The 61st issue of NZ although being not a thematic one in the strict sense of this word is devoted to a number of closely related topics. First of all these are different aspects of politics — starting from legal issues and including but not limited to military ones. This year is the 15th anniversary of the Russian Federation Constitution which was adopted after the dramatic events of the year 1993. Therefore, the first section of published materials deals with the Constitution, the history of its adoption and the nowadays attitude thereto. This section is named “The Russian Constitution: Quiet Anniversary” and consists of five articles. The introductory by NZ editor Andrei Zakharov (“The Postmodern Constitution”) sets the tone of further discussion. Victor Sheinis, the active participant of 1992—1993 constitutional debates analyses the document from the viewpoint of today’s political life in Russia. The inconsistency between the provisions of Law and the Russian reality is the topic of the articles of Professor Katlijn Malfliet (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) and Professor Suren Avakyan (Moscow State University). The intriguing details of referendum where the Constitution was adopted in described in the article by Professor Mikhail Filippov (State University of New York at Binghamton).
If the first — “Constitutional” — section could be considered a historic one (since events that took place fifteen years ago are concerned), then the new section, named Events and Comments and appearing for the first time in this issue of NZ, deals with those events as have recently happened. Political analysts Sergey Markedonov (“The Five-Day War: Preliminary Results and Consequences”) and Viktor Kaplun (“Wurst or Life: Perspectives of Russian Modernization after the Armed Conflict in Georgia”) express their opinions with regard to the recent Russian-Georgian conflict. Starting from this issue Events and Comments section becomes permanent. Other permanent rubrics contain the works of NZ columnists Alexander Kustarev (“Romanovs and Bonapartes” — about “the inherent Bonapartism of the Russian monarchy”), Aleksey Levinson (“The Destiny of the Unthinkable” — about views of the Russian society on the relations with the West and the world in general), Evgeny Saburov (“What are we dealing with today?”). Another frequent NZ rubric is Liberal Heritage. In the 61st NZ issue there is an article devoted to the presidential campaign in USA written by Eli Zaretsky, the author of the classical history of psychoanalysis.
A great deal of materials is focused on youth and politics. The topic of two articles is political activity of young people in Germany. Evgeny Kazakov, the member of the Research Center of Eastern and Central Europe in Bremen, writes about the Socialist Union of German Students; Felix Hermann, an independent journalist and punk-musician prepares a review of radical youth movements in Germany. The Russian theme of the section is represented by articles of Elena Omelchenko, the sociologist from Ulyanovsk, who writes about “youth generations” after the perestroika and Ekaterina Filippova, also the sociologist writing about the role of youth organizations in the modern democratic opposition.
Among the best publications of the 61st NZ issue are an interview with Professor Geoffrey Hosking (NZ interview section), a prominent British specialist on Russian history (“The First World War and Nation Building in the Russian Empire”) and an interview with Professor Christopher Cocker, international relations researcher (“Russia, Asia and Imaginary of the West”). In the same Culture of Politics section there is an article by Valery Karbalevich, a Belarusian political scientist where he analyses the mechanism of so-called “controlled democracy” in his country.
Two interesting researches, published in the 61st NZ issue are devoted to different aspects of Russian history of the XX century. Lyudmila Klimovich, a historian of the Russian emigration writes about the attitude of the first wave émigrés towards fascism. Yury Tsivyan, a well-known researcher of cinema history, tells about quite comic undertakings of the Soviet cinema censorship and how after the Civil War the Western movies were re-cut (“Clench gesture: On History of Re-cutting”).
We should also mention the review of the recent publications on the history of national question in France prepared by Alexander Chudinov, the Moscow specialist on the French history. Besides New Books reviews as usual the issue ends with Russian Intellectual Journal Review by Vyacheslav Morozov and Petr Rezvyh.