Tradition and innovation in politics and in development policies: dialectics of compatibility

Tradition and innovation in politics and in development policies:
dialectics of compatibility

Semenenko I.S.,

Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 251670 | ORCID: 0000-0003-2529-9283 |

Article received: 2023.04.05. Accepted: 2023.06.07

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.05.04

For citation:

Semenenko I.S. Tradition and innovation in politics and in development policies: dialectics of compatibility. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 5. P. 45-65. (In Russ.). EDN: GZGVJK


The article discusses diverse approaches to the conceptual analysis of socio-political change, “social development” and of “development policies” as its managed dimension. The existing research field is characterized by a deficit of adequate terms and capacious language forms to describe criteria, principles and mechanisms of social (societal) development. The basic research paradigm of social development also needs to be revised. Within the framework of theoretical models describing societal development, the dichotomy of “traditions” and “innovations” is evident, and in political and managerial practices implemented on behalf of the state, one or the other component of this dichotomy is often absolutized. The author considers the possibilities of “marrying” traditions and innovations within the public policy agenda in modern societies which are deeply divided on value and socio-cultural grounds, and discusses the viability of such a conjunction. It is argued that the effectiveness of development policies depends on the mutual strengthening of traditions and innovations and on their situational compatibilities. The analysis of development discourses and practices of positive combinations in public policy actors’ activities at the local level reveals the urgent need to promote dialogue on development policy issues between elite and mass groups and within these groups. Finding a combination of continuity and discontinuity in public policy that can meet the public demand for responsible development through the interaction of a competent political class and active civil society, is a priority for implementing effective development policies. This approach is based on the assimilation of traditional values into the social experience of an innovative individual engaged in social creative practices.

tradition, innovation, social (societal) development, political development, development discourses, development policies, responsible development, continuity, discontinuity, identity politics, divided societies, innovation champion.


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Content No. 5, 2023

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Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
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Kuznetz Yu.L.
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