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Eastern Europe in the Structure of the ‘‘Great Acceleration’’ Concept: Problems of Interpretation or a New Macroecological Divergence?

Journal: Science Governance and Scientometrics (Vol.15, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 627-647

Keywords : Ecologically sustainable development; concept of the Great Acceleration; hyper-acceleration period; Anthropocene; biogeography; macroclimatology; Era of Stagnation; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); multivariate models;

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Introduction. In mid-2020, Scientific Reports, which is part of the publishing ecosystem of Nature scientific journal, published an article on the results of an international study of the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and fragrances in glacial cores of Elbrus. The structure of the study can be conditionally separated into empirical and interpretive parts. Methods. Methodologically, the study follows the general direction of research within the framework of the macroecological and biogeographic concept referred to as Great Acceleration. The concept substantiates the prepositional geochronological framework of the Great Acceleration of the 1950s, when the human impact on the Earths ecosystem became dominant and began to determine its further development (Anthropocene). This is one of the first studies on the territory of Russia devoted to a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the Great Acceleration on the environment. The results of the study confirm the key provisions of the concept, while drawing attention to two large periods of decline (stagnation) of polluting factors in the second half of the 20th century. The periods were 1964–1982 and the 1990s. Meanwhile, the empirical part of the study is based on the logical positivism, and the interpretational part uses the comparative method. Results and Discussion. The article analyses the findings of a study that establishes a correlation between a decrease (stagnation) in the level of PAC concentration in the period 1964–1982 and the general sociopolitical characteristics of the period classified as 'the era of stagnation'. In the course of the comparative chronological analysis, structural contradictions between the obtained research results and the author's interpretation model were revealed. Thus, to create a scientifically grounded interpretive research model, it is proposed to use a multi-factor model based on the principles of maintaining a balance between the biochemical and macroeconomic components of the study; defining the role of infrastructure, innovative technological and other components. As for the relevant research methodology for the analysis of the matrix panel of variables with the establishment of appropriate relationships, the principal component method and the systemic and structural method are proposed for creating a multivariate analytical model. Conclusion. A conclusion has been made about the structural inconsistency of the obtained results of the empirical study and the presented interpretation model. Attention is drawn to the need to adjust approaches within the research space of the Great Acceleration concept in relation to countries that were not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the given economic and historical period. Divergence was revealed in the representation of the hyper-acceleration period in comparison with the existing chronological reference to the 1970s. It is proposed to use the systemic and structural method and factor analysis in order to create a grounded and internally consistent interpretive model for the results of scientific research.

Last modified: 2021-01-14 07:06:16