Contemporary Problems of Social Work


Some theoretical problems of economic security

Автор/Author: Soynikov M.A.

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Содержание статьи/Article:

In Economics there are different approaches to the definition of “economic security”.

This circumstance is due to lack of theoretical development issues of economic security of the state, and   the lack of unity in the understanding of the nature and essence of economic security.

For this moment, there is currently no single, consistent scientific concept of economic security, despite certain positive results in the study of this phenomenon.

The problem is compounded by the fact that the phenomenon of economic security is a system, multilevel and dynamic, and in the course of its investigation requires the application of knowledge in various fields of science [6].

On the basis of available scientific developments we can distinguish three main approaches to the definition of economic security.

1. Using the term “stability”. Economic security is defined as the state of the national economy, characterised by resistance, “immune” to the effects of internal and external factors, which disrupt the normal functioning of social reproduction, undermine attained level of life of the population, and thereby causing increased social tension in society, as well as a threat to the very existence of the state [11].

2. Using the term “independence” as a system of conditions and factors, which ensure the independence of the national economy, its stability and sustainability, ability to constantly update and improve. And “independence” can act not only as characteristics of the national economy, but as a synonym of the sovereignty of the state authorities when making their economically and socially important decisions. On this basis, the safe is invited to consider the current state of the economy, which provides the opportunity, without any significant external influences to determine and establish internal policies in the social, economic and other spheres, based on national interests [4].

3. Using the term “interests”: such state of the economy and institutions, that provides guaranteed protection of national-state interests, social policy orientation, sufficient defense capabilities even under adverse conditions of development of internal and external processes [10].

The third definition seems the most reasonable, because the category of “interests”, as well as “needs”, is one of the fundamental in sociological, psychological, political, and economic studies. The choice in favor of a specified interpretation can be argued also by the fact, that the sustainability of economic development, and independence in any of the above understandings, are included in the sphere of economic interests of the state [3]. Normative legal acts, regulating the issues of security, operate with category “interests”.

Category “national-state interests” in relation to Russia is devoid of internal contradictions and can be used in the formulation of the conceptual definition of economic security [19].

Analyzing the provisions of the Federal law “On security”, we can come to the conclusion,          that the coincidence of interests of different social actors is presumed, at least, there are no fundamental contradictions between these interests. However, in practice there are often situations in which the interests of individual subjects may differ and even contradict each other. In this case, consolidating role should be taken over by the state. This is due, firstly, to the fact that at the moment the civil society institutions in Russia are essentially in its infancy, they are not yet able to fully perform the functions inherent in countries with well-established and well-developed system of democratic attitudes and values (consolidation of the society, the smoothing of social conflicts, the expression and the protection of the interests of society, social groups, personality, etc.) [18].

Secondly, the state, understood as a system of legally existing authorities, institutions and officials, has a unique among all social, economic and political entities in their ability to Express their will in the form of mandatory adoption of normative legal acts and apply if necessary measures for its enforcement. In addition, the state is the subject of geopolitics, international law and international economic relations [20].

Thus, on the one hand, the state has the opportunity, using the underdevelopment of civil society institutions to establish and implement its own interests, in some cases ignoring the interests of society, social groups, personalities. In this context, some scholars regard the state as something that may conflict with the interests of society as a whole, focusing on the administrative aspects of state, indicating that as the economy and the nation differ from state, so economic security differs from national security, and national interests from interests of state [15].

On the other hand, the state has extensive capabilities in prevention of social conflicts, minimize or neutralize their effects, contribute to society in the creation and development of civil institutions. Obviously, this option is the most preferred. In any case, at the moment, only the state is objectively able to establish and implement national-state interests, in particular, in the sphere of economic relations, on the basis of existing in the country and in the world of socio-economic and geopolitical realities. In this case, appear to justify the provisions of the national security Strategy of Russian Federation until 2020, in virtue of which this document is the basis for constructive interaction between state institutions, organizations and public associations for the protection of national interests of the Russian Federation and the security of individuals, society and the state [5].

