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- А.С.Макарычев, профессор Нижегородского лингвистического университета
Summarizing our research findings, four conclusions have to be drawn. First, Tatarstani aspirations for sovereignty are developed in three basic directions: a) sovereignty is perceived in cultural and spiritual terms, with ethnic identity as a core factor; b) the bid for sovereignty has clear economic and financial background; c) sovereignty is a political strategy based on historical legacies of medieval nationhood of Tatars and its aspirations to build up relations with the federal center on reciprocity and the balance of interests.
Second, the example of Tatarstan shows that there is a positive correlation between internal autonomy and external capacities of the region. Simultaneously it might be assumed that the extent to which an entity is a subject of international political and legal relations is a matter of degree and a function of the totality of region’s international rights, responsibilities, resources, and abilities1880.
Third, due to Tatarstan policies the new understanding of sovereignty may be born in Russia, that one that recognizes that each sovereignty – be it republic or the federation - has its limitations. Unfortunately, the federal policy in regard to Tatarstan was and still is rather indistinct and ambivalent. Basically what is called “policy” is a set of improvisations and random measures lacking systemic vision of the problem. If the federal center however refuses to stick to self-constraining approach, republics like Tatarstan in the long run would be forced to look for their greater independence1881.
Fourth, we may conclude that globalization bring not only new opportunities, but also new challenges for Tatarstan. In political terms, Russia’s integration to the international legal system (joining the Council of Europe, for example) has to make obsolete and outdated a variety of procedural norms existing in the republic. Thus, the widely used practice of restricting open political discussions under the guise of “defending the honor and dignity of the President” is in clear conflict with the most recent European Court regulations aimed to prevent any kind of political censorship. Registration restrictions applied to non-Tatarstani media wishing to operate in the republic also contradict to the European Convention on Human Rights and Basic Liberties1882.
In cultural terms, globalization – with its unification of basic social practices, norms and rules - is also a challenge to ethnic and religious identity, which always claims its exclusive rights, specific needs and peculiar status. This is a contradiction many other multiethnic countries have already experienced1883. Now it’s Russia’s – and its republics’ - turn to rediscover and adequately react to these challenges.
“The Big Other” And “The Small Other”:
Discursive Asymmetries And Cleavages In Russian – Danish Relations
Professor of International Relations, Nizhny Novgorod Linguistic University
I found this to be a fascinating analysis of Danish-Russian relations and an exceptional application of constructivist approaches to the conduct of foreign policy, diplomacy and international relations. With good sub editing (both Danish and English) this is potentially an excellent addition to the DFPY.
The author begins by outlining a number of obvious empirical contrasts between Russia and Denmark; relative economic positions, political stability, rule of law, position of women etc. The author goes on to argue that these contrasts are, in effect, further exacerbated by perhaps a more fundamental cleavage (at least as foreign policy and bilateral diplomacy are concerned) in political discourse.
The first case study is that of ‘Europe’ and the author successfully illustrates the varied ways in which the concept of Europe is positioned politically and then subsequently how policy makers in each state then position themselves vis a vis this concept. In the Danish example this is a policy debate surrounding a marginality strategy versus a core-country strategy. In Russia’s case it is a debate surrounding Russian ‘specificity’ vis a vis the EU and/or a resulting strategy of a ‘Europe of Two Empires’ – Brussels versus Moscow. The comparisons and contrasts are illuminating - especially the surprisingly similar attachment to nation-stateness that is evident in policy statements from both sides.
The very greatest strength in this article, however, comes from the section on security policy. The author very effectively dissects the distinctive approaches of Denmark and Russia vis a vis ‘terrorism’ and the resulting security threats. The key issue arising is the very different understanding of concepts and frameworks that underpin respective positions and the ways in which these very fundamental differences have impacted directly and publicly upon bilateral relations – illustrating almost a dialogue of the deaf. Key policy makers in each country read the ‘threat’ differently and thereby prescribe differently. Even more significantly, policy decisions (and non-decisions) are interpreted by decision makers in the other capital in ways that are almost unintelligible to those making the original decisions (or who insist that they have no decision making power). Nonetheless, the author does assert that there are means by which these respective interlocutors may overcome their basic definitional and conceptual differences in developing a common language and approach.
I would strongly support publication of this piece – it is intellectually sound, theoretically advanced and empirically fascinating.
РЕГИОНЫ РОССИЙСКО-ЕВРОПЕЙСКОГО «ПРЯМОГО СОСЕДСТВА»: ОЦЕНКА КОНКУРЕНТНЫХ ПОЗИЦИЙ США
А.С.Макарычев, профессор Нижегородского лингвистического университета