Vladimir Yakunin: ‘Mentally I was for change but I did not believe that establishment would allow Trump’

Vladimir Yakunin: ‘Mentally I was for change but I did not believe that establishment would allow Trump’ Photo: Maksim Platonov

More than 400 political scientists from all over Russia and 26 countries gathered in Kazan for participation in a professional forum. The 'parade' was headed by ex-railwayman Vladimir Yakunin. The forum was attended by other prominent figures of Russian politics and science Oleg Morozov, Farid Mukhametshin, Yury Pivovarov, Vitaly Tretyakov and others. Despite the announced 'Russian' agenda, experts still could not resist and not to comment on the recent victory of Donald Trump in the US election.

Politological feeding of the authorities

On 12 November, the Second Congress of the Russian society of political scientists (ROP) opened in Kazan Korston hotel and trade entertainment centre. The theme of the forum was quite trivial: 'The Russian policy agenda in the changing world'. However, the questions raised were far beyond our country. The Congress was attended by over 400 scientists and representatives of authorities from many regions of Russia and 26 countries.

Prior to the plenary meeting, the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya spoke with one of the prominent figures in the scientific community of political scientists — Yury Pivovarov, Professor, head of Department of comparative politics, the Moscow State University, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

'You see how the world is changing: the election in the United States, the withdrawal of Britain from Europe, our situation, difficult in terms of sanctions. I was a little disappointed by the election to the State Duma because many people did not come to vote: in Moscow and St. Petersburg the turnout was only 30% of the population, it is a very bad indicator. Hence, we have the alienation of voters, citizens from the political system, the disbelief that something can be done. All this must be discussed. Besides, we also need to talk about the Russian political science: it is relatively young, but already has a voice in the world community. And I would like the government listened to us,' the expert outlined the main topic of the forum.

The choice of Kazan as the site for the Congress is an indicator of the recognition of school of political science of Tatarstan, noted Farid Mukhametshin

As the speaker of Tatarstan State Council Farid Mukhametshin noted, who, by the way, is also a political scientist, the choice of Kazan as the site for the Congress is an indicator of the recognition of school of political science of Tatarstan, including regional political scientists, collaborating with the government in various fields.

Tell me, son, who will win, Trump or Clinton?'

According to him, now the possibilities are so huge that scientists need to adjust each step.

'We must respond to demands of the citizens, especially before the election campaign,' said Farid Mukhametshin. We also felt the people's interest in the events in America. The political activity of Tatarstan citizens is so high that 90-year-old grandmothers asked me: 'Tell me, son, who will win, Trump or Clinton?' I was struck by the awareness of people and such concern.

Indeed, the recent victory of the unpredictable Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election in the US was practically on everyone's lips.

Yury Pivovarov: 'It is very hard to guess what Trump will be, because he is independent. At what extent the Republican elite will set him free – we will see, but I am not optimistic.'

'As we can see, in the situation with America, political scientists and sociologists were mistaken,' stressed in an interview with Realnoe Vremya Pivovarov. 'It is very hard to guess what Trump will be, because he is independent. At what extent the Republican elite will set him free – we will see, but I am not optimistic. Nuances and style will change, but the relationship between Russia and the United States have been damaged for long. And we need to think what to do. At least, there is hope because it's a new face. If Hillary Clinton won, it would be the same, only much worse.'

How 'a syndrome of conviction' has spoiled the game

Meanwhile, the president of ROP (the Russian Society of Political Scientists) Vladimir Yakunin, more known as the ex-head of Russian Railways, told the journalists that there is a reason that everybody is talking about America. The world today is interconnected, and global stability often depends on the political stability of the American system.

'We are talking about relations between states using the word 'dialogue'. In fact, the states always interact, even in the most difficult times the diplomatic work is going on. You will hardly find an American or European who would advocate a war with Russia. The internal relations of people can not be brought to a critical state. Therefore, Russia has always supported dialogue of civilisations. The same thing is with the American counterparts.'

As for the errors in the forecasts of many political analysts, who placed stakes on Hillary, he explained this misunderstanding by 'a syndrome of conviction' when every day there was the information pumping, in which the image of Trump was marginalized, and all the media actively wrote about the victory of the Democrat. And the political scientists became hostages of the 'hypnosis'.

Vladimir Yakunin: 'The internal relations of people can not be brought to a critical state. Therefore, Russia has always supported dialogue of civilisations. The same thing is with the American counterparts.'

Personally I was for the change because it was necessary to resolve the conflict situation, but I did not believe that the establishment would allow Trump,' said Yakunin.

At the same time, he noted that Trump is the only one who says what people really think and raises issues that really need to be addressed. The Republican urges to focus on the domestic interests of the American people. In his opinion, the political elite of the US have seriously miscalculated, believing in what they themselves was creating.

The Dean of the Department of political science of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Beartiz Bissio added that Trump does not inspire optimism to her as a Latina, since her country has quite a lot of negative experience due to the USA.

The report of the Brazilian was dedicated to the hegemony of the US and the notorious Monroe Doctrine.

'However, the election campaign has revealed quite serious disunity within the American society,' she said. As you remember, in the US there have recently begun the riots by opponents of the Republican. 'The important factor is young people who wish to see tangible changes within the country and on the foreign policy agenda. Especially the younger generation doesn't want their country led the planet to a new world war.'

At the same time, she expressed hope that the common voice of American citizens will be heard, and the team of the new US President will be able to create new forms of interaction with other countries.

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By Timur Rakhmatullin. Photo: Maksim Platonov