The coronavirus pandemic and the self-isolation measures introduced to combat it have led to the actualization of discussions related to the problem of domestic violence. In this article, we analyze international research results on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on intimate partner violence. The review focuses on three main issues. First, we consider what methods can be used to measure the scale of the problem and draw conclusions about the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Second, we analyze estimates of the scale of the increase in domestic violence due to the pandemic, which can be obtained using various methods. In general, international studies suggest that a lockdown aimed at combating the pandemic leads to an increase in domestic violence. However, the scale of this effect varies significantly between cities and regions of the same country and between different countries. The heterogeneity of the obtained effects indicates the influence of many socio-economic, political, and cultural factors that require additional research. Third, we review why the increase in domestic violence can be explained: isolation due to lockdown, job loss and economic hardship, psychological problems, etc.
Since 2012, with a view to strengthen the development of strategically important regions, Russia has established several federal agencies responsible for these territories. The essay investigates one of these agencies: the Ministry for the Development of the Far East (Ministerstvo Rossiiskoi Federatsii po razvitiyu Dal’nego Vostoka). We identify two main trade-offs associated with the governance approach used in Russia—between federal power and local knowledge, and between bureaucratic expertise and novel ideas—and examine how the ministry has dealt with these trade-offs and their consequences for the ministry’s performance.
On January 6th, hundreds of Stop the Steal protesters, who believe in the Big Lie that the election was “stolen” due to massive voter fraud, led an insurrection on the US Capitol building, seeking to do harm to US lawmakers and overturn the November 2020 election results. A lesser known, yet just as harmful, event occurred a few months earlier when a group of far right Reichsbürger protesters broke off from a larger demonstration against health measures, organized by the conspiracist-oriented Querdenken movement, and nearly stormed the Reichstag building in Berlin. This tendency to commit acts of political violence of this kind has led the FBI to label certain “fringe political conspiracy theories,” such as QAnon, as motivators of domestic extremist activity.
Movements organized around conspiratorial narratives are by no means a new phenomenon. During the early American Republic, the anti-Masons formed an entire political party based on their anti-elitist conspiratorial beliefs. The People’s Party of the late 19th century strategically spread conspiratorial narratives about continued British dominance and the demonetization of silver to bring their message to regions where farmers were less prominent. In the current day, political movements based on conspiratorial narratives have seen an explosion of activity over the past year, due in part to the pandemic and the ‘populist moment’ that continues to be felt in certain parts of the world. Throughout the pandemic, groups in the United States and abroad took to the streets to protest what they saw as not simply infringements of their rights, but also what they perceive to be the apocalyptic end to political liberty in its entirety, often leading to political violence. These beliefs have gained widespread prominence and formed the basis for protest movements that increasingly prove to be both a security threat and a danger to liberal democracy. What are the factors that drive these movements and lead them to disruptive and violent behavior, and how can they be effectively countered?
This analytical report investigates the rising prominence of these conspiracist movements in the current day, focusing on two specific cases, the “Stop the Steal” protests in the United States and the Querdenken demonstrations in Germany. While both mobilized based on different grievances, these two movements are of interest for several reasons. First, both movements were driven primarily by conspiratorial visions of politics; the Stop the Steal demonstrators all coalesced around the “Big Lie” that the election had been “stolen”, while the Querdenken see apocalyptic visions of tyranny from COVID-19 health measures. Secondly, while both movements have attracted far-right groups on the fringes of political society to their protests, the core base of protesters did not necessarily come from radical backgrounds, testifying to the potential for these conspiratorial narratives to radicalize believers. As this report will show, contemporary research demonstrates that conspiracy theories of this kind can have a harmful effect on the effective operations of democracy in three primary ways: widespread belief in conspiracy theories targeting knowledge authorities, such as scientists, journalists, and other experts, can render solving important issues that require collective action, such as navigating a pandemic, more difficult. Secondly, the Manichean division of society and demonization of the “Other” within conspiratorial narratives promotes political environments characterized by mass polarization, which justify actions that break with the “spirit” of democracy. Finally, conspiracy theory beliefs that promote a sense of victimization and urgency can serve as a path to radicalization and political violence. This report concludes with a number of non-intrusive reforms that can be taken to tackle the spread of conspiracy theories in the current day.
