"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" № 1 2019

 

 

Aziaafrika 01 2019

 

 TOP PROBLEM

SOUTH AFRICA: A NEW DAWN?

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003337-2

Vladimir G. SHUBIN, Dr.Sc. (History), Principal Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Research Fellow, Centre for Military Studies, Stellenbosch University; member, Editorial Board, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article analyses the political situation in South Africa in the recent period and the political crisis that culminated in the resignation of President Jacob Zuma. He came to the leadership of the ANC in late 2007, when at the national conference of the African National Party he won over the then president of the country Thabo Mbeki, having received the support of 60% of delegates. In 2009, after the general election Zuma confidently took over as president of South Africa, having been elected by the ANC majority in parliament.

   However in recent years his reputation was irreparably damaged, and in the South African political vocabulary a new term appeared - "state capture," meaning the use of the state apparatus and state property for personal purposes. Various political forces began to call for his resignation, including those, who supported him earlier against Mbeki.

   The moment of reckoning came at the ANC national conference on December 16-20, 2017, when Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma’s deputy in the state and the party won an undoubted victory in the election of the president of the ANC, defeating Ncosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former minister and Chair of the African Union Commission, who Zuma supported. After that Zuma’s resignation became inevitable, however he agreed to leave only after it became clear that no-confidence vote in parliament was going to be supported by both the opposition and his own party.

   The article also discusses the program put forward by the new President Cyril Ramaphosa and the first steps towards its implementation. Particular attention is paid to the problem of fighting corruption and attracting investment to accelerate the growth of South African economy. The final part of the article examines the state and prospects of Russia's relations with South Africa.

Keywords: South Africa, African National Congress, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, corruption

 

 POLICY, ECONOMY 

THE KOREAN VECTOR OF THE RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003338-3

Natalia N. KIM, PhD (History), Associate Professor, School of Asian Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The growing interest of Russia in development its economic and political ties with Asia makes particular important the Korean vector of the Russian foreign policy. Although Russia tries to maintain equally friendly relations with the Republic of Korea and the DPRK, cooperation with both states has always been affected by a number of negative factors. The paper aims to show the current state of relationships between Russia, the Republic of Korea and the DPRK, analyzed in the context of recent conceptual changes in the Russian foreign policy, reestablishing dialogue between South Korea and North Korea, and the resumption of direct negotiations between the USA and the DPRK. Theoretically, Russia and the Republic of Korea have a similar approach to the future of Eurasia that is reflected in the Russian concept of “the Big Eurasian partnership” and in the “New Northern policy” of Moon Jae-in's government. The implementation and sustainable development of the multiple projects within these new policies depend on elimination of strict sanctions imposed on North Korea and on Trump's policy towards the DPRK. Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council has a unique opportunity to influence the situation taking into account the emerging warming in relationships between North and South on the Korean Peninsula and between the DPRK and the US. The current state of the inter-Korean relations and underlined desire of Trump's administration to normalize relations with the DPRK place all the interested actors in a no-lose position. At the same time, the situation remains vulnerable and is easy to change at any moment because of the constant pressure from the anti-North Korean parties both in the Republic of Korea and the US.

Keywords: foreign policy, Russia, Republic of Korea, DPRK, nuclear issue, trilateral cooperation

 

REVOLT IN THE ARABIAN WORLD: CROPS AND SHOOTS 

ARAB SPRING AND ITS ECHO IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003339-4

Andrey V. KOROTAYEV, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor, Head, Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Chief 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. )

Kira V. MESHCHERINA, Junior Research Fellow, Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Junior Research Fellow, Centre for Global and Strategic Studies, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Viktoriya E. KATKOVA, Research Assistant, Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article analyses the growth of socio-political destabilization in the Arab World and Sub-Saharan Africa after the Arab Spring. The authors study the scale of its global echo in 2011-2015 on the basis of four important indicators from the international database Cross-National Time Series (CNTS) - anti-government demonstrations, riots, general strikes, and guerrilla warfare. For comparison, the destabilization dynamics is traced over a longer period (from 2001 to 2015).

   It is shown that the Arab Spring acted as a trigger for a global wave of socio-political destabilization, which significantly exceeded the scale of the Arab Spring itself and affected absolutely all the World System zones. However, this global destabilization wave manifested itself in different World System zones in different ways and not entirely simultaneously.

