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The convergence theory and institutional interaction in the international arena
Material posted: Publication date: 10-11-2017

The modern world has faced the necessity of solving a complex problem in the field of security, ecology, demography, economy, which overcome the efforts of individual countries, as routinely comes practice over time. Moreover, in XX – XXI centuries now familiar problems (hunger, poverty, depletion of natural resources, armed violence) was not only eradicated, but has grown with new difficulties (the threat of nuclear war, terrorism, overpopulation, etc.). While a significant part of them, according to experts, the predefined socio-economic reasons, without understanding that to rectify the situation extremely difficult. The Russian Federation in this situation is often hostage to the prevailing circumstances and experiencing the consequences of problems created by the actions of other political and economic actors.

If you take into account the opinion of psychologists that the human needs are unlimited, it is one of the fundamental contradictions underlying the problems listed above can be considered as the lack of effective coordination of key political and economic actors in the distribution and consumption of scarce resources. Common in the modern world system of cooperation in this matter can be described in terms of "the tragedy of the Commons" – the essence of this idea, advocated by the Western scholars C. Gordon, E. Scott, and especially G. Hardin[1], is that in conditions of free access of community members to irreparable resource, their desire to increase profits extensive way (without any restrictions) will sooner or later lead to exhaustion of the resource. Earth also has a limited amount of irreplaceable natural resources and are able to provide a limited area for a comfortable stay of people, so "the tragedy of the Commons" perfectly describes the situation faced by the modern society.

From this situation there are usually three Orthodox way: the introduction of new resources (at the expense of space exploration); the decline and the rate of consumption (by limiting the sovereignty of States and freedom of market participants); development of new production technologies on the basis of use of renewable resources (through the intensification of scientific and technological progress). The first option not only requires a significant investment of time and money, but not able to guarantee success in the foreseeable future. The second scenario involves scrapping the centuries-old system of international relations, and a change in national legislation in the field of distribution of property rights, without creating a single focal point (world government) creates the potential for large-scale political conflicts. The third option is not suitable for all countries in the world today, as the boundaries of many of them was determined in an arbitrary manner during the separation of colonial possessions between the European powers – as a result, such countries do not have at their disposal a set of resources (renewable and nonrenewable), which would ensure them independent (or self-sufficient) economic policies to address social problems in modern conditions.

In any case, recent studies by M. D. Yates, T. Piketty, L. Pritchett, and B. Milanovic and other foreign authors allow the conclusion that since the 1980-ies and to date, most of the world, conventionally classified as developing (and trying to implement these scripts), failed to achieve, for example, a significant improvement in the welfare of the broad masses of the population, that is, to solve the problem of socio-economic inequality. In fact, per capita GDP growth was due to the advancement of the elite (1-10% of the most wealthy citizens) who could benefit from ongoing socio-economic transformation. As representatives of the "middle class" and lower social strata, in comparing the places, the poorest 20% of the population of the United States, Russia and Brazil in the structure of global income in 2005 was obtained quite comparable numbers, despite the difference in manufacture of these States GDP and GNP. A very illustrative example of China, where from 1950 to 2016 GDP per adult grew by 22.1% (from 743 to 16424 US dollars), but the disparity in income between the elite and the mass for these 66 years, only increased.

While a similar discrepancy is observed in the United States and India, and from developed European countries one of the few exceptions is France, where from 1900 to 2014 managed to reduce the described gap between the elite and the mass from 36.4% to just 7%.

Russia in this plan demonstrates an interesting dynamic, since before the revolution of 1917, the country was characterized by concentration of income in the hands of the upper strata of society, and in the Soviet period (from about 1928) the redistribution of financial resources towards less wealthy individuals. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition to the construction of capitalism against the background of GDP growth resulted in a sharp increase in income inequality in comparison with the previous period of history.

However, the American scientist E. Ostrom suggested a way to overcome the "tragedy of the Commons", is not associated with either the collapse of the ecosystem or creation of a world government. In her opinion, this requires, first and foremost, the reliance on traditional methods of self-organization of communities developed in the long course of maintaining a high level of social cohesion of the team. Thanks to this community can not only create effective rules for the use of the shared resource, but also to develop a hierarchy of sanctions for violation of these rules and generally accepted method of conflict resolution among group members on this issue[2].

