The Russian Sociological Review, 2019 (1) en-us Copyright 2019 Thu, 28 Mar 2019 08:18:13 +0300 Post-City (II): Cartographies of Imaginaton and Co-spatiality Politics From a methodological standpoint, a comprehensive study of post-urbanism implies a cognitive fixation of any spatial event as co-spatial. We can talk about the co-existence of different cognitive/ontological regimes in the post-urban reality, which themselves can also be called co-spatial. Co-spatialities, understood as communicative event nodes, can be considered as key elements in a prototypical imagination map of post-urban space. Post-urban geo-cultures, producing a variety of cartographies of the imagination, are fundamentally heterotopic. Different communities become post-urban in forming their transversal cartographies of the imagination, constantly proliferate, become more and more co-spatial and, consequently, generate this post-politics which is aimed at accelerating a multiple dispersion of communicative events. Post-urban communities create post-political situations in which the cartographies of the imagination becomes the bases of new urban landscapes or new geo-cultures. The post-city develops practices and processes of hetero-textuality when the texts of individual geo-cultures do not assume a common space of reading, a plan of value, or a plan of expression, and only comes into existence in terms of consistent landscape modulations immanent to imaginary cartographies. Any post-city cartography of imagination supports special landscape modes which create the realities of material and mental character. Any cartography of imagination can be thought of phenomenologically as the line becomes a particular identity of individuals and communities. Post-nomadic mobilities lead to the coexistence of multitudes of such cartographies whose event co-spatialities create a post-political communities, and manipulate differences of the “velocity” of multiple communicative discourses. The creation of new cartographies of imagination forms post-urbanism as an art of detailed co-spatialities. On Heterotopia of a Commodified Dwelling Space (Case of Baikalsk) In the article, we examine the phenomenon of short-term apartment rentals for tourists by the residents of the city of Baikalsk. The residents live in their apartments for the most part of their lives, but leave at the moment of the apartment’s rental. We base our analysis on the field studies (interviews and observations) conducted in Baikalsk in 2006–2016, as well as statistical data and Internet sources. In order to grasp the complexity of the studied phenomenon, the concept of heterotopia was chosen. This allowed us to overcome the “public/private” dichotomy in identifying the following features of the phenomenon of short-term rental: (1) the informal character of home rental; (2) the ability to associate in one place private and public spaces, traditionally perceived as incompatible; (3) network relations between tenants and hosts; (4) the emerging heterochrony as a result of apartment owners changing their habits and rituals when leaving their private space, while the tenants associate the rented space with recreation and entertainment. The home rental practice might be considered as an art of solving some practical problems. Such skills are especially relevant in case of societies undergoing transition from one state to another. In the globalizing world, almost all communities can be characterized as such to some degree. Echo of the Arab Spring in Eastern Europe: A Quantitative Analysis The article analyzes the impact of the Arab Spring on destabilization processes in Eastern Europe. The authors show how the success of the Arab revolutions influenced the rise of protest activity in Eastern Europe in 2011. The similarities of the protests in Eastern Europe with the protests of the Arab Spring period are demonstrated. We also analyze ways of borrowing patterns of destabilization. The wave of protest activity after 2011 is compared with the previous wave of protest activity initiated by the global financial-economic crises of 2008–2009. In addition to the external factor of the Arab Spring, the article examines the internal factors of the protest activity of the second wave of the economic crisis associated with the economic crises in Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Greece. The authors define the most typical forms of destabilization for Eastern Europe: anti-government demonstrations, riots, terrorist actions, and guerrilla warfare. The contribution of the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014 to the dynamics of the most violent forms of protest in Eastern Europe is also analyzed. In explaining the special case of Ukraine which breaks with the general trend of Eastern Europe, the authors show that Ukraine experienced a transition from less-violent forms of destabilization (anti-government demonstrations and riots) to more violent ones (guerrilla warfare and terrorist attacks) in 2013–2014. The reasons for the growth of terrorist activity and guerrilla warfare as well as the role of the war in Donbass are discussed. It is shown that though the case of Ukraine is unique for Eastern Europe in the period under study, it has many parallels on a global scale. Is Ethnic Discrimination a Matter of Common Sense in the Fight against Crime and Terrorism? Despite the prohibition of racial discrimination by Russian and international legislation, it remains in Russia and abroad. This problem has become especially acute in the context of