Project ‘Democracy in Modern Russia, its Formation and Development’
(Start date of the project: 17.08.2020. Date of completion: 17.08.2021).
Within the framework of this project, we will try to analyze the history and the current state of democracy in Russia in order to understand what reforms have been successful, and what issues still require long and hard work.
After the USSR collapsed 30 years ago, Russia decided in favor of freedom and democracy. However, the domestic model of democracy has still been in the making. Having gone through a series of chaotic transformations and several extremely difficult times of instability, modern society seems not yet to have formed a distinct attitude to the very concept of ‘democracy’ even today.
In modern Russia, the democratic course is promoted by the president, the government, both houses of parliament and the vast majority of political parties. This also includes the media, which for decades have been running an active pro-democratic and pro-liberal campaign. At the same time, society itself is not as unanimous in its attitude to reforms. Despite the fact that the majority of Russians (45%) express their unconditional commitment to democratic values, about 21% of the population are dissatisfied with the results of reforms in the country.
One of the key reasons for this concern lies in the peculiarities of transformation of the political system in post-Soviet Russia. The process of transition from the communist course to the path of reform was far from perfect. Among the painful consequences of the transition period are mentioned: decline of the government authority and prestige, decrease in the efficiency of state administration, and deterioration of living standards of the population. Naturally, the arising problems have formed a partially negative view of democratic reforms, which can be found among some Russians to this day.
Here we should point out that the existing difference of opinion does not lie in the plane of "democracy versus totalitarian state." The debate is not between proponents and opponents of the reforms, but among the population, who are still undecided on the optimal model, according to which the future Russian democratic society will be built. Some consider most promising the models that already exist around the world: the liberal and social, the Anglo-Saxon, the German, the French one. Others advocate the development and comprehensive promotion of a unique, sovereign democracy, fully adapted to Russian realities. According to champions of the national model, only it can truly consolidate society and establish effective communication between the people and the authorities.
In the framework of the project ‘Democracy in Modern Russia, its Formation and Development’ implemented by One Europe Foundation we want to answer the following questions:
- The development of publicity and democracy in the USSR: a mistake or a step into the future?
- What are the most important issues of democratic transformations in modern Russia, and do we need democracy in our country at all?
- What are the main components of the current democracy?
- Does Russia have a formed civil society?
- How do we convince ordinary citizens of the importance of democracy?
- What is the democratic future of Russia?