Chapter

A Stunted Civil Society

Graeme Gill and Roger D. Markwick

in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780199240418
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599347 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199240418.003.0006
 A Stunted Civil Society

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The course of Russian politics was structured by the political elites acting with little restraint by civil society forces. This was, in part, because of the weakness of those forces. The bourgeoisie did not emerge as an independent force, with significant sections of it remaining closely linked into and reliant upon elements within the state, the working class remained weakly organized with trade unions that could not bring effective force to bear upon the government, the peasantry remained impoverished and unorganized in the countryside and the urban middle class was weak and politically inert. With the exception of the Communist Party, political parties have been weak and ephemeral. The result of all of this is a civil society that is stunted and unable to impose significant constraints upon the elite, which has monopolized political decision‐making.

Keywords: bourgeoisie; civil society; Communist Party; decision‐making; elites; middle class; peasantry; political parties; trade unions; working class

Chapter.  21546 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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