Democratization of the Russian Society: Is Second Attempt Possible?

Democratization of the Russian Society:
Is Second Attempt Possible?

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 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.05.02

For citation:

Petukhov V.V. Democratization of the Russian Society: Is Second Attempt Possible? – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 5. P. 8-23. (In Russ.).


The author applies to data of the monitoring sociological studies of the Institute of Sociology (Russian Academy of Sciences) in order to analyze the prospects for democratization of public and political life in Russia and to define presence / absence of the request for such democratization in public life. The author emphasizes that the prospects for democratic evolution of the Russian society is just one possible scenario among other variants of political transformation. This hypothesis is confirmed from one side by the emerging changes of public attitudes that are associated with actualization of the majority’s orientation on stability, as well as with the lack of changes in economic and political life of the state. From the other side this hypothesis is confirmed by the fact of absence of any clear value and institutional attitudes in the mass consciousness of Russian citizens (whereas one can see the skepticism of many citizens about first attempts of democratization of the state that took place in 1990-ies). The author pays special attention to some specific features of the democracy’s perception by Russian citizens that are in some cases different from its traditional doctrinal interpretations (it is, for example, the dominance of personalistic discourse over the institutional one) but does not consider that designing of any kind of special Russian model of democracy is possible and appropriate. The article also contains information about the factors that either contribute to democratization of social and political life or obstruct it. The author concludes that democratization of social and political life in Russia, alike the “democratic revolution of 1980-1990-ies” will be a process of changes, prolonged over time. Besides, as it is claimed in the text, this democratization process will be implemented under the pressure of civil society and will be focused on two main aims: firstly, on the formation of the mechanism of translation of diverse individual and group (primarily economic) interests into the language of universal problems, and, secondly, on the expansion of the space for implementation of such interests.

democracy; democratization; democratic values; equal opportunity society; political institutions; meritocracy; political participation; civic engagement.


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Content No. 5, 2017

See also:

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The generation of the «2000s»: ideological orientations and political participation. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No4

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Petukhov V.V.,
Civil activity as alternative to the antidemocratic trend in the Russian politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No5

Petukhov R.V.,
The Russian Society’s Confidence in the Local Governments as a Problem. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No6

Kosov Yu.V., Vovenda A.V.,
DEMOCRACY IN THE SERVICE OF ELITES. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No4



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