Political and Social Thought in Post-Communist Russia by Axel Kaehne

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By Axel Kaehne

This is the 1st entire learn of Russian political and social idea within the post-Communist period. The ebook portrays and seriously examines the conceptual and theoretical makes an attempt via Russian students and political thinkers to make experience of the demanding situations of post-communism and the pains of monetary, political and social transformation. It brings jointly some of the strands of political inspiration which have been formulated within the wake of the collapsed communist doctrine. It engages constructively with the varied makes an attempt by means of Russian political theorists and social scientists to articulate a coherent version of liberal democracy of their nation. The ebook investigates serious, in addition to beneficial voices, within the Russian debate on liberal democracy, a debate usually marked by means of eclecticism and, from time to time, little conceptual self-discipline. As such, the publication can be of significant curiosity either to Russian experts, and to all these drawn to political and social suggestion extra widely.

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He argues that blame should be allocated to the history of the country as being locked in a cultural division between higher and lower classes, as well as in the limited nature of the bounds of European civilisation applied to the growing force of plebeian re-interpretation of political change and demands in Russia (Pantin 1994: 82). Pantin elaborates further on the idea of the incoherent or insufficient assimilation of Western culture in Russia when he argues that, although the Russian nobility appropriated Western ‘high culture’ and developed it further, they had no feel for the societal ideals or connotations that came attached to these cultural forms, such as freedom and citizenship (Pantin 1994: 82).

It was argued that this disregards the normative implications of legalisation as enshrined in the idea of representative democracy and articulated in a long tradition of political thought. But, even more than this, Hart’s definition of the minimum content of natural law indicated that the common sources of law and morality are indeed fairly restricted. While morality may be more resilient to sudden change and the lack of semantic constancy only applies to the regularities that make politics possible and are most usually inscribed in constitutions, to deduce (legal) rules of conduct from commonly shared moral principles will not suffice for any properly regulated society that aspires to be liberal.

As long as church elders remain insensitive to the profound changes in outlook and social structures they will fail Russia in the search for a new ethical foundation. Although his comments may be seen within the narrow context of policies that are endorsed by the Orthodox Church in Russia, they carry interesting implications for social and political thought. Kostiuk acknowledges, that normsetting as the Orthodox Church may be, it can fulfil this role only for a particular segment of society. Given religious and doctrinal diversity in any modern society, the question inevitably arises how these norm-setting projects position themselves towards other religious communities, or indeed towards the vast agnostic urban public.

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