Is there a civil society in Russia?

Is there a civil society in Russia?

There is an old tradition in the West to criticize Russia for the lack of civil society. It’s generally accepted that the Russian government knows only an authoritarian management style and immediately suppresses any forms of civil self-determination and self-organization, which aren’t controlled by it. But is that true?


To understand the issue, first, let us recall what content has the term of “civil society”. Generally, it can be understood as a network of horizontal links of a non-state and non-commercial type, i.e. a self-determining social structure that, being independent from the state, communicates with it.


The idea of separation from the state, independence, self-organization and self-regulation of civil society is fundamentally important, because it assumes a method of interaction between the managers and the subordinates dramatically different from the traditional paternalistic model. Being a child of the postmodern era, such a society declares the refusal to represent the society in the form of a bureaucratic table, the items on which are only objects of the owner’s activity. Civil society is, first of all, a full-fledged source of activity, its subject. It directly influences on the policy and actively participates in the governance of the country.


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