1st Edition

Systemic and Non-Systemic Opposition in the Russian Federation Civil Society Awakens?

By Cameron Ross Copyright 2015

    Over the period December 2011-July 2013 a tidal wave of mass protests swept through the Russian Capital and engulfed scores of cities and regions. Civil society, it appeared, had at last woken up. This fascinating book examines the rise and fall of the non-systemic opposition and the role of the systemic political opposition during this turbulent period. Leading experts in the field from Russia along with scholars from the UK and the US reflect on the conditions that have made large-scale protests possible, the types of people who have taken part and the goals of the opposition movement at both the national and regional levels. Contributors discuss what steps the regime has taken in response to this challenge and examine the relationship between the systemic and non-systemic opposition and what potential exists for the creation of a broad-based opposition coalition. The role of the expanding Russian middle class is discussed along with contemporary developments among the Russian left against the backdrop of the global economic crisis. The political, social and ethnic dimensions of the protest movement are also examined at both the national and regional levels in this truly comprehensive study of the rebirth of civil society in modern Russia.

    Introduction, CameronRoss; Chapter 1 Civil Society and Protests in Russia, AlfredEvans; Chapter 2 The Protest Movement in Russia 2011–2013, DenisVolkov; Chapter 3 Defining Common Ground, ReginaSmyth, IrinaSoboleva, LukeShimek, AntonSobolev; Chapter 4 Middle Class Support for Democracy and Political Protests in Russia, CameronRoss; Chapter 5 The ‘Post-Soviet’ Russian Left – Escaping the Shadow of Stalinism?, LukeMarch; Chapter 6 The Systemic Opposition in Authoritarian Regimes, RostislavTurovsky; Chapter 7 Combating the Opposition: United Russia’s Electoral and Party Reforms 2012–13, AlexanderKynev; Chapter 8 Political, Social and Ethnic Protests in Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, ValentinMikhailov; Chapter 9 Civic Protests in Tyumen Region, OlesyaLobanova, AndreySemenov; Chapter 10 The Protest Movement in Yekaterinburg, MikhailIl’chenko;


    Dr Cameron Ross is convenor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Dundee. He holds a BA (Hons) in Politics and History from the University of Keele, an MA in Soviet Politics from the University of Essex and a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Dundee in 1995, he taught politics at Cambridge University, the College of William and Mary, USA, and Oberlin College, USA.

    ’Cameron Ross has brought together a diverse international and interdisciplinary team of authors, who have presented a detailed account of the rise of public discontent and of the multi-faceted wave of political protests that swept Russia in the aftermath of 2011 State Duma elections. The book chapters are informative and rich covering both nation-wide and regional developments.’ Vladimir Gel’man, European University at St Petersburg, Russia ’Some of the best scholars in the field provide us with contrasting insights on the awakening of civil society in Russia in 2011-12, revealing the dynamics of the protest movement not only in Moscow but also in the regions. An invaluable examination of how Russia works today, exposing the challenges facing both the regime and society as well as the relationship between the two.’ Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, UK