Balance of State Interests and Human Rights in Perception of Russians: Empirical Analysis

Balance of State Interests and Human Rights in Perception of Russians:
Empirical Analysis

Tikhonova N.E.,

Professor-Researcher, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Principal Researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 71905 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.05.11
Rubric: Russia Today

For citation:

Tikhonova N.E. Balance of State Interests and Human Rights in Perception of Russians: Empirical Analysis. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 5. P. 134-149. (In Russ.).


The article is devoted to the analysis of the current state and dynamics of Russians’ views on the relationship between state interests and human rights from mid-1990s through 2017. On the basis of a series of all-Russian representative surveys it is shown that in the 1990s, despite the state’s refusal to fulfill some of its key functions, domination of the norm of the priority of the state interests over human rights (traditional for Russia) still remained due to the inertia of the norms and values system. However, in the late 1990s the process of changes in Russians’ attitude to the right of the state to realize its interests at the cost of human rights (and, consequently, its right to legitimize violence against citizens), as well as to the right of individual to have his own interests and to protect them in any way, was initiated. In the 2000s, this process accelerated, and now, for the first time in the recent history of Russia, the norm of the priority of state interests over human rights has lost its dominance. The Russian society is currently split into two polar groups comprising about 20% of population each, while the rest of the population forms the “silent majority” without any clear position on this issue. For Russia, such situation marks the beginning of a “silent revolution,” the consequences of which can be enormous, since in neo-etacratic societies the norm of priority of the state interests over human rights lies in the foundation of their “institutional matrix”. It is also demonstrated that interest in political rights and democratic freedoms is not a feature of supporters of the human rights priority in Russia; for them, it is primarily about socio-economic rights. Moreover, they, like Russians in general, are largely convinced that the Western way of development is unsuitable for our country. 

public conscience; human rights; state interests; socio-cultural modernization; political modernization; evolution of Russians’ mindset; norms and values system; socio-cultural dynamics.


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Content No. 5, 2018

See also:

Tikhonova N.E.,
Russians’ Perceptions of the Relationship between the Individual and State Interests: an Empirical Analysis of Dynamics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No6

Semenenko I.S.,
Globalization and Socio-Cultural Dynamics: Individual, Society, Culture. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No1

Kulpin E.S.,
The globalizing world and political modernization. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No3

Akhiyezer A.S.,
'Russia's Sociocultural Dynamics .. – Polis. Political Studies. 1991. No5

Sungurov A.Yu.,
Human rights as subject of political science and as interdisciplinary conception. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No6



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