North Caucasus experts to heard by authorities
The first meeting of the 'South' think tank will be held in Stavropol in early December. Its experts will evaluate political and socio-economic processes in the Southern and North Caucasian Federal Districts.
The political scientist, president of the Minchenko Consulting Communication Group Yevgeny Minchenko explained that there is a lack of quality expertise in these regions now: "There are a lot of speculation, a lot of situations when people who don't know much about the region make peremptory statements. In fact, the region is very complicated, multinational, with a very complex and elite structure, and a socio-demographic structure, it's quite complicated economically, with a rapidly growing population
"The idea developed that, on the one hand, it is necessary to accumulate the expert potential existing in the region, and on the other hand, it is necessary to strengthen this expert potential with media support so that real experts on the region have the opportunity to communicate with the media, social networks and so on," Yevgeny Minchenko said.
"The 'South' think tank will be focused on 15 subjects of the Russian Federation with a total population of almost 27 million people. Many systemic, key nodes of Russian politics, economics, social and religious life are concentrated in these two federal districts and 15 regions. These are the regions of three denominations - Orthodoxy, Islam and Buddhism. All this creates very serious sources of tension, which are being studied by experts," the political scientist, general director of the Regions' Club Sergey Starovoitov said.
"We have been doing this in the Regions' Club for 11 years and understand how important it is for an expert to be heard. Because political scientists often conduct research, study the situation, but their findings are known neither to the public nor to the authorities. A certain problem arises in the region that local authorities don’t understand how to solve. We consider establishing a link between the authorities, society, the media and experts as our task," Sergey Starovoitov noted.
"We are committed to providing expert data to the public, so that the public can perceive it, curse at it, get excited about it, agree and ultimately was changed. Our goal is positive changes in the country awaited by the population," the sociologist, adviser to the head of Russia's Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs Sergey Khaikin. According to him, "the current socio-political situation in all the republics of the North Caucasus is quite calm and stable - there are no zones that can cause serious political crises. However, each republic has its own conflicts. Some of them are rooted in the history of deportation of peoples and their subsequent return. Others are created as a result of authorities' attempts to change something, and any changes lead to a backlash, causing discomfort among the population. We observe the population's responds, trying to understand what to make people feel more comfortable, not separated from what is happening."
Sergei Khaikin believes that today the disappointment in the inefficiency of public institutions has not led to a complete apathy of the population: "People want to make life on their street, in their yard, in their village better, to help the poor, to help animals. There is a public initiative. And I see great potential that needs to be used, including by our authorities. To turn directly to people, rely on their initiative, become a part of these people in order to compensate for non-functioning institutions. But in every subject has problems we have to deal with. Speak of them, instead of pretending these problems do not exist. From this point of view, the expert community could fulfill a very important function."