If we extrapolate the findings of E. Ostrom at the global level, enhancing the cohesion of political and economic actors responsible for decision-making (in the absence of a single authority), could contribute to the creation of a new system of resource use is able to suspend or slow down the escalation of global problems. On the one hand, in modern conditions this task is facilitated through information exchange (Internet, media, erasing language barriers). On the other hand, national-cultural and geographical features of many countries do not allow the quick export of effective norms, for example, from Europe to Africa or from South America to Asia – providing such transport involves the reconstruction of the country-recipient of the institutional environment of the donor country, because only in this case it is possible to provide the same level of productivity created strategy of action. Thus, we can assume that the key to solution of global problems is increasing international convergence States.

Usually the term "convergence" refers to convergence of initially dissimilar to other actors in the interaction process[3], but the practical side of this approach were the subject of much debate in science.

In the early 1950s, the American economist A. Alchian suggested that social institutions, established in different countries of the world are in constant competition with each other. That is, countries trying to reach a higher level of development in any field, begin to rebuild their own institutions on the model of similar institutions that exist in the more successful countries. Essentially, this meant that over time the most effective institutions must win the competition and to spread in all countries, and hence in the world there is a global convergence.

At the same period known researcher of socio-political crises of the XX century H. Arendt introduced into scientific use the term "colonial boomerang". Its essence is to ensure that the application of the European colonial powers enforced methods of control in the conquered territories in Asia, Africa and the Americas eventually leads to the implementation of those same methods in the political life of the metropolis. In other words, the conflict on the periphery of the Empire (in the works of H. Arendt it was, first and foremost, about the UK) over time contributes to the blurring of the boundaries between the colonies and the mother country, not by development, for example, India's English patterns, but rather due to the assimilation of more developed countries less developed.

The development of the idea of H. Arendt led to the emergence of ideas about the existence of the so-called "negative convergence" that could lead to a "mutual contamination" (thesis V. Andretta) countries, the same deficiencies in the area of economic and political relations (evasion of enterprises from payment of taxes, the distribution of the power of entrepreneurship, corporate and government corruption, and political absenteeism, the violation of human rights, etc.).


Indeed, in the case of Association lands and territories by conquest often enough in the history of mankind negative impact could exceed the positive effect of interregional integration. For example, the conquest of China by the Mongols, and then their military campaigns in Europe contributed to the spread of the plague – it is estimated the Chinese population under the rule of Mongols decreased by almost half. With the beginning of the colonisation of Australia by Europeans brought to this continent rabbits has become a threat to the local ecosystem – they caused the extinction of several species of local animals, and even led to soil erosion. Finally, the First and Second world wars not only led to the emergence of the League of Nations and the UN, but also facilitated the resettlement in many countries of the Colorado potato beetle is an agricultural pest that represents a threat to potato, tomato, eggplant, etc. On these difficulties drew the attention of scientists one of the founders of the civilizational approach to history, Arnold Toynbee, who believed that it is impossible to purposefully and selectively borrow elements of other civilizations, as the process of borrowing must sooner or later become mutual, and the recipient runs the risk to become dependent on "donor".

In the future, the theory received more detailed study in the work of Russian sociologist P. A. Sorokin[4], which for example the study of the cold war have suggested that the prolongation of the conflict of Soviet socialism and American capitalism, sooner or later, in its purest form will disappear and they will be replaced by some average (cumulative) form of socio-political and economic structure, which will include only the benefits of both systems.

Thus took shape the three original points of view on the possible outcome of the convergence process.



The script

The result of the convergence

A. Alchian


The acceleration development of backward States by borrowing achievements of the advanced countries of the world.

H. Arendt


Degradation of developed countries under the influence of primitive institutions and practices prevalent in the conquered countries.

P. A. Sorokin


The emergence of the integral socio-economic system due to mutual copying of developed and developing countries with different civilizational and ideological content.


