NATION AND DEMOCRACY Article 1. The Idea of Civic Nation in Modern Russia

 
PIIS086904990011469-7-1
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Professor
Affiliation: NRU HSE, civil service department
Address: 20, Myasnitskaya st., Moscow, 101000 Russian Federation
Occupation: Doctoral student
Affiliation: Centre de recherches Europes-Eurasie, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, INALCO
Address: Paris 63, Rue de Grand Moulins France 75013
Journal nameObshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost
EditionIssue 6
Pages123-137
Abstract

These two articles focused on the relationship between nationhood, democracy and civil participation. The authors develop D. Rustow’s thesis of the national unity as a single background condition for democratisation. The article argues that the problematic institutionalisation of democracy in Russia and the current trust crisis towards democratic institutions in several western societies help to reveal a fundamental role of the civic nationalism not only in build its, but also in maintain modern democracy.

In the first article, the authors discuss the hybrid type of nationhood in Russia. Although the latter has some formal, both legal and cultural, features of a becoming political nation, it is still largely shaped by an “imperial syndrome”, reflecting the country’s imperial past and obstructing the building of democratic institutions. The authors highlight that it is poorly understood by the masses and by the academics, while two different ideological movements, the liberal and the conservative, do not seen to be interested in discussing them. The authors distinguish three academic will approaches to the idea of civic nation in Russia. First, “defensive constructivism” appealing to the broadly used discursive methodology to defend Russia from any criticism focused on the imitation of the major Russian institutions, i.e. civic nation, democracy, federalism, and the rule of law. Second, the “pragmatic relativism” approach postulating that then is no a hybrid character of Russian nationhood. Finally, the “historical fatalism” which claims that Russia remains an imperial polity and, thus, cannot become a nation state. While opposing to each of these three positions, the authors develop their own approach to the problem.

Keywordscivic nation, democracy, Russia, empire, trust, institutions, constructivism
Received12.09.2020
Publication date17.12.2017
Number of characters2011
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