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World politics
Vinogradova E.A. - Information and communication guarantees for the ALBA states policy in the EU in the early XXI century. pp. 1-11


Abstract: In the early XXI century the ALBA states started to apply the political communication technologies, which became new and efficient means for the formation of the foreign political relations with many African, Asian and the EU states. The beneficial conditions for their applications were formed by the speedy development of the information services sphere in the ALBA states. Therefore, informatization of the ALBA states facilitated the use of political communication technologies, such are reputation management, social diplomacy, inter-cultural communications in order to improve foreign political relations with the EU states.  Having improved the quality of government and embassy websites, information agencies aimed for the foreign audience, the ALBA states have managed to deal with their negative reputation, and to improve the level of social diplomacy by network communication with the European audience. Involving the European people, especially the youth movements, into the blog-based cultural relations and web-sites also shows the efficiency of political communications of the ALBA states with the EU.


Abstract: The article attempts to identify the modern political role of the Catholic Church in the region by the example of the analysis of the Vatican's relations with the governments of Latin American countries of "socialism of the XXI century". For this purpose, the author considers not only foreign policy events, but also internal processes occurring in the Vatican. For instance, the election of the new Pope Francis - a Jesuit and Argentine, as well as the election, for the first time in the history, of a new General of the Order of Jesuits A. Sosa -Venezuelan by origin - and the appointment of P. Parolin to the post of Secretary of the Holy See, whose professional path was also connected with Venezuela. In this regard, the issue of the influence of the ideas of liberation theology on the development of the ideological program of the left governments of Latin American countries is of scientific interest. At the same time, many Catholic prelates that influence the crisis political events in the region remain in opposition to the left-wing governments. The study of the above contradiction is highly relevant. The scientific novelty of the topic is determined by the increasing influence of the Roman Catholic Church not only on external but also domestic political events in Latin America.
Murgas R. - Russia-EU relations in the energy sphere after the Energy Union Strategy presentation pp. 1-9


Abstract: The importance of the issue under consideration is determined by the increase of the role of the energy factor in the international policy. Along with traditional actors (states), large national and transnational oil and gas companies and various international institutions aimed at regulating international relations in the energy sphere have become the significant actors on the international scene in the energy sphere. An important stage of reforming the common energy policy of the EU was the 2015 Energy Union Strategy. The object of this research is the current energy policy of the EU. The research subject is its key actors - the European Commission, Gazprom, the EU and Russia. Using the historical, logical, comparative and analytical research methods the author attempts to answer the question “How is the interaction of the key actors of international relations in the energy sphere characterized after the formation of the European Energy Union?”. The author concludes that having vested the European Commission with extra authorities in the sphere of common energy, the EU turned it into a strong independent non-governmental actor of the global policy and bilateral international relations in the energy sphere. Interacting with the EU member-states, Russia’s authorities and the executives of the Gazprom company, the EC increases its leverage among the EU’s institutions and strengthens its role as a mediator on the international scene. The energy strategy has transformed interrelations between the EU and Russia from strategic partnership to traditional cooperation. However, Gazprom has maintained its role in the EU’s market using progressive rise of gas supply. The scientific novelty of the research consists in the definition of the current interaction between the actors of the international relations in the energy sphere.  
Avatkov V.A. - Ideology- and value-based factor in Turkic post-Soviet states pp. 1-12


Abstract: The article is aimed at defining the ideology and value-based principles in Turkic post-Soviet states. Particularly, the author considers the states of Central Asia and Azerbaijan. The author proceeds from the fact that after the collapse of the USSR, these states initiated self-identification processes. Therefore, at the present moment, it is important to trace back the principles of the ideology- and value-based factor in the foreign policy of the states of Central Asia and Azerbaijan. The author gives special attention to the analysis of official documents reflecting the foreign policy course of the post-Soviet states containing the main ideas of national identity. Analyzing foreign policy documents of the states, the author emphasizes that, in basic terms, western-oriented narratives can be traced, transformed according to the national specificity of Turkic states.Foreign policy ideology of the states is based on the aspiration to become more sovereign and independent of external influence.It’s important to understand that Turkey has ideological influence on Turkic people of the post-Soviet political space, and it also affects the interrelations between Russia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. The author also notes the significance of the Turkic factor in Russia’s foreign policy in the context of cooperation.  
Danilova E.N. - Ukraine caucuses in the US Congress pp. 1-15


Abstract: The article analyzes the level of influence of Ukraine caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on the U.S. foreign-policy decision-making in relation to Ukraine in 1997 - 2021. To fully understand the role of caucuses in law making, the author describes their typology used by the Congressional Research Service, and analyzes their structure, purposes and main directions of activity. The research is based on the analysis of legislative documents of the U.S. Congress, based on which the author describes the activity of Ukraine caucuses, and on the systematization of annual financial reports of the U.S. Department of Justice, which help to define the key directions of Ukraine lobbying. The comparative analysis of the work of Ukraine caucuses and lobbyists helps to define their common interests and points of difference. The topicality of the research is determined by the international context after the Revolution of Dignity, and the threats and tensity which regularly appear due to the unstable situation in Ukraine. The author concludes that Ukraine caucuses in the U.S. Congress, especially the Senate Ukraine Caucus, are the U.S. political tool for defending its national interests in Eastern Europe manifesting itself in the promotion of democracy, and basically used for solving military problems. 
Maurina E. - 20th anniversary of the trade of economic independence for political sovereignty pp. 4-17