Criticism of this approach started almost from the moment of its appearance. In contrast to the "theory of convergence" in 1950 – 1960-e years by many scientists from countries recently freed from colonialism (R. Prebisch, P. Baran, S. Amin, etc.), were nominated by the "dependence theory". Its essence lies in the fact that the most developed countries of the capitalist world – the USA, Japan and European countries, monopoly control over the market of high technologies, a global media and weapons of mass destruction. Because of this, Latin American and African countries, even after political freedom, will still be dependent on the major capitalist economies. Attempts by former colonies to build successful institutions for the sample of Metropolitan areas are facing huge difference in their international economic and political influence. The countries of the West, from the point of view of this theory, by maintaining such influence will be able to manage global financial flows, bringing the capital from the former colonies to a greater extent than investing in them. As a consequence, for the development of "young" States ought not to integrate into the institutional environment of the West and keep a distance, retreating from her a kind of "iron curtain" like Soviet Union.

Similar ideas were expressed by the European experts, according to which, in the second half of the XX century the world was divided into several warring camps, that limited the possibilities of trade and labour migration, and this, in turn, impeded, and did not contribute to convergence. Between the States there was no international solidarity, so the consolidation has occurred on the political level and in the foreign policy of the country was only separated from each other.

As for Soviet researchers and their ideas Alchian A. and P. A. Sorokin has not received wide distribution. The main reason was that the history of mankind for scientists-Marxists wore stadial in nature, so such formations as capitalism and socialism represent different stages of development of human society. The offensive of socialism is considered inevitable, so it is closer to more primitive forms of social and political order would mean not so much the emergence of new formations as "a step backward" in the historical development.

Today the major argument in the hands of opponents of the "theory of convergence" were collected by the British statistician A. Madison in the late 1990-ies the materials on change in GDP per capita in developed and developing countries from 1700 to the present[5]. Because in the long duration it turned out that the difference in living standards between successful and unsuccessful countries only strengthens the conclusion about the absence of a uniform process of international convergence.

The most rational explanation of the reasons for this state of Affairs gave the Nobel laureate D. North, according to which attempts by States to become more successful by copying more developed neighbors contribute to change only by formal institutions and informal rules remain unchanged. Here is his exact statement: "Although formal rules can change overnight by taking political or legal changes, informal constraints embodied in customs, traditions and codes of conduct, much less susceptible to conscious human efforts"[6]. Here was made a conclusion that global convergence in the world happens because it would require the interpenetration of formal and informal institutions in different countries, and this prevents not only the General passivity of most citizens, but also beyond the amount of costs for the reconstruction of all spheres of public life.

As one of the answers to the question about the reasons of impossibility of adjustment of informal institutions by "transplantation" of other countries, economists and sociologists often use the term "error primary institutional choice" or just an institutional error. The gist of it is that due to the limited rationality of political leaders and elites of the decisions made when creating and reforming social institutions can be designed to achieve short-term success. In the long term, such decisions lead to negative socio-economic consequences, but their implementation, on the one hand, is ensured by the power of coercion and on the other the need for these measures is justified ideologically. Accordingly, due to these two factors mistaken decisions become traditions and are fixed in behavioral patterns, as the elite and ordinary citizens. After that failure to follow these templates in favor of adapting more effective rules requires too much expenditure, so the situation might not change for centuries – until will not be any large-scale institutional or ideological transformation.

From the point of view of this theory, any efforts in this political action will necessarily result in any consequences in the near or distant future, failing which the leaders are engaged in extremely rare[7]. An interesting example in one of his lectures brought a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences S. P. Karpov – according to him, the victory of the Moscow Prince Dmitry Donskoy in the Kulikov battle in 1380 over the troops Temnik Mamaia entailed not only the burning of Moscow by Khan Tokhtamysh two years later, but the General destabilization of the Russian-Horde relations. As a result, regular gained politically unmotivated Tatar raids on Russian principalities, the captivity of their inhabitants for sale as slaves, for example, in Italy.

