“Today & Tomorrow.
Ratings, Prognostication and Development Variants
Doctor of philosophy
Our journal presents on regular basis results of the polls on political leaders’ rating. According to the given data, Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan takes the first place and others are falling behind. But another fact demanding reflections is that the second place, yet again with a decent separation from the rest of the pretenders, belongs to the first lady Mehriban Aliyeva.
probably, general tendencies that in the beginning of XXI century worldwide
spouses of presidents want to become political leaders and show activities. In
different countries with different cultures big groups of voters trust them.
The spouse of the President of Argentina was elected the President of the
country, the spouse of the
Importance of prognosis for political leaders and prognostication in science
In order to make prognosis and see what lies ahead, it is useful to be guided rightly in the present. Both politicians and scientists should use results of scientific forecasting. It is possible to say that hypothetical scenarios of development not so much anticipate the future, as provide an opportunity to those who makes politics to deal, be ready to any future which can arise actually so that politicians could be able to soften bad and to use good. And if a politician sensitively catching tendencies of the present should aspire to power and try to boost up strong sides of his/her politics, scientific prognosticators have absolutely different goals. Scientific prognosis envisages a skill to offer variants of development and ability to render assistance to politicians in ruling the country. A politician, seeing tendencies, fluctuations of mass consciousness, can be a leader. A scientist, forecasting ways of development, develops the science, complicates the reality, in a sense denies himself, his individual predilections as it is necessary to subordinate his abstract desires to opportunities, dictated by the situation.
Certainly, there are known cases when the scientist familiar with forecasting leaves for policy, but success is not always guaranteed for him. It turns out that there are different types of use of forecasting. The use of his guess, intuition, skill to take advantage of the situation, the data of social studies in achievement of success becomes important for the politician, that is the purpose of participation in policy is entering a personal factor, personal interests into process.
We are interested
in the greater degree in scientific political forecasting. It is interesting
that any science needs prediction of the future; there is even a whole science
about the future. But, if the emphasis in sciences is made on the history of a
problem, namely in such way our historians, philosophers, political scientists
frequently work, then it is clear that the modernity and its variations appear
not in the center of their research. We will not negate the importance of
attraction of experience of the past, but history, including the history of
various sciences, quite often consists of myths, and anyhow it is necessary
that we should ourselves think of the future, having released ourselves from
stereotypes. By the way, not all these stereotypes arose in the past; there are
stereotypes of the beginning of 90-s. For example, one of the questions within
these stereotypes is the following: “what is more important – changes,
democracy or gradual improvement, evolutionary way of changes and realization
of the advantages in today's life? The same goes to relations with
The more deeply the science comprehends the modernity, the more obviously probability character of any knowledge about the society. Therefore, it is clear that the most valuable is the least probability forecast. That is why it is necessary when researching the society to attach a greater attention to models and scenarios, which not simply extrapolate current trends to the future, but search for features of deployment of a process, which are not expected by anybody.
Some people think that economic, statistical, sociological research allows foreseeing the future, but in practice the data of these works only create an opportunity of prognosis for the society. This thesis does not mean that data and facts are excessive; the talk is about ability to distinct prognostication in economy as well as talent to separate prognostication linked to the data from big forecasting models and scenarios.
Most important in construction of development scenarios is to find nonlinear decisions, an element of creativity of the scientist or group of scientists as life itself is variant, multiform, influence of the nearest environment, moods, emotions, as well as both global, and regional processes on the public life. For example, if at the end of the 80-s in the forecasting work it was necessary to take into account influence of “Moscow, the Center”, the processes in Armenia when the problem was creation of forecasting model “Karabakh”, now information borders are so open that the whole world influence Azerbaijan, and also Azerbaijan receives an opportunity to influence it. Interactivity of the modern world should be used more fully and in all spheres, it should let, may be dosed out, even in sphere of internal policy and morals.
The aspiration of citizens to stability is normal, but the openness of the world quite often destabilizes our life, complicates also conducting forecasting works. All of us face with the processes demanding comprehension, unexpected inherently in world politics, in economic, etc. It is necessary to take into account also that the country is in geopolitical space where changes are still expected. If we had had traditions in prognostication, there would have been more help from scientists, for a while all is simple in this sphere: expensive oil prices are good for the country, or expensive oil prices are bad for the country. It is possible to characterize the most part of our prognostication by approximately these words. We remember, at the beginning of the 90-s the forecasting model on technique “Delphi” got to us, which the Americans had used in the 70-s, and it helped us to cope with many questions of the initial stage of the forecasting work.