As evidenced by the 2016 US presidential election, conspiracy theories, such as birtherism, the belief that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen, have become more impactful on modern-day liberal democracies. This study investigates the consequences of the conspiratorial narratives espoused by populist candidates, arguing that the creation of a narrative involving a “conspiring” establishment figure can positively benefit populist candidates during elections by allowing them to position themselves as defenders of “the people”. Taking the case of Donald Trump and the birther conspiracy theory, empirical testing indicates that by helping to spread birtherism, Donald Trump was able to create for himself a core group of supporters who turned out to vote for him in both the Republican primaries and general election. Moreover, when tests are performed to investigate whether this was a consequence of rallying a right-wing base or mainstreaming the fringe conspiracy theory, significant positive relationships are demonstrated not with more conservative birthers, but instead with the more moderate ones, testifying to the strength of the mainstreaming effect.
Widespread acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines is crucial for achieving sufficient immunization coverage to end the global pandemic, yet few studies have investigated COVID-19 vaccination attitudes in lower-income countries, where large-scale vaccination is just beginning. We analyze COVID-19 vaccine acceptance across 15 survey samples covering 10 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia, Africa and South America, Russia (an upper-middle-income country) and the United States, including a total of 44,260 individuals. We find considerably higher willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine in our LMIC samples (mean 80.3%; median 78%; range 30.1 percentage points) compared with the United States (mean 64.6%) and Russia (mean 30.4%). Vaccine acceptance in LMICs is primarily explained by an interest in personal protection against COVID-19, while concern about side effects is the most common reason for hesitancy. Health workers are the most trusted sources of guidance about COVID-19 vaccines. Evidence from this sample of LMICs suggests that prioritizing vaccine distribution to the Global South should yield high returns in advancing global immunization coverage. Vaccination campaigns should focus on translating the high levels of stated acceptance into actual uptake. Messages highlighting vaccine efficacy and safety, delivered by healthcare workers, could be effective for addressing any remaining hesitancy in the analyzed LMICs.
The study investigates different ways in which urbanization and its tempo influence terrorist activity. In line with other researchers investigating nonlinear effects on instability, we suggest that the influence of both of them is nonlinear, with quadratic regression being more appropriate for urbanization level impact and interaction between urbanization and its tempo being more appropriate to measure the tempo’s influence. Nonlinearity has been confirmed in the robustness section of the paper, in which an alternative dependent variable distribution and a greater set of control variables were used. The findings are in line with those of other researchers who found that societies, in the process of modernization, demonstrate heavier instability than societies before modernization or those after the modernization period.
Models for converting expert-coded data to estimates of latent concepts assume different data-generating processes (DGPs). In this paper, we simulate ecologically valid data according to different assumptions, and examine the degree to which common methods for aggregating expert-coded data (1) recover true values and (2) construct appropriate coverage intervals. We find that the mean and both hierarchical Aldrich–McKelvey (A–M) scaling and hierarchical item-response theory (IRT) models perform similarly when expert error is low; the hierarchical latent variable models (A-M and IRT) outperform the mean when expert error is high. Hierarchical A–M and IRT models generally perform similarly, although IRT models are often more likely to include true values within their coverage intervals. The median and non-hierarchical latent variable models perform poorly under most assumed DGPs.