No less revealing episode in European history of 1939-1940, which was mentioned in the American political scientist G. Tullock in the book "Public goods, redistribution and rent seeking". According to the author, then in a situation of conflict with the Soviet Union the Baltic States and Finland have chosen a fundamentally different strategies of behavior. The Finns chose to fight for their sovereignty that had resulted in not only significant spending on improving the defense, but the loss of the territory after the defeat in the Russo-Finnish war, while the elite of the Baltic countries preferring to be part of the Soviet Union. On the one hand, the decision of the heads of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at that time might seem more profitable, but "Sovietization" of the Baltic countries resulted in significant changes in the structure of their social institutions, which is bound to affect the level of economic development after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today, Finland is ahead in terms of GDP per capita Estonia is almost 2.5 times; Lithuania and Latvia – about 3 times.

Well-known Indian-American economist D. Lal suggested that the introduction of the Vatican restrictions on the number of marriages in the Early middle Ages was due to the desire to reduce the number of potential heirs of property. In spite of the high mortality that increased the chances of the Church to become the owner of the wealth left by the merchant or feudal Lord after his death (author's calculations, 40% of families in this situation were left without legitimate male heirs). In the end, this measure has led to the proliferation of nuclear type of family, and the European "individualism arose as an unintended consequence of greed on the part of the Roman Catholic Church." As a result, "born of individualism, the triumph of science has led to... the death of guilt, prescribes relevant personal morality," so in the modern world out of a sense of humanity in the developed countries, can provide charitable assistance to citizens of the poorest States in an effort to fundamentally change the external position of these countries, often generated by the system of income distribution in the world between the major powers and the periphery.

Overall, the mechanism described above clearly showed an American researcher from Stanford University P. David on the example of creation and introduction in manufacture of the keyboard, known as QWERTY. The article "Clio and Economics of QWERTY", 1985 historian argued that a more efficient layout "DSK" failed to gain popularity only because of the later occurrence. Thus, the victory of the less efficient technologies over more efficient were largely a historical accident[8]. Therefore, among the possible range of alternatives to the historical development advantage can get so much more perfect, how much more primitive the script is in the power of the elemental depends on the previous history of the country. Based on the effect of "QWERTY", historians and economists were able to identify a range of cases victory inefficient technologies over more efficient in the competition. So, when you create in the nineteenth century the railway network in Britain (and later in continental Europe) track width was copied from the English horse-drawn carts, which, in turn, was created for driving on the roads built during the Roman Empire. In the Russian Empire (not inherited from Rome's extensive road network) in the same period of time was adopted by other, wider, standard gauge railway, which provides greater security of movement and throughput, but propagation this standard was not almost.

Finally, even in the second half of the XX century, a similar error has not disappeared from the historical scene. For example, in the rivalry between American companies "Microsoft" and "Apple" on the market software offered by the latest operating system "Mac", in fact, lost more primitive "Windows". In addition, researchers have suggested that during the development of the nuclear industry in the United States in the construction of reactors, could be applied to more advanced technologies if the sector developed independently from the military-industrial complex. It is worth noting that in science has taken place and attempts at deeper analysis of contemporary social institutions and practices with regard to the effect of "QWERTY". In particular, the lack of effective, it was recognized the coexistence of the right-hand and left-hand traffic, the Anglo-Saxon and continental systems of law, etc. Interestingly, held in the beginning of XXI century the research of the market of agricultural products showed that during the last decades breeding varieties of tomato producers gave preference to those that showed a more attractive appearance (the red color was important from the standpoint of consumer preference), hardness (which facilitates transportation and storage) and size. As a result, today the market is mainly represented by varieties with the weakest flavor.

In principle, the idea of the "QWERTY effect" to social and political thought was not so new. Echoes of this approach can be found already in the old Testament, namely the Book of job. R. Girard is one of the largest researchers of this text is in the book "the ancient Path which wicked men have trodden" drew attention to the fact that the calamities that befell job, it was interpreted by neighbors as a punishment for the unjust life. Thus, the previous success was a kind of aberration, therefore, any sinner can start your way to wealth and success, but over time the non-observance of the divine precepts leads him to ruin. Actually, the collapse is evidence of sinfulness as one of the critics of job (Eliphaz) asks the important question: "remember: who died there innocently?". It logically follows that the search for causes of the low efficiency of institutions begins after the situation came to a crisis, because up to this point, the question of assessing the success of the norms of this institution is often not even raised.

