Consolidation of state powers and society in Russia: specifics of current international and domestic political context
Dr. Sci. (Pol.Sci.), Leading researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia email@example.com
On the basis of a representative sociological survey the problem of relations between powers and society in contemporary Russia is analyzed. It is shown that aggravated international relations around 2014 “Ukrainian crisis” became a most important factor for consolidating powers and society. Special attention is paid to the analysis of Russians’ attitude to the latest political events, to major public institutions and activities of the President V. Putin. Two events became true symbols of 2014: reunification of Crimea with Russia and Sochi XXII Olympic Winter Games. Different in their contents, both events became associated in the public mind with the beginning of Russia’s resurgence as a world power. It is shown also that attitude of Russians to powers is a complex and contradictory set of individual components which do not form an interconnected and sufficiently broad social and political space. The social strata and groups with a positive or a negative attitude to the state power and authorities are very separated because of deep economic, territorial, social, cultural, generational and other differences. A deep socio-economic inequality in society is clearly manifested in attitudes of Russians to state powers. Absence of horizontal civil cohesion and uncertainty regarding foreign and domestic situation cause consolidation of Russian society around its political leader Vladimir Putin. Positive attitude to the president ensures stability of the existing socio-political regime, which, however, in the long term perspective does not preclude emergence of social and political conflicts that in the absence of broader civil consolidation can have irreversible consequences. In general, a set of indicators characterizing relationship between society and authorities demonstrate Russians’ support for external and internal policies of the state powers, although this support is not monolithic.