The current study investigates the effect that formal education, as a factor of socio-economic development, have on the intensity and forms of political protest. By way of increased socialization of democratic values, increased cognitive understanding of the society at large, and human capital to participate in protests, increases in a country's level of formal education should theoretically lead to increased levels of peaceful protest. On the other hand, increases in formal education are also theorized to play a mitigating role on the intensity of violent protests (riots) for the previously mentioned reasons as well as the fact that education acts as a strong factor in increasing social mobility. With data from 1960 to 2010 and spanning 216 countries,
This paper investigates the links between investment activity and personal contacts for small and medium-sized firms with public officials at the sub-national level in Russia. A list-experiment design, using a survey of 21,000 Russian firms in 2017, was used to evaluate the importance of personal connections with officials for conducting business. A total of 27% of firms without investment and 37% with investment considered personal connections with officials an important factor for doing business. The importance of such contacts was lower in regions with a better investment climate. However, a higher proportion of firms were likely to invest in the regions where higher importance was placed on political connections. Therefore, in Russia in the mid-2010s, investment from politically connected firms did not crowd out investment from other firms. Although the available data did not allow causality to be defined, the research shows that political connections are important for investors in emerging markets and that the importance of political connections diminishes with improvement in the business climate. This paper provides a quantitative estimate of the relationship between political connections and firm investment in Russia, an example of large emerging economy. This relationship is moderated by institutional quality at the subnational level. The results provide empirical support for the theory of limited access orders elaborated by North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009), and stress the importance of rents and their productive utilization for the development of emerging economies.
A high level of corruption usually constrains economic development in emerging countries. However, anti-corruption campaigns often fail because the relevant policies need to be implemented by existing corrupt governments. This article studies the extent of bureaucrats’ heterogeneity in attitude to the problem of corruption. Due to the sensitivity of direct questions on corruption, we conduct the list experiment among public procurement officials in Russia. We show that female bureaucrats consider corruption an obstacle to public procurement development, and find no such evidence for male bureaucrats. This heterogeneity holds even at the high-level occupied positions. Although the negative attitude to corruption does not necessarily imply the anti-corruption activity by women, recognition of the problem seems to be a prerequisite for supporting an anti-corruption policy.
The paper summarises the findings of this special issue and suggests avenues for future research. It concludes that the Eurasian regionalisms’ development in the 2010s was influenced, among other factors, by Russia’s concerns about external threats and by its control over the Eurasian space. However, the design of the regional institutions does not make them incompatible with global governance. The cooperation between global and regional institutions varies depending on the agenda of the specific regional organisation. In addition to direct competition between global and regional institutions, there may be an indirect one through offering access to different forms of economic benefits. Through this indirect strategy, regional institutions may reduce the incentives for individual countries to comply with their obligations to global institutions. This paper also places Eurasia within a global context of analysis and considers similar trends world-wide as well as outlines the agenda for future studies of global versus regional governance.
This paper develops the concept of stolichnaya praktika (‘capital practice’) to understand how centralized power is maintained in contemporary authoritarian and hybrid regimes that face the dual challenges of protracted economic crisis (which limits their use of traditional patronage mechanisms) and the necessity of maintaining a democratic guise (which limits their use of force). The concept is derived from the experience of Russia, where, since the onset of a prolonged economic crisis in 2014, centralization of power is increasingly maintained by demanding that regional elites compete for symbolic—rather than financial—resources for implementing policies. Central authorities instrumentalize Moscow’s expertise, packaging it as a resource available to the regions. Through a case study of the Moscow Housing Renovation program and its proposed federal expansion, the paper conceptualizes stolichnaya praktika as a technology of government that relies on the interplay of the capital and federal scales, simultaneously constructing Moscow’s exceptionalism and reviving the perception of a caring and paternalistic federal state. By seeming to extend an invitation to the regions to emulate the capital, stolichnaya praktika provides top-down policies with a semblance of voluntarism, while actually reinforcing regional dependencies. This study contributes to the burgeoning scholarship on authoritarian urbanism, by shifting empirical attention away from spectacular mega-projects in capital cities to demonstrate how basic urban service provisioning serves as a tool of authoritarian governance, and by excavating how central authorities make regional actors comply with, and locally implement, the center’s political development goals in and through the field of urbanism.
