The main topics of the 73rd issue of NZ are most likely of universal character — and discussion is basically about the existence of frameworks of this universality. One of the blocks of articles is devoted to the balance between international peacekeeping and national sovereignty. Daria Pushkina and Elmira Cheremisova present an essay on the history and current state of this problem (“UN Peacekeeping at the Turn of the Centuries, or When Mission Is Possible”). The concept of “humanitarian intervention” is considered in the text by Thomas Nichols, professor at the US Naval War College; a realistic viewpoint on the current peacekeeping is suggested by Aida Bolivar, participant of the numerous UN missions.
“Major” ideological projects of the Western world of the last two centuries are considered in articles by Raymond Geuss (“Non-Comfort of Liberalism”) and London specialist in Russian history Geoffrey Hosking (“Trustworthy Economics”). The latter is devoted to the concept of “trust” which had become extremely important after the beginning of the current economic crisis.
While the problem of UN peacekeeping is of universal character — the texts presented in the 73rd issue of NZ are evidence thereof — another selection of materials analyzes the general experience of interrelations of “utopia” and “history” in ideological practice of the states of the former Soviet space. It concerns, first of all, so-called “designing”, both of the past and the future. Dmitry Furman speaks about it analyzing the Russian Post-Soviet realities (“From Russian Empire to Russian Democratic State” — here, as appears from the title, it is played upon the pair “universal/national”), and Kiev political philosopher Mikhail Minakov analyzes ideological language of dystopia of the modern Ukraine. An essay on designing of the past in Armenia, based on the example of the Post-Soviet Armenian historiography, is presented by Sergey Minasyan (“How Armenia Concerns the Past: History and Politics”).
The theme of the “past” is developed further in two publications works in the Case Study section. Ekaterina Melnikova analyzes the plot which has arisen during implementation of the major project undertaken under the guidance of the American Slavist Catriona Kelly. The purpose of the company was to collect evidence of so-called “oral history” about childhood in Russia starting from the end of XIX century. Melnikova in details comments on one such evidence — an oral interview with the inhabitant of Leningrad region, who has survived the war and other shocks of Stalin’s epoch. Daria Khlevnyuk devotes her article to the TV memoirs of Lilianna Lungina that are very popular among the present Russian public (later there was her book published that is in great demand among readers). Here the author speaks about a parity of personal and collective memory and about reception of “Podstrochnik” [“Word-per-word Translation”] TV program which was shot eleven years ago.
A particular section is devoted to the religious policy of the epoch of the late USSR. It begins with a selection of documents of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, prepared by the historian and sociologist of religion Nikolay Mitrokhin. Olga Sibireva goes further with an essay of orthodox religiousness on an example of one of areas in Ryazan region, and Galina Khvostova provides a curious picture of attempts of local authorities to oppose to religious ceremonialism “Soviet rituals”.
The permanent author’s columns of NZ develop the main topics of the issue. Alexander Kustarev (Political Imaginary) analyzes the present condition of so-called “political spectrum”, thereby continuing the conversation begun by Raymond Geuss, and Ilya Kalinin (Daily Political Economy) provides arguments for discussion about “designing of the past”.
As usual the issue ends with the Russian Intellectual Journals’ Review (Vyacheslav Morozov, Petr Rezvykh), and the New Books section among which we should mention an analysis of the posthumous book of an essay and the translation by Natalia Trauberg “The Voice of Turtle” (Leonid Karasev).