the fight against terrorism. Since September 11, 2001, the popular view is that ethnically-selective control is illegal but effective, and therefore an indispensable means of countering the terrorist threat and other global security challenges. The member States of the Council of Europe (including Russia) as well as the United States have issued orders on the ethnically-selective control over citizens and related practices. This article is devoted to the analysis of such practices and orders in different regions of the Russian Federation. In addition, the article discusses similar international experiences in the fight against crime and terrorism. The empirical bases of the research are documentary sources: orders and programs of regional authorities and reports on the progress of their implementation; reports of police officers; materials of interdepartmental meetings, and other open-access documents that are posted on official websites of state institutions. It is concluded that ethnically-selective control is ineffective and leads to a number of negative consequences such as a decrease in public safety, a distrust of the police, the stigmatization of ethnic and national groups, and an increase of inter-ethnic tension in society. The use of alternative methods of combating terrorism and other types of crime can both improve efficiency and avoid discrimination. Radical Democratic Model of Politics as a Response to the Problem of Refugees Political Integration This article is devoted to the analysis of the origins of the unsatisfactory situation concerning refugees, and searching for a new model of emancipatory politics that will be useful to overcome this situation. The main thesis of the article is that the positions articulated by G. Agamben, J. Ranciere, and J. Butler can be combined in a radical democratic model of politic that is based on a revised concept of human rights. First, the authors turn to the basic categories used in the analysis of political theories: national state, sovereignty, refugees, stateless people, and human rights. Then, the authors examine the context of the emerging liberal conception of human rights and the critics of this conception. After presenting the main arguments against the liberal conception of human rights, the authors turn to the theory of sovereign power. One of the main conclusions of this theory is that emancipatory political theorists should refuse the concept of human rights. Agamben’s argumentation of such a refusal is based on the statement about the inevitable connection between human rights and state power. The authors point out both the positive and negative aspects of Agamben’s approach as well as showing its advantages and limitations. Next, the authors demonstrate an alternative approach to human rights as proposed by J. Ranciere. At the end of the article, the authors present a constructive model of emancipatory politics which incorporates the ideas of G. Agamben, J. Ranciere, and J. Butler. For the authors of this paper, this model is free of the main drawbacks of the approaches under consideration. The advantages of the model are an expansive view of power, and the reintroduction of the notion of solidarity into emancipatory theory. Blockchain and Social Concepts: Exposure of the Problem Field The article studies the influence of blockchain technology on the formation of semantic structures in the social world. The feature of this influence is that the usage of a decentralized distributed database challenges traditional forms of social interactions, serving as a catalyst for constituting social values without analogues in the social world. Because the concepts developed in classical social theory are used to describe these values, this requires an actualization of its thesaurus. In particular, the article studies the concepts of trust, responsibility, time, and mining in the context of the introduction of blockchain technology. Because the content of these concepts is open and developing, they are given the status of social concepts. The study uses the аctor-network theory as a theoretical and methodological basis. It lets us abandon conventions of common knowledge, and shows that these concepts are semantic nodes which emerge as trails (or links to trails) of the configured actions of actor-actants. In conclusion, the studied concepts are proposed to be used with the following meanings: (1) trust is confidence in algorithmized certainty processes and the actions of communication participants, and is based on the guarantees provided by decentralized information systems and on restricting freedom by subjecting anonymous collective identities; (2) responsibility is the personal willingness of participants to take actions in conditions of uncertainty, and to compensate risks; (3) block-time is the own-time of the technology of blocking, which characterizes the state of the protocol for the external observer. For the internal observer, block-time is chronological, since it fixes the timeless stability of the algorithm which connects blocks with each other; (4) mining is a kind of economic activity based on the synthesis of cryptographic technologies and the perception of archaic ideas about risk, luck, and wealth. The Politics of Explanation and Strategy of Description of Bruno Latour: How to Write Infra-reflexive Texts The article is an attempt to interpret Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a recording device or, in other words, as a way of translating the world into a textual form. In directly posing