"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" № 8 2018

 

 

Aziaafrika08 2018

 

 TOP PROBLEM

FEMALE ISLAMISM by  Gulnar R. BALTANOVA , Dr.Sc. (Philosophy), Professor, Kazan State Energetic University (baltanova2014@ yandex.ru)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000499-0

     The growth of Islamic extremism in the world, the threat of its penetration into the territory of the Russian Federation raises the task of building a scientifically grounded system of counterpropaganda. In this regard, the author for the first time in the world Islamology introduces the concept of a woman-Islamist, which was filled with real content in the activities of the «Islamic State». Already in the end of 2015 - beginning of 2016 women-Islamists acted not only as performers of terrorist acts, but also as their organizers, independent of men’s will. This testified to the violation of traditional gender relations. It turned out that modern Islamists consider not even Western hegemony as their main enemy, but the Muslim Ummah, which is mired in corruption, fitna and sinful. Thus, for fifty years of its existence - since the establishment of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah - female Islamism has gone from the motives of «secondary» motivation (revenge for the deceased father, husband, etc.,) to «primary» motivation, i.e. decision, taken as a result of my own thoughts. This was reflected, among other things, in the formation of the ideology of female Islamism, which rejects any dialogue with both the West and the rest of the world of Islam, which women-Islamists believe is unbelief and polytheism (shirk). Women-Islamists make their own decision to participate in the struggle, form their strategy based on women’s Islamist archetypes, organize their actions and subsequently count on active participation in radical movements or political entities, independent of men’s will. In other words, we are talking about a fundamentally new understanding of the role of women in a Muslim society and its status in the family. Keywords: Islamism, women-Islamists, the «Islamic State», ideology of female Islamism, motivation for the becoming womenIslamists, opposition to Islamist propaganda.

 Keywords: Islamism, women-Islamists, the «Islamic State», ideology of female Islamism, motivation for the becoming womenIslamists, opposition to Islamist propaganda

  

POLICY, ECONOMY

CONJUGATION OF THE ECONOMIC UNION AND THE INITIATIVE «ONE BELT, ONE ROAD»: CONCERNS AND PERSPECTIVES by Agniya N. CHISTYAKOVA, PhD (History), Associate Professor, Division of Oriental Studies; Head, Division of the Chinese language, Siberian Institute of International Relations and Regional Studies, Novosibirsk, Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); and Olga V. KHOTSKINA, PhD (Philology), Associate Professor, Division of the English language; Scientific member, Semiotics and Sign Systems laboratory, Institute for Humanities, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000500-2

     The present paper analyzes the concerns over two projects conjugation: Economic Union (EAEU) and the initiative of the People’s Republic of China “One Belt, One Road”. Central Asia is the key region historically considered by Russia and China as area of their interests and both countries have always been trying to integrate it into their range. Economic as well as political views in the region of both countries have been overviewed. Russia following its “turn of policy to the East” as well as due to US and EU sanctions abandoned the negative scenario of the Chinese initiative “One Belt, One Road” “containment”. Cooperation is being planned in several formats: “soft” and “hard” infrastructure or through the creation of “the free trade zone”. However China is more interested in the development of bilateral relations with separate members of the Eurasian Economic Union (Kazakhstan) investing and granting credits (for many countries China is their leading investor and partner). The creation of the unified economic area and the free trade zone is becoming the alternative of the “One Belt, One Road” project for Russia and it also helps in preserving its influence in Central Asia. Nowadays SCO is the only platform for such conjugation, where the integration methods have already been tested, and Russia, PRC and countries of Central Asia are its members. PRC as well as Russia are interested in stability in the region that is why the cooperation through strengthening antiterrorist interrelationship between China, Russia and other countries is highly possible in the framework of SCO.