   The growth of the total number of anti-government demonstrations and riots in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011-2015 was not particularly strong in comparison with most other macrozones, but, by the measures of this macrozone itself, this growth was very noticeable (by several times) and Africa made its own historical records in 2014. If the West, Asia and Latin America made the main contribution in 2014-2015 to historically record levels of the global number of demonstrations, riots and general strikes and the share of Sub-Saharan Africa here was relatively low, then to the reaching of historically record levels in 2014 by the global number of guerrilla warfare actions Sub-Saharan Africa made a very significant contribution.

Keywords: Arab Spring, Sub-Saharan Africa, destabilization processes, macroregions, quantitative research

 

INEQUALITY IN ASEAN THROUGH REGIONAL INTEGRATION

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003340-6

Daria A. CHUPINA, PhD (Economics), Associate Professor, Global Economy Department, Ural State University of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Maria A. Vyalykh, student, Global Economy Department, Ural State University of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The paper deals with the problem of inequality in ASEAN in terms of the role of membership in the Association for catching-up development of the «periphery» countries. ASEAN-4 accounts for 23% of ASEAN population but only 12% of its GDP. Four lagging-behind countries have GDP per capita equaling to 11,4-21,5% of average ASEAN level. Moreover, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam face low education and healthcare coverage, poor infrastructure, lack of expenditure on research and development. Convergence of ASEAN-4 through active participation in regional trade and factor movement is limited due to the current level of liberalization. Intra-ASEAN trade, although being almost duty-free, is impeded with numerous non-tariff barriers which ASEAN failed to eliminate so far. Intra-regional migration is liberalized only for skilled workers. To promote convergence ASEAN established ASEAN Development Fund (ADF) aimed to reallocate capital from advanced ASEAN countries and partners of the Association to ASEAN-4. ADF is the key instrument of ASEAN cohesion policy. It aims to stimulate human development, deeper integration, small enterprises development, information technologies expansion, poverty reduction, etc. ADF is relatively underfunded to stimulate the growth of ASEAN-4. ASEAN Infrastructure Fund has higher capitalization as well as broader range of borrowers including not only ASEAN-4 but all ASEAN member countries. ASEAN growth zones deal with cross-regional disparities of advanced ASEAN economies rather than cross-country inequality. Briefly, ASEAN has a potential to contribute to ASEAN-4 convergence through deeper integration and further liberalization while investment is expected to originate mainly from third party countries.

Keywords: ASEAN, inequality, regional integration, cohesion policy, liberalization

 

HEROIC IMAGES OF PROTEST MOVEMENTS IN INDIA: PAST AND PRESENT

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003341-7

Alexandra L. SAFRONOVA, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor, Head, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University (al-safr @ yandex.ru)

   The article focuses on specific features of the rhetoric and practice of Indian nonviolent protest movements. India gave the world a unique example: being the country of glaring social contrasts and demonstrating highest levels of polarity of population, variety of ethnic and confessional characteristics and social and economic structures (from archaic to post-industrial social groups), Indian society managed to create universal synthetic forms of public sentiments’ expression of mass frustration including peace march of protest, free-will imprisonment and fasting. Gandhian ideas and practices, immanent to Indian philosophical traditions, are actual in socio-political sphere of today. Gandhian heritage form the essence and the core of contemporary Indian political and social dispute, around which various forces of Indian society are grouping. Indian philosophical traditions, based on principles of intellectual heterodoxy, are always associated with peace and wisdom. Satyagraha (sanskr. – devotion to truth) and ahimsa (non-harming or nonviolence) remain symbolic terms immanent to traditional philosophical systems of India and bear the significance of “cultural codes” of Indian civilazation. India gave bright examples of political thinking and created a democratic political system, based on principles of common consent, unity and continuity of policy, demonstrating evolutionary type of development based on concencus despite existing contradictions between political parties, particular leaders and social tensions, immanent to every multi-ethnic and multi-confessional society and necessary in constructing civil society based on certain national identity.

