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Brazil, Russia and the multiple modernities paradigm

The article focuses on analyses of transformation processes in Brazil and Russia from the viewpoint of the multiple modernities theory. Shmuel Eisenstadt’s study of the Latin American version of modernity is characterised along with interpretations of his ideas in the works of contemporary sociologists. The peculiarities of modernisation in Brazil are singled out including the impact of orientation to external centres of liberal modernity. The modernising dynamics of Russian society is discussed on the basis of Johann Arnason’s sociological theory. It is argued that Arnason’s analysis of intercivilisational encounters and imperial modernisation is essential for understanding transformation processes in Russia.

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Social Imaginaries. 2017. Vol. 3. No. 1. P. 147-165.

Brexit: начало переговоров Британии с Евросоюзом не стало обнадеживающим для финансовых рынков и торговли

В статье анализируется первый этап переговоров между Лондоном и Брюсселем о выходе Британии из ЕC  - период с  июля по начало сентября 2017 г. Рассмотрены позиции и подходы сторон, в частности, главная цель  Британии – добиться благоприятных условий в торговле с ЕС после брекзита при минимальных уступках, описаны возможные варианты ее будущих торгово-экономических взаимоотношений с ЕС.  Описан прогноз  предполагаемого экономического ущерба Британии в первые годы после выхода из ЕС. Показаны острые разногласия сторон по вопросу размера выплат Британии по своим обязательствам при выходе из ЕС. Отдельное внимание уделено британскому банковско-финансовому сектору в связи с намерением многих компаний и банков перевести свои представительства в другие страны ЕС. Подчеркнута непреодоленная напряженность среди политического класса между сторонниками и противниками выхода из ЕС. 

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Деньги и кредит. 2017. № 10. С. 27-30.

BRICS Innovative Competitiveness Report 2017

Science, technology and innovation are crucial driving forces in the development of a country and a nation and of the entire human society at large. The competition in comprehensive national strength, in essence, is the competition in science, technology and innovation. In the backdrop of globalization, a country which has strong science, technology and innovation capabilities is more advantageously positioned in the division of labor in industries and better able to create new industries and can own more advanced intellectual properties needed to achieve further development. Science, technology and innovation hold the golden key to discovering new fountainheads of growth and unlocking dormant growth potential. Although the global economy remains sluggish overall, a new round of scientific, technological and industrial revolution is creating new historic opportunities as new concepts and new sectors such as “Internet+”, 3D printing and smart manufacturing emerge and new technologies keep coming up, especially in artificial intelligence, information technology, life science and biotechnology, opening up unprecedented opportunities and development impetus, also with a massive potential of transforming traditional industries. In addition, science, technology and innovation play an irreplaceable basic role in the effort to respond to global challenges and can not only effectively promote the addressing of global challenges such as climate change, food shortage, resource depletion and poverty but also accelerate the achievement of the goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the benefit of the entire humankind.

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Bingqing X., Boyang W., Changlin G. et al.
Beijing: China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC), 2017.
20 сентября 2017

British and Russian Traditions of Children’s Literature, with Special Reference to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

В отличие от русской традиции, британские авторы, пишущие для детей и подростков, уделяют большое внимание проблеме толерантности, создавая книги, где ребенок или подросток с особенностями развития выступает в качестве протагониста. 

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Footpath. Contemporary British Literature in Russian Universities. Issue. 2017. No. 10 (5). P. 13-22.
25 апреля 2017

Building Communication Bridges to Mitigate Language and Culture Barriers

Every university which exists in an environment where English is not the first language is going to encounter obstacles in communicating with its international students. While developing towards a polylingual solution might seem preferable, in reality universities choose a less costly decision — English in addition to the local language(s), since it is the de facto lingua franca of international education.

Nonetheless, specific challenges and ways to address international students greatly depend on how widespread the knowledge of English is in the country and university environment. For example, the Netherlands and Sweden have many natural opportunities for universities to recruit people who will not experience the language barrier with international students. However, many other countries, including Russia, have very different starting conditions: according to the 2010 census, only 5.3% of the Russian population indicated knowledge of English. Of course it calls for deliberate extra efforts aimed at developing information channels and English interface of university services.

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Higher Education in Russia and Beyond. 2017. No. 2(12). P. 21-22.
5 июня 2017

Bureaucratic Strength and Presidential Inattention: Disempowering Territorial Development Instruments in Russia

In spite of increasing funding and the establishment of special budget instruments, government policy aimed at the economic development of di erent parts of Russia’s territory has not demonstrated signi cant success. is article suggests that one of the causes for these shortcomings is the in uence of the bureaucracy, which disempowers every new mechanism for resolving current economic problems in the Russian regions, even if doing so has a negative impact on the economic development of the country as a whole. is issue has not been a priority for Russia’s powerful presidency.

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Russian Analytical Digest. 2017. No. 201. P. 10-13.
22 октября 2017

Capital Cities: Varieties and Patterns of Development and Relocation

The issue of capital city relocation is a topic of debate for more than forty countries around the world. In this first book to discuss the issue, Vadim Rossman offers an in-depth analysis of the subject, highlighting the global trends and the key factors that motivate different countries to consider such projects, analyzing the outcomes and drawing lessons from recent capital city transfers worldwide for governments and policy-makers.

