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Presentation Outline. III. Citizens, Society, and the State Political socialization Cleavages Civil society/interest groups Public Opinion/voter turn out. III. a) Political Socialization. Main sources of political socialization: The family The Russian Orthodox Church The state media

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presentation outline
Presentation Outline

III. Citizens, Society, and the State

  • Political socialization
  • Cleavages
  • Civil society/interest groups
  • Public Opinion/voter turn out
iii a political socialization
III. a) Political Socialization

Main sources of political socialization:

  • The family
  • The Russian Orthodox Church
  • The state media
  • The military
the family
The Family
  • Main source of political socialization
  • Wealthier families tend to favour more democratic and capitalist values, while less well-off families tend to support more socialist values
  • Nevertheless, unlike Americans, most Russians tend to believe in equality of result rather than in equality of opportunity
the russian orthodox church
The Russian Orthodox Church
  • Although only a minority of Russians attend church regularly, church attendance has seen a modest increase since the collapse of the Soviet Union
  • Rural areas tend to have higher rates of attendance
  • The Russian Orthodox Church is a conservative and traditional institution which has firmly supported Putin & Medvedev’s United Russia Party

Source:

http://www.eastwestreport.org/articles/ew09305.htm

the state media
The state media
  • Since Putin nationalized the three main state-wide television networks in 2003, Channel One, Russia TV, and NTV have given very favourable coverage of Putin and United Russia
  • Many critics have suggested that these channels have become propaganda machines for Putin’s United Russia
  • Television is an important agent of political socialization in Russia as it is the most widely used media source

NTV

Channel

One

Russia TV

the military
The military
  • Every Russian male over the age of 18 must do one year of military service
  • The military is a very conservative, traditional, and nationalistic institution
  • The military tends to be very supportive of Putin’s administration although it generally stays out of politics
iii b cleavages
III. b) Cleavages
  • Ethno-religious conflict (Chechnya)
  • Economic inequality (wealth gap)
chechen conflict
Chechen conflict
  • Russia has a large minority of ethnic non-Russian people who are mainly Muslim
  • The Caucasus region of South western Russia has a large concentration of Muslims
slide11

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 many non-Russian nations who had been incorporated into the Soviet Union seized the chance to separate and form their own states (Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, etc.)

  • The Chechens, who consider themselves a separate nation, tried to separate from the Soviet Union and form their own state
  • This triggered the first Chechen War (1994-1996)
slide12

Russian forces were sent into Chechnya to crush the Chechen separatist movement

  • A short-lived peace treaty was signed in 1996

Right: A Russian soldier lights a cigarette as the Chechen capital Grozny lay in ruins.

slide13

Triggered by the Chechen invasion of neighbouring Dagestan and the Chechen bombing of a Moscow theatre, the Russian army was sent back into Chechnya to crush the separatist army in 1999

  • The second Chechen war lasted until 2009

Above: Chechen rebel leader DokuUmarov

Left: Russian casualties after a bomb exploded in a packed theatre in Moscow

2003 chechen constitution
2003 Chechen Constitution
  • A referendum was held in Chechnya in 2003 to vote on a Moscow-backed constitution that would give Chechnya more autonomy within the Russian Federation including giving the Chechen language equals status with Russian in Chechnya
  • 65% approved of the Constitution
  • Russian soldiers stationed in Chechnya were also permitted to vote
  • Periodic violence continues in Chechnya and the Chechen separatist movement has been pacified but not completely eradicated
  • The 2011 Chechen rebel bombing of the Moscow airport is a reminder that separatism remains a cleavage in Russian politics
economic inequality wealth gap
Economic inequality (wealth gap)
  • Russia has over 100,000 millionaires and Russia ranks sixth worldwide in the number of households with assets over US 100million dollars
  • However, 80% of Russia’s wealth is owned by a mere 2% of its population according the Russian Academy of Science, Institute of Economics
  • Most of Russia’s wealthy elite have amassed huge fortunes from acquiring interests in Russia’s natural resources (oil, gas, timber, etc.)
slide16

According to the World Bank, 20% of Russians live below the poverty line

  • Russia’s income inequality is much higher than in Western Europe
  • The conspicuous consumption of Russia’s wealthy oligarchs contrasts starkly with ordinary Russians’ struggle to survive
  • This gap has created animosity and resentment and accounts for the steady support Russia’s new Communist Party continues to receive
slide17

RUSSIA

Most of Europe

Russia

iii c civil society interest groups
III. c) Civil Society/Interest groups
  • There are a few important interest groups which do influence Russian politics
  • However, the Kremlin has enormous discretionary power to restrict or ban interest groups
  • A 2005 law passed by the Duma and Federation Council gives the government the power to restrict or ban interest group activity which threatens “Russia’s national interests”
  • This new law has been used to restrict international NGO activity in Russia

For further inquiry see:

http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/16342.htm

slide19

State CorporatismRussia’s interest group system is largely managed by the Kremlin and resembles state corporatism with the Kremlin deciding which interest groups are allowed to influence policymaking

Manages or moderates

The Kremlin

Aggregates into policy

influences

Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia

Manages or moderates

influences

Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia

examples of influential interest groups
Examples of influential interest groups
  • Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia
  • Powerful lobby which influences Russia’s labor policy
  • Since 1991, the trade union movement in Russia has grown in strength and workers unions’ have won collective bargaining rights and received better wage settlements
  • Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia
  • Powerful lobby group which has won better veteran’s benefits and pay for soldiers
  • Particularly influential during the First Chechen War

http://www.ucsmr.ru/english/ucsmr/history.htm

slide21

Mother’s Right Foundation

Non-profit charity which protects the interests of families who have lost children in the Russian army

Also, investigates cases of abuse within the Russian military

http://mright.hro.org/eng

racism and xenophobia
Racism and xenophobia
  • Since the collapse of the Soviet Union Russian nationalism has re-emerged
  • The Slavic Union has grown in popularity, especially among discontented young ethnic Russians with bleak job prospects
  • The Slavic Union is a neo-fascist group which advocates pan-Slavic nationalism and forced resettlement of Russia’s ethnic minorities
demonstrations protests
Demonstrations/Protests
  • Though protestors and strikers have been intimadatedand harassed at times by the police and or pro-govt forces, they nevertheless have felt emboldened in recent years to make their voices heard

Above: a workers’ strike at the Ford Motor Plant

Above: citizens protesting the results of the 2011 Duma elections, alleging fraud and vote-rigging

slide24

Citizens protesting the results of the 2011 Duma Elections. This is the first significant anti-govt protest since the collapse of the Soviet Union

media intimidation
Media intimidation
  • Although Russia’s Constitution provides guarantees for freedom of speech, Russian journalists are frequently intimidated and threatened when reporting about government corruption
  • According to Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders Russia ranks comparatively low in press freedoms
iii d public opinion and voter turnout
III. d) public opinion and voter turnout
  • Since the collapse of the Soviet Union data regarding Russians’ opinions about democracy has been collected
  • The following pattern has emerged from this data:

1) majority support for democracy

2) scepticism about democracy

3) support for democracy appears to have reached a plateau

slide28

Russian Federation

Russia’s voter turnout is not high slightly below the level of Britain’s parliamentary elections

The United Kingdom

slide29

Although most Russians support democracy, this support is not growing.

Only a small minority of Russians express confidence that Russia is a democracy.

discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • Compare and contrast civil society in Russia an in Britain. Does Russia’s civil society meet democratic standards?
  • Compare and contrast how Russia and Britain have dealt with ethnic nationalism/separatism
  • To what extent is the recent protest of the 2011 Duma Elections results an encouraging sign of democratization in Russia?