We can also recognize the legitimate and the belief that economic security is not only the protection of national interests, but also the willingness and ability of government institutions to create mechanisms for the implementation and protection of national interests, national economic development, maintain social and political stability of society.

In the context of the above problem, it is just as important to clarify and define the ratio of such concepts as “national security” and “state security”. Focusing on the terminological aspect, it is possible to draw an analogy with other relevant areas of research in economic theory. Thus, in the theory of property rights regarding the transformation of these rights in the lexicon of both researchers and statesmen of the concept of “governmentalisation” – “nationalization”, and “privatization” – “denationalization” are used interchangeably. Considering the problem in its essential aspect, it is necessary to consider the distinction between the notions of “national” and “state”, which consists in the following.

Some authors draw attention to the fact that Russia is a multinational unlike other countries (Japan, Poland, Israel and others), where the process of nation-building and state occur simultaneously and are not administrative units on ethnic grounds. In Russia the formation of statehood occurred otherwise: by administrative consolidation within the state and ethnic communities in the form of Republics, Autonomous districts and Autonomous regions. That is why, with regard to Russia offers the concept of “national interest”, “national security” to replace the phrase “public interest”, “state security” or just the interests of Russia, the Russian security [14].

In our opinion, such proposals seem unreasonable. According to the UNESCO method of recognizing of the multinational state, the population of which share the same nation (ethnic group) does not exceed two thirds, that is a little more than 66 %. According to the Russian census of 2010, in Russia there 77,71 % of Russians (which exceeds the above set of international norms threshold value), 21,29 % of other ethnicities, even 1 % of citizens did not indicate their nationality. Therefore, the provision of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, according to which Russia is a multinational state, can be considered as a mere fact of residence in the territory of our country representatives of a large number of nationalities and ethnic groups. Accordingly, the concept of “national-state interests”, in our opinion, devoid of internal contradictions and can be used in the construction of the economic security of the state in relation to Russia.

In the framework of the economic theory, this seems not right to consider the category of “economic security” on meso- and microlevel, and its division into kinds (food, environmental, scientific and technical security, etc.).

The category of “economic security” covers, in addition to the characteristics of the economic system, a number of parameters of social and public activities, primarily in relation to the chosen methodology and methods of research, the level of efficiency of public administration and its various branches of government and their institutions and structures, including the judiciary and its structural sub-section. These subjects develop and implement mechanisms to ensure economic security.

Based on the specifics of the major threats to the economic security of Russia, it can be argued that the subjects of the Russian Federation does not possess or have not in full by the appropriate mechanisms to counter threats. Thus, in accordance with Art. 71 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, under exclusive jurisdiction of the Russian Federation are:

- the establishment of the foundations of Federal policy and Federal programmes in the sphere of state, economic, ecological, social, cultural and national development of the Russian Federation;

- establishing the legal foundations of the united market; financial, currency, credit, customs regulation, money issue, fundamentals of pricing policy; Federal economic services, including Federal banks;

- foreign economic relations of the Russian Federation; the judicial system; prosecution; civil law; procedural law; legal regulation of intellectual property.

Considering the economic security from the point of view of the category of “interests”, it should be noted, that the fundamental contradiction of interests of the region (or group of regions) versus the interests of the state itself represents a threat to national security, which can be eliminated or minimized by applying state-of adequate measures of not only economic, but also social, national politics.

Mechanisms of maintenance of economic safety of such entity of economic relations, as the enterprise (organization, institution, company), and their application is limited by the framework of the institutional environment, “rules of the game”, established by the state. In addition, in relation to these subjects the concept of “economic security” in most cases is replaced by the concept of “information security”; under threat refers to the negative consequences associated with disclosure of commercial, banking and other secrets, industrial and commercial espionage, violations of copyright and related rights, etc. Possible losses in the form of damages (including bankruptcy) are covered by an integral component of entrepreneurial activity – risk [1].

The individual as a subject of economic relations also has a very limited ability to self-provision of their own economic security. They mainly appeal to law enforcement agencies for protection of the violated rights and self advocacy.

