Participatory Democracy: Institutional Crisis and New Prospects

Participatory Democracy:
Institutional Crisis and New Prospects

Petukhov V.V.,

Cand. Sci. (Philos.), Head of the Center for Comprehensive Social Studies, Institute of Sociology, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 664339 |

Petukhov R.V.,

Cand. Sci. (Law), Senior Researcher, Center of the Comprehensive Social Studies, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 585300 | ORCID: 0000-0003-0940-9315 | RESEARCHER_ID: P-7947-2016

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2015.05.04

For citation:

Petukhov V.V., Petukhov R.V. Participatory Democracy: Institutional Crisis and New Prospects. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No. 5. P. 25-48. (In Russ.).


The article is devoted to the study of problem of the evolution as of the democratic values in the structure of the mass consciousness of Russian citizens as of different forms of political and nonpolitical participation. The authors stress that contemporary Russia faces the deep institutional crisis that, from one side, leads to establishment of the government ownership of many structures of the civil societies’ structures, and from the other side that stimulates emergence and development of the varied self-organization practices of the civil initiatives and horizontal communication connections. From this point of view, the availability of formal democratic institutions, that are often imitational or “frozen”, is better than their total absence, because one can find here the ability to return rapidly to the early democratic practices and to transform into the new actual initiatives.

It is also noted in the article that the decrease of the interest of Russian citizens to the “great politics”, that is fixing by mass polls especially among youngsters, is accompanied by latent polarization of the vast segments of various subcultures and non-formal organizations. At the same time, one can also find the opposite tendency – of “socialization” of political movements. For this reason the authors conclude that the recession of the protest activity is not the same as the recession of the political and social activity in the state. Rather one can talk about the redistribution of the flows of activity that can be fixed as in the forms as in the objects of its realization.

The authors also analyze the attitude of the Russian citizens to the different forms and practices of the “social and state partnership”. As the authors note, Russian citizens almost totally perceive as the “social and state partnership” the initiatives in the social sphere (health care, education, active aging, adaptation of the socially vulnerable groups) and such spheres of co-participation as the environment protection activity, civil rights and philanthropy initiatives. The option “dialog between generations” has here the unexpectedly high rating (30%). This could probably be caused by the belief that traditional institutes of retranslation of the generations’ experience (school, family, media) couldn’t solve this problem and should be amplified with civil institutes, public opinion leaders, new forms of communication etc. At the same time, constructive interaction between state bodies and social institutes is possible just if being based, firstly, on the partition of the influence spheres, that is convenient for both sides, and, secondly, when applying more actively than today to the institutions that functionally focus on such interaction (these are mainly local self-government bodies and various local communities). But as the authors note, that could be done not when their activity would be radically rebuild (one could remember lots of such rebuilding’ attempts), but due to the overcoming of duality of the local self-government bodies, that leads to the situation of the “self-management without self-organization”. The authors argue the need for establishment of the local authority bodies with the clearly defined powers and at the same time with the various canals, technologies and forms of socially independent action, that closely interact as with it as with each others. Special attention in the article is paid to the analyses of possible mechanisms of reaching of this goal, firstly, by the creation of the conditions of the real inclusion of persons into the process of the municipal management.

democracy; political institutions; civil society; participation; political activity; social activity; public-private partnership; self-government, local communities.

Content No. 5, 2015

See also:

Nikovskaya L.I., Yakimets V.N.,
Institutional Development of Cross-sectoral Partnership in Russia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No5

Patrushev S.V.,
Civil activity: institutional approach. Prospects for research. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No6

Round Table of the «Polis» Journal, Gaman-Golutvina O.V., Avdonin V.S., Sergeyev S.A., Chernikova V.V., Sidenko O.A., Sokolov A.V., Evdokimov N.A., Tupaev A.V., Slatinov V.B., Zhukov I.K., Kozlova N.N., Rassadin S.V., Chugrov S.V.,
Regional political processes: how «subjective» are subjects of the RF. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No5

Workshop of the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences.,
Russian Identity in Sociological Dimension. Part 1. («Political Activity and Civil Participation», «Foreign Policy Aspects of the Russian Identity»).. – Polis. Political Studies. 2008. No1

Nikovskaya L.I., Skalaban I.A.,
Civic Participation: Features of Discourse and Actual Trends of Development. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No6



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