Elites and Society as Political Actors in Post-Soviet Russia

Elites and Society as Political Actors in Post-Soviet Russia

Shestopal Ye.B.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Head the Chair of Sociology and Psychology of Politics, Department of Political Science, Lomonosov Moscow State University. Moscow, Russia shestop0505@rambler.ru

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Shestopal Ye.B. Elites and Society as Political Actors in Post-Soviet Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 5. P. 35-43


The paper looks at social and psychological changes in Russian society during Putin’s third presidency. This period is unique for Post-Soviet transformation of the Russian state. It differs from the previous political development in many ways. First of all we deal with an old, but new leader with his newly obtained experience of the premiership. Second, Russian society is not the same as in his previous presidencies. Third, tremendous changes have occurred in internal political context not to mention global context of Putin’s third term. The paper is based on two largescale empirical studies undertaken by the Sociology and Psychology of politics chair in Department of Politics, Lomonosov Moscow University under author’s guidance. The first study focuses on the images of Russian politics, political values and concepts reflected in the minds of Russian citizens in current electoral cycle. In particular, special attention is paid to the way, citizens perceive power, political institutions, state, parliament and leaders. The paper discusses recent trends in political perception of Russian society. The second study is devoted to the analysis of Russian political elites. Acting deputies of Duma, governors, leaders of 4 parliamentary political parties and ministers of the government were studied in this project from the point of view of their biographical trajectories, political views, values, concepts, motives and other social psychological characteristics. Both projects use new original methods that permit to reveal and describe a “human dimension” of politics.

political elites; society; perception; images; values; concepts
Content No 5, 2016