Almost for each country in the period of its formation any decision in the field of socio-economic or military-technical development has been able to predict the motion vector in the century ahead. This may be the choice of any religion or the dominant form of ownership, and technologies of housing construction (e.g. wood or stone) or even cultivated crops (wheat, rice, corn, etc.). Consolidation once the choice made in social norms leads to the fact that, according to Marx, "the tradition of all past generations gravitate, as a nightmare, over the minds of the living," that is, "people make their own history, but they do not as they please, under circumstances which not they themselves have chosen, and which are directly available there is given to them and moved on from the past." Hence, the ability to change once established institutions of the country are very limited, and therefore – in theory, convergence should not happen.

However, today a number of scholars and practitioners support the idea of international convergence, despite the arguments of D. North and his supporters.

The fact that a key error, both critics and apologists of convergence was the attempt to give it a permanent and global character and to put an equal sign between convergence and monopolization/unification in international politics or Economics. In reality, the international convergence (in contrast to globalization) can be bilateral and multilateral, and the degree of its effectiveness varies depending on a number of factors, exactly the same as the degree of divergence (the divergence of the countries in political, economic and cultural relations). Thus, the "periods of adapted convergence in a stable environment are replaced by stages of divergent struggle for change"[9]. In other words, the alternation in social development of convergent and divergent tendencies often has a cyclical pattern. Both in historical terms and in today's world of convergence can contribute to a variety of phenomena – war, trade competition, migration, technological revolution, tourism, fashion, sports, etc. In any case, the real impetus to the beginning and convergent and divergent development options are usually an innovative variation of scientific, technical, economic or other field.

These innovations can generate divergence, because they create competitive advantages in the field of military technology, industrial production, political propaganda or social control in General for any of the participants in the system of international relations. At a high level of patriotism and conflict relations with other countries, thus obtained the benefits will be protected from encroachment from competitors are not only elite, but also ordinary citizens. In this regard, we can recall the ban on the export from China of raw materials for the manufacture of gunpowder, in Japan, similar measures were taken against China, and the Arabs took a lot of effort to maintain its monopoly on the trade in aromatics and spices. In the XVIII century in England was passed a number of laws prohibiting the migration of skilled professionals to other countries and also taking the latest technical developments and documentation. Still a number of countries actively using restrictions on the export of unique technologies for military use, and the spread of nuclear technology suppressed the whole complex of international legal instruments. The state in such a scenario of development of events, even when necessary, are unlikely to broadcast their successful experience of solving any problems for neighbors, as in this case very likely will be the downfall of its legitimacy in the eyes of Patriotic-minded citizens.

In the end, the changes with time are fixed in the system of international division of labour – countries and regions become specialized in our own achievements, what distinguishes them from the General circle of public entities. Moreover, the application created innovations in practice often leads to a crisis of the existing system of interstate relations, as more advanced countries at the expense of their achievements strive to improve their position within the system or to revise its basis in the direction favorable to itself.

In such circumstances, the part of the actors accept the rule of a new leader, but not all sites do, so a number of countries have attempted copying foreign achievements to establish parity in technology (or socio-political system) and as a consequence the "balance of power" in the international arena. However, this scenario does not always have chances of success, since the copied innovation can be borrowed from countries that are not credible and popular with the members of influential social institutions in modernized society. In the absence of sufficient legitimacy, the initiators of these changes and domination in the minds of the population of negative stereotypes about the West, the most likely outcome is the overthrow of the reformers (or their removal from power), return to the traditional system of social relations or the method of production and the creation of a kind of "iron curtain" to prevent the infiltration of such ideas. Closely the content of the scheme described in his works by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson, calling it a "vicious circle"[10].

Hence, we can conclude that the position of state power is not always decisive in respect of inter-country convergence, and to promote international convergence and divergence can mix and severity of certain circumstances in the field of Economics, social psychology, law, politics and culture, namely:

  • The intensity of international political conflicts;
  • Policy coherence of social institutions;
  • The exposure of the population stereotypes;
  • The effectiveness of the restraining mechanisms;
  • The level of patriotism;
  • The legitimacy of state power.



The above factors require some interpretation.

