The results of the State Duma election and the public reaction to it revealed a quali tatively new political situation. New social forces entered the political arena. The period between parliamentary and presidential elections will be a period of re-fl ection of this situation and practical conclusions for both the government and the society. The main task of Russian society is to ensure a second round of the presidential election with an unpredictable ending.
The review highlights the significance of the anthropological perspective to the contemporary Russian city developed by the authors of the book. Describing the city through the lenses of the groups whose role in shaping the cityscape changed dramatically in last two decades, the book attracts attention to the new agents such as migrants, queer coomunities, youth subcultures contributing to the formation of new conventions and new practices of urban life. This perspective is important for understanding the urban life in Russia as shaped by everyday practices and interactions.
Urban public space continues to be the focus of debate regarding its conceptualization and how it is designed, (re)produced and managed. Nowadays public spaces are facing new challenges conceptually and practically. This book focuses on two of them: mobility and aestheticization. Mobility and flows are considered to be key characteristics of the post-modern era. While for some scholars it means the «end of place», others are trying to re-conceptualize it by bringing together notions of space, place, mobility and identity. Still surprisingly few authors address the concept of public space in this respect. Principles of aesthetic and diverse forms of aestheticization seem to have affected urban space and culture throughout Modernity, forming a dimension where power and conflict around urban space are performed. In this book nine authors with social science and arts backgrounds from six countries discuss how these processes shape the life of modern cities, and where the social sciences should move for a better understanding of them.
The December protests in Moscow do not represent a “Russian Spring,” “Orange Revolution,” or new version of Perestroika. Rather they have more in common with the Progressive movement that fought corruption in the U.S. during the early part of the twentieth century. The demonstrations made clear that Russian citizens now want to play an active role in their country’s political life.