Russian Civil Society
The author has relied on the results of the All-Russia Representative Survey (2017, N=2000) to present for the first time information about the level of real and potential involvement of Russia’s population in separate waste collection (SWC) as well as varied social-economic practices related directly or indirectly to waste generation. These practices include a reduced use of plastic single-use shopping bags; purchase of goods in recyclable/dissolvable containers, with minimum or without any packaging at all; donating unnecessary items in good condition to others; buying exactly the amount of food that is needed so as not to throw away the excess; avoidance of overconsumption or of buying items that are not really necessary; reducing energy and water consumption. It has been established that the contemporary space of alleviating practices varies where their participants are confirmed; they differ by their social and demographic characteristics, the statuses of the settlements they live in; axiological orientations and attitudes, etc. and by the motives that drive them—either egoistical and/or prosocial. A binary logit-regression model is applied to assess the connection between the involvement of individuals in various practices and their socio-demographic characteristics, education, income, type of the population center, specific value orientations as well as membership in associations, participation in NPOs and civil initiatives. The degree of intersection of participants in various practices as well as their positions on involvement (and noninvolvement) in separate collection of household waste has been clarified. It was discovered that the contemporary space of practices related to the alleviation of the waste problem in Russia is fragmented as well as the degree and conditions of their intersection with the separate collection of household waste issue. This means that this sphere needs a more integrated policy to widen the channels and possibilities for the groups wishing to join it.
This paper studies local urban activism in contemporary Russia and relates neighborhood protests and urban citizenship to conflicts over housing-related public space. It situates Moscow as a cumulative space of post-Soviet neoliberal and authoritarian urban development and shows how and why Muscovites have opposed this development by engaging in local grassroots initiatives. The empirical analysis employs data from interviews with participants in two neighborhood protests against unwanted construction in their districts. It reveals patterns of active citizenship related to a rights-based approach to the living environment, the rejection of mainstream politics, and the building of new solidarity-based communities. Russian residents are voicing their dissent and building solidarity in their local living environments while innovatively navigating a highly limited public sphere and insisting on their right to participate in urban governance.
quarter of a century has passed since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1993, yet the issue of the results and the prospects for constitutional transformation has not disappeared from the political agenda. For some, the Constitution signifies an ultimate break up with the communist past and a legal foundation for the advancement of the Russian society toward democracy and the rule of law; for the others, it is exactly the Constitution that is the culprit for the authoritarian trend that has prevailed, and for the sustained stagnation in Russia’s economic, social and political development. The author of this chapter is in the middle of these extreme viewpoints. He believes that the Constitution has truly played a pivotal role in Russia’s move toward democracy by establishing the basic principles of civil society and the rule of law, and in this respect, it remains of everlasting and paramount importance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it should be utterly inaccessible for changes, especially given the elapsed time and the negative experience of the authoritarian transformation of the political regime, the amendments that were introduced between2008 and 2014, and the current objectives of the democratic movement. The rationale for changes is to return to the constitutional principles, reaffirm their initial democratic meaning by rejecting the excessive concentration of the Presidential power, the results of counter-reforms and the adulteration through legislative and regulatory compliance practices. Some of the proposed remedies aim to establish a new form of government (Presidential - Parliamentary), which would necessitate Constitutional amendments — adjustments that would regulate the separation of powers and redistribution of authority. Others seek to transform the system without changing the text of the Constitution through legislative reforms, judicial interpretation and the policy of law. Yet, the third approach prioritizes institutional reforms. Not everything in social development depends on the provisions of the law, political improvisation and practice can prove just as critical. In their cumulative entirety such initiatives can help avoid the two extremes: that of constitutional stagnation gravitating toward the bureaucratic asphyxiation, and that of constitutional populism which has a tendency to destabilize the political system. In its practical activities to transform the political regime, the opposition ought to remember the maximum repeatedly confirmed by experience, — the further a party is from power, the more radical tend to be its constitutional proposals. Conversely, empowered groups tend to be more moderate in their initiatives.
The civil society sector—made up of millions of nonprofit organizations, associations, charitable institutions, and the volunteers and resources they mobilize—has long been the invisible subcontinent on the landscape of contemporary society. For the past twenty years, however, scholars under the umbrella of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project have worked with statisticians to assemble the first comprehensive, empirical picture of the size, structure, financing, and role of this increasingly important part of modern life.
What accounts for the enormous cross-national variations in the size and contours of the civil society sector around the world? Drawing on the project’s data, Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Megan A. Haddock, and their colleagues raise serious questions about the ability of the field’s currently dominant preference and sentiment theories to account for these variations in civil society development. Instead, using statistical and comparative historical materials, the authors posit a novel social origins theory that roots the variations in civil society strength and composition in the relative power of different social groupings and institutions during the transition to modernity.
Drawing on the work of Barrington Moore, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and others, Explaining Civil Society Development provides insight into the nonprofit sector’s ability to thrive and perform its distinctive roles. Combining solid data and analytical clarity, this pioneering volume offers a critically needed lens for viewing the evolution of civil society and the nonprofit sector throughout the world.
This article discusses the evolution of government-nonprofit relations at the regional level in Russia against the background of national-level restrictions on NGOs. Russia recently also introduced supportive policies and the article aims to trace the regional administrations’ reactions to the dual realities of the federal government’s posture towards nonprofits. Considerable variation was found in regional government-nonprofit relationships as well as deviation from national policy stances. Using a subnational comparative framework, this article addresses a gap in the literature and lays the groundwork for future cross-national comparisons of subnational variations of government-nonprofit relations in other authoritarian and hybrid political regimes.
The article presents an analysis of the main trends and methods of civil society and cross-sector social partnership research in modern Russian science.
This chapter looks at the role of the globalised third sector in migration governance, and presents major theoretical and empirical contributions focusing on different aspects of the third sector’s, often ambiguous, role in migration politics and policy. It starts with a discussion on the third sector’s growing involvement in the migration field, then proceeds with an analysis of the third sector as new governors aspiring to shape migration regimes regionally and globally. The chapter uncovers complex patterns of interactions between the third sector and other actors in global migration governance, paying attention to aspects such as financial dependence of the third sector on donors, subordinated politics and competition for funding and prestige. The picture that emerges from this chapter indicates that the third sector is far from being and acting as a unified actor in migration governance.
"Facing Crises: Challenges and Opportunities Confronting the Third Sector and Civil Society" 9th International Conference of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) Istanbul, Turkey July 7-10, 2010