Keywords: Economic Belt of the Silk Road, OBOR, SCO, Economic Union, Central Asia, Conjugation, Free Trade Zone, "Silk Road on Ice"

 

MYANMAR FOREIGN POLICY AND THE FORMATION OF THE RUSSIAN-MYANMAR COOPERATION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE XXI CENTURY by Irina V. KOKUSHKINA, PhD (Economics), Associated Professor, St. Petersburg State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S000523100000501-5

     The paper explores the evolution of trade and economic relations between Russia and Myanmar in 1948-2018. Cooperation between two countries began with the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948 (although the first contacts took place as early as the ХIХ century). The article emphasizes that the Soviet Union, and later Russia, provided significant assistance to Myanmar not only in economic development but also in other areas (education, geological exploration, healthcare, construction, military assistance). The author notes that the development of the legal framework for cooperation is of great importance for further strengthening of political, trade and economic relations between the countries.

     At the same time, the author states that the history of relations between the countries was not continuous. During the period of military rule in Myanmar, relations remained good, but the volume of economic and humanitarian ties decreased to insignificant values. Their recovery began only in the 2000s. The beginning of political and economic reforms in Myanmar since 2011 has become a new driver for its cooperation with Russia.

     Summarizing the results of the research, the author emphasizes that at the end of the second decade of the XXI century, the Russian-Myanmar cooperation is developing quite successfully, although not at a high pace and volume due to the presence of various risks in Myanmar.

     The author compares the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of Myanmar cooperation with China, India and Russia, highlighting their features and prospects. Summarizing the results, the author states that, despite the currently modest volumes of trade and investment, the potential for developing foreign economic relations between Russia and Myanmar is very high. However, Myanmar is an important link in the regional strategies of China and India, which also belong to the BRICS and the SCO. Therefore, it is impossible for Russia to build its political and economic ties with Myanmar without taking these aspects of regional relations into account.

Keywords: Myanmar, Russia, cooperation, trade, investment, foreign policy, China, India

  

WHITE” PORTRAITS IN THE AFRICAN POLITICAL GALLERY. PART 2 by Liubov Ya. PROKOPENKO, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000502-4

     The article contains a gallery of portraits of white political and government figures in African countries. The dynamics of the white community members’ representation in multiracial states of Southern Africa - South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia - is shown. From the very beginning of these countries’ independence, the necessity to form power structures on the basis of the interests of all significant social groups has been clearly evident. Observance of the rights of minorities (white and coloured people) creates conditions for the establishment of political stability and, ultimately, for the development of democracy.

     Particular attention is paid to the situation in South Africa: the contribution of white politicians to the political and socio-economic development of the country, the representation of women in political life, features of modern Afrikaner community, the representation of whites in the government of the new president of South Africa, C.Ramaphosa, are described.

     In the political history of Kenya, an important place belongs to Richard and Philip Leakey, two members of the dynasty of famous internationally known British/Kenyan paleontologists and writers, L.S.Leakey and M.D.Leakey.

     Knowledge and qualifications of white politicians in various fields have found worthy use in bodies of authorities at all levels. The article traces subsequent careers of some of them after retiring from politics.

     New political and economic challenges affect the presence and the role of representatives of the white community in the political landscape of African states. In South Africa in recent years there has been an increase in xenophobia and of elements of black racism which is repeatedly noted by Western and domestic researchers. This is a serious issue of concern for the countries of the South African region. Acceleration of the process of land reform in South Africa announced by the new president C.Ramaphosa in February 2018 risks to lead to further outflow of the country’s white population as it has already happened in Zimbabwe.

Keywords: white politicians, the J.Zuma’s government, Afrikaners, female politicians, C.Ramaphosa’s government, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Leakey brothers, resignation, land reform

 

ISLAM, ISLAMISM, EXTREMISM

HOW «NEW MUKHAJIRS» FROM RUSSIA LIVE IN TURKEY. Migration of Russian Muslims in the 2000s by Naima A. NEFLIASHEVA, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000503-5

     The author analyses reasons for the migration of Russian Muslims to Turkey in the 2000s. Factors contributing to emigration and ways of legal, linguistic and household adaptation of migrants are considered. The author emphasizes that migration to Turkey from Russia is far from the first and allocates several waves of migrations since the fall of the Crimean Khanate. The paper notes an interesting phenomenon that despite the existence of a large Caucasian (Circassian) diaspora in Turkey, it does not provide systematic assistance to new Muslims migrants from Russia. The emphasis is on the ways of self-organization of Russian Muslims in Turkey and on the intellectual projects that they initiated. A forecast is given about the further perspectives of their migration to Turkey. The author considers the legitimacy of the term "New Muhajirs" to Muslims from Russia in Turkey. The author notes that among radical Russian Muslims in Turkey there is a tendency of transition from radical to moderate position.

