The Russian Sociological Review, 2022 (2) en-us Copyright 2022 Tue, 28 Jun 2022 19:48:29 +0300 Political Regime Types and Revolutionary Destabilization Risks in the Twenty-First Century In this paper, we report the inverted U-shaped relationship between the regime type (on the autocracy — democracy scale) and the risks of revolutionary destabilization. Autocracies tend to be more vulnerable to revolutionary destabilization than full autocracies or consolidated democracies. We would also point at a strong positive correlation between the weakening of autocracies and the risks of revolutionary destabilization that exists among full autocracies. We also observe a certain asymmetry of the U-shaped relationship with full autocracies being far more vulnerable to revolutionary destabilization than full democracies, and with partial autocracies being far more vulnerable to revolutionary destabilization than partial democracies (with factional democracies being the most exposed type of partial democracies). We hence answer the question posed in the late twentieth century if the era of revolution ends with the spread of democracies. The analysis suggests that this will not happen in the foreseeable future. On the one hand, our analysis confirms that consolidated democracy is the most efficient mechanism preventing the emergence of any serious attempts to overthrow power via revolutionary means. However, on the other hand, less than a third of contemporary democracies are consolidated, whereas most of the twenty-first century democracies are partial (a third of which, in turn, are factional democracies); and, as our analysis suggests, revolutions are rather probable in partial democracies (and are even more probable in factional ones). In addition, full autocracies that start moving toward democracy and shifting to partial autocratic rule have increased risks of revolutionary destabilization, which explains why the contemporary global spread of democracy was associated with a rise — rather than a decline — of revolutionary activity. Also, as we find, revolutionary events, e. g., revolutionary movements without revolutions and analogues of revolutions, are quite possible in consolidated democracies. Finally, strong forms of revolutionary destabilization are quite possible in cases when consolidated democracy de-consolidates, which also suggests that the era of revolutions is not going to end in the foreseeable future. An Orthodox Priest at War: The Classification of Moral Experience The relevance and practical significance of the study of the moral experience of a priest in the time of war is due to the actual lack of research on the critical understanding of the personal choice made by an individual in the situation of perpetrating, suffering, or witnessing violence during wars. In the modern analytical tradition, the problem of moral experience in war is more often revealed from the point of view of normative approaches associated with the just war theory. In our opinion, it is necessary to understand war, first of all, as a situation that violates the fundamental principles of modern morality. This article is aimed at the researching and classification of the models of moral choice made by Orthodox priests who took part in the wars. It is only as a result of studying the functioning of moral choice in specific situations and understanding the personal experience of war that is it possible to reconstruct the ethos and to formulate the ethics of war. This approach has a philosophical and anthropological character, since it seeks to answer the question of “how to remain human in a non-human situation?”. The sociological perspective of the study of this problem allows us to identify the institutional factors that influence the priest‘s decision-making. At the same time, it becomes possible to identify the transformations in the moral structure of the priest’s personality, which occur depending on the degree of his involvement in army life. Vita COVIDa as a Biopolitical Modality of Life in a Pandemic The pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection has formed a special biopolitical modality of life, that of vita COVIDa. Biopolitics, the tools of which the authorities turned to in a pandemic, re-assembled the social space, thus changing the flow of social time. In this accelerated mode, the path from isolation through quarantine to vaccination has been completed. Historically-proven tools to combat the pandemic have been consistently combined. What was new was the appeal to the arsenal of modern digital technologies which made it possible to create a unique flexible barrier environment and control the process of the immunization of the population. Vita COVIDa was a form of further restriction of active life (vita activa). During the pandemic, consumption increased as an aspect of the work managed by animal laborans; there is a lack of creative activity carried out by homo faber; and there is a collapse of public space, leading to a pseudo-political virtual polemic in which a person gets bogged down as a zoon politikon. In conditions when the contemplative life (vita contemplativa) is captured by the effect of stickiness in the interpassivity mode, vita COVIDa slides to routine work and hyper-consumption, increasingly assigning the priority role of animal laborans to a person. The special spaces of the stationary (“Red Zone” or “camp of life”) and mobile (QR code) camps, formed in the mode of an undeclared state of emergency, produce a “naked life” (vita nuda). The increasing tension creates