2019 Sp2

Abstracts

 

THE RUSSIAN EXPERT COMMUNITY AND GOVERNMENT: MODELS OF INTERACTION AND PERFORMED EXPERT FUNCTIONS

Alexander Sungurov

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.

Keywords: expert community; models of interaction of experts and government; civic responsibility; policy decision

THE POWER-SНARING MODEL IN THEORY AND PRACTICE: LESSONS FROM POST-CONFLICT MACEDONIA (2001–2019)

Mirjana Maleska

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.

INSTEAD OF A POLITY, AMPLE ETHNIC POCKETS ELSEWHERE

Stephan E. Nikolov

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.

 

 

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

Preface

Doo-Seung Hong

Introduction

Stephan E. Nikolov

Full text – PDF/ Free

EXPERTS AND POWER, SOCIETY AND POLITY, STATE AND CIVIL SOCIETY

The Russian Expert Community and Government: Models of Interaction and Performed Expert Functions

Alexander Sungurov

The Power-Sharing Model in Theory and Practice: Lessons from Post-Conflict Macedonia (2001–2019)

Mirjana Maleska

Instead of a Polity – Ample Ethnic Pockets Elsewhere

Stephan E. Nikolov

Civil Society in New Democracies: What Is Old and What Is New in the Relationship between the State and Civil Society?

Aneta Cekikj

Detecting Power in Power Projection: The Case of Uzbekistan

Farkhod Tolipov

ETHNO-NATIONAL POPULISM, DOMINANT ETHNICITY, AND THE CURSED MINORITY

A Modern Interpretation of Marxist-Leninist National Policy (On the Example of the National Minorities Issue in Uzbekistan)

Kamola Saipova, Usmonzhon Butaev

“How We Understand Populism?” Popular Responses to Populist Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Valida Repovac Nikśić, Maja Savić-Bojanić

Roma, Crime and Politics in Contemporary Bulgaria

Petar Cholakov

Internet Addiction among Youths of Uzbekistan

Azamat Seitov

THE GLOBAL THREAT OF TERRORISM

Religious Terrorism in the Context of Conflictological Discourse

V. S. Baturin, S. Ye. Shakirov

Women from Кosovo in ISIS: Quest for Identity, Community, and Protagonism

Tatyana Dronzina, Yavor Raychev

PART II: A GLANCE AT KOREAN CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY (IN MEMORIAM OF PROF. ALEXANDAR FEDOTOV, FOUNDER OF KOREAN STUDIES IN BULGARIA)

A Tribute to Prof. Alеxander Fedotov (1956–2018)

Doo-Seung Hong, Stephan E. Nikolov

Sociology in Korea: Past and Present

Doo-Seung Hong

The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as Liminal Space and Heterotopia

Lyudmila Atanasova

Sociological Analysis of the Korean Film Train to Busan: A Scenario for the Future of Modern Society

Rumiya Tangalycheva

How does one feel when they are told they have cancer…

Rumiana Yossifova


 Preface

I was invited to be the honorary editor of a special issue of Sociological Problems, published by the Institute of Sociology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS). I know this special issue is planned, among other things, to commemorate the late Professor Alexander Fedotov (1956–2018). He made great contributions and deeply devoted himself to establishing Korean studies in Bulgaria, where no one had ever attempted to focus attention on this particular country before he undertook the seminal but lonely endeavor to achieve this dream of his. One of the reasons for Bulgaria and South Korea’s (hereafter Korea) mutual ignorance of each other, perhaps lies in the political circumstances: Bulgaria was part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc before the Revolutions of 1989, while Korea was under incessant Communist threats from the North ever since the division of the Korean Peninsula into South and North Korea after the end of World War II. Korea still remains the last spot of the Cold War in the world. It was not until 1990 that diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Korea were established.
Scholarly interest in Korea has emerged in Bulgarian society relatively recent, being mostly initiated by philologists, linguists and specialists in area studies. In the Korean social science community, attention has rarely been paid to East European regions over the past decades. Although academic journals such as East European & Balkan Studies, Journal of Central & East European Studies, Slavic Studies, and The Journal of Slavic Studies are published in the Korean language, no single study on Bulgarian society has ever been conducted by Korean sociologists, to the best of my knowledge. However, I believe that the devoted efforts of the late Professor Fedotov to link Bulgaria and Asia have greatly contributed to drawing Bulgaria and Korea much closer academically and socially.  
In remembering Prof. Fedotov, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Stephan E. Nikolov, who has given me the opportunity to say a few words about the relationship between Bulgaria and Korea, and to introduce the academic activities of Korean sociologists to Bulgarian colleagues. I hope this issue of Sociological Problems may greatly contribute to promoting scholarly exchange and cooperation between Korean and Bulgarian sociologists in the coming years.         

 

February 2019                          Doo-Seung Hong 

 

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