Abstract: Following famous words of Professor Anis Bajrektarevic that: “the Atlantic Europe is a political power-house (with the two of three European nuclear powers and two of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, P-5), Central Europe is an economic power-house, Russophone Europe is an energy power-house, Scandinavian Europe is all of that a bit, and Eastern Europe is none of it.”, I wanted to examine the standing of author's place of origin in the ‘new European constellations’. What happens to a country which suddenly is free to govern its own territory and people? What is the biggest fear? Is it the inability to satisfy its population or a threat from the former conqueror? Should a country opt for the ‘shock therapy’ or experience gradual changes? How to deal with the privatization of state-owned institutions? The following lines objectively question how the well-being of the East-European nation has changed in 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in the course of the country’s integration into the EU. The authoress also answers whether a small country like Latvia can actually preserve both its political and economic sovereignty. On a bigger scale, the findings suggest that the well-being in the Latvian SSR was better than it is today, while others strongly disagree. Furthermore, the author concludes that Latvia had to sacrifice its economical sovereignty in order to preserve its political independence. Is any other choice conceivable, now or in future?
Mamedov I. - Formation and Development of Political Studies of Transnational Corporations’ Activities pp. 6-18


Abstract: The author considers the process of formation of specific studies of the activities of transnational corporations within the Russian and foreign political science. The author analyzes the development of theoretical approaches in the study of TNCs as actors of world politics from the 1960s till present day. The paper defines the main factors having impact on the formation and transformation of the scientific researches vector in this sphere. Special attention is paid to the formation of a complex approach to the study of TNCs, according to which the corporations are the objects of interdisciplinary studies. The research methodology is based on the general scientific methods of analysis and synthesis, the comparative method, the system approach, and the method of historiographical analysis. The research novelty lies in the historiographical description of subject transformations in the sphere of the world economy, international law, global studies, international, and world politics. The practical importance of the conclusions lies in the creation of a theoretical and conceptual basis for the development of political studies of TNCs. 
Zheng Y. - Counterterrorism policy of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China pp. 10-19


Abstract: The research subject is the counterterrorism policy in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China. Special attention is given to the problem of terrorism in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and the counterterrorism measures of China against the Uyghur separatist movement. The author considers the following aspects: the historical, economic and political reasons of separatism and religious extremism in the region; the generalization of the “terrorism” concept; the analysis of anti-terrorist and anti-extremist measures, taken by the Government of China. The author applies the historical method to study the causes of terrorism in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, the method of generalization and comparison of facts, the analysis of the events, connected with the problem of terrorism in China. The author offers the ways to solve the problem of terrorism in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China via the settlement of the religious question, the promotion of the “bilingual education” concept, the stimulation of employment in this region, the increase of investments in education and the solution of the problem of ethnic segregation. 
Filatova A.A. - Opposition of the Latin American expatriate communities to the immigration policy of the President George Bush Jr in the USA in the XXI century. pp. 12-23


Abstract: In the second half of the XX century there appeared a tendency to the strenghtening of the role of the Spanish-speaking Americans in the social and political life of the USA. It is related to the quality and quantity changes in the ethnical composition of the American society.  The Spanish-speaking Americans, together with the Afro-Americans and other national minorities took an active part in fighting for their civil rights, including their election rights.  The policy of the President George Bush, Jr, towards the Latin American immigrants in the XXI century  strengthened the information opposition between the "two Americas", which took place both within the US territory and throughout the American continent.  The Spanish-speaking Americans have considerable influence upon the formation of social, economic and foreign political courses of the state, and they also directly influence the transformation of the political bases for the Republican and Democratic Parties of the USA, as well as other political institutions of the American society. From the XXI century the Latino community became an important factor in the political history of the USA, and the political elites fight for the influence over the Latin community. The historical experience of the poly-ethnical American society allows to understand the important specific features of the political processes in the modern multinational states. 
Altamimi K. - Factor analysis of relations between Russia and Bahrain at the present stage pp. 12-22


Abstract: The research subject is the promising directions of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Bahrain at the present stage. In this context, the author focuses on two factors, affecting the intentions of both countries, – relations between Washington and Manama and domestic political situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The purpose of the article is the analysis of the level and the nature of these factors’ impact on the dynamics of relations between Russia and Bahrain at the present stage.The research methodology is based on the system approach, which helps cover the “text” and the “context” of relations between the two states in 2017. The author uses the historical, factor, content- and event-analyses. The scientific novelty of the research is determined by the fact that this problem hasn’t been studied sufficiently enough so far, and by the viewpoint of the analysis, which covers foreign and domestic policy having impact on bilateral relations between Moscow and Manama. In conclusion, the author considers the effectiveness and the possibility of Russia’s role as a mediator and a pillar in local and regional conflicts influencing Bahrain’s security. 
Vylegzhanin A.N., Il'ina D.I., Dudykina I.P. - International legal stance of Denmark on the Arctic shelf (based on foreign legal sources) pp. 14-36


