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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article substantiates the necessity, along with institutional modernization, of the development of various forms of collective integration, self-defense and self-organization of citizens as the basis for mobilizing democratic forces and their active participation in the process of modernization of political and public life. Formal institutes of market and democracy in the society do not imply it is modern, as there is no strict correlation between the emergence of these institutes and the corresponding socio-cultural transformation. It is shown that the modernization of the political system should be oriented towards the idea of the commonwealth, to ensure genuine legitimacy and law and order, the full realization of not only political, but also social and economic rights of citizens, activation of the country’s social and political life. The Russian ruling class seeks to localize the political participation of citizens solely by elections, the manipulation of which the present elite has fully mastered. At the same time, there is a request for modernization of the political system, as well as interest of society and the authorities in civil society. Rational and activist model of social action aimed at developing available political and economic resources in the society is one of the fundamental principles of a modern, democratically organized society. There is nothing similar in modern Russia. A consumer society has been formed in the country that overwhelms civil, altruistic motives of social action. At the same time, groups and strata have emerged that are inclined to change, the majority of Russians remain committed to basic democratic values and institutions, and interest in the democracy mechanisms has again begun to grow. Contemporary manifestations of civic activism, as well as ways of development of Russian democracy, are under review. It is concluded that at present the development of various forms of collective integration, self-defense and self-organization of citizens is becoming a critical task. The basic structures of civil society can become the basis for mobilizing democratic forces and their active participation in the process of modernization of political and public life, especially because this corresponds to the expectations and sentiments of the majority of the country’s population.
modernization, political and social activism, democratic values, democratic institutions, democracy of participation, civil society
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