"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.


 "Asia and Africa today" № 4 2016



Azia&Afrika 04-2016


 Top Problem



SYRIAN CRISIS AND RADICAL ISLAMISM by B.V.Dolgov, PhD (History), Institute of Oriental Studies (RAS). Part II
Keywords: Syrian crisis, patriotic opposition, armed Islamist opposition, goal of the West, information warfare, social and economical situation, Arab Spring, radical Islamism
Syrian crisis, which began in March 2011, has acquired a global character. Now days it’s a global conflict, in which both the interests of the regional states and of the great powers clash.
The assistance which the external forces rendered to the armed Syrian opposition, represented mainly by Islamist groups, and the presence in their ranks of thousands of jihadists from all over the world stimulated the emergence in Syria of a center of radical Islamism. This, in turn, contributed to the formation of so-called here «Islamic state» (IG) and its expansion in the region.
Syrian crisis can be viewed as a specific, a special part of the Arab Spring Social protest, which characterized the initial phase of the Arab Spring in such countries as Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain, was caused by internal factors. Namely, it was provoked by the socio-economic crisis, corruption, police arbitrariness, nepotism of the ruling elite, the absence of real democratic freedoms in the flashy «facade democracy».
In the article the character of the Syrian crisis is revealed as the global conflict and the particular part of the Arab Spring. The author show, on the experience of his visits to Syria, that the main causes of the Syrian crisis are the outside factors and namely the support of the outside forces to the Islamist radical opposition, which is represented basically by the mercenaries-jihadists from the Arab and Moslem countries, EU, USA, Russia. The appearance of the Islamic State (IS) on the part of the territory of Syria and Iraq, as the fire-place of the radical Islamism, is analyzed, and the causes of the influence of the Islamist ideology on the part of the Moslems are revealed. The attempts of the West, Turkey, monarchies of the Persian Golf to use the radical Islamism in their global goals in the Middle East are revealed. The role of Russia in the solution of the Syrian crisis and the struggle against the radical Islamism is showed.



Keywords: Arab Spring protests, civil society, opposition, Social identicalness
A series of mass protests in Arab countries drew attention to the role of civil society and social movements which they are playing in the processes of democratic transition. It is exactly with that phenomenon that the beginning of the protests and mass demonstrations are associated, the phenomenon which finally resulted in change of regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, stimulated significant reforms in many countries, as well as triggered off significant international tension around, such for example as the situation in Syria.
However, the applicability of the phrase «civil society» to the Arab countries remains a matter of scientific debate.
The author is analyzing this issue, taking into account some features of development of the modern world.

«TWITTER REVOLUTION» IN NORTH AFRICA by K.A.Pantserev, Dr.Sc. (Political Science), Saint Petersburg State University
Keywords: Information society, information technology, information security, Internet, social networks, North Africa
In today’s world formation of a new social order based on telecommunications is a deciding, critical factor for economic and social life, for the modes of production of knowledge, as well as for the nature of the labor activity of people. Since the Internet network and global media system is not accountable to the countries in which they operate, their uncontrolled activities can pose a threat to the national security of these countries, Precisely that we observe today in some countries of North Africa. Remaining «alone» with foreign media and Internet resources, people gradually became convinced in the «justice» and «rightness» of broadcasted «truths» about the «corruption» of their leaders, their worthlessness and succumbed to popular social media calls to go out and seek to change regime. The author concludes that the information networks in conjunction with global media systems in the era of globalization could become a real threat to national security.


 Policy, Economy



Keywords: India, the Russian-Indian cooperation, nuclear diplomacy, nuclear power, N.Modi, H.Bhabha program
Reserves of hydrocarbon fuels in India are insufficient to meet the needs of a rapidly growing economy. To day atom is one of the most reliable sources of energy to serve key customers - industrial enterprises and cities.
The new government of N.Modi is doing an obvious emphasis on the development of the nuclear industry, while seeking to intensify international cooperation and attract foreign companies to build nuclear power plants on Indian territory. Russia’s position in the competition for the Indian atom has a number of advantages, but Corporation «Rosatom» will hardly be able to maintain a monopoly position because of the inevitable rise of competition in this rapidly growing market.