These reflections bring us to that it is necessary to see some moments in our consciousness, preventing consolidation of prognostics. And these conclusions are connected with our operational experience in forecasting. First, forecasting scientists, or groups of scientists should work on the solution of a problem, instead of promotion and political career. Certainly, scientists are the same people like all others and want promotion, but very often scientists are ready to exchange a scientific career for a political one. In that case, they do not forecast, but try to please the research customer. Second, the research customer should want to receive a real result, a vision of a real, instead of an embellished picture. Thirdly, prognostics should be not ideological, but scientific, in its basis there should be methodology. Though we shall not deny the fact either that ideological questions are not alien to social science. Fourthly, the national interest is still considered by our analysts as imposing of their own comprehension of interest to the rest, instead of achieving a consensus. At the initial stage there may be consensus with some groups. Fifthly, there are few interdisciplinary research conducted in our science. As a rule, philosophers have poor knowledge of history. The same we can say about historians: they are poorly informed about philosophy. Jointly they understand economy and policy badly. There is a shortage in the latest forecasting literature. Naturally, it is also necessary for representatives of various sciences to understand each other if they want to create a forecasting group. In this work experts have serious importance also, and for various reasons they are hardly ever ready to work with scientists. Even the most elementary methodology of forecasting assumes the participation of experts who participates in decision-making. Quite often it happens also so, that these experts supervise the work of forecasters and bring in it their desires and “dreams”.
Methodology of prognostication
In any forecasting project time horizons of
the forecast should be highlighted: short-term or mid-term. For example,
For the organization of forecasting, it is necessary, first of all, to pay attention to the methodological base of work. At approach to scenarios, it is necessary to get determined not only with factors, which will influence the realization of different variant, but also with key certainties and uncertainties. The future is vague. However, on the base of certainties, having a sufficiently long-term character, it is possible to describe tendencies, some “waves” of development. For example, let’s recollect how western analytics wrote about “three waves of democracy”, or F. Fukuyama saw “the end of the history” and the triumph of liberalism. In any case, it is clear that tendencies, waves can be short, or long. So, known and nowadays already late American analyst G. Kan at the end of the 60-s calculated 13 basic tendencies which, in his opinion, would reveal the general repeated tendency of development of the world up to XXII century.
Proceeding from this, it is possible to
assume some tendencies which will take place in the world and in
Elites and variants of development
On the basis of
specified certainties it is possible to create several scenarios of the
situation development in
Proceeding from the aforesaid, we note that the three scenarios will lead to three variants of the development. The reasonable, mid-term variant, also called by us the base variant, is the most probable, with the account of “petrodollars”, an advantageous foreign policy climate should yield positive results in mid-term prospect. The second variant is the scenario of a strong authority, rigid and not competitive rule can give a result, but only in the short-term prospect. This model assumes an absolute domination on the part of the leader, but imposes a special responsibility on the bureaucratic elite. It also complicates or even stops processes of vertical mobility and change of elites. Risks of similar domination consist in that any mobilization is difficultly feasible in the country going on the market way when consumer moods and expectations dominate among various layers of the population. The third variant of the development can be named an accelerated controlled development, a controlled competition. It assumes alongside with liberalization of economic life, the strengthening of political publicity already at the 2010-elections to the Parliament. In this variant the middle class, the civil society, the multiparty system develops quickly. But it has also serious risks, which are connected to difficulties of the initial stage (after 2010) when destabilization of the situation is possible.
Morals, public moods and types of consciousness
In the country where the public
policy is not generated, the multiparty system is not developed, much is
determined by morals and public moods. In
In our opinion, in the most general view it is possible to speak about three types of moral consciousness in the country: patriarchal, traditional and liberal-individual (they are, certainly, more and more diversified, mixed). The priority of patriarchal consciousness will cause gravitation to a strong authority, the priority of moods toward traditionalism can cause other, more moderate variant of the development with elements of economic liberalism, and the account of interests of all three types of consciousness, most likely, will cause the most liberal policy of authorities that is the third variant of the development.
Summarizing the aforesaid, we emphasize
that projects of the future, short-term, mid-term and even for long-term
forecasting are necessary for