Keywords: India, protest movements, non-cooperation movement, nonviolence, civil disobedience, imprisonment, fasting

 

THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA. THE SECOND DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION: FEATURES AND RESULTS

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003342-8

Pavel P. EM, PhD (Social and Economic Geography), Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Centre de Recherches sur la Corée, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris; Research Fellow, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   Demography is one of the most serious problems in the modern Republic of Korea. A fast quantum leap from an agrarian to an urban post-industrial society was the root of radical transformation not only in demographic behavior, but also in patterns of public principles. While a gradual involvement of women’s labor into the economy and a rise in the rate of women with at least four years of university education has caused a rapid decrease in the total fertility rate, the male population, especially those residing in rural and economically depressed areas, have been forced to marry foreign women as they were unable to find a Korean wife. Such features characterizing contemporary society in the Republic of Korea as rapid growth in the rate of unregistered common-law marriages along with a corresponding increase in the average age of the first marriage and birth of the first child emerged at the beginning of the 1990s, marking the advent of Korea’s second demographic transition. On the one hand, it has produced the sampo feminist movement, those who wish to be independent and abstain from marriage, childbirth and any relationships with men. On the other hand, there are many young people in their thirties and even forties, blandly called the kangaroo generation, who are still dependent upon and live with their parents. The further development of the second demographic transition could lead to acceleration in the already high rate of population aging and natural loss. Urbanization has played an important role in demographic behavioral development as all of the new trends first manifested themselves within Seoul and the huge urban agglomeration formed around it.

Keywords: Republic of Korea, second demographic transition, demographic problems, sampo generation, kangaroo generation, urbanization, Seoul agglomeration

 

HOUSING ISSUE IN CHINA: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003343-9

Lyubov V. NOVOSELOVA, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Chief Research Fellow, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The state of residential construction in the PRC is analysed in the article. The author notes the important role of this sector in achieving record GDP growth rates and raising the living standards of the population. The course and directions of the housing reform, as well as the capacity and prospects of the real estate market are examined. The 1988 reforms fostered the privatization of housing, and much of the stock of rental housing was sold to employees of state-owned enterprises at low prices. The next stage of reform between 1993 and 1997 focused on the restructuring of housing construction, and on finance, management, and distribution systems. The 1998 reforms put an end to enterprise-supplied housing and moved to comprehensive market-based housing provision. As a result, a vigorous urban housing market developed. The housing reform has dramatically increased the floor area of residential construction and eased the chronic problem of overcrowding and poor living conditions of many urban residents. However, the achievements of the housing reform have been accompanied by the problems of inequality among income groups and regions in housing consumption, wealth, and affordability. Therefore the author’s attention is focused on some serious social and economic problems of the real estate market in China, including speculative housing demand, rapid rise in housing prices, extremely low level of housing affordability, huge reserves of unsold residential space, etc. The author argues that under the current conditions dynamism of the housing construction in China is posing many policy challenges that may threaten the sustainability of economic growth and the stability of the society. Possible solutions to these issues are also considered.

Keywords: China, residential construction, reform, real estate market, housing affordability

  

SCIENTIFIC LIFE

EQUATORIAL GUINEA:  ECONOMIC POTENTIAL AND CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003344-0

Evgenia V. MOROZENSKAYA, PhD (Economics), Head, Centre for Transitional Economy Studies, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The Round Table “Prospects of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea’s Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (the 50th Anniversary of Independence)” was held in the Centre for Transitional Economy Studies, Institute for African Studies RAS. The discussion was concentrated on the problem of mixed results of Equatorial Guinea’s economic development. Answering the question if the country will become the African economic “tiger”, the speakers analyzed in details its economic potential for oil sector development as a trigger of economic growth, the implementation of industrialization, agriculture production renewal, the reliable access provision to energy and ICT for producers and consumers, the introduction of the modern system of investment regulation. The special attention was paid to the most important socio-economic and political obstacles on the way to the country’s progress, fist of all, persistence of poverty and unemployment, great social inequality, the low level of Equatorial Guinea’s participation in the process of African integration. At the same time, despite unresolved significant social and political problems, as well as the impact of changes occurring in the world economic system, turning the socio-economic situation of   Equatorial Guinea for the better is possible. It directly depends on the process of implementing the outlined reforms in political and economic life of the country.

Keywords: Africa, socio-economic development, industrialisation opportunities, oil production, unresolved social problems

 