prerequisites for the invasion of the friend/enemy political-identifier proper into social relations, situationally assigning the status of homo sacer to persons whose modus operandi is perceived as risky. Foucault understood racism is actualized in the biopolitical space of the pandemic. The contradictory trends of the pandemic should be considered within the framework of the Esposito immunization paradigm, in which the pandemic with its threats of social collapse should be considered as something that requires an immune response in the form of a coordinated response of the authorities and the population to the threats of social collapse. The intense confrontations between humanity and disease and between the authorities and the population in the field of imposed restrictions and responsible adoption of the proposed measures lead to the need to develop co-vida vita (co-life) as a way of living and overcoming vita COVIDa during the return to the “old” new normality. Surveillance of Migrants, Construction Workers and Patients under COVID-19: New Technologies on Guard of “Dangerous Classes” Surveillance research is more than seven decades old, but this area has not yet attracted the attention of the scientific community in Russia. At the same time, surveillance technologies in the country are developing rapidly, having a significant impact on social processes and relations. This article seeks to contribute to the Russian academic discourse on surveillance. It focuses on a particular surveillance technology that, while originally aimed at the commercial realm, has moved into the realm of public–private partnerships and has rapidly evolved beyond what it was designed for. The concept of social sorting proposed by David Lyon is chosen as the main theoretical approach for the analysis of the empirical material. It also uses Guy Standing’s concept of the precariat, and Malcolm M. Feely and Jonathan Simon’s concept of the new penology. It is concluded that the studied surveillance technology is focused on preventing risky situations that may occur in the future (violations of labor discipline, the spread of coronavirus infection, or the non-compliance with Russian legislation and ignoring constitutionally significant values). Surveillance-targeting is driven by perceptions of a heightened risk posed by a range of populations in the context of these situations, and can be explained by referring to the concept of “dangerous classes”. Unlike the results obtained in a number of other works, this study shows that the surveillance technology considered does not lead to the complete exclusion of targeted categories of the population from the social space while performing the traditional function of disciplining the supervised and maximizing profits. German Sociological Association Activity Report This publication is the first Russian translation of Max Weber’s keynote address at the First Conference of the German Sociological Association (DGS) held at the Academy of Social and Commercial Sciences in Frankfurt, Germany, from October 19–22, 1910. At the first session on the morning of October 20, he delivered the business report of the German Sociological Association that had been founded in Berlin the year before. Weber was given the floor as a chairman of the auditing board immediately after the opening speech The Pathways and Objectives of Sociology by the Association’s president, Ferdinand Tönnies. In the conference transcript, Weber’s presentation is referred to as the DGS “Business Report”, though it is essentially the classic’s attempt to delineate a framework research program for the then-institutionalizing German sociology. At the outset, Weber talks about the principles of the Association’s activity as exemplified in its charter. First of all, he refers to the imperative of value neutrality, a central tenet to all Weberian sociology implying a purely scientific focus, i.e., free from political, ethical and other evaluations of scholarly interest in the subject. Additionally, he emphasizes the pragmatic nature of the DGS, since it is not a purely status-based association of academic “nobility”. In the main part of the paper, Weber discusses the specific clusters of topics that the Association has chosen to study as its priorities, including the sociology of the media, the sociology of unions and public associations, and the sociology of key professions in modern society. The scholar concludes by speaking about the DGS financial situation, and its general dependence on promoting a culture of scholarly sponsorship patterned after the American model. Common Roots, Diverse Results: Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch on the Social-Political Consequences of the Protestant Reformation The sociological studies of the role of Puritan ethics in the creation of modern rational Western capitalism by Max Weber and of the influence of Protestantism on the development of modern world by Ernst Troeltsch both gain new actuality today due to the discussions of the multiple modernities and the dynamic changes in comparative-historical political sociology. These outstanding German scientists (among the first who in their works on the history of Protestantism given the common religious and doctrinal grounds of Protestant Reformation in Germany, on the one hand, and Northern Europe and America on the other) asked why this process led to such different political, social and cultural results in these countries. In answering this question, both German academics not only realized that the basic typological