Editorial. Рубрика в журнале - Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast

Публикации в рубрике (17): Editorial
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Focus on finances as a factor of Russia's national vulnerability in the 21st century

Focus on finances as a factor of Russia's national vulnerability in the 21st century

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

The research, presented in the current article, is a logical continuation of a previous “Editorial” article, which was about the soullessness of the ruling elites, analysis of its reasons and consequences. This article focuses on common global consequences of liberal capitalistic ideology actively implemented by the ruling elites. The authors explore its historic purpose and tools, use the facts, and analyze results shown in specific changes of social assessments and attitudes. In the context of a comparative analysis of dynamics of public opinion in the key countries of Western Europe, we describe the trends of subjective assessments of the population in the Russian Federation. The authors conclude that many negative consequences of the purposeful policy of global elites (in particular, ones related to the destruction of the system of traditional values and norms) exist in Russia, which requires increased attention and active state policy in matters related to the development of ideology and overcoming the soullessness of the ruling elites as a natural attribute of the historical period of postmodernity. The study is based on respected international sources of official statistical information (World Bank) and sociological measurements (European Social Survey, Edeleman Trust Barometer), as well as on the results of Russian and regional public opinion polls.

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National security strategy - 2021: positive experiences and conflicting expectations

National security strategy - 2021: positive experiences and conflicting expectations

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

In May 2016, analyzing the interim results of the third presidential term of V.V. Putin, as well as the National Security Strategy, signed by the head of state on December 31, 2015, we have concluded that “the contradictions existing today in the public administration system are a natural result of the President's activities” related to the unresolved task of “bringing the interests of the elites in line with the national security interests” (Source: Ilyin V.A. President Vladimir Putin's third four-year term: contradictory outcomes - an expected result. Economic and social changes: facts, trends, forecast, 2016, no. 2 (44). pp. 9-21). Five years later, in the middle of 2021, a number of internal and external political events (including the new National Security Strategy signed by the President of the Russian Federation on July 2, 2021) again actualizes the question of the need to analyze the key changes that have occurred in the country during this period. How have the Russian society and the public administration system changed? What conceptual problems are still unresolved? And the most important: what role can the current trends in the development of the state and society play in the context of ensuring Russia's national security, taking into account the current situation in the domestic and foreign political arena by the middle of 2021? The following material reflects the authors' point of view on these issues. Based on expert assessments, data of official statistics, and Russian and regional sociological studies, the article analyzes the essence and prospects for the implementation of specific provisions of the National Security Strategy 2021. The authors come to the conclusion that the Strategy objectively reflects the current position of Russia in the domestic and foreign political arena by the middle of 2021, while its key points are aimed at a longterm perspective and are focused primarily on strengthening moral component of the Russian elites and Russian society. This causes positive feelings, but at the same time, based on the analysis of the previous experience in achieving strategic goals and objectives set out in the “May decrees” and national projects, it leaves conflicting expectations about the realism of their practical implementation.

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Nationally oriented rotation of the elites - the most important condition for the implementation of national projects

Nationally oriented rotation of the elites - the most important condition for the implementation of national projects

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

In the previous issues of our journal12 we have repeatedly addressed the problem of ineffectiveness of the Government’s implementation of the President’s instructions, which Vladimir Putin voiced in his Addresses to the Federal Assembly, in “May Decrees”, etc. In the 2018-2024 political cycle, the main directions of state policy are implemented through 12 national projects. The comprehensive analysis of expert opinions urges us to talk about the threat of disruption of their implementation once again. The following materials analyze the essence of national projects, the dynamics of their implementation, since their adoption (2005), during V. Putin’s third presidential term (2012-2018), as well as the specifics of the current socio-political situation in Russia in 2018-2019, which urgently requires a qualitative increase in the responsibility of the elites for the comprehensive achievement of the targets specified in the national projects for 2018-2024. 1 See, for example, editorials in the following issues of Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast: vol. 11, no. 2 (2018); vol. 10, no. 3 (2017); no. 2 (26) (2013); no. 6 (30) (2013); no. 3(21) (2012).

