Russian Multiparty System: The Cradle of Civil Society or the Tomb of Imperial Statehood?

Russian Multiparty System:
The Cradle of Civil Society or the Tomb of Imperial Statehood?

Marchenya P.P.,

Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Associate Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities,

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.01.05

For citation:

Marchenya P.P. Russian Multiparty System: The Cradle of Civil Society or the Tomb of Imperial Statehood? – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 1. P. 41-52. (In Russ.).


The role of the multiparty system in the context of Russian troubles as a systemic crisis of the Empire is one of the key issues for understanding the mechanisms of destruction of Russian imperial state, which happened twice in the last century. The article criticized the theoretical positions that: 1) the multiparty system is a universal constructive factor of civil society development; 2) the mass position towards the parties is determined by comparing the party programs and people’s interests; 3) the interparty rivalry in Russia is carried out in the sphere of rational public policy. These provisions contradicted the Russian national practice: 1) the Russian multiparty system became one of the factors of the catastrophes, played an important role in the sad end of the Russian and Soviet empires; 2) in Russia, people didn’t’ use to read party programs and don’t do that now; 3) the real struggle of parties and “historical alternatives” takes place in mass consciousness, serving as the true dominant of political history of the Russian troubles. “Empire” is regarded as a special, adequate for mass consciousness form of unity of the power and the masses, and “the Time of Troubles” – as a temporary destructurization of the system of interaction between authorities and masses of the Empire, caused by the threat of interruption of historical continuity imperatives of state and civilizational identity. In the article three “waves” of the Russian multiparty system are identified and compared: 1) the beginning of the XX century; 2) the end of the XX century; 3) the beginning of the XXI century. The first and second options of national multiparty system are analyzed in the context of their role in the deaths of historical empires. The modern stage is interpreted in the context of the opposite of historical trends as the least harmful in this situation. 

Russian multiparty system; Russian crises; Russian revolutions; political parties, “the Time of Troubles”; Empire; masses; mass consciousness.


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Content No. 1, 2017

See also:

Buldakov V.P.,
Russian Multi-party System: Illusions of the Past, the Chimera of Contemporaneity. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No4

Gaman-Golutvina O.V.,
Russia’s Parties at the Elections: a “Catch-All” Cartel. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No1

Laboratory: Mass consciousness – from manipulation to comprehension. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No4

Zamyatin D.N.,
Russian Policies of World Development: Images and Their Interpretations. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No4

Round Table of the «Polis» Journal, Rakitiansky N.M., Smulkina N.V., Palitay I.S., Zatonskikh A.V., Evgenyeva T.V., Selezneva A.V., Cherdantzeva A.M., Nikiforov A.R., Bogdan I.V., Ahmatnurova S.F., Samarkina I.V., Bukreyeva O.V., Shestopal Ye.B., Shcherbinin A.I., Shcherbinina N.G., Yanitzky M.S., Titov V.V.,
Political behavior: unconscious mechanisms and their rationalization. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No6



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Polis. Political Studies
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