RIGHT POPULIST PARTY: JAPANESE VERSION by E.V.Molodyakova, Dr.Sc. (History), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: Japan, Osaka, Hashimoto Toru, National Restoration Party of Japan, right populism, Osaka Restoration Association, split
The conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has achieved undeniable success in economic and social development and many voters don’t see any point in changing their voting habits. The right-wing Populist Party has emerged in 2012, right before the general election which has won 54 seats. The unusual thing about it is that the independent regional Osaka Restoration Association was founded and lead to its success by the 43- year-old mayor of Osaka Hashimoto Toru.
However, this solid victory didn’t secure party’s political future. The party experienced mergers, splits and eventually Hashimoto’s exit who then reinvented the Osaka Restoration Association as a party which relies on urban voters to whom the party offers clear political goals. It’s assumed that such “restoration societies” will be set up in other cities and they all will be integrated into the new Japan Restoration Party. Such setups are unusual for Japan but common in the USA. The emergence of this new party was good news for Abe as the ruling party and the Hashimoto supporters have similar views and political goals.

GAMBIA: FROM JAWARA TO JAMMEH by T.S.Denisova, PhD (History), Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: Africa, Gambia, political development, D.Jawara, Yahya Jammeh, military regimes, military coups, electoral processes
The author discusses the features of the political development of the smallest states of mainland Africa - the Republic of the Gambia. From 1965 to 1994 country was headed by Dauda Jawara, the Prime Minister at first who later became the president. It is noted that during the years of his reign, the Gambia had a reputation of one of the most stable countries of the continent, where the principles of human rights and political pluralism were respect.
The situation has changed in 1994, when as a result military coup Yahya Jammeh came to power and became the head of the state. During the years of his reign Gambia has lost the image of one of the most stable and democratic countries in Africa and took its «rightful» place among the most repressive regimes of the continent.



INDUS AND MEKONG RIVERS AS AN ARENA OF INTERNATIONAL WATER CONFLICTS by O.A.Boyarkina, PhD (Political Sciences), Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations
Keywords: Indus, Mekong, water policy, transboundary water resources, national interests, international water conflicts
The article contains a brief history of the formation and evolution of political conflict on transboundary Indus and Mekong rivers. It’s underlined that transboundary rivers crossing borders of several national states have a strong potential for conflict. In the region of South and Southeast Asia, characterized by high population pressure on water resources and, as a consequence, low water availability, as well as varying degrees of economic and political development, it has proved possible to lay the foundation for a further cooperation on joint water use of the transboundary Indus and Mekong rivers by means of political will, legal and institutional mechanisms of solving interstate political conflicts.


 From Our Staff Correspondent

70th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RUSSIAN PUSHKIN CULTURAL CENTER IN ADDIS ABABA by V.P.Nemchenko, our Staff correspondent in Ethiopia
Keywords: Russian Pushkin Cultural Center in Addis Ababa, Russia and Ethiopia: historic and cultural relations
In 2015 the Russian Pushkin Cultural Center in Addis Ababa celebrated the 70th Anniversary of its activity. In March 1945 just before the end of the Great Patriotic War an exhibition dedicated to our country was displayed in Addis Ababa.
The Russian exposition attracted wide and real attention and served as prototype of the Pushkin cultural center. Its everyday activities aim to create real and positive image of Russia in Ethiopian society, stimulate interest in the Russian language and culture, promotes development of business, touristic and humanitarian contacts between both countries.


 Events, Facts, Comments

HERITAGE COLLECTION OF ANCIENT EGYPT IN RUSSIA by K.V.Meshcherina, Post- Graduate Student, Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: Egypt, Russian Egyptology Society
This year Russian Egyptology Society celebrates the 160th anniversary of the birth of the famous orientalist, Egyptologist, collector and traveler Vladimir Semenovich Golenishchev (1856-1947). For 30 years he collected oriental - Egyptian and Near East – antiquity items which are stored today in the Museum of Fine Arts (GMII) them. A.S.Pushkin. In honor of the 160th anniversary of the birth of V.S.Golenishchev the museum hosted an exhibition - «Two Amenemhat»: portraits of the king of the Middle Kingdom.» A restored in the workshops of the museum is one of the most unique items of his collection - an ancient burial shroud.


