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Civil and political in Russian public practices: the prospect of institutional differentiation

Tamara V. Pavlova, Candidate of Historical Sciences leading researcher, ,
mailto: tamarapavlova@mail.ru
Sergey Patrushev, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate professor, leading researcher, ,
mailto: servpatrushev@gmail.com
Liudmila Y. Filippova, Candidate of Political Science leading researcher, ,
mailto: ludmila_filippova@hotmail.com
Civil and political in Russian public practices: the prospect of institutional differentiation.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 1. P. 119-137

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For citation:
Tamara V. Pavlova., Sergey Patrushev., Liudmila Y. Filippova. Civil and political in Russian public practices: the prospect of institutional differentiation. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 1. P. 119-137


In modern Russia, the differentiated sphere of politics, that is, the sphere of articulation and harmonization of interests and values of various social groups through the medium of parties, social movements and other institutions, which is inherent in the modern societies, required to formulate general goals and take political actions for their achievement, is absent. The structure of the Russian power does not correspond to the model of the modern political order, in particular, it does not stand up to the test of modern legitimacy criteria and can be described as a “cliqueocracy”. The Russians do not have a clear idea of what politics is as a specific sphere of social activity. The weak differentiation of these spheres in the minds of Russians is a reflection of their unformed nature in social space. At the same time, this makes the further institutional differentiation of spheres of political and civic activity problematic. In the people’s minds, any kind of social activity becomes “politicized”. Apparently, such “politicization” of public activity is also an indicator of non-differentiation of the civil and political spheres. Vulnerability of civil rights stimulates propagation of informal, personal relationships in private life and simultaneously directs their expansion into the public sphere. It results in deinstitutionalization of the political, and its substitution with the social. The main boundary in the Russian political space is along the line of supporting the current government or being the opposition to it. The party of power is perceived by the citizen not as one of the competing political forces struggling for the support of citizens, but as one of the sides in the binary opposition “power – people”. Prospects of political differentiation relate to the ability of people to political self-identification, which is impossible without the emergence of modern parties and movements that really represent various interests, and development of an independent sphere of coordination of these interests. Lack of such prerequisites leads to reproduction of the clique community; discrepancies in the attitude towards the current government are “structure-forming”, and it is through their prism that social practices are evaluated.


civil society, political space, moral order, rule of law, power, differentiation, practices cliques



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