Cover Osteuropa 10/2011

In Osteuropa 10/2011

Russia at a Dead End
Stagnation, Apathy, Decline

Lev Gudkov

Deutsche Fassung


Russia’s political leadership tries to control its political rivals, civil society organisations, the mass media, and the justice system. It suppresses social and structural differentiation and thus blocks modernisation. Nationalism finds encouragement. Anti-liberal attitudes remain widespread. In society, conservatism and political apathy are rampant. Political spin has assumed the function of ideology. It helps the ruling elite secure its hold on power. And it makes the population distrustful and reduces demands on cultural and intellectual cohabitation. Russia faces the risk of gradually entering a permanent crisis in which social tensions alternately increase and decrease. The Kremlin is being forced to follow a course between tightening and loosening state controls over society and the economy. But the foundation of the regime remains untouched: the concentration of all instruments of control in the hands of a small, dubious group.

(Osteuropa 10/2011, pp. 21–46)