Civil Society and Civic Culture in Modern Russia: Experience of Sociological Diagnostics

Friday, July 18, 2014: 9:00 AM
Room: 512
Oral Presentation
Mikhail GORSHKOV , Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
It is hard today to speak of a common and well formed civil society in Russia. Civil society exists, but it is fragmentary and divided across both horizontal and vertical sections of the population. The paper contains the results of sociological researches, including a description of the strengths and weaknesses of Russian civil society and the environment in which it develops, as well as recommendations on strengthening civil society in Russia. The author draws a complex, and in many respects inconsistent, picture. The condition of civil society in Russia is not subject to unequivocal judgments in terms of good or bad. The breadth and variety of the information allows the author to depart from simple, sometimes speculative perceptions about Russian civil society. A sincere interest in civil society can tempt to make too many a priori assumptions, but when the empirical base is rich enough, it is impossible to draw black and white conclusions. The author of the paper felt obliged to inform international audiences not so much about his own points of view as about empirical facts and expert judgments.  Certainly, the picture is not complete. As will be shown, the research tools capture different aspects of the development of civil society unevenly. Nevertheless, the data obtained are sufficient to assert with confidence that Russian civil society is in the difficult process of development, and it has considerable, if yet unrealized, potential.