distinctions between churches and sects must be taken into account in the analysis of Western religious movements of modernity, but also formulate the principle of the dependence of forms of government and political culture of the countries and regions of Western Europe and Northern America on the dominant confession, the particular organization of religious life. and the corresponding ethos of religious-ethical everyday lifestyle. It is suggested in the article that the conceptual apparatus elaborated by Max Weber in the course of his comparative-historical investigation of the ways of appearance and the spreading of modernity in Germany, America, and Russia and the Ernst Troeltsch in the course of his comparative studies of Western Christianity may be successfully used together in the revealing of actual contemporary political problems, and in an analysis of contemporary models of political culture relative to the religious and cultural contexts of their formation and evolution. Toward the Question of the Possibility of Political Theology: C. Schmitt Argues with E. Peterson The article deals with the epistolary controversy between the theologian E. Peterson and the jurist ะก. Schmitt about the possibility of Schmitt’s 1922 concept of “political theology” pointing out that modern political (state-legal) concepts are based on theological concepts. The answer to his text was a number of publications by E. Peterson who argued that the concept of political theology is untenable in relation to Christianity because it is impossible to establish a direct analogy between Trinitarian dogma and political reality, and because of the eschatological nature of the Christian faith which detracts from the significance of secular forces. According to Peterson, the concept of political theology can only make sense for Judaism and paganism. Almost forty years later, Schmitt devoted a separate work to the presentation of his counterarguments designed to show the logical and historical limitations of of Peterson’s proofs. Among other things, it was due to his desire to preserve the purity of Christian theology, which is exclusively dogmatic in nature. According to Schmitt, Peterson’s extremely refined view of Christian theology lead him to ignore specific historical circumstances associated with cardinal changes in the relationship between the Church and the State, leading to an incorrect understanding of political theology. The argument of Schmitt is based on the thesis of the totality of the political, which revolves around the decision about enemies and friends. The latter is reflected in Peterson’s works in the form of a theological decision that establishes the difference between the heretic and the orthodox. The border between the heretic and the orthodox retains its dogmatic character only if political neutralization is carried out, but becomes politically motivated (with a division into friends and enemies) when the struggle between the positions reaches the maximum degree of intensity, and turns into an existential confrontation. “God without Sovereignty” and “Sacred Anarchy” of the Kingdom: Weak Theology as a Theo-political Project The paper is devoted to the political dimensions of John Caputo’s “weak theology”. We analyze his understanding of the weakness of God and trace the evolution of his theo-poetics as an adequate method of theological hermeneutics. We argue that in Caputo’s early works, theo-poetics is based on the Kantian reading of Derrida; this means the opposition between faith and knowledge, and emphasizing the undecidability. The political implications of a theology which is focused on the “God to come” are linked to messianic hope, and the promise of an event of justice. At the same time, justice is not interpreted as a thing that exists in the present or foreseeable future. Caputo proclaims the non-programmable future of event: justice “to come”, democracy “to come”, or hospitality “to come”. In later works, Caputo turns to Hegelian theo-poetics based on the concept of Vorstellung. It focuses on the world-life and the event of poieisis. The ontological aspects of the new mode of theological thinking are characterized through the transition from God’s existence to insistence. We analyze the concept of the Kingdom of God as “sacred anarchy”, and indicate that this Kingdom establishes the order that is opposed to hierarchical logic. The interpretation of the Kingdom of God based on the radical theology of the cross characterized as the deconstruction of the metaphysics of power, the mythology of the higher heavenly powers, and the politics of sovereignty. The ethical and political implications of the concept “Kingdom of God” are analyzed as a pragmatic and prophetic transformation of the world. We argue that the theo-poetics of the sacred anarchic Kingdom is a way of thinking on the hyper-reality of the impossible in the real world. The “politics of the cross” that is presented in the last works of Caputo can thus be characterized as a project of actualization and materialization, that is, the material embodiment of God in the world. The Concept of “Ministry” in English and Russian Discussions of Modern Protestants The purpose of this paper is to consider how contemporary Protestants interpret the concept of “ministry”. The use of one or another interpretation determines specific ideas on economic and political activity, which, on the one hand, are conditioned by cultural and national contexts and, on the other hand, transform them. In fact, we are talking about the expansion of theological