TRACTUS AEVORUM 2(2). Fall/Winter 2015
Thematic Issue: Challenges of International and Domestic Transformations
Guest-edited by Andrei V. Korobkov
CONTROLLING SOCIETY/ CONTROLLING THE STATE:
CRIME AND CORRUPTION WITH A FOCUS ON MEXICO
Stephen D. Morris
Middle Tennessee State University
At a fundamental level, crime and corruption represent the failure to effectively control society (crime) and the state (corruption). Despite the fact that many countries like Mexico face problems in both areas, the literature exploring the links between the two remains limited. This paper explores the intersection of crime and corruption, drawing on the Mexican case for examples and discussion. After defining and differentiating the two concepts to broadly encompass violations of the rule of law by citizens (crime) and state officials (corruption), the paper reviews the handful of empirical studies exploring the crime-corruption linkage. It then turns to a discussion of the issue of causality, detailing how crime—under certain conditions—facilitates corruption and corruption nurtures crime both directly and indirectly by way of a set of intervening variables. The paper highlights the common underlying determinants influencing both factors and examines the scope and reach of the model. It concludes by briefly laying out the next steps in the broader study of the interaction of state controls over society and societal controls over the state.
THE EVOLUTION OF LOCAL HUMAN CIVILIZATIONS AND
THE PROBLEM OF THE PROLIFERATION OF STANDARDS
IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Leonid Iu. Gusev, Andrey A. Kazantsev
The authors consider the ongoing development of local human civilizations in the neighboring regions to Russia (Europe, the Islamic world, and the Pacific Rim). This issue is analyzed through the proliferation of norms within the system of international relations, a key process in guaranteeing international stability. The authors conclude that the speed of norm proliferation in international relations in the twenty-first century will be hampered by a number of factors. First, the dynamics of European and American development indicate a clear decrease in unifying potential as a result of Western influence on other civilizations. Second, the study of the development of Islamic civilization indicates a significant potential for rejection of norm unification. Third, analysis of Pacific Rim civilizations demonstrates that economic development of this region is accompanied by a set of alternative cultural norms to the Eurocentric world.
BRICS MEMBERS AND THE MIGRATION CHALLENGE
Andrei V. Korobkov
Middle Tennessee State University
While BRICS is quickly evolving, significant differences remain in the socio-economic structures, and the dynamics and goals of economic development of its member states. Migration represents one of the areas in which BRICS countries can have mutually complementary structural characteristics and goals of development, allowing for the formulation of coherent common policies. In particular, the formation of a system regulating various types of legal labor (highly skilled, educational, and low skilled) migration flows and preventing illegal migration within BRICS as well as the formulation of common policies in regard to migration exchanges with third countries is desirable. Of special importance is policy coordination in the field of highly skilled and educational migration, providing for a more effective use of BRICS members’ human capital and enhancing their cooperation in the fields of science, technology, and education.
NATION BRANDING AND RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Globalisation has stimulated an intense competition among countries, in which the issue of nation brand is a central consideration. Since the mid-2000s, Russia has joined a list of countries that seek to use nation branding to fulfil politically determined and directed national ambitions. In taking stock of the current debate on this issue, the author addresses how Russia uses nation branding, what ends this is intended to serve, and what tangible resources are exploited to brand the country. In this context soft power is also considered. In conclusion it is stressed that Russia`s nation branding requires a bottom-up approach to succeed, as ordinary citizens convey as much, if not more, about a country than hosted international events.
BELARUS: AN UNLIKELY BENEFICIARY OF CRISIS IN UKRAINE
The author considers the crisis in Ukraine from geopolitical angle while concentrating on the role of Belarus in it. He comes to conclusion that Belarus`s ability to benefit from the crisis nearby while simultaneously working to bring this crisis to an end deserves greater scrutiny and international recognition.
POST-ELECTION SEASON IN BELARUS: ECONOMY DETERMINES POLITICS
St. Petersburg State University
The author examines the development of Belarus after the presidential elections of October 2015. He argues that the Belarusian economic model, as currently exists, can only survive if Russia continues to offer support. Given the country’s historical and cultural background, in the medium term, the demand for reform can be satisfied based on a scenario alternative to the catastrophic one adopted by Belarus’s southern neighbor.
Full issue in PDF