At the Origins of Today’s Russia. The Parliament that could have defeated Lenin
Igor Pellicciari is a tenured professor at the State University of Urbino (Italy) and a senior fellow at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow). He is also contract professor at the Moscow State University and LUISS University (Rome). From 2005 to 2013 he has been a Senior Expert of the European Union for Institution Building Programs, done in cooperation with the Russian Presidential Administration and the Russian Federation Duma.
In order to understand modern Russia and not to fall into the current most common stereotypes (the first and most common one being the image of its current president as a modern Tsar), it should be a prerequisite to analyze the period of the substantial failure of the first Russian constitutionalization which preceded the Soviet government and the entire Soviet period.
This book aims to analyze this period (1905–1907) distinguished by the short but intense liberal era in Russia at the start of the 20th Century. Thanks to this, Russia experienced one of the latest and shortest liberal periods in Europe, in which, however, seeds were launched for the later modern political and institutional development of the country.
It is important to observe the revolution of 1905 and the following convocation of the First Russian Duma in 1906, which evolved into a lost opportunity for the Russian constitutionalization and ultimately ended up being a forgotten liberal revolution. Instead, throughout the decades became predominant Lenin’s narrative of the 1905 events as a general rehearsal towards the hailed and inevitable Glorious Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917, which by contrast, was considered the start of a new era and a strong new legitimate political regime.
Thus, the liberal and constitutionalization potential of the 105 revolution have been for almost a century banned from the official political history of the Soviet Russia.
Nonetheless, today all these events, and especially those generated by the parliamentary institutions, have been reevaluated in the light of their role in inspiring the constitutional transformation of the current post-soviet political system, and have a newly acquired practical significance for the modern institutional development of Russia.
From this perspective, it is more historically understandable the current effort of the Russian Federation to consolidate first and more liberalism and Rule of Law reforms before dealing with the issue of a full and true procedural democratization of the country.