Defeating the authoritarian majority: an uneasy agenda
The author elaborates that in the transition from a previous political system into a liberal democracy, there is an ever-present threat of the encroachment of authoritarianism into the democratization agenda. This chapter argues that the conditions for “authoritarian syndrome” can be found in the form that democratization takes and in the culture of a given transitional state. The focus here is on the latter and on the social, political, and economic dynamics that can lead a transitional society to reject democratization. Russia, a transitional state where echoes of authoritarianism and great power aspirations are always on the surface of politics, is presented as a case study.
The article is devoted to the study of the authoritarianism prevalent in the mass consciousness of Russians. The article describes a new approach to the consideration of the authoritarian syndrome as the effects of the cultural trauma as a result of political and socio-cultural transformation of society. The article shows the dynamics of the symptoms of the authoritarianism, which appear in the mass consciousness of Russians from 1993 to 2011. This paper proposes a package of measures aimed at reducing the level of the authoritarianism in Russian society.
The problem of authoritarianism is now becoming ever more relevant. The comprehensive analysis of authoritarianism takes into account the dynamics of authoritarian attitudes and values at the individual level, the means of political control, and the prospects of institutional transformations in contemporary Russia. This research proposes a new approach to the analysis and measurement of authoritarianism in order to determine the nature and the influential effect of the authoritarian syndrome on political processes and, moreover, to find the reasons for the viability of authoritarianism in modern Russia. What are the individual, societal and political prerequisites that contribute to increasing authoritarianism? The analysis of political changes in Russia’s system over the past decade shows the dynamics of the political institutions of state power from pro-democratic to authoritarian. Institutional changes in the political system have responded to the requirements of the population for authoritarianism – the desire for strong leadership and the establishment of order. How does the implementation of state policies both enhance and benefit from widespread authoritarianism? This research represents an attempt, on the basis of systematic studies of authoritarianism, to identify effective ways to overcome the authoritarian syndrome and to determine the trajectory of the evolution of political institutions in Russia.
The article examines the impact of culture on the formation of institutions of political democracy in transitional societies. Special attention is paid to the negative influence of authoritarian syndrome on the democratization process, to the conditions of activation of the authoritarian syndrome and ways to overcome it.
Russia is a country of great complexity—eighty-nine subject regions, ethnic diversity, economic variance across regions, the power struggle of Moscow versus the regions—and multiple realities—urban versus rural, rich versus poor, and cosmopolitan versus provincial, just to name a few. Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation explores Russia's complexity and the meanings of the country's internal borders, the future of its agricultural spaces, the development of its political parties, and the effect of its federal organization.
The contributors examine stratification, citizenship, federalization, democratization, the politics of culture and identity, and globalization. These essays show how political leaders within Russia and scholars and policymakers from outside must accept the country's complexity and view uncertainty as a positive development rather than a liability. The authors explore how Russian experience can enhance theory political science, sociology, geography, and economics.
The chapter proposes a wide overview of social processes in the nineteenth-century world. First of all, with all the exceptions also treated in the chapter, it deals with urbanization, democratization and the formation of capitalist classes and class conscience.
Various forms of dictatorship have been a context in which SBS have been developing through most of the 20th century. Nazi and fascist regimes in Europe, Communist single-party states, military juntas in Latin America and elsewhere in the post-colonial world accompanied the crisis of tradition and development of modernity as an alternative to liberal democracy. Dictatorships have thoroughly affected the history of SBS pursuing a policy of repression and control and, sometimes, encouraging a growth of various social science disciplines. The lack of intellectual and institutional autonomy is generally endured, though to different degrees and in different aspects, by SBS under dictatorship.
The purpose of the Mythologies of Capitalism and the End of the Soviet Project is to show that in order to understand popular disillusionment with democratization, liberalization, and other transformations associated with the attempts of non-Western societies to appropriate the ideas of Western modernity, one must consider how these ideas are mythologized in the course of such appropriations. Olga Baysha argues that the seeds of post-revolutionary frustration should be sought in pre-revolutionary discourses on democracy, liberalism, and other concepts of Western modernity that are produced outside local contexts and introduced through the channels of global communication and interpretations of politicians, activists, and experts
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.