 Post-Graduate Column

INDIA: IS THERE A NEW APPROCH TO ORGANIZATION OF STRATEGIC PLANNING? by Ya.O.Sadovnikova, Post-graduate student, E.M.Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, RAS
Keywords: Narendra Modi, Planning Commission, planning process, centre-state relations, NITI Aayog
In the Independence Day speech on August 15, 2014, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared the abolition of the outdated Planning Commission and its replacement with an absolutely new body that will meet imperatives of our time. Along with other government initiatives, this event deserves attention of researchers too.
The Planning Commission has played a very important role at the beginning stage of independent development and has become an integral part of state-building hereinafter. In my opinion, the economic reforms 1990s were the most serious check on durability for the Planning Commission. And then, it was decided that Five Year Plans should be retained. In January 2015 the Government of India was taken decision to establish a new institution named NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog. The article analyzes the main landmarks in the history of the Planning Commission and also explores prospects for a new body.


 History Pages

HOW THE USSR MADE FRIENDS WITH EGYPT. From memories of Nikita Khrushchev, by V.V.Belyakov, Dr.Sc. (History), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: Soviet-Egyptian relations, N.S.Khrushchev, G.A.Nasser, Aswan hydroelectric complex
The article is based on memories of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and is devoted to developing of the Soviet-Egyptian relations after Egyptian revolution of 1952. At the beginning Moscow considered the change of regime in Cairo as just a military coup. But changes in internal and foreign policy of Egypt demonstrated that it was anti-colonial revolution. In 1955 the Soviet Union supplied Egypt with modern military weapons, and in 1956 supported it during tripartite aggression of Britain, France and Israel.
But the USSR didn’t approve the unity between Egypt and Syria in 1958 and this became the reason for complications in Soviet-Egyptian relations. Nevertheless, the same year the USSR agreed to participate in construction of Aswan hydroelectric complex. And in May 1964 Nikita Khrushchev visited Egypt and participated in celebration in connection with damming of the Nile.


 Culture, Literature, Art

REBECCA HAILE: “MY OPINION FROM FAR AWAY. MY REDISCOVERY OF ETHIOPIA” by G.A.Balashova, PhD (Philology), Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: native, homeland, religion, orthodox, history
It’s a rather difficult thing to determine the genre of the book “My Discovery of Ethiopia”. It’s partly a travelogue, partly historic novel, partly a memoir.
The story tells about a young Ethiopian woman who with her family in 1976 was forced flee to the USA during Ethiopia’s “Red Terror”. Rebecca grew up in Minnesota where her father - Professor Getachew Haile worked at St. John’s College as a scientist.
25 years later Rebecca decided to come back to her native country and her visit, decades later, breaks down so many Western stereotypes of Africa. She admires of the great cultural heritage from the ancient times, respects its history and rich civilization. Her glimpse into Ethiopia is so unique that it reveals her to us as a very talented young writer.

«AND WE TAKE OUR PENS…» by S.V.Prozhogina, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: France - Tunisia, poetry, Tahar Bekri, radical Islamism, terrorism
“Republic Square” is a poem by francophone Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri, who is living in France. It is dedicated to atrocities - violence against journalists of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.


 Book Review

THIS CONTROVERSIAL WORLD ECONOMY - WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN? by E.A.Bragina, Dr.Sc. (Economics), E.M.Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, RAS
In his new work “Long-term Tendencies, Contradictory Tendencies, Factors of Economic Growth Development and The Developing Countries” (Moscow, 2015, 80 p.) a well-known Russian researcher V.A.Melyantsev analyses the complicated economic correlation between these main groups of countries in the world economy. He defines their basic tendencies as “hundred years stagnation” and “Asian economic jump”. The author has used vast statistical indicators and presents to the readers visual tables and graphs. Besides the publication has rich bibliography useful for all who are interested in the problems of world economy.

VIETNAM, WHICH WE KNOW TODAY by V.V.Boytsov, PhD (History), Institute of Asia and Africa Studies, Moscow State University
2015 was a jubilee year in Vietnam. September 2 country celebrated 70 years of independence: August Revolution in 1945 and the proclamation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. And another memorable date: 40 years have passed since the liberation of South Vietnam in 1975.
In this regard, the publication of the scientific reference book edited by E.V.Kobelev, PhD (History),
«Modern Vietnam. Handbook» (Moscow, IFES, RAS, 2015. 366 p.) looks timely and relevant. Prepared and published by the Center for the study of Vietnam and the ASEAN of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies. As the authors involved were those who specialize in studying of Vietnam, and not only from leading scientific centers of Moscow - IFES RAS, Institute of Oriental Studies, IAAS Moscow State University, the Museum of the East, but also from scientific centers too.


* Summary