The 57th issue of NZ is focused on several subjects — starting from the characteristics distinguishing the post-Soviet political system in Russia and going to the experience of “reconstruction of the past” in various European societies and cultures. The “point of synthesis” is the first article of the issue — the translation of the interview with the prominent French anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss on the matter of “Race and Politics”.
The problems of political traditions in Russia and the current mechanism of Russian political performance (in the correlation with public consciousness) dominate in the first part of this issue. First of all, these are the standing sections of our columnists Aleksandr Kustarev (an essay “The Russian Majority — Senseless and Pitiless”, Imaginary of Politics), Aleksei Levinson (“Ballad about Rating”, Sociological Lyrics), Evgeny Saburov (“Now the Boiler-man has Revealed Us the Truth”, Humanitarian Economics). The first thematic part of the issues — “The Ballot Day, or the Change as Succession” — is in fact the summarizing of the last eight years in the Russian politics; the summary is made by Yaroslav Shimov (“The Epoch of Vladimir Putin and the Transformation of the Russian Statehood”) and Dmitri Travin (“The Authoritarian Personality at the Russian Voting”). In his NZ interview a famous philosopher Aleksandr Pyatigorsky analyses the notion of “national leader” which has currently appeared in the Russian political practice. In another interview a well-known economist, the publisher of the magazine “Svobodnaya Mysl” Vladislav Inozemtsev shares his pessimistic views on the Russian democratic perspectives.
In Culture of Politics section there are three articles on the matters dealing with the different aspects of the Russian statehood performance (“Imperial Federalism” by Andrei Zakharov) and contending ideological concepts (perhaps, even the types of political consciousness) — liberalism (“Mythologies: on Some Stereotypes of the Modern Russian Liberal Consciousness” by Andrei Ranchin) and right extremism (“The Post-Soviet Rightist and Extremist Counter-Elites and Their Influence on the Intellectual Environment” by Andreas Umland). The special block of articles is devoted to the history of the 4th convocation of the State Duma (namely, articles by the American scientist Thomas Remington and the British political analyst Sarah Whitmore).
The cultural dimension of the current Russian political reality is presented in Politics of Culture section. Dmitri Golynko-Volfson analyses the political and cultural context of the scandal with respect to the exhibition of the modern Russian art in Paris, whereas the artist and the supervisor Dmitri Bulatov investigates the certain art-strategies connected with the politics and economics of the modern Western society.
As it has become traditional in recent years this issue of NZ pays much attention to history. In Case Study section there are an article of Mikhail Efimov on liberal press on the eve of the February revolution in Russia and a curious research “Russia as a Bear” by Andrei Rossomakhin and Denis Khrustalev, devoted to the visual aspects of the Russian “bear metaphor” in the European public mind in the XVI-XIX centuries. The topic of “reconstruction of the past” and “invention of the motherland” is considered in the Comparative Studies section. Patrick Sims-Williams, famous specialist on Celtic history, reflects on scientific and not-so-scientific discussions regarding the existence of Celtic nation. Kyrill Kobrin introduces quiet unusual example of national identification in the Middle Age Britain. Anton and Olga Sveshnikov devote their article to intriguing and endless disputes concerning Arkaim archeological site.
As usually the issue ends with Russian Intellectual Journal Review (Vyacheslav Morozov and Petr Rezvyh) and New Books section. The section Around NZ consists of feedbacks on some articles for the previous year.