Thus, in the framework of economic theory is valid the consideration of economic security only according to the state as a subject of economic, legal, geopolitical and international relations [2].

The threats to economic security should be considered as a system of direct and inverse internal links, so addressing the threats should be carried out in their entirety, and not individually.

As national-state interests, threats to economic security are presented as dynamic phenomenon. Some negative factors affecting the economic system in a certain period of time are being neutralized, at the same time, new threats emerge. However, there are a number of threats to economic security inherent in the economic system of Russia and in varying degrees the economies of other states (for example, the criminalization of the economy, environmental pollution, etc.). The negative impact of such factors can only be minimized, completely eliminate their impact can not be realized. Another feature of the threats to economic security is the ability to change the intensity of their impact on the economic system in a certain period of time. For example, possible in the coming years, on the one hand, the increase in investment activity, and increased depreciation of fixed assets and threats increasing technological disasters [8].

Major threats to the economic security of Russia at this stage of its development are:

- the crisis of the system of reproduction of human capital. From the point of view of social factors, economic security is a state of the aggregate human capital, protected from negative impacts (threats) and its ability to reproduce. Human potential can be considered in two interrelated dimensions – quantitative and qualitative. From the point of view of the first, in Russia since the beginning of reforms there is a clear depopulation, a negative rate of natural increase (the natural decline). From the point of view of the qualitative dimension of human capital, the main threat to the economic security of our country is deteriorating public health. World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. From this it follows, that the concept of "health" includes not only medical indicators, so this category should not be viewed as medical and socio-economic. The adverse health condition of the population, depopulation due primarily to social factors. The greatest concern is the spread of diseases such as drug addiction, alcoholism, HIV infection (the main areas of distribution – drug addiction, prostitution), tuberculosis (jail, prison); rise of mental illness, suicide, etc.

- low competitiveness of domestic enterprises. This is reflected in the number of negative phenomena, among them stand out the extremely weak position of Russia in the international division of labour, import expansion, disadvantageous for the country structure of import and export. One of the factors for the low competitiveness of Russian products is the reduction of production capacity due to the high depreciation of fixed assets. Inevitable consequences of a significant depreciation of equipment, machines and devices are material and human losses from man-made accidents and disasters. Besides, researchers believe one of the factors reducing the competitiveness of Russian products not even low quality and non-conformance to requirements of foreign technical standards. However, the low competitiveness of the Russian economy is manifested in the dominance of commodities in Russian exports, Russia's dependence on imports of many products, including strategic purpose. Foreign trade turnover is one of the factors of national competitiveness and economic security of the state. Fuel and raw-material orientation of Russian exports causes a significant dependency of trade and balance of payments of the country and its foreign positions from fluctuations in the prices of raw materials and fuel on world markets [13];

- property differentiation of the population and increasing poverty. The stratification of society on a narrow circle of highincome individuals, and the majority of the poor people, a significant proportion of the population living below the poverty line, can lead to an exacerbation of existing social relationships. As a result of this differentiation achieved relative balance of social interests may be compromised. The increase in the share of the poor creates social and criminogenic tension, the ground for the wide use of such anti-social and unlawful things as alcoholism, drug addiction, prostitution, organized crime, and so on, which ultimately adversely affects the economic security of the state. Currently, there is a tendency, according to which population differentiation by income is complemented by a strong and sustainable differentiation in the quality of health services, education and housing. There is a risk of limiting the rights of citizens in the fairness of quality education and health care, which inevitably leads to a fall in the General level of education, lower spiritual, moral potential of the society, the decline of inventive activity and R & d, adverse health, depopulation and other negative consequences [7];

- shadow and criminal economy, corruption. In the shadow of the economic activity of the state budget loses significant funds due to non-payment of taxes and other obligatory payments. However, the increased danger of the criminal economy, organized crime [9]. The gang activity is often related to trafficking in people, weapons, drugs and psychotropic substances, counterfeit products that have a negative impact not only on the crime situation, but also on the production of human capital and economic security in General. The widespread use of domestic corruption interferes with the normal execution of the state social programs, including large-scale “national projects”. Numerous economic offences provoke, on the one hand, the flight of capital abroad, and, on the other hand, the laundering of proceeds of crime.

