Контрапункт – это журнал о политике и обществе, посвященный, в первую очередь, проблемам России. Журнал публикует на русском языке работы российских и иностранных авторов – академических ученых, экспертов и интеллектуалов, для которых Россия является предметом профессионального интереса.
In many countries, the state of the economy affects politics. If a country is in long-term economic decline, an election is likely to lead to the transfer of political power. Conversely, high economic growth tends to make it easier for incumbents to remain in power. In Russia, however, the correlation between the economy and politics is quite weak.
In the summer of 1996, President Boris Yeltsin, who had just been reelected for a second term, commissioned a group of Russian intellectuals to design a new national idea for the country. It was a virtually impossible task: putting together a set of ideals and values and conceptions of a common past and future that can bring a society together and help set national goals. However, this can only take shape over the course of long-lasting historical developments rather than be produced by a specially designed brainstorming team on a fixed deadline.
Mikhail Vinogradov, Russian political expert, discusses with Maria Lipman the recent political developments in Russia, particularly the Russian regional and municipal elections and the government's general policy toward elections.
No elite consensus about the pantheon of heroes and other aspects of national identity has ever existed in Belarus. From the very dawn of the national movement in the late 1800s, two national platforms have been around. One, known as West-Rusism, has recognized Belarusian specificity only within the confines of the Russian world and leaned toward Russia. In contrast, the Westernizing platform has invoked the legacy of the Great Duchy of Lithuania and has been hostile to Russia.
The entire political desk of the Kommersant publishing house, including myself (deputy chief editor) and special correspondent Anna Pushkarskaya, announced that we had submitted our resignations. This move was our protest against the firing of the deputy head of the political desk Maksim Ivanov and special correspondent Ivan Safronov, which we all regarded as unfair. From a moral standpoint, our decision to collectively quit appeared to be the most obvious thing to do. From the point of view of our career prospects, however, it seemed sheer madness.
The Parliamentary election in Ukraine brought resounding victory to the Servant of the People (SoP) party put together around the newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Serhiy Kudelia analyzes the results of the parliamentary election and the risks associated with the sudden dominance of the pro-presidential party. President Zelensky pursued two immediate goals when he announced a snap parliamentary election during his inaugural address in the Rada. First, he sought to maximize the share of parliamentary seats controlled by his political party, SoP) Second, he wanted to reinforce his image of a political disruptor bent on sweeping away the old political guard. On both counts, he hit the mark. His party list received 43.16 percent of the votes, while its candidates won in 65 percent of the single-mandate races. For the first time in Ukraine’s political history, a single party will now control the majority of seats in the parliament. Meanwhile, in July, for the first time in at least a decade, the share of Ukrainians who thought their country was moving in the right direction (41 percent) exceeded the number of those who thought it was on the wrong track (37 percent). Finally, Zelensky’s approval has remained steady since his inauguration with 58 percent of respondents fully or partially satisfied with his activities. However, the key downside of an early election—the haphazard manner of composing party lists and selection of poorly vetted candidates—will affect both the efficacy of the new parliament and the president’s ability to carry out his central promise of cleaning up the system. PULLOUT QUOTE While the parliamentary election gave Ukrainians a chance to “kick the rascals out,” it brought to the new parliament a largely inexperienced crowd united only by the superficial “Ze!” brand and tied to the whims of its leader.
Under Russian President Vladimir Putin, plebiscitary techniques have played a key role in politics as a way to manufacture the image of democratic legitimacy. Far from being opposed to elections, the current regime readily transforms them into plebiscites and produces impressive polling numbers while simultaneously demobilizing popular participation. On numerous occasions, the Kremlin resorts to plebiscitary polling in order to effectively manipulate public sentiments during political crises. Recently, however, this technique failed when it was applied in response to a mass protest in Yekaterinburg. This failure, argues Greg Yudin, might be indicative of the latent shifts in public perceptions taking place in Russia.
In a Point & Counterpoint interview last year on historical politics, Russian historian Aleхey Miller discussed the clash of memory cultures and how they have evolved over the past 10-15 years, namely the way that the “cosmopolitan memory” culture that dominated Western European discourse became superseded by that of “antagonistic memory.” Maria Lipman and Alexey Miller revisit this theme to talk about other recent trends in the field of the politics of history.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ said in 2019: “Today we are building approximately three churches per day, per 24 hours.” ► The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is building more…
On a few recent occasions, the Kremlin has conceded to street protests and chose to respond to public demands rather than resort to hard repressions. Is this shift likely to last, or is it a mere tactical maneuver?
In the wake of the deterioration of relations between modern Russia and Poland, the Katyn memorial has become a scene for the contestation of historical memory. In order to play down the 1940 executions of Polish military officers in Katyn, the Russian government has granted belated official recognition to 8,000 victims of Stalinism in the Smolensk region. After being brushed under the carpet in the Soviet Union and for nearly the first three decades in post-Soviet Russia, their suffering has now been instrumentalized in the memory war between Russia and Poland.