Abstract: The article studies international legal aspects of Denmark’s submission of 15 December 2014 to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, in accordance with article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. In the context of the legal dimension of Russia’s national interests, the author notes that, according to this submission, Denmark claims to the part of the Continental shelf, which is significantly larger than the country’s Arctic sector, unlike Russia, which, having reduced its Arctic shelf by the actions of its Ministry of National Resources and Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2001, claims to the area which is smaller than Russia’s Arctic sector. The author mentions the criticism of professors Gureev and Melkov of the decree of Russia’s Government of 1997, according to which Russia voluntarily refuses to delimit the Arctic shelf thus initiating the delimitation of its shelf from the “common heritage of mankind” area on the base of geological, distance and other technical criteria. The paper shows, how Denmark benefits from the ill-considered decisions of Russian Ministries, taking into consideration that the replacement of international legal principles of delimitation of the shelf with the technical criteria of delineation, realized by Russia since 1997, initially hadn’t met Russia’s interests, but met the interests of its competitors in the Arctic region, especially Denmark and in some degree – the USA. In this context, the author provides the scientific critique of the exchange of notes between foreign ministries of Russia and Denmark, which is attached to Denmark’s submission to the Commission, as an unbalanced treaty which doesn’t meet Russia’s national interests. 
Mamychev A.Y., Zou L. - The directions of Russia-China strategic partnership and interaction improvement in the 21st century
pp. 14-26


Abstract: The research object is modern international relations; the research subject is the condition, the main characteristics and directions of Russia-China strategic partnership development and improvement in the 21st century. Special attention is given to the prospects of strategic partnership between Russia and China which fundamentally changes the geopolitical agenda of international relations in the third millennium. As the most topical direction of state-to-state co-development of Russia and China, the author identifies and analyzes cooperation in the sphere of ensuring sovereignty and national interests on the global stage; political and military cooperation and interaction in the field of combating terrorism, protecting national and regional and regional security, combating global instability, civilizational threats and risks. The research methodology is based on the provisions and researches of Russian, Chinese and West European scholars considering the evolution of geopolitical situation and international legal norms in the 21st century, the specificity and dynamics of Russia-China relations. To analyze the directions and prospects of development of Russia-China strategic partnership, the author uses the methods of political modeling and semantic analysis of the current political and ideological discourses. The author introduces a range of authentic Chinese sources devoted to the problems of Russia-China strategic partnership into scientific discourse, and translates most of the published studies on this topic from the Chinese language. The author proves that in the third millennium, Russia and China, as key actors, can form a foreign policy platform and practices of international relations which will be aimed at ensuring a more fair and pluralistic global order, improving the forms of political cooperation and international legal ways of adjusting differently vectored national interests and needs. The article proves the necessity to create and adjust new effective regional centers for solving international and state-to-state problems. The author concludes that successful implementation of the detected and analyzed prospects and directions of Russia-China interaction in the third millennium should be based on elaboration and ratification of a range of international documents able to ensure clarity and stability of bilateral relations in the future and defining the key directions and priorities of cooperation, political and legal forms and ways of solving the emerging tensions and conflicts, models of mutual protection and ensuring national and regional safety.  
Gusher A.I. - Political crisis in Ukraine pp. 15-26


Abstract: This article is devoted to the analysis of the political crisis in Ukraine in 2013-2014. Currently attention of all of the world is drawn to Ukraine. Ukraine and its problems are rather far from the top priorities and strategic goals of the USA, the EU and the NATO, while they are trying to convince themselves and the whole world that there is nothing more precious to them than protection of Ukrainian independence, democracy and well-being. In reality, their number one priority and main target is Russia. Ukraine is just a foothold for them. That is why they are so anxious to threaten Russia with various sanctions for being so persistent in the protection of its compatriots in Crimea and in the Southern and South-Eastern parts of Ukraine.  The military and political crisis in Ukraine put everything in its right places, and made the strategically situation in the world clear, giving us a good view on the true value of Russia and its democratic "friends and partners", as they are diplomatically referred to by the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin. The true value of their friendship is shown in the events regarding the Crimea and its inalienable right to self-determination and choice of their destiny.
Bairektarevich A. - Future of Europe (of Lisbon and generational interval) pp. 16-26


Abstract: The EU of social welfare or of generational warfare, the continent of debt-bound economies or of knowledge-based community? Is the predatory generation in power? Why the only organized counter-narrative comes as a lukewarm Mouse Mickey – between Anonymous and Pirate party, from the Wiki-leaky to Snowden-picky.Europe’s redemption lies in the re-affirmation of the Lisbon Strategy of 2000 (and of Göteborg 2001), a ten-year development plan that focused on innovation, mobility and education, social, economic and environmental renewal. Otherwise a generational warfare will join class and ethnic conflicts as a major dividing line of the EU society in decline.Back in the good old days of the Lisbon Strategy (when the Union was proclaimed to be the most competitive, knowledge-based economy of the world), the Prodi and Barroso Commissions have been both repeatedly stressing that: “at present, some of our world trading partners compete with primary resources, which we in the EU/Europe do not have. Some compete with cheap labor, which we do not want. Some compete on the back of their environment, which we cannot accept…” What has happened in the meantime?
Dobrokhotov L.N. - The Rise and Fall of Marco Rubio as a result of the first phase of the 2016 U.S. election campaign pp. 17-26


Abstract: Based on the detailed analyses of the U.S. media reports, the author shows the political profile of the U.S Senator Marco Rubio, one of the leading Republican Party candidates for the next American presidency in the 2016 election. The author gives Rubio’s political biography and studies his possible connections with mafia formations and corporations during the U.S. Senate election campaign as the state of Florida candidate, and his five-year stay at the Senate. Based on the trustworthy sources, the author states that Rubio's work hadn't been remarkable for any practical results, and didn't bring any benefits to the state of Florida. The research methodology is based on the system, structural-functional and comparative-political approaches, the methods of anaysis, synthesis, induction, deduction and observation. The article studies the history of Rubio’s failure in the presidential campaign, during which he, despite his young age, handsome appearance and declamatory skills, had shown himself a weak, dependent on the political technologies politician, who didn’t manage to withstand a siege with such a political heavyweight as Donald Trump and the Senator from Texas, the same as Rubio Cuban American, Ted Cruz. The author comes to the conclusion that the emergence of such politicians as Marco Rubio on the political arena as the leading presidential candidates speaks for a serious degradation of intellect and will of the U.S. ruling elite. 
Borodina M.y., Ryzhov I.V., Aver'yanova D.A. - Models of interstate cooperation in the Middle East pp. 18-31


