20 (1)
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2020
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catalogue – 43669
ANTINOMIES
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Political science

ELUSIVE TRUST IN DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS: WHAT CONNECTS USERS IN ONLINE COMMUNITIES?

Saburova, Lyudmila , Kaveeva Adelia , Estrina Julia

Abstract. The article is devoted to the issue of relevance of applying the category of trust to the analysis of Internet communications, and to the analysis of the integration in online communities in social networks, in particular. Nowadays, the issue of trust or distrust towards online communities and integration in Russia becomes the factor that sharply splits society and pushes the state to tighten control over the Internet; the issue of trust as an internal factor of the online communities becomes relevant not only theoretically but also politically. The authors attempt to understand the processes of horizontal integration in online communities that quite differ from the genesis of real communities arising in vertically integrated social structures, or adapt to a vertically oriented social environment. We use “grounded theory” approach to analyze the dynamics of mobilization-type online communities in the social networks Vkontakte and Facebook. Weak significance of the interpersonal trust factor in the functioning and development of the observed communities is revealed. The contradiction between this fact and the established ideas of trust as the basis of social interaction and a key component of the social capital can be explained by clarifying the specifics of interaction in online communities. This specific can be described through following features. Firstly, there is institutional trust “at the entrance” to the group, based on the user's loyalty to the values, rules, and norms of the group. Secondly, there is the lack of a hierarchical structure that reduces the role sets and role expectations to minimum. Finally, it is the prevalence of the “weakest” type of links comparing with “strong” and “weak” ones, implying the absence of personal links, and preventing the expansion of the “culture of distrust” into online reality. Horizontal integration is not typical for all kinds of online communities. Nevertheless, the growth of online communications in the world, and inRussia, in particular, allows us to predict the growing influence of the “trust culture”of “online sociality” as an alternative to the culture of distrust inherent in hierarchical societies.
Keywords: trust; institutional and interpersonal trust; online communities; horizontal and vertical integration.

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SOVIET URBAN EXPERIMENT – BETWEEN THE PROJECT OF MODERNITY AND UTOPIAN CONSCIOUSNESS

Nędza-Sikoniowska Kinga

Abstract. The article raises the problem of sharp turning points in the Soviet urban discourse that occurred with the moment of Stalin's strengthening in power and after his death. The analyzed urban material was limited by three perspectives: (1) the city's creator (architect and authority), (2) urban space (architectural culture), and (3) the official discourse. The article substantiates the point of view according to which, and despite the radically different formal languages of the avant-garde, the Stalinist style, and late Soviet modernism one can see behind them a single “content”, namely, the phenomenon of the Soviet city. The changes concerned only the discourse (in our case, urban planning, and architectural one); the main paradigm of the culture did not change: it was remaining uncompromisingly modern. The article follows the tradition of the critical analysis of modernity – developed both by the members of the Frankfurt School and by postmodernists – but expands the concept of European modernity into Soviet culture. The Soviet metanarrative was based on the belief in the possibility (and necessity) of comprehensive and rational constructing of the reality. It had the character of a total and uncompromising project. And it is the uncompromising nature of Soviet modernity that dooms it to failure. To trace this process, the article explores the relationship between modernity and utopia – both uncompromising and rejecting the legitimacy of the past in favour of a rational plan. Any attempt to realize utopia means changes in the initial, ideal, theoretical plan, and official Soviet culture – fundamentally uncompromising – carefully concealed that fact (lie and violence become an institution). However, the official discourse and the real image of the Soviet city diverged more and more. The only way for the rapprochement of life and official culture could be an abrupt shift in the dominant discourse playing at the same time the central mobilization role (the pathos of a radical new beginning, according to W. Welsch).
Keywords: modernity; utopia; revolution; Soviet city; Soviet culture; avant-garde; Stalinist architecture; late Soviet modernism.

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RIGHT WING ASCENDANCE IN INDIA AND POLITICISATION OF INDIA’S MILITARY

Ahmed Ali

Abstract. The rise to taking over state power after elections of 2014 by majoritarian forces in India has since witnessed weakening of institutions of governance. The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has returned to power with an enhanced parliamentary majority in the 2019 elections. The rise of hindutva (Hindu-ness), the Hindu nationalist political philosophy of the formations comprising the BJP and the Sangh parivaar (organizational family of the Sangh) or affiliates of the right wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has reshaped the discourse on the “idea of India”. Under the extensive reframing in majoritarian nationalist terms of Indian political verities, it is conceivable that the Indian military, widely regarded as a professional, apolitical and secular force, will also be impacted. There has been little academic scrutiny of the possible influence of majoritarianism on the Indian military. The paper examines impact of the onset of majoritarianism democracy on India’s military by taking a close look at the movement in civil-military relations under the BJP government. There is a shift in civil-military relations from objective civilian control, that enhances professionalism and keeps the military apolitical, to subjective civilian control, wherein the military is co-opted through subscribing to the ideologybased security perspective of the ruling party. This shift poses for the military a risk of losing their a political ethic. Erosion of the apolitical ethic of the military will open up the military’s secular ethic to modification. The conclusions are both relevant for policy and theory. The relevance for policy lies in the need for the Indian state and the military to preserve professionalism by persisting with the objective civilian control model. The theoretical relevance is in discerning limits to the concept of obedience of the military to the civilian political rulers. Where there is a threat from a political ideology or its penetration into the military’s intellectual domain with the potential to dilute the military’s professionalism, the military needs to pushback for the sake of national security.
Keywords: Indian military; military sociology; Hindutva; military professionalism; civilmilitary relations; Indian politics.

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