 Keywords: Russia, temporary migration, Islam, Turkey, "New Muhajirs", the North Caucasus

  

REGIONAL SECURITY

PROBLEM OF SECURITY OF ALGERIA, IN THE LIGHT OF THE LIBYAN CRISIS by Djamel BEN AMMAR (Algeria) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); and Mohamed GRIFA (Libya), Post-graduate students, People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000504-6

     The purpose of this article is to identify the most dangerous challenges and problems encountered by Algeria in the light of the difficult security situation in neighbouring Libya. The collapse of this state has contributed to the escalation of the activities of aggressive groups that threaten the national security of Libya and Algeria, given that in today's world its own security depends directly on the security of its neighbor. At the regional level, political weakness and the adverse effects of the war in Libya have contributed to the identification of pre-existing security flaws, namely, the rise of organized crime through national smuggling networks along leaky borders and little control, which explains the fears of most of Libya's neighbouring States, including Algeria. In comparison with the rest of the region, Algeria has extensive experience in the fight against terrorism since the 1990s, when the civil war began. The crises in Libya in 2011 and Mali in 2014 prompted the country's leadership to make significant adjustments to the doctrine of national security. Algeria seeks to control the Algerian-Libyan border in order to prevent the movement of terrorist groups and weapons inside Algeria, in cooperation with the intelligence services of neighbouring countries. Algeria has made diplomatic efforts to intensify and advance the Libyan-Libyan dialogue between the warring parties. Algeria is an active player at the international and regional levels. It was the Algerian side that had drawn up a coordinated security plan between Algeria and Tunisia, under which a military cooperation Committee had been established to exchange information on armed groups and criminal networks.

Keywords: Algeria, Libyan crisis, security threats, "Arab spring", terrorist organizations

  

YOUTH POLICY IN EGYPT by Sergey N. VOLKOV, PhD (Economics), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000505-7

     The Arab spring emphasized the importance of youth policies to ensure national security in North African countries. The top political leaders of Egypt learned a lesson from what happened and put youth issues at the center of domestic politics. The article attempts to analyze the basic institutions and tools of Egyptian youth policy during Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's first presidential term.

     The Nation's Future Party, focused on work with youth, which was created in 2014, became the most important tool of the youth policy. It totals about 250 thousand members and has offices in all 27 governorates of Egypt. More than 90% of party members, including heads, are younger than 35 years. They take active part in public life of the country.

     National youth conferences became an important tool of the new youth policy. President el-Sisi took an active part in their work.

     Tightening control over the activity of non-governmental organizations became one of the main directions of the youth policy in Egypt. For this purpose, the Law on Associations and Other Foundations Working in the Field of Civil Work No. 70 of 2017, which replaced the previous Law on Non-Governmental Organizations No. 84 of 2002, was adopted. Besides, much attention was paid to the solution of the main economic problems of the Egyptian youth: to a housing problem and youth unemployment.

     The Egyptian government achieved special progress in fight against unemployment, which sharply increased during "the Arab spring". In 2017 according to the International Labor Organization the general level of unemployment in Egypt decreased to 11,6%.

