Philosophical and Cultural Interpretations of Russian Modernisation
In the chapter the multiple modernities perspective is considered in the context of civilisational analysis in historical sociology. Johann Arnason's study of the Soviet modernisation is discussed. It is argued that Arnason's approach can also be applied to post-Soviet Russian transfromations. The legacies of Soviet modernity are considered on the basis of studies of political culture and historical memory in today's Russia.
The chapter aims at giving historical perspective for the current university reforms in Russia by tracing the policies of the Russian State towards universities on different stages of Russian modernisation. It approaches ‘Russian modernisation’ as a series of multidimensional transformations of the Russian society through the last three centuries. Despite of being dissimilar in their appearances, these transformations had two important characteristics in common: they were prompted by the idea of catching up with the more developed West and initiated by the State. How did Russian authorities conceptualize the role of universities on each of these stages? What policies did they pursue? What problems did occur when they were making universities a tool of modernisation?
In this chapter the cultural barriers of Russian modernisation and their consequences for the national development are analyzed. It starts from the necessity of consideration of cultural specifics when planning the social and cultural change in non-Western countries. The human-centered criteria for evaluation of culture and the concept of the cultural verticality-horizontality, based on the dimensions of Hofstede are offered. The comparison of national development indices of two countries - Russia and Canada- has shown that cultural verticality is a serious barrier for the further development of Russia, including the development of an innovative economy. In cross-national values comparisons, Russia appears to be closer in its value priorities to Post-Communist and Mediterranean countries. There is also a sizable value minority in Russia, which is typical for Western European countries, and these people might be a resource group for social advancement in Russia. In the conclusion possible ways of cultural modernisation of Russia from the point of human-centered approach are discussed.