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The purpose of this paper is to explore relatively neglected side of corruption – citizen-initiated bribe offers – to identify the degree to which citizens on the…
The purpose of this paper is to explore relatively neglected side of corruption – citizen-initiated bribe offers – to identify the degree to which citizens on the grassroots level are ready to support top-down government anti-corruption policies.
Drawing on Avessalom Podvodny’s framework of modalities, this research analyzes the results of the nationally representative survey of 1,002 respondents, and ten in-depth interviews – both held in Azerbaijan. The author uses both logistic regression and qualitative description to highlight research inferences.
Modalities provide a new way of making sense of the factors affecting corruption, and informality. Bribe offers are associated with imbalance within Local-Global, Symbol-Content, Active-Passive pairs of modalities. All of the relevant independent variables (except for one), drawn from relevant theories and organized around modalities, are statistically significant in predicting bribe offers.
The paper is able to pose and answer fundamental policy questions: why villagers in Azerbaijan prefer to invest in building mosques and cemeteries rather than schools and kindergartens? Why insurance is not perceived as a sphere of business by the Azerbaijani population? On a practical level, the paper shows that governments’ selective focus on bureaucratic graft neglects formidable argument that the problem of corruption is tightly woven into political culture of a post-Soviet society. Simple administrative measures cannot overcome fundamental value orientations within a society.
The paper adds to corruption researchers’ toolkit, by expanding research to factors affecting citizen voluntary choices to bribe. The research shows what specific variables should be considered and which of them are statistically significant in explaining citizen choices.
The purpose of this paper is to explore urban mobilisation patterns in two post-Soviet cities: Vilnius and Moscow. Both cities were subject to similar housing and urban…
The purpose of this paper is to explore urban mobilisation patterns in two post-Soviet cities: Vilnius and Moscow. Both cities were subject to similar housing and urban policy during Soviet times, and they have implemented urban development using neoliberal market principles, provoking grassroots opposition from citizens to privatisation and marketisation of their housing environment and local public space. However, the differing conditions of democratic Lithuanian and authoritarian Russian public governance offer different opportunities and set different constraints for neighbourhood mobilisation. The purpose is to contrast local community mobilisations under the two regimes and highlight the differences between and similarities in the activists’ repertoires of actions in two distinct political and economic urban settings.
The paper employs qualitative methodology using data from semi-structured interviews conducted with community activists and state officials, presented using a comparative case study design.
Although, citizens’ mobilisations in the two cities are reactions to the neoliberalisation of housing and local public space, they take different forms. In Vilnius they are institutionalised and receive formal support from national and local authorities. Moreover, support from the EU encourages organisational development and provides material and cognitive resources for grassroots urban mobilisations. In contrast, residents’ mobilisations in Moscow are informal and face fierce opposition from local authorities. However, even in an authoritarian setting, grassroots mobilisations evolve using creative strategies to circumvent institutional constraints.
Little attention has been paid to grassroots urban mobilisations in post-Soviet cities. There is also a lack of comparative attempts to show variation in post-Soviet urban activism related to housing and local public space.
This paper examines the introduction of neoliberal policies in the mining sector in Armenia and the civil society opposition to those policies and practices. While…
This paper examines the introduction of neoliberal policies in the mining sector in Armenia and the civil society opposition to those policies and practices. While recognizing that neoliberal policies have global reach, the paper examines how neoliberal policies are locally translated, manifested, and resisted in Armenia and analyzes the factors that shape resistance to neoliberal policies. It argues that the anti-mining activists have created new subjectivities and spaces for activism where they resist and challenge neoliberal policies and practices in the mining sector as well as the heretofore accepted formal practices of civil society advocacy and engagement in policy processes. Although the anti-mining activists have not changed the way mining is practiced in Armenia, they have opened up debates around mining, and neoliberal policies more generally, and created new understandings and practices of civic activism and social mobilization in Armenia.
Three main claims have generally been made regarding the beneficial impact of increased global integration on local women's movements. First, increased global integration…
Three main claims have generally been made regarding the beneficial impact of increased global integration on local women's movements. First, increased global integration is said to create opportunities for local movements to participate in international conferences and partnerships with international organizations (Gray, Kittilson, & Sandholtz, 2006; Sassen, 1998, pp. 96–97). Second, it is said to help local movements participate in transnational networks that work together on global issues such as trafficking or domestic violence and are able to exert pressure both on transnational organizations such as the UN and the European Union and on national states to adopt policies that support norms of equality for women (Keck & Sikkink, 1998; Moghadam, 2000). Third, it is argued that both these forms of cross-border contact create opportunities for learning feminist framing strategies that focus on gender equality and freedom of choice and are superior to local forms of activism that are organized around motherhood or “parochial” identities (Sassen, 1998).
Purpose: After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus began to develop a national policy on reproductive health, influenced by late Soviet policy, market relations…
Purpose: After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus began to develop a national policy on reproductive health, influenced by late Soviet policy, market relations, and international actors. The central question of this research is how the issues of reproduction and woman’s health are reconsidered in post-Soviet Belarus, in light of the influence of various social and political factors.
Methodology/approach: This chapter critically examines discourses of legal regulations of reproduction and how they promote certain understandings of national security and traditional values through reproduction. In particular, the study is based on the discourse-analysis of the official legislative documents on reproduction in Belarus between 1991 and 2015.
Findings: The transformation of the post-Soviet social protection system, reproductive health care, family policy, as well as specific configuration of public discourse legitimize one model (unified and homogenized normative body that is heterosexual, fertile, healthy, prosperous) and exclude others (non-normative bodies that are non-heterosexual, infertile, unhealthy, poor, and thus precarious for the nation) in favor of the interests of biopolitical governance, nation-building, and neoliberal ideology. Moreover, legal documents legalize new principles of social stratification and produce new ideas about responsible parenthood.
Social implications: Although there is some scholarship on reproduction in Belarus, a thorough analysis of the public discourse and the legal regulations of reproduction has yet to be conducted. Contributing to the debate about post-Soviet reproductive politics, this chapter explores the influence of the biopolitical dialogue and the panic around depopulation on social policies. In particular, this chapter offers more critical perspective toward the economic and social dynamics in Belarus, taking into account the variety of processes and configurations of discourses that influence official policy.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the perspectives of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Belt and Road strategy. The challenge in terms of studying the New Silk Road concept comes from the fact of dramatic difference between the declared ambitions of the Chinese state and the elusive character of concrete Chinese involvement, in particular as far as the digital dimension of the strategy is concerned.
The goal will be achieved by comparing the Chinese expansion in the Post-Soviet Central Asia with nowadays declarations concerning the digital version of the New Silk Road. For China, the Post-Soviet Central Asia was the first frontier approached on the basis of genuinely own integration strategy: the New Silk Road Diplomacy, which later evolved into the New Silk Road concept. An overview of Chinese activity in the region tells a lot about its grand strategy of today.
To paraphrase T.S. Kuhn, what one sees depends on not only what one is looking at but also what one has learned to notice. The Post-Soviet Central Asia shows the way Beijing thinks about integration. PRC achieved the most by basing on the free rider effect: concentrating on economic expansion, while other Powers provided relative regional security and stability.
The comparison of the beginnings of the New Silk Diplomacy in the 1990s with the plans of the New Digital Road gives a unique angle to grasp the specific features of the Chinese approach to international integration.