Reviews & Comments

Commentary for the report Report Remodeling Europe: Competition, Security, Expansion

Author: Professor Lubov Fadeyeva, Head of a Chair of Political Sciences of Perm State University, Full Doctor of History

The report, which was presented by an institute with optimistic name, has undoubtedly scientific and cognitive value. From my point of view it is not the least thing that the report isn’t boring to read.

Its agenda is burningly actual. It is important that initiative to start exploration and range of problems were born by expert community. Pool of experts looks like representative (though, in my opinion, it was possible to strengthen “non-metropolitan” component). Composers of the questionnaire and analysts paid attention to both timeserving (without negative connotation) problems and strategic issues as well as to axiological systems.

Authors of the report come out in several guises. First of all they gently and correctly work with experts’ opinion sorting out development scenarios proposed by experts. They adduce expert arguments for different scenarios pointing out differences in expert evaluations of representatives of different pools.

In some cases experts demonstrate in according to bon mot of authors “parallel words”, in other cases polar positions (foe instance within NATO role evaluation). Only in respect of menaces to European Union experts are unanimous and consider efficiency of institutes as a guarantor of security.

Problem of values, fundamentals, which defined as strong non-economic resources, is posed in the report. The fact that European experts in a greater degree than Russian ones are inclined to consider Russia as a European country (49 against 26%) was unexpected for authors (and readers).

Another guise of authors is their own analysis. Expert evaluations and their analysis combined in the report with other materials: ratings and statistics, which makes wider and more funded context.

From expert evaluations they draw important conceptual appraisals: thus in authors’ opinion not so much political problems (lack of democracy, claims in the sphere of human rights) as managerial ones (inefficiency, corruption) hamper to interaction of Russia and Europe. They call them “values”, which determine quality of business environment. Underestimation of its own country by its elite is characterized in the report as one of key problems which is impeding to modernization of Russia.

But authors themselves as analysts play in definite extension a role experts, and their opinion could be considered as questionable. So they equate in the report EU and Europe. Meanwhile in Russian academic European studies the term “Eunionist” [citizen of one of EU states] took final shape along with “European” to distinguish two categories.

Especially disputable is equation of EU and Europe at p. 133-134 and following conclusions. Particularly regarding statement that European experts comprehend better the situation because they appeal to refuse Russian identity; that European values are life standards; that anti-Western in Russia essentially shrunk; that Russian population are more opened to Western world than experts.

But accenting culture as a leading force, which could be implemented in practical policy, looks very attractive. The conclusion regarding cultural and innovative breakthrough becoming imminent raises hopes on success.

It worth to stress bright and picturesque language of the report (both experts’ and authors’).

With wishes of new concepts and success in their realization.

Post-Crisis World Institute