Keywords: Egypt, Nation's Future Party, youth conferences, non-governmental organizations, housing problem, youth unemployment

  

WEALTHY PEOPLE OF ASIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS ELITES OF 16 COUNTRIES by Azat B. RAKHMANOV, Dr.Sc. (Philosophy), Associate Professor, Faculty of Sociology, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000506-8

     Abstract. In the modern world economy, the position of any country in the world highly depends on the quality of its business elite. The author offers a comprehensive comparative analysis of business elites of 16 leading Asian countries, including Russia. They are compared with the entrepreneurial elite of the main Western countries. The author uses the ratings of billionaires and other statistical studies of people with a high level of wealth as an empirical basis for identifying the main characteristics of large entrepreneurs in Asian countries. The quantity, size of wealth, age and gender, territorial concentration, global mobility, industry specialization as well as oligarchy of business elites in Asia are considered. Billionaires of Asian countries are also considered in terms of how their entrepreneurial careers were made by their own efforts, i.e. self-made quality. The author comes to the conclusion that China's business elite is characterized by the rapid growth of its ranks and its aggregate wealth, relative youth, uniform dispersal across the country, a significant level of orientation toward industrial and technological development, a high level of self-made quality and, consequently, high personal quality. The business elite of Russia is characterized by relative youth, superconcentration in Moscow, raw materials orientation, high level of self-made and personal qualities. The business elites of most Asian countries are characterized by a dominant masculinity and clearly pronounced tendencies of oligarchy. That fact differs them from their counterparts from Western countries. All Asian business elites are increasingly integrated into the global capitalist class.

 Keywords: Asia, billionaires, millionaires, business elite, transnational capitalist class, global capitalism.

 

EVENTS, FACTS, COMMENTS

 SIERRA LEONE: POLITICAL INTRICACIES AND THE 2018 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION by Tatyana S. DENISOVA, PhD (History), Head, Department of Tropical Africa, Institute for African Studies ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000507-9

     The article examines the processes of socio-economic and political development of Sierra Leone in the run-up to the 2018 presidential election. Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party won a run-off election to become the country's next president. He defeated Samura Kamara, the candidate of the ruling All People's Congress party. The author analyzes key achievements and setbacks of the previous regime of Ernest Bai Koroma and problems that the new government will have to address.

     The present article argues that it will not be easy for the new president: the country has not yet fully recovered from the civil war of 1991-2002, while the humanitarian and economic disasters brought about by the 2014 outbreak of Ebola and the decline in world prices for the country's main export product - iron ore - have exacerbated the consequences of wartime destruction. Despite the abundance of natural resources, including diamonds, bauxites and gold, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

     However, as the author points out, it would be wrong to say that the defeat of the candidate from the All People's Congress party, which had ruled for 10 years, was due to the inability of the previous regime of Ernest Bai Koroma to solve social and economic problems effectively.

     With regard to the victory of Julius Maada Bio, it can partly be explained by chance, in part - by the hope of the Sierra Leoneans to improve the quality of life under the new government, and also - by the mistakes of the government during the electoral campaign. It seems that the change of leadership will not lead to significant positive changes in the political and socio-economic spheres; at best one can hope for the preservation of the status quo.

 Keywords: Sierra Leone, presidential election, socio-economic development, political change, Julius Maada Bio, Samura Kamara

  

POST-GRADUATE COLUMN

OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TO AFGHANISTAN: RESULTS ANALYSIS by Denis P. ELAGIN, Post-graduate student, Lecturer, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000507-9

     Official development assistance has long become an integral part of international financial and economic relations and is deemed as a commitment of the international community to harmonious and sustainable global development and a global public good.

     At the beginning of the new millennium after the fall of the Taliban government Afghanistan joined the ranks of aid recipients and soon became one of its foremost addressee. The article analyzes effectiveness of ODA to Afghanistan. The author clarifies the goals and the results of the ODA cooperation with Afghanistan, carries out comparative and statistical analysis of ODA cooperation on the basis of socioeconomic and institutional development indicators set forth by the Government of Afghanistan and approved by the international community. The relevance of the research is distinguished by the experts’ and scholars’ interest and widespread skepticism on the subject. Another factor contributing to the relevance of the present article is a lack of macroeconomic analysis of foreign aid and its effectiveness in Afghanistan, despite a variety of articles on its political and security effects.