Abstract: The research subject is the models of interstate cooperation in the Middle East region. The purpose of the research is to define the models of interstate cooperation in the Middle east and the peculiarities of their formation. The article considers the security issues including energy and economic security of the Middle East states. The authors give special attention to the problem of Israel’s involvement in the mechanisms of interstate cooperation in the Middle East. In order to conduct a detailed analysis of the models of interstate cooperation in the Middle East, the authors use the systems approach. Its application is conditioned by the fact that the formation of the mechanisms of cooperation in the Middle East was influenced by a range of socio-economic, political, religious and ethnic factors. The authors also use empirical and theoretical methods including synthesis and analysis. The research methods include content-analysis aimed at analyzing text content. This method is actively used by the authors for the analysis of the works of foreign and Russian scholars studying the topic under consideration. The scientific novelty of the research is determined by the subject and the topic of the research, and consists in the formulation of particular models of interstate cooperation in the Middle East. The authors formulate the directions of cooperation and, based on this information, define the mechanisms of their formation. The consideration of the key models of interstate cooperation in the Middle East allows defining the key obstacles hampering the formation of effective mechanisms of cooperation which would be able to solve various regional problems. The authors arrive at the conclusion that the mechanism of creation of effective models of interstate cooperation in the Middle east is significantly aggravated by severe regional problems including ethnic and religious conflicts, the lack of a regional leader, the weakness of regional organizations, the involvement of extraregional actors, and the presence of a large number of terrorist organizations.  
Yastremskiy A.M. - China's relations with its neighbors in the context of its territorial claims pp. 23-51


Abstract: The problem under consideration is very important due to the new polarization of the world and the strengthening of China’s role in the international relations. The article considers territorial acquisitions of China connected with the territories of Russia, the CIS member states and other countries. The tendency of annexation of “disputed territories” to China can lead not only to the local conflicts but to the unleashing of a larger-scale war. But so far China has been trying to solve its territorial problems peacefully by means of diplomatic and economic pressure and the expansion of its military power. The author uses the general scientific and the special scientific methods of research. The author concludes that the most important instrument of China used for the solution of many problems is a demographic factor. In the result of the great migration of peoples many tribes and nations were dissolved in the larger nations and disappeared. Apparently, it can be the future of Russia which is endangered by the migration of a significant part of the Chinese population on the territories of the Far East, Siberia, and, maybe even the European part of the country. The article considers the prospect of increase of this danger. This tendency should alert the Russian government. 
Plokhotnikov K.E. - Mathematical model of geopolitics pp. 23-74


Abstract: Mathematical model of geopolitics is a conditional name of several models, which are naturally connected with and serve as companions to the main theme – geopolitics. The author introduces the central notion of a mathematical model of geopolitics – capacity of a habitat. Geopolitics includes climate, terrain, peculiarities of logistics of global flows of commodities, and geopolitical confrontation in terms of “sea – continent”, i.e. all those things composing the material set of conditions of existence of the population of the world. This set to a significant extent mediates political behavior of people. The author doesn’t adhere to the position of environmental determinism in the form of geopolitics, but tries to outline manifestations of geopolitics in the real politics. In all the demonstrated mathematical models, the author refers to a computational experiment, the results of which are presented and discussed in the text. The computational experiment is based on the data about climate, terrain, population and other components typical for modern geo-information systems. The mathematics of these models implies knowing the fundamentals: numerical methods, statistics, methods of optimization and some other disciplines. The author describes the density of habitat capacity in different countries. Par for the course, the top positions are taken by, in decreasing order, Russia, the USA, Brazil, China, Australia. The author defines and studies the index of specific capacity of habitat per capita, ranks countries and territories according to this index. Special attention is given to the correlation between these indexes in particular countries compared to Russia. The author studies the issue of interaction between the density of habitat capacity and terrain, compares territories concentrating 50% of the population and 50% of density of habitat capacity, and outlines the density gradient margins. The author classifies countries and territories in terms of “high – low” and “favourable – unfavourable”, i.e. in four categories taking account of terrain and density of habitat capacity. The paper contains the maps of territories of all four types. The author introduces and calculates the diversity index of particular territories and countries. Within the global traffic calculation, the author creates a specific index of percentage “sea – continent”. Based on this index, the author classifies points (territories) in geopolitical terms. This index helps formalize such well-known geopolitical notions as “Heartland” and “Rimland”. The author composes combined global and regional maps with political and geopolitical marking. These maps are analyzed for so-called geopolitical splits. Such splits are detected when some geopolitical lines don’t coincide with the state border, but lay deeply across its territory. The author demonstrates the numerical solution of the problem of optimal distribution of points (in terms of minimal transportation expenses) serving as logistics hubs on the planet. 
Shkvarun M.A. - Russia in the centre of the Middle East triangle pp. 23-32