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Rossman V.
L.; NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2017.

Causes and Consequences of Democratization: the Regions of Russia

In recent decades, the regions of Russia have taken different paths of regime transition. Despite the consolidation of an autocratic regime at national level and the centralization steered by Vladimir Putin’s government, the variation across sub-national regimes persists. Using an innovative theoretical framework, this book explores both causes and consequences of democratization in the regions of Russia. It is the first study in the field to systematically integrate structural and agency approaches in order to account for economic, social, historical and international causes of democratization and to trace its consequences. By focusing on the challenging and under-studied topic of sub-national regimes, the book provides a unique perspective on regime transition and the new theoretical framework contributes to a better understanding of democratization world-wide. The book will be of key interest to scholars and students of democratization, sub-national regimes, East European politics, comparative politics, post-communism, and international relations.

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L.; NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017.

cemff: A force field database for cementitious materials including validations, applications and opportunities

This paper reviews atomistic force field parameterizations for molecular simulations of cementitious minerals, such as tricalcium silicate (C3S), portlandite (CH), tobermorites (model C-S-H). Computational techniques applied to these materials include classical molecular simulations, density functional theory and energy minimization. Such simulations hold promise to capture the nanoscale mechanisms operating in cementitious materials and guide in performance optimization. Many force fields have been developed, such as Born–Mayer–Huggins, InterfaceFF (IFF), ClayFF, CSH-FF, CementFF, GULP, ReaxFF, and UFF. The benefits and limitations of these approaches are discussed and a database is introduced, accessible via a web-link (http://cemff.epfl.ch). The database provides information on the different force fields, energy expressions, and model validations using systematic comparisons of computed data with benchmarks from experiment and from ab-initio calculations. The cemff database aims at helping researchers to evaluate and choose suitable potentials for specific systems. New force fields can be added to the database.

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Mishra R. K., Kunhi Mohamed A., Geissbühler D. et al.
Cement and Concrete Research. 2017. Vol. 102. P. 68-89.

Centralisation and Decentralisation of International Student Support: Getting the Best of Both Worlds

Nowadays universities do not need to be convinced that their student support services should take into account international students as well. However, a specific configuration of the support system depends on both external and internal factors. A lot is shaped by the context: national regulation, predominant language(s) in the country, changing demands of the job market; but no less important is the university’s strategy, i.e., the decisions on how to develop while taking the context into account.

Language barrier is the first and major hindrance in accessing the system of student support. The second obstacle is the lack of flexible interface for every university service, which would take into account the diversity of student body. In such circumstances, and when the number of international students is relatively small, it is often easier and more effective to start with a centralised approach, as it allows to ensure adequate and timely support of predictable quality to incoming international students.

However, despite the impression that this way a student can resolve all the issues in one place, it is a quasi-onestop service because the central office is not a provider of university services but a mediator between students and relevant units. Consequently, it becomes the bottleneck which slows processes down when the number of international students grows. Moreover, a separate track of support creates an isolated bubble for international students, providing fewer possibilities for intercultural experience and, thus, increasing the risk of creating a split university.

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Higher Education in Russia and Beyond. 2017. No. 2(12). P. 18-19.
5 июня 2017

Challenged harmony. Byzantine dispute over the form of the universe

Throughout the whole Byzantine era we witness the coexistence of the spherical conception of the universe which has its’ roots in ancient science and the pattern of tabernacle based on the Holy Writ. Only once in 6th century the opposite views became a subject for a dispute, but even then rather as a part of a broader theological controversy. Since that time the two conceptions survived in different cultural milieus and thence had no point of intersection. Only in 12 century Michael Glycas writing his chronicle in a simple language approaches the issue. Proving that the universe has a shape of a sphere he tries to make scholar knowledge available to a general public. By doing so he even dares to come into contradiction with John Chrysostom himself.

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Micrologus. Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies. 2017. Vol. 25. P. 37-46.

Changing Attitudes: Reconsidering the Role of Turkish in the Community of Pontic Greeks in Cyprus

The present paper examines the linguistic behaviour of the first wave of Pontic Greek immigrants to Cyprus based on their internalized language attitudes and dominant language ideologies. Since the time of its settlement in Cyprus in the early/mid 1990s, the predominantly Turkish-speaking community of Pontic Greeks has experienced a rapid linguistic and cultural transformation. This occurred primarily due to the local population’s (i.e. Greek-Cypriots’) reluctance to recognize the Turkish-speaking Pontic Greeks as belonging to the Greek linguistic and cultural ‘world’ in light of the former’s historical and socio-political tensions with the Turkish-Cypriot minority. More specifically, I will analyse the factors that have contributed to this rapid language shift and show what (non-) linguistic means are employed by the members of the Pontic Greek community to index their ethnic identity and belonging.

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Zoumpalidis D., Zubalov D.
Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford. 2017. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 25-42.