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Pension reform and exacerbating issues of the legitimacy of the government

Pension reform and exacerbating issues of the legitimacy of the government

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

In the first months of the new political season, which began after the March 2018 Presidential Election, the Government adopted and is currently discussing measures that received a very negative response from Russian society and many experts, especially against the background of election campaign promises and long-term goals of internal development that Vladimir Putin set out in his Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018. The greatest public response was caused by a draft law on raising the retirement age, although it should be noted that it is not the only one in the list of controversial administration decisions that bring to the fore the issue of compliance of state policy with the national interests or, in other words, the legitimacy of the government. The paper discusses scientific, theoretical and historical foundations of the legitimacy of the government. We present data on Russian national and regional studies of public opinion, indicating Russians’ growing discontent with the first steps of the Government in the new political season coinciding with Putin’s last (according to the Constitution of the Russian Federation) presidential term...

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Public administration efficiency in 2000-2018 in the assessments of the region's population

Public administration efficiency in 2000-2018 in the assessments of the region's population

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

Previous issues of our journal contain editorials devoted to the most acute issues of Russia's modern life and its future. Using expert assessments and the results of international, national and our own research, we touched upon key aspects of public administration efficiency in addressing the issues that ensure national security. These tasks are as follows: overcoming social inequality and “capitalism for the few”, ensuring the stability of the psychological state of society and promoting civic engagement of its main strata. We analyzed the state of affairs in science and education, in the economy and social sphere; we gave an objective assessment of the President's key speeches and analyzed how effectively the Government was implementing the President's orders (including those that were set out in the “May decrees”). We covered the most resonant events happening in the internal and international political arena. In the context of national security, we analyzed the correlation of interests of the general population and the elite...

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Revisiting the issue concerning the future of Russian statehood

Revisiting the issue concerning the future of Russian statehood

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

National and regional surveys show that the expert community is dominated by pessimistic assessments concerning the prospects of Russia’s future. The paper discusses the reasons for such a situation. We provide the data on the results of the gubernatorial elections that were held September 9, 2018 and showed that the support for candidates from the United Russia, the current ruling party, has decreased. In addition, we analyze the open data of official reporting of major corporations from five Russian regions; it allows us to draw a conclusion about the existence of legislative conditions in Russia that make it possible for major taxpayers to minimize the tax base, which leads to significant losses of the budgets of constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The paper concludes that it is necessary for the President to make tough decisions aimed at improving the efficiency of the public administration system.

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The disturbing future of 2024

The disturbing future of 2024

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

The article considers prospects for the implementation of Presidential Decree 204 “On national goals and strategic objectives of development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2024” dated May 7, 2018 and for the implementation of key guidelines announced by the head of state in his Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018. We considered expert assessments, analyzed the Russian President’s annual phone-in session with the nation (the “Direct Line”) held on June 7, 2018, and discussed the results of international research and all-Russian sociological surveys. All this allows us to conclude that if the composition of the Cabinet remains virtually unchanged for the next six years, it will be extremely difficult to implement ambitious plans for the internal development of the country. According to many experts, if we want to achieve breakthrough development, it is necessary to change the Government radically. This is dictated by the current geopolitical situation and the expectations of the general population. Nevertheless, at the beginning of his fourth presidential term Vladimir Putin has not taken such steps; consequently, it is unlikely that he will fulfill his election promises. It rather allows us to say that “oligarchic capitalism” will continue to dominate in the system of public administration.

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The problem of civilizational choice and its reflection in the key documents defining the present and future of Russia

The problem of civilizational choice and its reflection in the key documents defining the present and future of Russia