Abstract: The research subject is the political processes in the Middle East. The author analyzes the current situation in Syria in the context of Russia’s regional policy in the Middle East. the author considers the political interests of the key countries participating in the process of civil war settlement in Syria: Russia, Turkey, Iran and Israel. The research is aimed at studying Russia’s role in Syrian conflict settlement, particularly, it contains the comparative economic evaluation of Russian spending on the military operation in Syria. The author gives special attention to the reasons of escalation in Idlib and analyzes the main contradictions between Russia and Turkey in the beginning of 2020. The article analyzes Russia’s role in the military operation in Syria, considers the multifaceted policy of each of the countries-elements of the Middle East triangle, assesses the political and economic advantages of Russia’s involvement in the Middle East conflict. The author concludes that the U.S. withdrawal from Syria allowed Russia to play a major role in the Middle East triangle. However, the “first violin” role in an international conflict settlement can lead to the country’s involvement into a permanent state of confrontation with the actors of the Middle East policy. Scientific and practical results of the research can be used as primary and additional source for further settlement of political problems in the Middle East.  
Murgas R. - The State of Relations between the European Union and Russia in the Energy Sector pp. 25-46


Abstract: In recent years the situation in the energy market has been changing rapidly due to the influence of various factors. The author examines the state of relations in the energy field between the European Union as a consumer of gas and Russia as its supplier and tries to answer the question: "How do such projects as the Southern Gas Corridor, TurkStream-1 and 2, North Stream-2, as well as the shale gas development and Ukrainian transit of natural gas affect the relations between Russia and the European Union in this sector?" The author applied the following main methods in his study: a method of analysis and legal interpretation of text. On the basis of official documents, expert opinions and interviews, the author finds that it is the energy sector that has united the EU member States even more in relation to other actors of the international arena, at the same time reducing the sovereignty of individual States in decision-making in the energy sector. The author suggests that the new energy strategy of the EU has influenced the change in Russia's attitude to the European energy market.It is obvious that Russia has managed to react to changes in market rules in a timely manner and to keep its place in the European market. Although both actors express their preference for maintaining "the traditional relations", the Russian energy strategy is noted for a gradual reduction in the share of exports to the EU due to the prospects for the Eastern direction development. The European Union, on its part, tries to gradually reduce its dependence on Russian gas. Russia, in turn, recognizes the importance of the role of shale gas and plans to compete with traditional LNG producers in the European market in the future.
Naumov A. - The BRICS countries’ “Soft Power” (the case of Brazil and the Republic of South Africa) pp. 27-40


Abstract: The subject of the study is the potential and the main directions of “soft power” of the BRICS countries, namely the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of South Africa. Brazil and South Africa are the rising powers of the present, with the claims on economic and political leadership, respectively, in the regions of Latin America and Africa. Despite the seeming differences, these countries have a lot in common. Apart from the BRICS membership, Brazil and South Africa are the centers of the unique civilizations, the engines of economic growth and integration processes in South America and Africa. Finally, they only start realizing their “soft power” policies on the international arena and often choose parallel courses, which is of a special scientific interest. The methodology of the research is based on the systems approach, the structural-functional and comparative approaches, the methods of analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, observation. Today the “soft power” instruments are gaining special importance for the BRICS countries. After several years of a successful progressive development and economic growth, in 2015 the BRICS countries have faced new serious challenges. In the new circumstances, in order to maintain their positions on the international scene, the BRICS countries need to use the instruments of “soft power”. In Russian historiography the comparative analysis of the potential and the main directions of “soft power” of Brazil and South Africa is carried out for the first time. 
Pashkovskaya I.G. - The EU’s activities aimed at actualization of the legal foundations of the Economic and Monetary Union after the 2008 global financial and economic crisis  pp. 27-35


Abstract: To overcome the 2008 global financial and economic crisis and eliminate the reasons for such crises in future, the European Union had intensified its activities which resulted in two essentially new treaties in 2012. The first one, the European Stability Mechanism Treaty, established the European Stability Mechanism possessing the legal status of a legal entity with full legal personality and the €700 billion authorized capital. The second, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, which hasn’t been joined by Great Britain and the Czech Republic, established the rules aimed at discipline strengthening, the coordination of economic policies of the EU member-states, and raising the effectiveness of the Eurozone countries’ economies management. These new treaties, which have strengthened and enlarged the legal grounds of the Economic and Monetary Union, demonstrate that the European economic and monetary integration is evolving. The analysis of these treaties shows that these international statutory instruments not only help overcome the consequences of the difficult financial and economic condition, which had affected some EU member-states in the result of the 2008 global crisis, and avoid such crises in future, but also symbolize the next step in the development of the European economic and monetary integration which is the basis of the European integration process in general. This fact conditions the important international and political role of these treaties. 
Naumov A. - Sports Diplomacy as a "Soft Power" tool. pp. 32-43


Abstract: The object of the study of the article offered to readers is a "soft power" strategy that now can be found in the foreign policy arsenals of any power claiming global or regional status. The subject of the study is sports diplomacy which is an integral part of public diplomacy - the key and most effective "soft power" tool. The author elaborates such aspects of the topic as importance of sport in international relations, as well as various types of sports diplomacy: "Football", "cricket", "ping-pong", "basketball", etc. The article pays particular attention to the role of the Olympic movement and the Olympic games in world politics. The methodological basis of the study is systemic, structural-functional, comparative-political approaches, methods of historicism, analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, and observation. The author comes to the conclusion that sports diplomacy plays an increasingly important role in the modern world. There is no doubt that today the states that can expertly combine various aspects of sports diplomacy as an important factor of "soft power" would benefit in the international arena.  Despite the increasing role of sports diplomacy in world politics, it must be noted that a very limited number of research papers address the intersection between such spheres as "soft power" and greatest sporting achievements. This article is intended to fill this gap and to demonstrate relevance of such studies in the context of the upcoming major sporting events that will be held in Russia.
Galibina-Lebedeva E.S. - Protestant churches and sects as a political factor in Latin America pp. 33-50


