The article is devoted to the search of a new model for interaction between the state and the citizen which has taken place worldwide during the last decades.
The article considers the causes of the common fall of the authority of the traditional bureaucratic structures, in particular, some lack of their capability to respond adequately to social and technological challenges. This article shows serious changes that have been taking place in the national systems of public administration focusing on the specifics of Russia in this context.
The article concerns the problem of the Russian absolutist monarchy of the XVIII - the beginning of XX-th centuries in a comparative perspective. The social function of absolutism consisted in national integration, cultural unification and social transformation of traditional society by using of legal and coercive measures. The crucial problem is the changing role of the bureaucracy which could be the main protagonist of reforms or, just the opposite – its main opponent. From this point of view the author summarizes positive and negative aspects of absolutist reforms making outlook on the comparative experience of other absolutist empires of Europe and Asia.
The author considers the hypothesis that under certain circumstances mistrust acts as the driving force for political development whereas trust, especially in its essential paternalistic forms, preserves the unsatisfactory status quo. The problem analyses as a part of general trend in the contemporary world towards declining prestige of public institutions and taking into account the Russian specifics.