First, the conflict, as it is known, has a set of constructive functions, among which are the integration, mobilization and reassessment of values. If in peacetime, the country and its population, often not ready to abandon established rules and norms of behavior for the sake of potential benefits in the future, then, for example, in war the threat of defeat or even the destruction of the state forces us to abandon this passivity. This process takes place at different stages of the conflict with varying levels of intensity on the latent (hidden) stage of debt may be slow the progressive nature; in an open fight, the convergence tends to intensify. Not only the losers in war imitate the winners – this is the most likely scenario only in terms of short-term and asymmetric conflict, but if the confrontation is long-term convergence is often mutual.

Based on the experience of European history, the French thinker B. de Jouvenel came to the conclusion that in the conditions of competition between States, the creation of any political or military technology in one country gives it only "ephemeral advantage", as it "encourages opponents to contact similar practice"[11]. For example, after the construction in England in 1906, the first ship belonging to the class of "dreadnought", nearly all the Maritime powers of the world were forced to proceed to create a similar warships, as previously built battleships and armoured cruisers now could not compete with British naval forces. This effect is in history called "drednouty fever" and became one of the most famous examples of an arms race in the XX century.

Secondly, it is necessary to consider that the desire to emulate someone to improve their own situation often encompasses different social groups and institutions, and hence, theoretically, possible domestic conflict on the question of choice of "role model". If the government sees such a "pattern" in one country, and the army, Church or business to another, the government will have to overcome the constant resistance to his reforms, including in the form of riots, rebellions, coups and assassinations. This fact means that the choice, for example, a public authority of the object to follow, not corresponding to requirements of neither society nor the elite groups that can cause severe and prolonged crises, designed to re-balance the interests of dominant institutions and lead them to agreement on a single vector of development.

Thirdly, due to the relatively low level of education of a significant part of citizens in most countries of the world, a situation may arise when social institutions of a foreign state are perceived through the prism of the common stereotypes about him. These stereotypes, as Professor E. S. Senyavskaya, "can be substantially adequate to reality, partially adequate or inadequate to her absolutely", and "when personal experience contradicts the stereotype, most people prefer not to notice this contradiction and to maintain their views"[12]. This, among other things, promotes the government propaganda that draws the enemy in a very specific light. As a consequence, convergence can be successful if at least part of the judgment of another state is much correct.

Fourth, we must not forget that formal institutions (mainly the government) for protection against external influences can impose a ban on the imitation of foreign culture. Here we can recall the decrees of Paul I, prohibiting the wearing French clothes, the importation of foreign books and out of youth outside the country (the Emperor was afraid of the development to the nobility of revolutionary ideas in getting acquainted with European culture). In the USSR there was a period of struggle with wearing citizens of jeans which was considered a symbol of bourgeois tastes. Even in Japan the reforms of the Meiji second half of the nineteenth century, according to D. Lala, the government attempted to "inoculate the curious Japanese mind from potentially disruptive foreign ideas such as individualism, liberalism and democracy"[13]. Finally, in the twentieth century a number of countries have imposed restrictions on the demonstration on television of American films and programs.

Reasons for seeking formal institutions for such practices is clear enough – the number of innovations they viewed as ideologically dangerous, carrying the threat of political or economic domination of certain groups. That is, innovation can be associated with the risk for society as a whole and for the dominant social institutions and groups seeking to maintain its influence through the manipulation of expectations and perceptions of the masses. While innovations are the output of the individuals and the society from a state of comfort, so they have seen the threat of formal and informal norms of society, its values and ethics. Of course, if there are close links between social institutions, the destructive potential of different innovations can be successfully overcome because of the consistency of the standards of conduct prevalent and entrenched in a given society. However, as for primitive communities, in the absence of balance between the formal and informal norms and institutions, to maintain stability it is forced to impose restrictions on the innovation.

In the end, one of the measures against convergence are the laws on the protection of copyright, limiting the ability to recreate ideas and inventions created in one country the rest of the world. If we assume that mechanisms for the protection of copyright would not exist, then copy the various technical innovations would be determined solely by the necessities of production and technological potential of the country. This is, without doubt, would have led to the decline of interest in the invention on the one hand, but on the other hand greatly facilitate the convergence process. In this perspective it is not surprising that many experts call one of the most promising models of regional convergence, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), in which the laws on the protection of copyright is largely inefficient.

