In September 2009 Russia’s Dmitrii Medvedev unveiled the term that was to become the defining objective of his presidency: “modernization”. Leaving office in the spring of 2012 it was apparent that no serious changes of this kind had taken place, and popular resistance was mounting. Why so? And why has resistance to reform been so significant in postcommunist Russia, not just in this but in other cases as well? The various contributors to this book, drawn from a group of intellectuals who have shaped the discussion in Russia itself as well as leading scholars from other countries, focus on the contested nature of the concept of modernization and the obstacles that arose in attempting to carry it into practical effect – obstacles that leave a challenging agenda for a new Russian presidency in the years to come.
This book seeks to “re-think democracy.” Over the past years, there has been a tendency in the global policy community and, even more widely, in the world’s media, to focus on democracy as the “gold standard” by which all things political are measured. This book re-examines democracy in Russia and in the world more generally, as idea, desired ideal, and practice. A major issue for Russia is whether the modernization of Russia might not prosper better by Russia focusing directly on modernization and not worrying too much about democracy. This book explores a wide range of aspects of this important question. It discusses how the debate is conducted in Russia; outlines how Russians contrast their own experiences, unfavourably, with the experience of China, where reform and modernization have been pursued with great success, with no concern for democracy; and concludes by assessing how the debate in Russia is likely to be resolved.
The main focus of this paper is the relation between the realisation of the right of the child to express his/her views and democracy in Russia. With this in view, I will study the interconnection between the right to express the views and the right to participate. Further, I will give an overview of the specifics of democracy in Russia, how they influence political participation, and what could be done to prevent the further infantilisation of citizens in Russia. Finally, I will explore traditional perceptions with regard to children’s participation in Russia and the legal framework and practice of the implementation of the child’s right to social and political participation.