Goal of research: the research is aimed at revealing the main characteristics of the transformation of dynamics of sociopolitical destabilization in 2000-2012 both at the level of the World-System as a whole and in the Near East in particular. Another aim is to develop practical recommendations for avoiding or mitigating the risks of socio-political instability, and for the actions of Russian administration and organizations in the conditions of potential destabilization.
Methodology: the project is based on structural-functional approach (which implies viewing the political sphere as a wholistic system with a complex structure, each element of which has a specific target and performs specific functions aimed at satisfying the corresponding demands of the system) which allows for forecasting the post-crisis sociopolitical transformations.
The main method of research is the systemic method based on the modern theory of political systems. Besides, the research benefits from usage of situation analysis, methods of political sociology, as well as some substantial elements of political-historical and political-philosophical approaches.
Empirical base of research: The empirical base of research combines the usage of field materials collected during fieldwork in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and the USA; the usage of statistical data by World Bank, IMF, UN Population Division, CNTS, OPEC, EIA, as well as news of the Arab, Russian, and international news agencies.
Results of research:
General trends of the dynamics of integral components of sociopolitical destabilization indicators (anti-government demonstrations, general strikes, riots etc.) have been revealed both at the World-System level and in the region of the Near East in 2000 – 2012. In particular, the trends of impact of the Arab Spring upon the processes of sociopolitical destabilization at the World System scale have been revealed.
Trends of the dynamics of riots and anti-government demonstrations have been revealed at the World System scale. We show that when the CNTS observations started (1920s – 1930s) the riots prevailed over the demonstrations at the World System scale. This was true until the start of the phase transition A (the early 1960s) when the global intensity of major anti-government demonstrations equaled the number of riots. After the early 1980s the former visibly exceeded the latter; this trend continued during the Arab Spring.
The impact of the type of regime on the dynamics of sociopolitical destabilization has been established for the periods up to the end of the Cold War, between the end of the Cold War and 2010, and for the period of the Arab Spring. We show that the dependency between the type of regime and the level of socio-political instability has an inversed U-shaped form. The highest level of socio-political instability is observed in the intermediate regimes, while consolidated democracies and consistent autocracies are less prone to the risks of sociopolitical instability. We also show a pronounced asymmetry in this dependency, as autocracies experience a somewhat higher level of instability than democracies. Besides, this asymmetry experienced remarkable changes in the course of time. For the period up to the end of the Cold War the asymmetry was very weak; it strengthened after the end of the Cold War and became particularly pronounced during the Arab Spring. We reveal the reasons behind the changes of parameters of impact of the regime type upon the dynamics of sociopolitical destabilization.
We find empirical support for the Olson – Huntington hypothesis on the presence of a curvilinear inversed U-shaped dependency between the level of economic development and the level of sociopolitical instability. Up to a certain value of average income levels the economic growth leads to a strengthening of the sociopolitical destabilization risks. Only at their high levels further growth of this indicator leads to a decrease of these risks. Thus, higher values of per capita income are characterized by a negative correlation between the incomes per capita and sociopolitical destabilization risks, while lower values are characterized by a positive correlation. We show that up to a certain level (about $12,000-20,000 per capita) GDP growth contributes to the risk of destabilization processes.
The impact of the factor of dependency from oil prices and of oil price fluctuations upon the internal situation in various countries has been investigated. Our analysis has shown that a prolongated fall of oil prices leads to an increase of sociopolitical instability in oil-exporting countries, while their systematic increase is a powerful factor for the preservation of sociopolitical stability.
We have developed forecasts and practical recommendations regarding the further development trends and perspectives of the preservation of sociopolitical stability in the Near East.
Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results
The results of our research can be used in the following structures:
Presidential Administration of Russian Federation, Security Council of Russian Federation (we have positive experience of fruitful cooperation with these structures, first of all, in the sphere of applying the results of research on forecasting the global order in the period of global turbulence).
Rossotrudnichestvo (we have positive experience of fruitful cooperation with this structure, first of all, in the sphere of applying the results of research on sociopolitical transformations and risks of the developing countries).
Foreign Ministry of Russian Federation; governments of countries actively contributing to the international aid to development; international agencies of aid to development, governments and executive powers of various countries are also potential partners for who the results achieved at the Laboratory nay be of potential interest.