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

Due to the approach of 2024, when, under the current Constitution of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin will not be able to run for President, conceptual issues related to the results of the country's development in the 21st century and, most importantly, its prospects for the coming decades, are becoming more acute. One of these issues (determined, among other things, by the specifics of the modern historical stage of development of the world civilization as a whole) consists in the problem of civilizational self-determination, which, in fact, has been discussed by the scientific community in our country since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This problem is connected with the lack of strategic goal-setting as one of the key functions of public administration; such a situation has a lot of negative implications for the population and national development as a whole: from the lingering unresolved social problems (poverty, inequality, etc.) to the regular delays in the implementation of national projects and execution of specific orders of the head of state. In addition, according to the results of federal and regional studies, Russian society does not have a distinct cultural and value-based vector of development; moreover, against the background of the relentless need to increase the standard of living and achieve social justice, Russian society is increasingly becoming a consumer society with all its key shortcomings such as obsession with the material component of life, the desire to achieve personal success, ignoring the historically established norms of morality, etc. In the context of the issue of civilizational choice becoming more important as well as a wide range of problems caused by its absence, we analyze the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation - the key federal documents that reflect basic principles of the existing dynamics and future prospects of national development. We come to the conclusion that the ruling elites do not work to form the spiritual and moral foundations of Russian society; consequently, the goals they set are focused on solving material problems only, which makes public administration similar to corporate governance. This poses one of the key threats to national security and national development and makes it necessary to hold a broad discussion initiated primarily by the government and aimed to consider practical possibilities and prospects for the implementation of the basic principles of the social state contained in the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

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Transitional forms of universal basic income as a real prospect for Russia

Transitional forms of universal basic income as a real prospect for Russia

Bobkov Vyacheslav N., Zolotov Aleksandr V., Odintsova Elena V.

Статья научная

The article presents the research results aimed at developing the theoretical provisions of the universal basic income concept summarizing and systematizing the results of a survey of Russian experts conducted by the authors about its principles, the possibilities of introduction in Russia, priority population categories for testing it, assessing the reality of expanding the tools of universal basic income taking into account the development of transitional forms of its use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The work reveals the relevance of UBI concept development in the context of the need to overcome mass poverty in Russia. The result of the theoretical analysis shows that generally recognized UBI principles (universality, unconditionality, individual nature of monetary payments, their regularity) are justified by long-term trends in social policy evolution. The prospect of introducing universal basic income is presented as a qualitative transition (leap) in implementation of the latter. The social policy measures, closest to implementation of UBI principles, are characterized as its transitional forms including experiments on its introduction. To assess the practical feasibility of UBI transitional forms, the article uses the results of a survey of experts from different Russian regions conducted with the authors' participation and a pilot experiment and modeling of the results of UBI toolkit implementation. The paper proposes a possible scheme for implementing UBI tools in Russia, as well as pilot projects for low-income families with children, graduates of universities and secondary vocational educational institutions during the transition from study to the first place of work, the unstable employed (including the unemployed). The authors assess the paradox of activating the implementation of UBI principles in the context of the COVID-2019 pandemic under unfavorable financial conditions as confirming the reality of the prospects for its transitional forms for Russia. The results of the study can contribute to the development of discussions about the introduction of UBI tools in the Russian Federation, and to the promotion of its wide experimental testing for different population categories. It is advisable to continue research in the aspect of analyzing the experience of developing social support in the context of a pandemic and modeling the possible effects and costs of introducing UBI.

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Trends in public opinion regarding the effectiveness of public administration. Presidential cycles 2000-2021

Trends in public opinion regarding the effectiveness of public administration. Presidential cycles 2000-2021

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

Since 2008, in the Editorial section of the journal, we have been monitoring the effectiveness of public administration; this helps us to analyze the consistent steps that the President makes in order to build new foundations of the Russian statehood, which was, in fact, completely destroyed in 1991. Besides, we assess the effectiveness of the President’s decisions from the point of view of the broad strata of the Russian population (voters), whose opinion is one of the main criteria for the effectiveness of the public administration system and the work of the head of state. In order to form an objective and unbiased view of the events and processes taking place in Russia and abroad, we use assessments obtained from a wide range of specialists in various fields: political analysts, economists, sociologists, philosophers, representatives of civil society. No less important is our regular access to a significant number of statistical, sociological, Russian and foreign databases; by using them comprehensively, we can look at the situation in the country and assess the effectiveness of public administration from the point of view of not only individual experts, but also voters. The main information source of sociological data in our research is the public opinion monitoring that we have been conducting in the Vologda Oblast since 1996. Regularly, once every two months, we carry out a survey covering 1.5 thousand residents of the region, thus obtaining an average annual “cross-section” of public opinion based on the estimates of nine thousand voters representing the main social strata and groups that differ in income, territory of residence, employment, marital status, education and many other socio-demographic characteristics. Due to a monitoring nature of the research, we can observe how, in the course of time, the events and decisions taken by the head of state are lined up in a clear, consistent, logically verified line, which many experts can see. But the majority of voters who observe “with the naked eye” the situation in the country and the actions of the authorities, do not see this line, because it is perceived on a subconscious and routine level, that is, based on the general opinion prevailing in their environment and stereotypes that people develop through their own life experience, the experience of relatives and friends (including negative life experience of the 1990s). This is why our editorial articles often supplement the analysis of latest events and processes in Russia and abroad with a retrospective look at the management decisions that preceded them. We pay special attention to the principle of historicism, and in this regard it is important for us to build a chronology of events. The current article is the last one in 2021; it briefly summarizes the analysis of public administration effectiveness in the context of Vladimir Putin’s presidential terms, with an emphasis on the first four years of the fourth presidential cycle (2018-2021).