AFGHANISTAN. THE FOREIGN POLICY TRAJECTORY

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003345-1

Elena A. KRASHENINNIKOVA, Post-graduate student, MGIMO-University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article discusses the features and problems of the conceptual design of foreign policy of the Afghan state, describes the historical model of foreign policy behavior of Afghanistan in the international arena and the evolution of modern Afghan foreign policy after 2001. At present, Afghanistan has entered a new stage of development as an independent regional actor seeking to define its position in the international arena and to take place among the rapidly developing states of Asia. Currently, Afghanistan's foreign policy is rarely the subject of special studies, with the exception of some works of afghan political scientists and western researchers of Afghanistan. In most studies on the Afghan problem, Afghanistan appears in two forms-either as an object of foreign policy of a state or group of states, or as a factor of destabilization and a source of global threats.  In order to fill the gap in the study of Afghan foreign policy, this article proposes to consider the foreign policy strategy and achievements of modern foreign policy of Afghanistan. The author proceeds from the assumption that currently the model of foreign policy behavior of Afghanistan synthesizes the features of traditional neutrality, balancing behavior strategy and multi-vector activity.  Afghan politicians demonstrate readiness for dialogue with the outside world, make proposals for peace, support a wide range of foreign policy contacts on issues of peaceful settlement and economic cooperation. At the same time, the tactic of balancing between regional players in order to extract political and economic dividends remains.

Keywords: «five circles» concept, afghan crisis, regional cooperation, the Afghan national unity government

  

HISTORY PAGES

NATIONALISM OF M.K.ATATURK AS THE STATE IDEOLOGY OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003346-2

Nikolay R. SHESTAKOV, Post-graduate student, 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. )

    The article analyses the stages of formation of the national ideology of the Republic of Turkey in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as the theoretical guidelines on which the authorities relied in implementing the policy of nationalism. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the subsequent war of independence and the establishment of republican Turkey in the new society, there was an acute lack of a unifying idea for the formation of national identity. The question of preparing and conducting reforms in the organization of the new state, the political system, the economy, and culture was put on the agenda.

    Total secularization of all spheres of social life deprived the Muslims (who constituted the majority of the population of Turkey) of the dominant collective identity, which hastily had to be replaced by something. The new authorities (headed by M.K.Ataturk) have created an effective system of ideological influence on society in the spirit of Turkish nationalism, which recognizes the European path of development as the most acceptable for building a developed Turkish society. Significant changes have been made in the areas of Turkish language (by creating a new alphabet) and history (development of completely new theory of the formation of the Turkish nation).

    Having become a monopolist in the field of ideology, the Kemalists have achieved some success: the spirit of national unity was created, a sense of national pride was strengthened among the Turks, various social groups were united around common goals. In domestic politics, nationalism became the main factor in mobilizing the masses for the revolutionary changes carried out by the Kemalists.

Keywords: nation, M.K.Ataturk, kemalism, state ideology, turkism, nationalism

 

 CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

FICTION OF NORTHEAST CHINA IN THE BEGINNING OF THE XXI CENTURY

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003347-3

Olga N. RISUKHINA, Senior Assistant, Department of Chinese studies, Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far-East, Far-Eastern Вranch of Russian Academy of Science ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article deals with the development of fiction of Northeast China (Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces) at the beginning of the 21st century. The North-East is the closest region of China to Russia, and by getting acquainted with local literature we can learn more about it. The names and titles of the works of local writers are indicated, which is valuable information due to the lack of research on this theme. The author distinguishes three main directions in the literature of the region, characteristic for the beginning of the XXI century, considers the themes that writers raise in their works. Literary life of the region is shown. The article lists literary awards, which were presented to the writers of the North-East. Among them there are not only regional awards, but also awards of all-Chinese significance. The author notes that in 2008 there was a surge in literary creativity associated with the anniversary dates (the anniversary of the PRC, the thirtieth anniversary of the reforms), also indicates the predominance of "key" works in the Northeast relative to other regions of the country. Attention is drawn to a new phenomenon, such as network literature. It is concluded that the beginning of this century was a successful and productive period in the work of local writers.

Keywords: literature, network literature, Northeast China, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang

  

BOOK REVIEW

EFFECT OF HANOI'S MULTI-VECTOR DIPLOMACY 

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003348-4

    Review of the book: Vietnam’s foreign policy under doi moi / Edited by Le Hong Hiep & Anton Tsvetov. Singapore, ISEAS Publishing. 2018, 294 pp.

Petr Yu. TSVETOV, PhD (History), Associate Professor, Сhair of International Relations, Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Keywords: Vietnam, multi-vector diplomacy, Vietnam - USA. China, Russia, India, Japan, South China Sea

 

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CULTURE OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA’S NATIONS

DOI:10.31857/S032150750003349-5

    Review of the book: Eleonora S. Lvova. Performance and musical culture of nations of Sub-Saharan Africa. (M., 2016. 172 p.) (In Russ.)

Andrei A. TOKAREV, PhD (History), Associate Professor; Head of Centre for Southern African Studies of Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa, performance culture, musical culture