The 84th NZ issue has two main themes, the importance of which is undeniable – although, obviously in a different measure.

Riotous political events of the last eight months in Russia could not help becoming a subject of our analysis, some of the texts on these events have already appeared in previous issues, but this time NZ made an attempt to summarize the intermediate results of a new stage of Russia’s socio-political being. The first thematic section is titled “The Political Development of Russia: A New Twist?” It contains six articles on various aspects of the past political season – and some forecasts for the upcoming one. The evolution of the relationships between “the power”, “the regime” and “the opposition” is analyzed by Sergey Ryzhenkov in his article “The Street, the Government and the Opposition: From the Protest «Hullabaloo» to the Regime Transformation?”, and Vladimir Gelman’s text deals with challenges to the electoral authoritarianism in Russia. These two subjects of the political process in Russia – government and opposition – are analyzed separately in mini-researches by Elena Belokurova (“The Old and the New in the Civil Society Discourse and Social Movements’ Character”), by Irina Busygina and Mikhail Filippov (“Agents and Principals: What to Expect after «the Power Vertical»”?), and – from the regional angle – in an article by Andrey Starodubtsev (“A Useless Achievement? The Elections of Governors in the Context of Regional Development Problems”). An important illustration to the “anamnesis” of the “regime’s” functioning mechanism is the text by Kirill Kalinin “Electoral Frauds in Russia: Mechanisms, Diagnosing, Interpretations” (the title speaks for itself).

Beyond the first thematic selection to the issues of Russia’s protests and confrontation between power and opposition is dedicated an accurate sociological analysis of protest movements by Alexander Kustarev (his traditional column Political Imaginary). French social philosopher and political scientist Pierre Rosanvallon suggests a theoretical analysis of the “counter-democracy” concept, which could seem quite actual when closer examining the current political situation in Russia – especially the author's reasoning about the “society of distrust”.

Finally, another “hot news” of Russia’s sociopolitical agenda 2012 – “The Pussy Riot Case” – are discussed in an article by the author of the recently published in Russian book about the art group “The War” Alek D. Epstein (Culture of Politics). The theme of protest and revolution ends in this NZ issue with an essay by Kirill Kobrin on “quiet” ways to “shake the foundations”. Kobrin’s text is a kind of a postscript to the selection of copies on Situationism and psychogeography published in the 82th NZ volume. In its turn, Ilya Kalinin’s column is partly a response to this essay being dedicated to the fate of the “travel and adventures” in the era of mass tourism.

Another important topic of the issue – the Islamic world, the modernization and Soviet history. It is given a selection of texts under the title “Muslims: the Fate of Traditions in the Era of Modernization”, and several articles. “Orientalism”, imperial, Soviet (and some post-Soviet) “pictures of the East” are the theme of a mini-research by Sergey Abashin. Marat Safarov provides an overview of the daily life of Muslims in Moscow's post-war Soviet period. Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya, an anthropologist, the “Memorial” staff-member who for many years had worked in the North Caucasus, analyzes the current situation with “teips” in Chechnya and Ingushetia – are they still there and so powerful, as many claim. “Caucasian” (and to some extent, “Muslim”) theme is continued by Sergey Markedonov and Maxim Suchkov in the article “Greater Caucasus: A View from over the Ocean” – it deals with the American centers for studying this region (and their approaches). In the Events and Comments section there is an article by orientalist Leonid Isaev “Tribal Revolution: the Yemeni Style”.

In addition to the general topics of the 84th issue a reader will find here an unusual release of the usual Alexei Levinson’s column Sociological Lyrics (the text is done as an open message to the poet and publicist Lev Rubinstein), and there is also an interview with a renowned British expert on Russia Geoffrey Hosking.

The issue ends with the Russian Intellectual Journals’ Review (by Petr Rezvykh), review of the American feminist blogs (by Olga Burmakova) and the New Books section, among which the British writer Max Dunbar’s text about the book by the famous journalist Ed Valliamy, dedicated to the war crimes in Bosnia in 1990ies is to be singled out.