Abstract: In recent years, the role of protestant churches in the political life of Latin American countries has significantly grown. We can even talk about a specific regional phenomenon. The research object in this article is the modern political activity of Protestant churches in the region, and the research object is Latin American society. The author analyzes the participation of religious institutions in the latest electoral period of 2018 - 2019 using the example of presidential campaigns in Brazil and Mexico. Special attention is given to the fact that churches are becoming the subjects of political process influencing the reformation of public opinion and providing the secular authorities with massive support. The author concludes that during the presidential election in Brazil the largest local evangelical Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) gave significant support to the far-right candidate J. Bolsonaro, while in Mexico, the victory of the center-left politician López Obrador wouldn’t be possible without the active participation of the National Association of Evangelical Christian Churches (Confraternice). This Mexican politician has become the first democratically-elected leftist president. Of particular interest is also the analysis of internal and foreign policy of the leaders of Brazil and Mexico supported by the local evangelical communities. The topicality of the scientific problem is determined by the fact that in terms of a crisis of traditional political ideologies, economic and humanitarian crisis, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, religion is becoming the only secure basis, and the influence of its cults on the formation of public opinion will be undoubtedly growing.  
Shebanova M.A. - Advisory teams as mechanisms for the consolidation of transnational elites. pp. 38-61


Abstract: The modern political theory presents a new vision of the global order, where transnational players have an important role.  The concept of ruling classes changes, and the transnational political elites are introduced. One of hte key prerequisites for distinguishing this elite class includes revealing of its consolidation mechanisms, supporting transnational domination in the world. It is mostly informal associations of transnational elites, which serve as a structural platform for the formation of consensus regarding the most important issues of global policy.  The study mostly employs general logical methods, such as analysis, synthesis, induction, classification, combination of historical and logical analysis. The author makes a conclusion that the level of organization and integration among transnational elites is growing.  The priorly informal forums strengthen their positions in the transnational industrial matrix, and they earn more and more serious attitudes towards themselves from the scholars. At the same time, due to the closed character of the information, many aspects of activities of transnational elites within private transnational associations remain shadowed.
Sidorova E., Krivov S. - Tendencies and contradictions of democratization of the modern Arab societies: the role of Islamic factor pp. 41-52


Abstract: The subject of the research is the study of the role of the Islamic factor in democratization of the modern Arab societies. Democratization of the society is one of the key and the most important elements of the modern globalization processes. The aim of democratization is the implantation of various democratic freedoms, equality of rights, political pluralism, etc. in various spheres of the society. There’s no alternative to such a dominating factor as Islam in the Arab Middle East, therefore, all the processes, touching the Arab society, should take the role and the meaning of Islam into consideration. Constructivism is one of the methodological approaches to the analysis of social factors and processes in the Arab world. The use of the constructivist approach promotes the deeper understanding of political and social processes in the Arab Middle East. The special contribution of the author is the conclusion that the notions ‘Islam’ and ‘democracy’ should not be opposed to each other, since democracy without religion in Arab countries won’t have any result. Islam has played and is playing the major role in many spheres of social life in the Arab Middle East. 
Zhao J., Kho D. - China’s assistance to African countries in the field of telecommunication: interaction and the role of FOCAC
pp. 41-58


Abstract: The research object is the role of China’s assistance in the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies projects in the context of international assistance of China to Africa, and the role of the Forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) in this process. The research subject is the set of measures used by China to provide such assistance including that within FOCAC. The author studies such aspects of the topic as the importance of Chinese transnational corporations operating in the field of communication technologies, the role of FOCAC as a platform helping realize effective cooperation between China and Africa in the field of telecommunication, and the reaction of Western countries to such actions of Beijing. To solve the research tasks the author uses the following methods: structural-logical, the system approach, historical and economical and statistical analysis. The author arrives at the following conclusions: 1) the Information and Communication Technologies field is one of the most promising market sectors for China in Africa, as its corporations have a range of advantages compared with their Western competitors; 2) in consideration of close connection between Chinese companies and the government, it is obvious that through this interaction, Beijing successfully extends the pool of its political partners; 3) FOCAC plays a special role as it is the only mechanism allowing China to realize its African vector of external policy bilaterally and multilaterally. The scientific novelty of the research consists in the fact that the author analyzes the topic which hasn’t been studied sufficiently enough in Russian and foreign historiography; the author analyzes new sources and attempts to define the role of FOCAC particularly in cooperation in the field of telecommunication.  
Shlyundt N.Y. - In Search for the Solutions to Increase the Effectiveness of International Political Influence: Convergence of Financial Pressure and Cyberspace Operations in the Foreign Policy of Modern States pp. 45-51


Abstract: The article explores new means of international political influence, namely cyber-financial instruments which are a consequence of convergence of traditional financial measures of pressure with the already widespread cyber-space operations. The author raises general issues related to convergence in politics, considers the prerequisites for their emergence, objects, types and advantages of cyber-financial instruments of foreign policies of modern States, highlighting that they allow the actor who decided to use them to remain incognito and not to destroy the beneficial relationships of economic dependence. Pursuant to the goals established, the author refers to a content analysis of specialized scientific literature on relevant topics, a method of classification highlighting the types of cyber financial instruments, as well as to the study of specific situations that confirm the assumptions. The author comes to the conclusion that a number of new instruments of foreign policy influence which can be called cyber-financial instruments are emerging on the background of interpenetration, convergence of financial infrastructure and cyberspace. Increasingly, these are found to be the preferred means of fighting in the global political arena, used directly by States, their unions, and through their proxy actors. Alongside, the use of these tools brings both greater effectiveness of international pressure and new risks and threats.
Aliev N., Vysotskii V.M., Dohnalova A. - Azerbaijan-Venezuela relations pp. 45-58