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Voters Supported the President: On the Results of the Election to the State Duma of the Eighth Convocation

Voters Supported the President: On the Results of the Election to the State Duma of the Eighth Convocation

Ilyin V.A., Morev M.V.

Статья научная

On September 17–19, 2021, the election to the State Duma of the Russian Federation of the eighth convocation took place in Russia. The article analyzes the outcome of the vote according to official data of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. The results of the past elections are considered broken down by federal district, constituent entity, and municipality of the Russian Federation. We analyze the dynamics of the outcome of the parliamentary elections for the period from 2007 to 2021. The results of the latest election are compared with the results of the RF presidential election (2018) and the all-Russian referendum on amendments to the Constitution (2020). We consider the latest parliamentary election in a broad context – as part of the internal Russian political process. In this regard, a significant part of the article is devoted to the analysis of specific managerial decisions made by the Russian President and aimed at addressing the issue of forming a new, post-Soviet statehood, the key elements of which were revealed in the President’s article “Russia at the turn of the Millennium” (1999). Official statistics, independent experts’ assessments and sociological research findings allow us to say that the head of state has adopted comprehensive and consistent decisions to achieve the tasks he formulated in 1999 (the Russian idea, a strong state, an efficient economy); but so far, not all the goals stated in these tasks have been achieved. At a meeting with deputies of the State Duma of the eighth convocation the President noted that the low level of Russians’ income was the main obstacle to stable development and demographic future. And it is the most objective self-assessment of the effectiveness of the entire system of public administration.

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What will Putin bequeath to his successor in 2024?

What will Putin bequeath to his successor in 2024?

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

In accordance with the title of the journal Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, in the editorial article we analyze objective and real trends and facts in Russia’s domestic and foreign political and socio-economic life. Trying to distance ourselves from a subjective viewpoint, we rely in our analysis on the assessments given by experts from different fields of knowledge (economists, sociologists, public figures, etc.), as well as on a long-term database of sociological data, formed on the results of our own observations for the period since 1996 up to the present time. For more than 20 years now, every two months, we analyze the data of a sociological monitoring, which shows that there are significant and largely positive changes in the President’s foreign policy, but the dynamics of the domestic socio-economic situation in Russia are stagnant: during the period from 2000 to the present time, the key issues of concern to people have not changed, and the relevance of many of them has even increased...

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Where does the soullessness of the ruling elites lead?

Where does the soullessness of the ruling elites lead?

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

On April 21, 2021, President V.V. Putin once again addressed the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and outlined the country's key upcoming development areas. Presidential Address was mostly social and aimed at solving domestic problems: comprehensive support for population and business in the “post-covid” period, restoration of the economy and social sphere's normal functioning, as well as the ability of the Government to maintain health of citizens and improve the demographic situation. The President touched upon many important issues that were demanded by a wide range of Russian society, gave instructions to the Government of the Russian Federation and regional authorities, and announced specific measures to support people in difficult life situations. Meanwhile, the issues of Russia's foreign policy and its positioning within the framework of international relations remained basically outside this Presidential Address. The President only hinted that “those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time”, “we ourselves will determine in each specific case where the red line will be drawn with regard to Russia”. However, as many experts note, after the victory of J. Biden in the US presidential election, there was the beginning of the culmination of the struggle between global forces for the return of dominant positions in the world that they have gradually lost over the past decades, for a unipolar or multipolar form of the future world order, prospects for the transition of world civilization from modernism to postmodernism. In these conditions, the issues related to Russia's civilizational self-determination and awareness of a kind of the state we are building, reasons that prevent us from effectively implementing the welfare state principles in the country, many of which were embodied in the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation in July 2020, become more relevant than ever.

