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 : Taking a unique 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. The author directs a critical eye toward the contemporary research on Russian political culture.
Description : Our understanding of the dynamics of Communist systems was substantially improved by taking political culture into account. But how much does the concept of political culture add to our empirical understanding of post-Communist Russia? The book's contributors engage with theoretical debates between political culture and competing 'rational choice' and institutionalist approaches to post-Soviet politics, and provide illustrative empirical studies of civic participation, views of national identity, the Russian criminal justice system and political violence.
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 : In recent years, the Russian Orthodox Church has become a more prominent part of post-Soviet Russia. A number of assumptions exist regarding the Church’s relationship with the Russian state: that the Church has always been dominated by Russia’s secular elites; that the clerics have not sufficiently fought this domination and occasionally failed to act in the Church’s best interest; and that the Church was turned into a Soviet institution during the twentieth century. This book challenges these assumptions. It demonstrates that church-state relations in post-communist Russia can be seen in a much more differentiated way, and that the church is not subservient, very much having its own agenda. Yet at the same time it is sharing the state’s, and Russian society’s nationalist vision. The book analyses the Russian Orthodox Church’s political culture, focusing on the Putin and Medvedev eras from 2000. It examines the upper echelons of the Moscow Patriarchate in relation to the governing elite and to Russian public opinion, explores the role of the church in the formation of state religious policy, and the church’s role within the Russian military. It discusses how the Moscow Patriarchate is asserting itself in former Soviet republics outside Russia, especially in Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus. It concludes by re-emphasising that, although the church often mirrors the Kremlin’s political preferences, it most definitely acts independently.
Description : Klaus von Beyme is a distinguished German political scientist and recipient of the Mattei Dogan Award of Political Science (2012). In honour of his 80th birthday this book addresses political culture, cultural policy, art and politics. The first part on transformation theory analyses: “Historical Memories in Political Theories”, “Historical Memory in Nation-Building and the Building of Ethnic Subsystems”, “The Concept of Totalitarianism – A Reassessment After the Breakdown of Soviet Rule”, “Political Culture – A Concept from Ideological Refutation to Acceptance in the Soviet Social Sciences”, “Institutions and Political Culture in Post-Soviet Russia” and “Political and Economic Consolidation in Eastern Europe. Evidence from Empirical Data”. The second part on cultural policies addresses “Why is There No Political Science of the Arts?”, “Historical Memory and the Arts in the Era of the Avantgardes: Archaisme and Passéisme as a ‘passéisme of the future’”, and “Capital-building in Post-war Germany”.
Description : Clark seeks to correct shortcomings and oversights in democratic consolidation theory, and to demonstrate how rational-choice approaches can be meaningfully applied to analyzing political processes in some of the democracies of post-communist Europe.
Description : "The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe has encouraged political scientists to re-examine the comparative literature on democratisation. A vast literature has now been produced comparing transitions from authoritarianism and democratisation in different parts of the world. However, there are two major omissions in the transition literature. First, the focus of research has primarily been on national level politics, and second, the relationship between federalism and democracy has largely been overlooked. This study seeks to redress this imbalance by moving the focus of research from the national level to the vitally important processes of institution building and democratisation at the local level and to the study of federalism and democratisation in Russia. Federal states are much more difficult to set up than unitary ones, and forging a new federal system at the same time as privatising the economy and trying to radically overhaul the political system has clearly made Russia's transition triply difficult. This book builds on Cameron Ross' earlier work, 'Regional Politics in Russia', by combining theoretical perspectives with empirical work to provide a comparative analysis of the electoral systems, party systems and governmental systems in the ethnic republics and regions and to assess the impact of theses different institutional arrangements on democratisation and federalism. Overall, this study argues that Russia's weak and asymmetrical form of federalism has played a major role in thwarting the consolidation of democracy. Federalism and democratisation in Russia exist in contradiction rather than harmony. In a vicious circle authoritarianism at the centre has been nourished by authoritarianism in the regions and vice versa. 'Elective dictatorships' and 'delegative democracies' are now well entrenched in many republics and authoritarian regimes are firmly established in a majority of the regions. This book will be vital reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of Russian politics and democratisation"--Publisher's description.