The main threats to the economic security of Russia is closely interconnected. For example, high levels of poverty and property differentiation of the population along with the growth of social tension in society is the growth of the shadow and criminal economy that, in turn, is one of the growth factors asocial phenomena (drug addiction, prostitution, trafficking in counterfeit products, etc.). The proliferation of these phenomena have a negative effect on quantitative and qualitative indicators of human capital, resulting in reduced number of working-age population falls productivity. These circumstances may to some extent reduce the competitiveness of the Russian economy on the domestic and world markets, have a negative impact on the macroeconomic indicators of economic security.

It is necessary to develop, adopt and implement a new State strategy of economic security of Russia in accordance with the principles of structuring elements of economic security on the basis of a systematic approach; consolidated on stages of development, adoption and implementation; the effectiveness of state regulation in the sphere of economic security; long-term; the internal consistency of the elements of the system of economic security [12].

The main task of the economic policy of the Government of the Russian Federation in the sphere of economic security should be the preparation and adoption of a new State strategy of economic security of Russia, which would contain: the concept of economic security, national-state interests and threats to economic security; national-state interests in the sphere of economic security; a complete list and analysis of long-term and constant threats of economic security; indicators and thresholds of economic security; the main measures aimed at neutralizing or minimizing negative impacts of these threats;         the list of state bodies and officials responsible for implementing the Strategy in a particular area.

Based on the conducted research. the following conclusions and suggestions were made.

Economic security is the material basis of national security, and its provision is objectively necessary requirement, a prerequisite for the existence and development of the state and society. However, it is possible to ascertain the insufficient level of theoretical elaboration of this problem, and the practical implementation of existing research results and state regulation in the field of protection of national-state interests, threats of economic security of Russia, especially in conditions of transition economy [17].

The programs of socio-economic development of the country should be developed, accepted and implemented only on the basis of uniform and consistent scientific concepts and established on the basis of the Government's strategy for economic security. Priority national projects, despite their importance, rather pursue local goals.         No less important than the health, education, agriculture and the provision of “affordable housing”, are measures to improve infrastructure, combating corruption, safeguarding the environment, the technical modernization of production, etc. All of the above are an integral part of national economic policy and each of these areas correspond to specific national-state interests and threats to economic security, however, this policy seems to be non-systemized, fragmented, main tasks are solved as if independently of each other. Although the most effective way to ensure the economic security of Russia is a threat to their system, and not individually.

The state strategy of economic security of Russia should be developed, accepted and implemented in accordance with the principles of structuring elements of economic security on the basis of the system approach; consolidation; the effectiveness of state regulation in the sphere of economic security; long-term; internal consistency item [17].

The strategy should contain a conceptual definition of the phenomenon of economic security, national-state interests and threats, and indicators, and thresholds of economic security [16]. Also in the proposed document should lead to the most complete list of national-state interests of Russia, external and internal threats to its economic security, quantitative indicators, thresholds and indicators of economic security. For the convenience of the location standards in the text of the Strategy is possible such structuring: the General part contains definitions of concepts, basic principles and provisions of the theoretical issues, all sorts of lists, etc. Special part includes specific measures to neutralize or minimize the negative impact of external and internal factors on the Russian economy.

At the moment, the rules governing social relations in the sphere of economic security are spread over many normative and non-normative legal acts, programs of socio-economic development of the country and other documents. Numerous proposals from the scientific community are seldom seen by the public authorities in the adoption of economically and socially important decisions. However, until now the scientific community has not formed a unified approach to most concepts, categories and phenomena related to economic security. Therefore, the development of a new Strategy with the involvement of experienced scientists from different fields of science (not only economists) and its adoption can be a key point in the conceptualization of economic security.

Ключевые слова/Tags1: economic security, national-state interests, stability, independence, threats.