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 text aims to sketch some of the challenging issues of the attitudinal dimension of system changes. It provides facts and figures on the progress of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe.
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 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 : This text looks at language planning in the USSR, covering the formative period under Lenin and Stalin. Based on party and state archival material, the book explores the tension between linguistic russification and nativization of the Soviet experience.
Description : The reexamination of values that began during the USSRs last years continues today in the search for a new Russian culture, one rooted in the pre-Soviet past but dynamic and evolving. Multi-textual, polyphonic, and contradictory, the current Russian cultural discourse is richly reflected in these essays by a diverse group of authors from Russian and American academic and cultural circles. The chapters explore specific cultural domains, surveying Russian and Soviet beliefs and behaviors, and highlighting the range of choices that Russians are facing at this critical juncture. }During the waning years of Soviet power, glasnost laid bare the distress of people trapped in a system they despised but felt powerless to change. The reexamination of values that began then continues today in the search for a new Russian culture, one rooted in the pre-Soviet past but dynamic and evolving, enabling Russians to meet the challenges they face in the contemporary world. Multi-textual, polyphonic, and contradictory, the current Russian cultural discourse is richly reflected in these essays by a diverse group of authors from Russian and American academic and cultural circles. Each chapter focuses on a particular cultural domain, surveying the historical origins of Russian beliefs and behaviors, exploring their Soviet and post-Soviet permutations, and highlighting the range of choices that Russians are facing at this critical juncture. The decisions they make will shape their society and culture for generations to come.Illuminating the universal significance of the Soviet experience, this volume raises provocative questions about the social, political, and economic sources of cultural change.