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“...And most importantly, there will be no destitute people in Russia”. “Capitalism for the few” - a key problem of national security

“...And most importantly, there will be no destitute people in Russia”. “Capitalism for the few” - a key problem of national security

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

The article deals with the problem of poverty and other consequences of the inefficient current system of public administration. The current state of affairs concerning the implementation of the May 2012 decrees, the long-term dynamics of official statistics and sociological surveys, concrete facts, and assessments of many experts suggest that the orientation of the ruling elites toward obtaining personal benefits is the main threat to the implementation of the tasks set out by the President (overcoming the lag; finding breakthrough solutions to the country's internal problems) and to the achievement of specific development indicators that he pointed out in the Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018. The article provides information on major results of the 2012 and 2018 presidential elections indicating a significantly increasing support for Vladimir Putin in Russian society (especially in large cities) and at the same time the people's rising hopes for his showing the political will and making decisive action on the nationalization of the elites that hinder the implementation of national interests in the dynamic development of the standard of living and quality of life...

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“Intellectual feebleness” of the ruling elites and the “deep people” of the “long state”

“Intellectual feebleness” of the ruling elites and the “deep people” of the “long state”

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

In 2018, Russian society faced a contradiction, caused by the discrepancy between the official political rhetoric and the real actions of the Government. Instead of the priorities stated in the President's Address to the Federal Assembly and in the “May decree” (reducing poverty twofold, Russia's joining the top five economies of the world, etc.), the society was faced with the need to take a “bitter medicine” in the form of raising the retirement age. Moreover, the news about the changes in pension legislation reached the general public just after the inauguration of the President (the inauguration took place on May 7, 2018, and the draft law on the pension reform was submitted to the State Duma on June 16). The initial reaction to the pension reform was adamantly negative: according to the surveys conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation, almost 80% of Russians were against the reform. Over the following months, a wave of protests swept across the country and stopped only after Vladimir Putin made an official appeal to the Russian people on August 29 and explained that the pension system has to be reformed; he proposed some adjustments that would soften some conditions of the reform for certain population groups. However, despite the fact that the visible signs of public discontent (protests, critical articles, etc.) are gradually fading, the level of people's support for the authorities, including the President of the Russian Federation, continued to decline; fundamental changes began to take place in the public consciousness, and such changes are of a long-term nature. This fact proves that the pension reform only triggered a more profound internal discontent that has been accumulating over the last years. Thus, at the beginning of 2019, the fundamental question concerning the legitimacy of power in Russia became one of the most pressing and urgent for society and authorities with regard to actual implementation of the tasks set out in the “May Decree”, qualitative growth of the standard of living and, by and large, preservation of the Russian statehood. A deep and ideologically saturated article of V. Putin's personal adviser V. Surkov, which was published in February 2019, addresses this very issue (as some experts think), and it has caused a wide resonance in the academic, political and social environment. The following materials present our views on Surkov's article and on a significant set of issues raised in it. The conclusions we come to are supported not only by the results of our own studies of the long-term dynamics of public opinion, but also by expert assessments, which largely reflect the real situation in the country.

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“Russian Federation - a welfare state?” Assessing the results of 25 years of implementation of article 7 of the Russian constitution

“Russian Federation - a welfare state?” Assessing the results of 25 years of implementation of article 7 of the Russian constitution

Ilyin Vladimir A., Morev Mikhail V.

Статья научная

December 12, 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The paper provides our own assessment of the implementation of one of the main provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation: “The Russian Federation is a social State whose policy is aimed at creating conditions for a worthy life and a free development of man” (Article 7). We define and substantiate the criteria of efficiency of implementation of this provision; we also provide the data of foreign, Russian and regional sociological studies that reflect a subjective assessment of the dynamics of living standards and quality of life by Russians. We pay special attention to public administration efficiency in overcoming social inequality and achieving social justice. Ultimately, we raise the questions whether Russia is a social state, how far it has advanced in this direction over the past 25 years, and what its prospects can be in the near future.

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