It is also interesting that in conditions of conflict, many formal institutions lose their power, especially if hinder the achievement of victory, and a number of ideas in the field of military tactics and strategy, pedagogy and psychology, management, physical education and sport in General can not be monopolized by any country or a specific person. In fact, the most effective ideas in such spheres easily are being adopted by anyone who is familiar with them and able to apply in practice.

A paradox in this regard is that the low level of legitimacy of power at the same low level of efficiency of the formal prohibitions may not contribute to divergence and convergence. In particular, the French philosopher J.-F. Liotard said that "to forget in the everyday sense can only be what we were able to record, because it may be erased"[14]. This thesis can be understood in the sense that the institutionalization of any social norms provides the ability to neglect them for the sake of achieving any higher goals, while informal norms supported by the power of public opinion, often stand the pressure of circumstances. In this situation, the disrespect to national legislation is becoming a factor in international rapprochement, which has been observed, for example, in Russia XVIII – XIX centuries, about the situation in which most clearly shows the aphorism (attributed to as N. M. Karamzin and M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin): "the severity of the laws of the Russian Empire kompensiruet the inadequate enforcement of such." In fact, regardless of the cost of state authority to protect the stability of the established political system and other social institutions can evolve by convergence with the outside world through the reproduction of informal norms.

In the framework of such a system of state-society relations institutions came to an agreement on the future path of development of the country, it was easier to overthrow preventing change power, rather than a long time to execute this power imposed by outdated regulations.

To explain this effect, you can refer to the experiments of John. Knetch[15], who was able to convincingly show that people who received any free resource, in most cases not ready to part with it for equal to its market value monetary compensation. The most likely explanation for this phenomenon is that getting the subject from the experimenter, without charge, placing it in the category of "gift", that is, the object is perceived not only in a purely economic context. The subject is endowed with some additional qualities that are not directly linked with its functional purpose, so parting with it requires from the subject additional costs associated with compensation for emotional attachment, not only with the loss of material resource.

In the expanded view of society in this perspective, most often the conclusion that people are in a situation of choice between two alternatives. On the one hand, they can obey the illegitimate government, which is able to compensate for the emotional costs of committing the "immoral" choice to the provision of benefits established with funds released from financing punitive-repressive apparatus (e.g., police, the Cheka or the Gulag). On the other hand, citizens have the opportunity to revolt against the government which they consider illegitimate, as this government is, from their point of view, is a threat to informal norms (traditions, morality, etc.) of social life that involve various types of costs, both for the citizens and the state. Although the abundance revolution, rebellions and civil wars in domestic and world history confirms the tendency of individuals to choice of conflict behavior strategy, these contradictions arise not only because of the desire of society to preserve traditions, but also because attempts to correct these informal norms on the basis of foreign experience, which can let the power of the state.

Only in the XX century the state was able to establish enough effective opposition to such a scenario due to the transition from the integration model of the interaction of institutions to a separation, virtually eliminating the possibility of creating a broad anti-government coalition. In addition, limiting contact with the outside world and at the same time, strong promotion of a particular ideology that contains the only possible way of the future, allowed to impose on the citizens is beneficial to the state system of values and ideas (a special role was played by the emergence and wide spread of television and cinema, is actively used for political propaganda). As a result, the potential use of the international conflicts of the second half of the twentieth century for the international convergence was severely limited.

Summarizing, we can conclude that the decrease in the level of patriotism and legitimacy of the Supreme power in society could contribute to implementing the effective modernization, if the process is complemented by the presence of military or political conflict. Suffice it to recall that the "Japanese economic miracle" of the 1950s and 1960s years occurred against the backdrop of the withdrawal of Japan from the ideologies of militarism, nationalism, and the deification of the Emperor.