     The research has noted Afghanistan’s significant progress in socioeconomic development, both with regard to economic growth and infrastructure development. However, despite that the country failed to realize most of its development goals, with the least progress achieved in social and cultural spheres. Moreover, complex indicators and international ratings suggest that nearly two decades of development under the supervision of the international community failed to boost Afghanistan’s institutional development, which still largely remain corrupt and barely more efficient. These facts, as shown in the article, support a belief that aid in Afghanistan has been inefficient and ineffective.

Keywords: official development assistance, international development assistance, fragile states, socioeconomic and institutional development of Afghanistan, aid efficiency and effectiveness

  

CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

"THE BAMBOO STALK" AND THE PROBLEM OF IDENTIFICATION IN THE GULF COUNTRIES by Victoria N. ZARYTOVSKAYA, PhD (Pedagogics), Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000509-1

     In recent decades it was possible to observe the rapid development of various genres, a variety of artistic techniques and themes in the modern literature of the Gulf countries, the fact that causes a steady increase in its popularity in the Arab world and interest in other countries. Nevertheless, literary works of the representatives of the Gulf remain poorly studied, and even translations of the more famous of them to the Russian almost do not exist, including winners of the Arab Booker prize as "The Bamboo Stalk" by Kuwaiti writer Saud al-Sanousi.

     The novel of al-Sanousi should be viewed not only from the standpoint of undeniable artistic values, but also as an attempt to cultural identification of the Gulf and as a critical view of the traditional nature of its society. The author takes an unusual perspective for the disclosure of this topic - the narrative on behalf of the migrant, who, at the same time, is half Kuwaiti and who in vain tries to integrate into local society and become a member of the family of his died father. And it is no coincidence that Arab critics called the "The Bamboo Stalk" a novel of alienation.

     The novel refers to the number of pressing social problems of this part of the Arab world, which continue to worry local intellectuals - the situation of migrant workers, the rights of the Bedouin population, limited opportunities to realize themselves for women, elements of segregation based on ethnicity, caste pride, fear of neighborhood gossip, etc. No less tense we find in the dialogues of the main character Jose, or Issa, rushing between two cultures, Filipino and Arabic, on religious themes with representatives of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

Keywords: modern Arabic literature, Arab Booker, Gulf countries, Kuwait, Saud al-Sanousi

  

TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, MORALS

TRIPLE TALAQ IN INDIA: IN FAVOUR OR AGAINST? by Maria N. STARIKOVA, Post-graduate student, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000510-3

     In present-day India, Muslim women’s organizations launch large-scale campaigns for women’s rights. Muslim personal law has proved to be discriminative towards the Muslim women. Muslim spiritual leaders tend to support and protect the existing religious laws in India; they launch campaigns against governmental initiatives for the reforms and also agitate against the activities of Muslim women’s groups. A majority in the Muslim community’s elite doesn’t want to lose its power in the jurisdictional field. Moreover, ulama still represent the main patriarchal forces and don’t want to implement modern paradigms into the life of the community’s members. This situation has resulted in the feeling of impunity and irresponsibility in marital questions. Women’s organizations have been engaged in a vast grass-root work; currently, they aim at the empowerment of poor women in the rural areas seeking for their support in the campaigns against discrimination of women. Most of the women’s groups prefer not to interfere in the Muslim personal law reforms; however, some organizations have been aiming at the codification of religious laws. Owing to the activity of such organizations and support rendered by the Indian government in August 2017, the Supreme Court of India adopted a ban on ‘triple talaq’– a practice that had discriminated Muslim women. In six months following the ban the government was supposed to pass a law on the divorce process in the Muslim community, but the draft document proved to be controversial and prompted a large-scale debate among India’s Muslims as well as among other social and political groups. The discussion about the proposed law is still underway.

Keywords: India, Muslim community, Muslim personal law, divorce, talaq

  

BOOK REVIEW

New Studies of African Gender Problem

     Review of the book: Women's Organizations as the Form of political and sociocultural Identification (African experience). Moscow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. 2018, 370 p. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000511-4

Eleonora S. LVOVA, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor, Chair of Africanistics, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Keywords: Africa, gender, women’s organizations