Message to the reader
Message to the reader

The modern world is undergoing a profound transformation that began in the late XX century. Global challenges and problems of formation of a postindustrial economy, the contradictory impact of the integration processes and other issues found deep reflection in the ideological and political debates in the leading countries of the world. One indicator of this phenomenon is the evolution of the main ideological movements in Europe and America. Given the importance of these issues, the editorial Board in this issue turned to the subject of conservatism as the ideological and political trends, and conservative thought on the example of Germany. The reader of this issue can become acquainted with the Russian point of view, and with the position of German and Austrian scholars who had the opportunity to discuss these issues in the framework of the Russian-German scientific conference "Conservative currents in the German history: the prospects and limits of political possibilities" held in the September 22-25 2015 in Ivanovo. This Symposium was organized by the Working group of Russian historians, germanists and the Moscow representative office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation with the organizational support of Ivanovo state University.

The authors, including well-known historians and political scientists have tried to determine the structural role of conservatism in the political spectrum in Germany, which is especially important in modern society to distinguish between the many political movements and protect it from the extremist-wing tendencies. The articles consider the key conservative ideas in Germany of the last century, their influence on the political development of the country and their relationship with other policies. Of great interest are the attempts of a number of authors to compare the basic principles of German conservatism with counterparts in other countries - for example, in Latin America and in Russia.

The themes of the articles are very wide in terms of reaching a large period of history, from the late XIX to the early XXI centuries. No less varied are the subject problems of the articles. They include the classic conservatism of the early twentieth century, the problem of the Weimar conservatism and national socialism, the evolution of Christian democratic conservatism, the relationship of modern liberal conservatism and the "new right" movements, the boundaries of political opportunities of the conservative alternative in Germany, the peculiar features of modern and post-modern conservatism with its libertarian tools, but not liberal values, as written by one of the authors.

In addition to the above problems I would like to add another very important question, relevant for both Germany and Russia and other countries. We are talking about the borders between conservatives and right-wing, nationalist and extremist movements that have been discussed in several articles. They explore the ideas and rhetoric of conservatism in different eras and highlight those that could become the basis for a democratic conservative thought, and those that in the course of German history of XX century, turned into a testing ground for right-wing experiments, did not stand the test of time and has moved into the sphere of the unacceptable.

In other sections of this number the reader will find the works of source study and historiographical in nature, not related to the study of conservatism. I would also like to draw attention to a very interesting article about the celebration in France of the 70th anniversary of the regiment "Normandy-Neman". This legendary regiment, the pilots of which fought alongside Soviet airmen against Nazi Germany in 1942-1945, was and remains in the collective memory one of the most important symbols of friendship and solidarity between the peoples of the USSR and France.



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