Abstract: The object of this collaborative study is the evolution of Azerbaijan-Venezuela relations since the moment of their establishment in 1995 till the present day. The purpose of the article is to define the main stages of development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Venezuela, detect the potential prospects of their development, denote areas of common interest in the global agenda, and study the source base of bilateral relations.Using the case study method, the authors not only analyze the actions of both parties aimed at the development of bilateral relations, but also predict the official strategy of Baku and Caracas of further advancement of the interstate dialogue. The authors arrive at a conclusion that the geopolitical grounds of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy have been influenced by its defeat in the First Karabakh War (1992 - 1994) and the occupation of 20% of its territory by the Armenian armed forces. In subsequent years, all foreign policy maneuvers of official Baku were reduced to one goal: to restore its territorial integrity. That was the reason for Baku’s aspiration to garner the support of other states. In this direction, the most fruitful one was the work of Azerbaijan diplomacy in Latin American countries including Venezuela. Notably, official Baku and Caracas have similar stands on many issues of global and domestic policy. For Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, close connections with Azerbaijan is an additional proof of his legitimacy in political in-fighting against the opposition. The scientific novelty of the research consists in the fact that it is one of the first attempts to analyze Azerbaijan-Venezuela relations from a comprehensive perspective. 
Khizrieva S.S. - Public diplomacy in the foreign policy of Brazil at the period of rule of L.I. Lula da Silva. pp. 47-54


Abstract: After the crash of the bipolar system of global order the practice of international relations has changed significantly. The changes mostly concerned appearance of new communications and information technologies. At the start of the XXI centuries many states have attempted to take a prominent position in the global community, searching for new efficient methods for the formation of foreign economic relations - political communications. Brazil applies new political communications technologies in order to spread Latin American values and to guarantee its leadership in politics and economy.  One of the directions of foregn policy of L.I. Lula da Silva was widening the scope of cooperation with the EU states, which could have  formed competition for the USA in Brazil due to the development of strategic partnership, and they also could have provided information support for Brazil as a result of information operations of the USA.  In addition, an important goal for L.I. Lula da Silva's office was to form a positive image of Brazil and its officials in order to widen the scope of cooperation between the two regions in various spheres.
Krivov S., Sidorova E. - Migration tendencies in the Arab Middle East: history and modernity pp. 53-65


Abstract: The urgency of the research in undoubtful, since today the migration of the population is a complex socio-economic phenomenon, connected with various sides of social life, the formation and development of the tendencies of their transformation. Moreover, migration is the most important factor defining the dynamics of socio-economic processes. But we should take into consideration that both the politics of adaptation and integration of migrants and the approaches to the granting of national citizenship are, as a rule, overlooked by the researchers. Constructivism is one of the methodological approaches to the analysis of social factors and processes in the Arab word. The use of the constructivist approach furthers a deeper understanding of political and social processes in the Arab Middle East. In the result of the research, the authors conclude that the problem of forced migration is one of the most serious demographic problems not only in the Arab Middle East, but in the whole world in general. The effective migration management can help create the necessary conditions for the observation of human rights and freedoms, the improvement of the quality of life and the reduction of social tension. 
Vinogradova E.A. - Role of the ALBA public diplomacy in the regulation of the Syrian conflict. pp. 55-65


Abstract: Politics of the ALBA states in the sphere of public diplomacy is one of the key foreign political targets for the ALBA states in their assymmetrical information strife with the USA. In the period from 2006 to 2013 the ALBA states have put their influence upon the international mass media in order to form a negative reputation for the USA. The strenghening foreign political dialog between the ALBA states and Syria, uniting the two regions based upon the platform of opposition to the unipolar influence of the USA opens additional perspectives for the formation of the new power centers against the monopolarity in the world. The methodology of the study is based upon systemic and structural-functional approaches, comparative historical and comparative political analysis, cultural civilization approach, methods of induction, deduction, construction, modeling, expert evaluation, analysis, synthesis, observation. In 2004 9 states of the Latin America and the Caribbean - Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba, Equador, Nicaragua, Dominicana, Antigua and Barbados, St. Vincent and Grenadines formed an international organization and sub-regional integration association ALBA: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra America. Initiators of ALBA formation were Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
Kirikova A. - General provisions of communication policy of the EU: mass media in the context of interaction between citizens and public institutions pp. 60-67


Abstract: The author studies the general provisions (objectives, principles, etc.) and the modern problems of the current communication (image/branding) policy ensuring the right of citizens to access to information resources and their interaction with public institutions in this context. The object of this research is the sphere of activity and social relations arising within the EU communication policy, which has its own specificity determined by the historical continuity and the modern humanistic democratic phenomena in some EU member countries. The purpose of the research is characterized by the analysis of the doctrinal position of mass media in the context of modern reality, by  the identification of the system-defined connections, which allow considering particular institutions as the institutions related to the subject of this study, and by the consideration of the basic components of the phenomenon under study. The author uses the methods of induction, theoretical and comparative-legal content-analysis, free writing, and other general and specific scientific methods. The author concludes that the EU’s image policy, based on the principles of transparency, objectivity and mutually open connection with society, should be focused on the aggregation of particular benefits and advantages of each national government if it supports the open communication channel with supranational structures and provides the Internet access for all EU members.
hedayati Shahidani M. - Unilateral sanctions as an unfair method of international relations: case-study of American unilateral sanctions against Russia (2014) pp. 64-85