languages into the political sphere and their consequent transformation into political ones. There are two principle approaches to understand “ministry” in Protestant communities. The first assumes a strong connection with church community activities, while the other allows a broader view of the ministry including all areas of professional activity. The second approach is more consistent with the “Universal Priesthood” doctrine, which presupposes the equality of all types of positive activity when evaluated from the perspective of the Christian mission. The terms used by both approaches are somewhat similar, which makes comparisons rather challenging. It is therefore necessary to clarify and analyze the main idioms and adverbs used by the participants in the discussion. The study shows that the result of the first approach to understanding “ministry” is a strengthening of the hierarchies in Protestant communities, and the second is a comprehensive revision of church structures, and then of political and economic realities. Humanism: The “Third Denomination” or “Leading Culture” After the unification of Germany in 1990, German society became less religious. There is a significant part of the population that does not consider itself belonging to any religion/religious community (Konfessionslos). They do not have a single, integral worldview. However, they are mostly non-religious, and their number has been steadily growing in recent years (now about 40% of the population). Under these conditions, the secular organizations operating in the country seek to attract the interest of this group by offering alternatives to religious culture and worldview. The paper examines the two most influential concepts of secular humanism promoted in Germany, as well as the organizations that promote them. The concept of humanism as a “third denomination” implies the unification of Konfessionslos under the auspices of the German Humanist Union, which represents its members and helps them to cultivate a secular worldview. The concept of humanism as a “leading culture” suggests radically changing the status quo, proclaiming the values of humanism and Enlightenment at the state level, starting their dissemination in schools, and depriving religious organizations of existing privileges. The study examines the prerequisites for the emergence of both concepts, their possible connections with other secular traditions, and the prospects for their success concepts in the future. In particular, an attempt is made to reconstruct the identities of the Konfessionslos in order to determine their role in the processes of secularization. It is shown that the basics and features of the concepts are closely related to the practice of those organizations promoting them. Additionally, the theses of S. Schröder on different types of organizations are critically considered. It is shown that the composition and moods of citizens who do not belong to religious organizations or to convinced believers play a great role in the potential success of the concepts. We describe previous studies of this population group, and show the need for a more thorough study. Finally, we draw conclusions on the relationship of competing concepts and their position in the general logic of secularization processes. The Empowerment Approach as a Methodology for Research and Overcoming Social Issues of People, Groups, and Communities in Mutual Activities: Review and Research Framework The article presents the results of a bibliographic and thematic review of the “empowerment” category, the history, key directions and main characteristics of the “empowerment” approach. The empowerment-approach is successfully applied in the world of science and the practice of empowerment of individual, communities, organizations, certain social groups, (women, youth, older people, workers, consumers, patients, minorities, etc.) in psychology, sociology, social work, healthcare, pedagogy, management, politics, economics, technical sciences, and in interdisciplinary discourses. The concept is rarely used in Russian scientific discourse; in political research, it is understood as a struggle for rights and powers, and social and political activism; in pedagogical research and in social work, it is considered as an activation and expansion of the potential resources. There is a wide range of interpretations and discussion of the concept as a goal, value, principle, process, result, method, technology, and strategy. Empowerment creates conditions for the transformation of people, groups, communities, and the social environment in mutual activities based on self-organization and/or supportive facilitation. A characteristic feature of empowerment is the non-linearity, dynamism, multilevel integration of macro-social, meso-social, micro-social, and intrapersonal factors and processes. The levels of individual, group, community, organizational, and institutional empowerment are distinguished. In this paper, we propose the beginning of a discussion about the empowerment approach as a way to study and overcome social problems in mutual activities of people, groups and communities as actors, and transforming agents. Charisma: Instruction for Use Book review: Randall Collins. Charisma: Micro-Sociology of Power and Influence (New York: Routledge, 2020). Prolegomena to the Theory of Restoration; or, Gloss without Stuff Book review: Irina Sandomirskaya. Past discontinuous: fragmenty restavratsii [Past Discontinuous: Restoration Fragments] (Moscow, New Literary Observer, 2022) (in Russian).