Description : In Russian politics reliable information is scarce, formal relations are of relatively little significance, and things are seldom what they seem. Applying an original theory of political language to narratives taken from interviews with 34 of Russia's leading political figures, Michael Urban explores the ways in which political actors construct themselves with words. By tracing individual narratives back to the discourses available to speakers, he identifies what can and cannot be intelligibly said within the bounds of the country's political culture, and then documents how elites rely on the personal elements of political discourse at the expense of those addressed to the political community. Urban shows that this discursive orientation is congruent with social relations prevailing in Russia and helps to account for the fact that, despite two revolutions proclaiming democracy in the last century, Russia remains an authoritarian state.
Description : This book describes the rise of independent mass media in Russia, from the loosening of censorship under Gorbachev's policy of glasnost to the proliferation of independent newspapers and the rise of media barons during the Yeltsin years. The role of the Internet, the impact of the 1998 financial crisis, the succession of Putin, and the effort to reimpose central power over privately controlled media empires mark the end of the first decade of a Russian free press. Throughout the book, there is a focus on the close intermingling of political power and media power, as the propaganda function of the press in fact never disappeared, but rather has been harnessed to multiple and conflicting ideological interests. More than a guide to the volatile Russian media scene and its players, Media and Power in Post-Soviet Russia poses questions of importance and relevance in any functioning democracy.
Description : Taking a unique qualitative approach to studying Russian political culture, this book presents an in-depth analysis of the attitudes and activities of residents in two provincial capitals, Syktyvkar and Kirov. It shows evidence of underlying democracy in popular opinions. It also finds an authoritarian side that is being strengthened by the ongoing crisis of Russia's transition. In entering a controversial subject area, the author directs a critical eye toward the contemporary research on Russian political culture.
Description : This book tells the untold story of how ordinary Russian people experienced and coped with Russia’s transformations after the end of communism. Unlike most studies of the subject which focus on high politics, developments in the elite and events at the centre, this book, which includes findings from interviews, memoirs, public opinion surveys and press articles and documents from the regions, portrays a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional society with different groups affected by the deep and varied changes in diverse and different ways. The book covers economic developments, social changes, how official policies played out at the grass-roots level, the psychological impact of the changes and the impact on public opinion, and how different regions were affected differently. Overall, the book reveals the hidden dynamics of Russian society, including its formal and informal mechanisms and rules for relating to the state and other citizens, and shows how millions of Russians coped, despite all the odds, and maintained the integrity and stability of the country.
Description : This book analyses the relationship between literature, history and politics in post-Soviet Russia. It explores the impact of the collapse of the USSR on Russian literature and culture and the changing content and reception of fiction on historical themes under Presidents Yeltsin and Putin. It discusses the value of various theoretical concepts, such as postmodernism, trauma, nostalgia, and the notion of discourse as power, in analysing post-Soviet historical fiction. The book shows that Russian society's confrontation with its past has remained one of the main themes of Russian culture during the period 1991-2006. Notwithstanding the gradual decline of the literature of sensational disclosure associated with Gorbachev's "perestroika," a more oblique investigation of many aspects of Russian and Soviet history and an interest in the philosophy of history have continued to be significant preoccupations of post-Soviet culture. Individual and family history continue to be explored in memoirs and autobiographical writings, while the history and destiny of Russia have been passionately debated in literary journals and the media, as Russians search for a new 'national idea' to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of communism. This study suggests that there is a remarkable continuity between post-Soviet literature and pre-revolutionary Russian literature and thought.
Description : This is the first comprehensive study of Russian political and social thought in the post-Communist era. The book portrays and critically examines the conceptual and theoretical attempts by Russian scholars and political thinkers to make sense of the challenges of post-communism and the trials of economic, political and social transformation. It brings together the various strands of political thought that have been formulated in the wake of the collapsed communist doctrine. It engages constructively with the numerous attempts by Russian political theorists and social scientists to articulate a coherent model of liberal democracy in their country. The book investigates critical, as well as favourable voices, in the Russian debate on liberal democracy, a debate often marked by eclecticism and, at times, little conceptual discipline. As such, the book will be of great interest both to Russian specialists, and to all those interested in political and social thought more widely.
Description : The increasing significance and visibility of relationships between religion and public arenas and institutions following the fall of communism in Europe provide the core focus of this fascinating book. Leading international scholars consider the religious and political role of Christian Orthodoxy in the Russian Federation, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine alongside the revival of old, indigenous religions, often referred to as 'shamanistic' and look at how, despite Islam’s long history and many adherents in the south, Islamophobic attitudes have increasingly been added to traditional anti-Semitic, anti-Western or anti-liberal elements of Russian nationalism. Contrasts between the church’s position in the post-communist nation building process of secular Estonia with its role in predominantly Catholic Poland are also explored. Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries gives a broad overview of the political importance of religion in the Post-Soviet space but its interest and relevance extends far beyond the geographical focus, providing examples of the challenges in the spheres of public, religious and social policy for all transitional countries.
Description : A post-communist condition has arisen from the fall of the Berlin Wall and later the Soviet Empire: this book looks at how this condition has manifested itself globally in the production of post-communist film. It argues post-communism is a shared experience on a geopolitical level, unlimited by national state borders, and examines post-communist cross culturalism and global totalitarianism within film. The book examines different national cinemas and dissimilar cinematic modes - from Russian blockbuster cinema to Chinese independent cinema; from Serbian city films to revolutionary films of Mozambique - all formulated as within the postcommunist condition. It considers the postcommunist film in terms of transnational and World cinema. It covers a wide range of films from small and independent filmmaking to mainstream, popular cinema, and explains post-communist signifiers as manifested in visual culture both inside and outside former, and current, communist countries.
Description : In Mapping Postcommunist Cultures Chernetsky argues that Russia and Ukraine exemplify the principal paradigms of post-Soviet cultural development. In Russia this has manifested itself in the subversive dismantling of the totalitarian linguistic regime and the foregrounding of previously marginalized subject positions. In Ukraine, work in these areas shows how the traumas of centuries of colonial oppression are being overcome through the carnivalesque decrowning of ideological dogmas and an affirmation of a new type of community, most recently demonstrated in the peaceful Orange Revolution of 2004. Mapping Postcommunist Cultures also critiques the neglect of the former communist world in current models of cultural globalization.