SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AD
Experts about the project 7
Проект очима рецензентів 151
Social development at the boundary of millennia 17
Суспільний розвиток на зламі тисячоліть 161
Problem of historical-sociological reflection 23
Проблема історикосоціологічної рефлексії 166
Idea of cycles in the context of periodization of social
Ідея циклів у контексті періодизації соціального
Choice of methodological foundations
for the study 33
Вибір методологічних підстав дослідження 175
Universal epochal cycle of social development: structure
and contents 37
Універсальний епохальний цикл суспільного розвитку:
структура і зміст 178
Periodization of the world history in the light
of a new conceptual construction: global (macro)
level of analysis and prognosis 45
Періодизація всесвітньої історії у світлі нової
концептуальної побудови: глобальний (макро) рівень
аналізу і прогнозу 187
Regional-continental (medi) level of analysis
of the historical development 53
Регіональноконтинентальний (меді) рівень
аналізу історичного розвитку 194
National-state (micro) level of analysis of the
Національнодержавний (мікро) рівень аналізу
Glossary of main notions and social theories 99
Глосарій основних понять і соціальних теорій238
Instead of conclusion 129
Experts about the project
The project by E. Afonin, O. Bandurka, and A. Martynov is referred to general sociological elaborations, being rare at present, in the sphere of conceptual analysis of the world history, which attract a growing interest of the scientific community after the crisis of the marxist and positivistic models. The authors are working at the intersection of the fundamental problems of sociology, psychology, historical science, and social forms of economic development. Of importance is the separation of the analysis of transient processes, key and critical points of the world history.
The project quite rightfully substantiates the look at post-modern as not only a philosophical but generally cultural conception of the post-industrial epoch. In this connection, the question arises on the replacement of paradigms of the theory of historical process. Here, the authors connect new possibilities with the methodology of synergetics as a science on the dynamical regularities of interaction between order and chaos. It is shown that the social development moves neither in the direction of a growth of order (as O. Comte considered) nor in the direction of degrees of freedom (H. Spencer) which requires a loosening of regular situations and creative possibilities of chaos, but is defined by the evolution of dissipative structures which synthesize chaos and order in view of a growth of stability of social systems.
According to the synergetic methodology, the socium is embedded into cycles of various hierarchies from cosmic processes to «long waves» of the economic development and vital activity of generations and individuals. A creative result of such an approach lies in the separation of universal epochal cycles of the history as units of the social analysis of specific countries and regions.
By ideas of the authors of the project, universal epochal cycles are composed from 4 transformations: 2 normative states involution and evolution, and 2 transient processes between them co-evolution and revolution. As a merit of the authors, we mention the empiric substantiation of 8 such universal cycles basing on the consideration, which is encyclopedic by its size, of facts of the world history. Unfortunately, the authors use the own nontraditional terminology which can lead to misunderstanding at some points. For example, the period covering I and II World Wars, cold war, the appearance of the Peoples Republic of China, Islamic revolution in Iran, disintegration of the USSR and Yugoslavia, etc. is called the «evolutionary stage» of the history. In fact, the term «evolution» in the project means not gradual transformational changes but a development of innovative activity, freedom, etc., i.e., radical changes.
The authors promise to utilize the analysis of epochal cycles for solution of the prognostic problems posed by contemporaneity, though it remains to be unclear what procedures and methods will be used for these purposes. But, to this end, further investigations will be carried out.
On the whole, the project present a conception which is modern by orientation and methodology, empirically balanced by material, heuristic by promised potentialities and deserves a support.
Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor,
Honored Scientist of Ukraine
The appearance of a new conception concerning the complicated problems of scientific reflection of the social-historical development is a remarkable event in the domestic social science.
By positively estimating the idea of the work on the whole, I emphasize the originality of the approach advanced by the authors team to analysis of the world-wide historical process. The utilization of the idea of cyclicity, which is laid to the basis of the approach, is rather fruitful not only for general studies in social science but for the economic analysis of world-wide processes.
The actualization of such an analysis is quite obvious under conditions of globalization of the economy and strengthening of tendencies to the formation of the world economic system. In this context, the problem concerning the perspective of development of national states as components of the world economy becomes acute. Authors research interdisciplinary conception is directed to a wide circle of the questions arising at the contemporary stage of social-economic development.
As very interesting, we consider the comparative basis of the study and its orientation, in particular, to the comparison of the data of economic statistics in the frameworks of separate epochal cycles for countries-leaders of the historical process, on the one hand, and developing countries, on the other hand.
Economic indices can become a weighty complementary factor for the general conception of social development which, after its publication by the Parliamentarian publishing house, can present an integral basis for elaboration of the whole complex of studies of the humanitarian and social profiles within the declared paradigm.
At the same time, the reviewed conception gives a wide place for a substantial discussion on actual fundamental-theoretical and prognostic-applied problems.
In view of the above-mentioned, this work deserves to be published to create the critical mass of new ideas whose lacking makes it impossible to perform a qualitative break-through in the field of theoretical and applied social investigations.
Director of the Institute
of International Business Cooperation,
Doctor of Economic Sciences, Professor
The age of the human history fixed in writing is about 5000 years, and the mystery of the history as a quintessence of the unknown past, apparitional present, and undefined future remains to be sacral.
The open conception proposed by the authors collective is a rather successful attempt to set a number of important problems of social development in the plane of determination, which has no, unfortunately, proper explanations. In particular, the authors prove a basic possibility to develop a scientifically grounded prognosis of principal trends of development of the society.
By rejecting a vulgarly linear approach to the study of the historical process, the authors skillfully use the idea of cyclicity, in particular by considering the development of the civilization, for construction of a periodization of social-historical development within the conceptual model.
At the same time, it is worth to note that the chapter devoted to the choice of a methodological tool for studying needs a further elaboration. This is especially important from the viewpoint of tasks of identification of objects, whose investigation on the global, regional, and national-state levels requires a creation of the system of special empiric indices. It is the definition and application of just this system of indices that can give, in my opinion, the possibility to the authors to implement an efficient verification of the research conception.
I say a few words about the applied meaning of the theoretical approach proposed by the authors. First of all, the question is the possibility, in principle, to forecast main tendencies of development in a prescribed perspective. This is, at present, a very important science-wide problem and a sharp need of national and world cultures. Second, the authors have presented, in fact, sketches of a new paradigm of social-historical studies. Third, authors attemp