Abstract: The article considers the concept of unilateral sanctions and the history of their use in international relations and American foreign policy. Unilateral sanctions serve as one of the key instruments of coercive diplomacy in international relations. Generally, the USA use this method against the actors not accepting their policy. Therefore such sanctions are aimed at persuasion of the states, integrated in the world economy but not willing to accept American rules. The USA use sanctions in order to achieve their political goals. American government usually uses normative concepts and rhetoric for imposition of economic restrictions.  The use of words like “violator” has become a part of the country’s rhetoric against its rivals in global politics, though a thorough study of international legislation shows that America commits more violations of international law than any other country. After the end of the Cold War and during the presidency of Barack Obama the USA have regularly used unilateral sanctions against Russia, Iran, Venezuela, etc. The article considers legitimacy and illegitimacy of such sanctions in accordance with the theory of legislative prohibition and reveals the most important consequences of these sanctions for international relations and the economies of different states. 
Manoilo A.V. - Geopolitical picture of the modern world and controlled chaos. pp. 66-80


Abstract: The modern geopolitical worldview is quite instable. Its main specific feature is that the geopolitical borders dividing modern states and nations are based not as much on geographical borders, water and mountain ridges, rather they are in the minds of the people, dividing the society into "us" and "them" based upon certain national interests, values, ideological concepts, doctrines, models of political behavior, and both continental and island states may follow these models. The methodology of the article involves systemic, structural-functional, comparative, and cultural civilization approaches, methods of analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, observation and modeling.  In order to support these borders in the mind of the people the symbols are used as markers for "our" people, allowing to distinguish "our" people and divide them from the "their" people. These markers may be primitive. It may be flowers (roses in Georgia, tulips in Kyrgyzstan, cornflowers in Belarus, cacti in Mexico, jasmine in Tunisia) in the hands of the participants of the color revolutions in the CIS, pieces of orange cloth in Ukraine or white ribbons in Russia, figs in Tunisia and Egypt, etc.
Galibina-Lebedeva E.S. - Protestant churches and sects as a new political subject in Latin America
pp. 72-91


Abstract: Recently, the political presence of Protestant churches in the region has risen significantly. It was proven during the tense election campaign of 2018 - 2019, which demonstrated a high level of political polarization of society. The campaign resulted in the election of the rightist candidates, supported by Protestant communities, as presidents of several countries in Latin America. The sudden rise of Protestant churches was promoted by insufficient work of Catholic Church with the population and the crisis of the leftist parties. Whereas just a while ago Protestant churches limited their political invasion to the local level, today they set larger objectives and influence the results of presidential elections. As the traditional electorate of the rightist parties are the representatives of the upper class, they can’t count on the significant support of the electorate. While Protestant churches solve the biggest political problem of the rightist parties - provide them with the votes of the lower classes and transform them from the elitist to people’s parties. Thus, the author concludes that the new wave of the ‘rightist turmoil’ in Latin America was caused, among other things, by the activity of Protestant churches. The significant influence of these churches in the political life of Latin America can also be considered as a specific regional phenomenon.  
Bobkin N.N. - The Presidential Elections in Iran - the year 2013. pp. 80-98


Abstract: The Iranian people shall elect the 7th President of Iran on June 14, 2013. The incumbent President Ahmadinejad shall not be able to participate in elections for the 3rd time in a row. The state is awaiting a new President, whose personality shall have a considerable impact on the further political course of Iran. This time the support of the spiritual leader Xameneyi cannot be viewed as a 100% guarantee for a presidential candidate. What is awaiting Iran in these elections? Shall the US sanctions be able to provoke the mass disturbances? What measures shall President Ahmadinejad take to protect his political heritage? Should we worry about the “Persian Summer of 2013”? It is undoubted that the attention to the upcoming Iranian elections shall be growing. Soon we shall find out how Iran shall manage organization of elections and security, and who shall be the head of the executive branch of the largest state in the region, as well as how the region, the world and Russia would react to it.  
Hao L. - The “One Belt and One Road” initiative in the context of strategic cooperation between Russia and China pp. 82-91


Abstract: The research subject is the analysis of international interaction between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China since the late 20th century to the present time within the upcoming new prospects of long-term cooperation. The author makes a brief review of the recent history of interrelations between the two counties and forecasts their development for the nearest future within the adopted joint program “One Belt and One Road”. This project is based on the “complementarity” principle, i.e. the unification of advantages of China and Russia thus forming modern largescale “development partnership”. This study is based on a set of scientific methods, including the historical, institutional, system and comparative methods of scientific analysis. The scientific novelty of the study consists in the fact that the political science problem under consideration reveals the new understanding of the vectors of development of relations of the two largest world powers. Particularly, the author considers the role of China in realization of the largest projects of the Eurasian Economic Union in the context of economic decline in Russia and other countries, close to Russia, caused by the Western sanctions. In the context of the possible narrowing of the EAEU’s potential, China’s project of “one road” can naturally compensate Russia’s demand for effective partnership. A special author’s contribution to the study of the topic is the conclusion that in the contemporary world, the alliance of Russia and China can define many vectors of development of world politics for the nearest decades. 
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