals a gallery of social portraits and social strata of modern society. The author’s interpretation of the plot and discourse analysis are based on Beck’s theory of the risk society, Burawoy’s public sociology, and the scientific hypothesis and prediction provided by researchers of the future of capitalism Wallerstein, Collins, Mann and others. In order to understand how artistic and theoretical constructs are transformed into a construction of social reality, the author has studied interviews and reviews published in the Russian and foreign media. The film’s director Yeon Sang-ho contrasts two possible perspectives of the future. The first is related to capitalist values: productivity and material success; and the second, to personal responsibility for other people and for society as a whole. The goal of capitalist productivity is connected with the preservation of the work society, which under modern conditions supposedly guarantees personal happiness. However, this is no more than an illusion, since in a society where work is devalued, the need for productivity disappears.As the South Korean film director has shown, the image of the future is not necessarily associated with irresponsible capitalism or, conversely, with revolutions and the destruction of the capitalist structure of society. In any case, according to the ideological perspective of Yeon Sang-ho, the future should be associated with active collective actions of people for the creation of a fair and secure society. The social ideas of this film are consonant with the sociological concepts discussed in the article.
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How does one feel when they are told they have cancer…

  • Author(s): Rumiana Yossifova
  • Page Range: 442-443
  • Keywords: cancer
  • Summary/Abstract: How does one feel when they are told they have cancer. And what is one thinking. No, I'm not illiterate and I know there should be a question mark – or “chudenka”, the old Bulgarian word, meaning “wonder sign”. But I no longer wonder, because it happened to me. Now I will tell you.
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