How legacies of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) have survived in the politics, economic development, culture, and society of post-Communist regions in the 21st Century? The book shows how this impact is not driven by Communist ideology but by the clientelistic practices, opportunism and cynicism prevalent in the CPSU. Their study is built on a novel dataset of the CPSU membership rates in Russian regions in the 1950s-1980s, alongside case studies, interviews and an analysis of mass media previously only available in Russian and discussed here in English for the first time. It will appeal to students and scholars of Russian and Eastern European politics and history, and anyone who wants to better understand countries which live or have lived through Communism: from Eastern Europe to China and East Asian Communist states.
Little is known about the motives of lawyers who provide free legal assistance in countries that lack both a developed professional community and developed institutions related to the rule of law. Based on a survey of 3,317 criminal defense lawyers (advokaty) in 35 regions of Russia, we analyze the provision of two types of free legal services: participation in legal proceedings “on appointment” (po naznacheniyu) and the provision of pro bono legal assistance. We show that work on appointment usually involves lawyers with low social capital and a lack of regular clients. In contrast, pro bono legal assistance is encouraged by lawyers’ organizations. It is typically provided by professionals with a high level of social capital and with values aimed at maintaining an excellent professional reputation. We conclude that the provision of free legal services might best be stimulated within the professional community rather than by the government.
Scholars often use language to proxy ethnic identity in studies of conflict and separatism. This conflation of language and ethnicity is misleading: language can cut across ethnic divides and itself has a strong link to identity and social mobility. Language can therefore influence political preferences independently of ethnicity. Results from an original survey of two post-Soviet regions support these claims. Statistical analyses demonstrate that individuals fluent in a peripheral lingua franca are more likely to support separatism than those who are not, while individuals fluent in the language of the central state are less likely to support separatist outcomes. Moreover, linguistic fluency shows a stronger relationship with support for separatism than ethnic identification. These results provide strong evidence that scholars should disaggregate language and ethnic identity in their analyses: language can be more salient for political preferences than ethnicity, and the most salient languages may not even be ethnic.
Following the literature on variety of capitalism, this chapter discusses the general trends in the evolution of models of capitalism with special focus on developmental state as specific form of organized capitalism. Key advantages, drivers, and challenges of the current liberal phase of global capitalism are considered. Attention is paid to the contradictions between opportunistic incentives of global market players and limits of national-level organized capitalism. The necessity of new global governance mechanisms is argued. However, such mechanisms of global governance can emerge only in response to serious threats for the global order. New ideas for development shared by elites and broader social groups in major developed and developing countries is another crucial precondition for emergence of new global governance architecture to foster international cooperation in response to all challenges faced by humankind now.
Book Review: Paolo Cossarini and Fernando Vallespin (eds.), Populism and Passions: Democratic Legitimacy After Austerity
Since the 2016 US presidential elections, political commentators and academics have often attributed the rise of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump to a general 'populist' wave affecting the country. While the two politicians are often juxtaposed with each other in terms of their alleged 'populism', there are grounds to question this characterisation for Bernie Sanders on the left. While others have articulated their doubts as to the level of populist attitudes in the Sanders movement, in our study, we move in the direction of analysing the political beliefs of Sanders' supporters. With the use of ANES survey data, our regression models demonstrate that while a small cohort of populist voters did support Sanders during the 2016 primary, they were much smaller in size than traditional left-wing groups that exhibited negative correlations with populist attitudes. When compared with other presidential candidates running in the 2016 primaries, the results demonstrate that those with populist attitudes were much more inclined to vote for the Republican candidate Donald Trump than the Bernie Sanders. Finally, when we run regressions on the disaggregated components of our index for populist attitudes, the results only demonstrate positive relationships with certain components of the populist worldview, such as anti-elitism, but not for others. Our results, thus, bring significant contributions to the study of populism in the United States by pointing primarily to a populist revolt from the right and less so on the left.