In this regard, it is worth noting that in the early 1990-ies some researchers (e.g., B. Unger, F. van Waarden, S., Libpri, P. Pearson) thought that harmonization alone formal rules within the European Union could become the Foundation for a partial convergence in certain spheres of politics and Economics. However, over time the ineffectiveness of the policy of multiculturalism and the development of separatist tendencies (in particular, Spain and the UK) allowed to come to the conclusion that under these conditions the convergence can take place only between similar level of economic development of countries, while the weakest economies of the EU are unlikely to approach the most developed. Apparently, the problem is that in terms of victory in Europe the liberal democratic model of governance was observed quite a high level of legitimacy in the eyes of the people that did not give opportunity to citizens to neglect the formalized traditions for cultural rapprochement with the neighboring countries.

Thus, to achieve full convergence is required to provide very specific combination of factors, but the understanding of the nature of the process in the future will allow the successful export of norms and institutions in countries of different civilization types. In fact, to ensure that all sustainable convergence between institutions of different countries can prove to be effective two basic models. The first implies a high level of policy coherence of social institutions and intensity of conflicts, as well as the low level of public exposure to stereotypes, the effectiveness of interdiction mechanisms and patriotism. The second model is based on a high level of patriotism, legitimacy, coherence, social institutions, exposure to the citizens of the stereotypes and intensity of conflicts, as well as the weaknesses of prohibitive mechanisms.

The second option due to the fact that in many countries the elites in order to benefit often impose on the majority of citizens some unusual patterns of behavior, giving them a centuries-old tradition of the people. Hence, hypothetically the variant in which the elite in order of convergence with the international community can manipulate public opinion, forcing people to comply with social norms, came from abroad, but produced in the ancient customs of a given ethnic or social group.

Russia in the given circumstances has a choice of ways of development, however, the effectiveness of the decision on the way of development in any case depends on the combination of factors that can be assessed and measured. If it is possible to solve this problem, before the country opens perspectives and opportunities for arbitrary choice of source convergent borrowing, which would solve a significant part of the social, economic, environmental, and other challenges, the predefined long-standing errors of the primary institutional choice.


[1] Hardin, Garret J. The Tragedy of the Commons // Science, New Series, 1968, Vol. 162, No. 3859, pp. 1243-1248.

[2] Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 280 pp.

[3] Ivanov A. A. Negativity conflict. M.: Flinta, 2015. S. 256.

[4] Sorokin, Pitirim A. Mutual Convergence of the United States and the USSR to the Mixed Sociocultural Type // International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 1960, No. 1, pp 143-176

[5] Maddison, Angus. The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective. Paris: OECD, 2001. 384 pp.

[6] North, Douglas. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. P. 6.

[7] According to P. koslowski, even the establishment in Germany of the Nazi regime was a form of "conscious regression, implemented from the level of a highly developed culture." Short-term military and political successes of the Third Reich in this spirit was bound to turn into a battle with more advanced culturally powers.


[8] an example of a situation when the appearance of the rules was a manifestation of randomness was the establishment of a national Brazilian martial art – capoeira, the hallmark of which was the almost complete absence of punches (they are mainly used for support when applying kicks). The reason for the approval of these norms was determined not so much by the high effectiveness of this fighting style, how many the fact that capoiera was created by black slaves, hands which, as a rule, had chains on and the training they had to masquerade as a dance.

[9] Mintzberg, Henry; Ahlstrand, Bruce W.; Lampel, Joseph. Strategy Safari: A guided Tour through the Wilds of Strategic Management. New York: Free Press, 1998. P. 310.

[10] Acemoglu, Daron; Robinson, James A. Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions // the American Economic Review, 2008, Vol. 98, No. 1, pp. 267-293.

[11] B. de jouvenel the power: the Natural history of its growth. M.: Thought, 2011. P. 212.

[12] E. S. Senyavskaya Opponents of Russia in the wars of the twentieth century. M.: ROSSPEN, 2006. P.9.

[13] D. Lal, Unintended consequences. The effect of endowments of the factors of production, culture, and politics on long-term economic results. M: IRISAN, 2007. P. 173.

[14] Liotard J.-F. Heidegger and "the Jews." SPb.: Axiom 2001. P. 47.

[15] Knetsch, Jack L. The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves // American Economic Review, 1989, Vol. 79, No. 5, pp. 1277-1184.

RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics
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