the question of what ANT is and what it means to be an actor-network theorist, the author shows that this, first of all, means writing specific texts. If we accept such a version of what ANT is, then the question is how Latour proposes to write texts. His strategy of description is based on a certain politics of explanation. Like any other politics, the politics of explanation is based on certain principles or credo; in this case, these principles are related to the influence of the semiotics, ethnomethodology, and results of what Latour called the anthropology of the modern. This text, on the one hand, analyzes how Latour selectively borrows elements of semiotics and ethnomethodology in developing his policy of explanation. On the other hand, the author shows how this politics of explanation is implemented in practice in a specific description strategy. The author concludes that Latour’s politics of explanation and the subsequent description strategy presupposes an average path between two extremes. The first extreme is the output to the meta level, and the second is the use of only the explanations of the actors themselves. This middle path consists of the development of certain principles of description that would not lead either to the replacement of the language of actors by the language of a sociologist, or to a simple repetition of the language of actors. The ANT infra-language does not say anything meaningful about the world, but, in a certain way, organizes a description of the world as it is as an empty template which must be re-applied each time. It is for this reason that it is possible for historical, ethnographic, and mixed ANT-research. Justice in Sociological Discourse: Semantic, Empirical, Historical, and Conceptual Challenges One of the key features of social sciences and humanities distinguishing them from technical and natural sciences are the frequent intersections of their terminology with everyday discourse. Some social concepts have completely different interpretations in sociological discourse and everyday life, with the words “field” and “panel” as good examples. However, the majority of similar concepts of everyday life and sociological research have quite the same content. The word “justice” and its derivatives stand out in this set of terms, for hardly any other concept in human history is saturated with political connotations, or requires little additional explanation when used in social-economic debates or military conflicts. As a result, the word “justice” is widely used in all “life-worlds” (i.e., according to A. Schütz, justice seems to be both a ‘first-order construct’ and a ‘second-order construct’), which complicates its unambiguous conceptual and empirical interpretations in sociological research. The article was supposed to be a review of two books, A History of Justice: From the Pluralism of Forums to the Modern Dualism of Conscience and Law by P. Prodi, and The Idea of Justice by A. Sen, providing a clearer conceptual definition of justice. However, it turned into reflections with some theoretical and empirical examples on why such searches in sociology are important and inevitable, but are unlikely to end with a satisfying result. This does not make such searches meaningless, but rather utopian in nature, and essential for the self-identification of the discipline through the questioning of its own conceptual foundations. On the Violence of History Book Review: Petar Bojanić, Nasilie i messinaizm [Violence and Messianism] (Ekaterinburg: Kabinetny ucheny, 2018) (in Russian). In Search of Lost Modernity Book Review: Fredric Jameson, Postmodernizm ili kulturnaya logika pozdnego kapitalizma[Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism] (Moscow: Gaidar Institute Publishing House, 2019). In the Barns of Memory One Cannot Separate Wheat from Chaff Book review: Francis X. Blouin Jr., William G. Rosenberg, Proiskhozhdenie proshlogo: “podlinnost’” dlia istorikov i arkhivistov [Processing the Past: Changing Authorities in History and the Archives] (Saint Petersburg: EU Press, 2017) (in Russian). Flat Realism Book Review: Manuel DeLanda, Novaya filosofiya obschestva: teoriya assamblyazhei i sotsial’naya slozhnost’ [A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity] (Perm: Hyle Press, 2018) (in Russian). The Philosopher Robert Spaemann and His Public Positions The article is written with the death of German philosopher Robert Spaemann in mind and is a kind of philosophical obituary summing up some of the results of the philosopher’s life relating to his position as a citizen. In Germany, his philosophy was attributed to the so-called Ritter School, although his views were strongly influenced by H.-G. Gadamer, whom he followed while working at the University of Heidelberg. Many of his works were created at the intersection of ethics and political philosophy. Here, one of his favorite themes was human dignity, which was primarily related to the fact that man belongs to the human race and this determines the basic values of existence. Hence, his attitude towards the value of life itself and his negative attitude towards suicide as a conscious withdrawal from life or euthanasia are found. In recent years, before his death, he had been engaged in philosophical analysis and the criticism of the new system of European values which was detached from the peculiarities of national, primarily religious, values. In this regard, he criticized political power for not relying on moral principles. A Cosmopolitan Democrat. David Held (1951–2019)