Attention readers of the journal ME & MO

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No. 2 of the journal “World Eonomy and International Relations” for 2022 is open for free access, which includes articles by N. Rozanova, A. Yashlavsky and a joint article by V. Salamatov, A. Tangaeva and V. Kolomin, translated into English.

Rozanova N. Foreign Experience of Competition Policy in Digital Economy.

Economic reality has dramatically changed in the 21st century. Competition and monopoly behaviour are under radical transformation due to digital effects in contemporary business world. Digitalization has engendered many new types of monopolistic conduct and deeply altered traditional forms of firms’ misconduct. In a digital era, the antitrust policy should rethink its concepts of regulation, market power, and anticompetitive behaviour. The analysis of contemporary competition policy in different countries shows that traditional antitrust rules could not effectively deal with digital activity. Having entered even in an ordinary space of anticompetitive firm behaviour, digital world has challenged traditional concepts of antitrust policy. The antitrust rules that dominated in the 20th century are mostly outdated when applied to digital era trends. What should and could competition policy do to meet the requirements of the 21st century? The article touches upon contemporary foreign investigations in the sphere of competition and competition policy. Our analysis demonstrates the challenges that are under way in antitrust regulation. Special attention is paid on new patterns that characterize traditional forms of monopolistic behaviour (cartels, dominant misconduct, predatory pricing, exclusive dealing, etc.) in a digital world. There was drawn the conclusion concerning the vital necessity of a cardinal transformation for the antitrust policy from a hard state controller into a flexible business consultant, with the aim not to punish but to prevent market misconduct.

Salamatov V., Tangaeva A., Kolomin V. RCEP in the System of Mega-Regional Trade Agreements.

The article analyzes the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in terms of agreements reached and effects on the international trade system. Having involved the issues of tariff protection, rules of origin, TBT and SPS barriers in trade, investments, dispute settlement mechanism, and other regulation RCEP has an impact on both megaregionalism and international political economy system. In addition to the system level, the article examines the influence that this FTA will have on Russia and comparative market access conditions for Russian exporters in the RCEP countries. In comparison with other mega-regional trade arrangements such as TTP, RCEP provides for a more flexible approach to the commitments of the RCEP countries. Alongside the fact that each participating state has individual tariff elimination schedules with prolonged transition period for some products, such countries as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Philippines, and Korea set differentiated tariff elimination schedules for certain participating states. Overall, the significance of RCEP is based upon two levels. First, this allowed to form a FTA that is of key importance for Southeast and East Asia, especially China, Japan, and Korea, which may be the basis for deeper integration. Second, RCEP is a case for megaregionalism revival against economic nationalism that seemed to be on the rise. Importantly, RCEP has non-western countries at its core, which puts the entire Asia to the fore of trade liberalization process. As for Russia, it is essential to secure the potential export niches, products, and services so to go up the value chain as well as to be cautious about potential surge in imports that may happen.

Yashlavskii A. "Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham” in the Syrian Conflict: Metamorphosis of the Terrorist Group.

One of the actors in the armed conflict in Syria is the extremist group “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham” (HTS), which controls the territory of Idlib province in coordination with a number of other armed groups. Originally emerging as closely associated with the al-Qaeda terrorist network as “al-Nusra Front”, this organization has undergone a number of transformations in recent years as a result of both external and internal factors. Consistently loyal to jihadist principles, “al-Nusra Front” (and its incarnations, such as “Jabhat Fatah al-Sham” and “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham”) has demonstrated a certain flexibility throughout its history, which manifested in its attempts to adapt to changes and the wide use of soft power tools. The article analyzes the reasons for the rebranding of the group, which is trying to get rid of the odious image not only in the eyes of the Syrians, but also in the international arena. In particular, the author concludes that HTS is guided by the example of the Afghani Taliban movement in its attempts to obtain the status of a legitimate and negotiable participant in the conflict. There are signs that the strategy chosen by HTS is partly working with its message received in the Western expert community. It calls for a revision of the United States’ and its allies’ policies in relation to the HTS group, which has allegedly “severed ties with transnational jihadist networks and now seeks to enter the sphere of political participation in the future of Syria”. The article maintains that there are doubts about both the possibility of a conscious evolution of HTS into a more moderate movement, and the sincerity of their rejection of the “global jihad” agenda as declared by the group’s leaders. There is reason to believe that the group is not going to completely abandon terrorist activities outside the zone of the Syrian conflict.


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