This is the first comprehensive study of Russian political and social thought in the post-Communist era. The book portrays and critically examines the conceptual and theoretical attempts by Russian scholars and political thinkers to make sense of the challenges of post-communism and the trials of economic, political and social transformation. It brings together the various strands of political thought that have been formulated in the wake of the collapsed communist doctrine. It engages constructively with the numerous attempts by Russian political theorists and social scientists to articulate a coherent model of liberal democracy in their country. The book investigates critical, as well as favourable voices, in the Russian debate on liberal democracy, a debate often marked by eclecticism and, at times, little conceptual discipline. As such, the book will be of great interest both to Russian specialists, and to all those interested in political and social thought more widely.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Positions Part 1: Foundations for Russian Politics and Society 3. Law, Culture and Civility 4. Liberal Politics and Nationhood 5. Statehood, Russia and Historical Conditions of Liberalism Part 2: Foundations for Russian Political and Social Theory 6. Russian Thought between East and West: Influences and Misunderstandings 7. Transition and Transformation 8. Modernity and Political Liberalism 9. Chaos and Anarchy in Russian Society 10. What is the ‘Russian Challenge’ for Western Liberal Thought? 11. Conclusion
Axel Kaehne studied politics and history at the Humboldt and Free University, Berlin and University of Aberdeen. He taught history and politics at the University of Bristol and is now Research Fellow at Cardiff University.