Статья 'The main trends in modern Russian political process and ways of achieving political order' - журнал 'SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences' - NotaBene.ru
Journal Menu
> Issues > Rubrics > About journal > Authors > About the Journal > Requirements for publication > Council of Editors > Peer-review process > Article retraction > Ethics > Online First Pre-Publication > Copyright & Licensing Policy > Digital archiving policy > Open Access Policy > Article Processing Charge > Article Identification Policy > Plagiarism check policy > Publication Terms
Journals in science databases
About the Journal
MAIN PAGE > Back to contents
SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

The main trends in modern Russian political process and ways of achieving political order

Yatsenko Inga Aleksandrovna

Deputy Director, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation

115088, Russia, Moscow, Ovchinnikovskaya Naberezhnaya 18, Office #1

Other publications by this author




Review date:


Publish date:


Abstract: The object of this research is the political process of modern Russia. The subject of this research is the key issues of the political process in modern Russia and the management techniques for the purpose of its institutionalization. The subject is being explored not only from political and sociological perspectives, but a special attention is also given to the philosophical component of this issue. The author determines the key issues of the modern Russian political process and its trends. The work includes results of the latest scientific research in this field and offers various positions of specialists in this area. The author highlights the factors that affect the efficiency of institutionalization. As the basis for ensuring decrease in transaction costs of the institutionalization process, the author proposes a mechanism for inclusion of potential of the indirect political actors into the system of government administration.


political process, institutionalization, civil society, political system, government administration, management techniques, democratic transition, political administration, transitional society, Russian society

The Russian political process of the last decade has been acquiring new qualitative features. In accordance with the Concept of Long-term Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Federation until 2020, approved by the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation from November 17, 2008 No. 1662-r, for the purposes of effective involvement of interested subjects into formation and realization of the socioeconomic policy, it is necessary to structure a new model for social development that would also ensure high level of public trust towards state and social institutions.

According to the opinion of M. Y. Meleshkina, the structure of the political process can be defined as a combination of interactions between actors, as well as their logical succession (“plot” of the political process) [3, p. 21].

Within the structure of the political process we can highlight four key components:

  • Subjects (actors) of the political process (institutionalized and non-institutionalized);
  • Political interests of these subjects;
  • Political work (professional political activity and political participation of ordinary citizens);
  • Political relations that form as a result of the work of the subjects of the political process.

Within political literature there are two highlighted forms of existence of political process, which are the political change and political development.

Political change is characterized by the emergence of the new quality in interaction of political subjects, as well as interaction between the political system and the external environment. The political development however, is defined by the accumulation of qualitative changes in policy, which include phases of the political process, institutions, or political systems.

The political institution can be defined as a combination of norms and rules that are reproduced in time with consideration of the organizational component, which serves as the basis for the order of the political relations within a certain sphere of political life [2, p. 54].

The key actor in the political process and simultaneously the main institution of power is the government.The other special political institution is the civil society.

Nevertheless, more often than not the definition and institutionalization of the status and activity of the political actors are blurred. With establishment of large transnational corporate structures within Russian economy the interests of the subjects of the economic activity began to cross the lines of the sphere into the political realm, initially changing the scale from regional to federal, and later to supranational.

Such circumstances required centralization of management, and the technologies used had the tendency to become stricter.

Thus, the free initiative civil society could not be formed, and the fact that any emerging political movements would a priori position themselves as oppositional only strengthened this fact. This is the first systemic issue of the modern Russian political process.

The second group of issues consists of questions of legitimacy in the eyes of the society of the governing regime and agreement with the existing rules and methods of compulsion to their adherence.

“The market participants that have the ability to choose between the costs of legalization and the costs of semi-legal and illegal activity often make the choice in support of the latter” [9, p.4].

The institutional compromise becomes a priority form for adherence to the law, which in the case of its unprofitability makes it at least acceptable not only for the oversight sphere, but also for the direct participants of the process.

The same group of issues also includes the tendency of increase of authoritarianism within public consciousness. The authoritarian resentment becomes the classic trait of a Russian citizen [see 6].

This in turn produces a conflict structure of legitimacy of the political system, which consists in the fact that the personal legitimacy of the president undermines the legal rational legitimacy of such political institutions as the parliament and the government.

The third group of issues is associated with the impossibility of structuring a legal state without the necessary high level of ethical development of the society.

Thus for example, corruptness is being viewed as a flawed feature of the authority, rather than the level of people’s unwillingness to uphold the law.

Study of the conception and functionality of the institutions plays the key role in the modern research of the political process. The process of institutionalization does not exclusively provide formalization of the material institutional structures and codification of rules. A vast field of activity for institutionalization of the political process within transitional systems relates to the regulation of interaction between non-governmental structures, as well as acceptance and reproduction of the new system of values and orientations within mass consciousness.

The process of institutionalization is the most important condition for political stability and efficiency of the political system.

The structure of the political process in Russia is currently very complicated and mosaicked due to the “major political disaster” that took place at the end of the XX century, which led to fundamental changes in the political system of the nation, as well as the short period of time for the establishment of the institutions, relations, and the system of law of the modern stage of political development of the country.

Within the political process of the Russian Federation there are number of distinct special traits that differentiate it from the similar political process of other countries that have entered the path of democratization, which consist in the following [2, p. 68]:

  1. Interconnection of politics and economics, as well as social and personal relations;
  2. Lack of consensus between members of the political process;
  3. Lack of structure and mutual substitutability of political roles;
  4. Lack of integration and unified communication environment between the members of the political process
  5. Active role of power institutions alongside the absence of counterweights;
  6. Concentration of political resources and power in the hands of the ruling elites.

The experts in the area of political research have christened the system of government administration and political decision-making in Russia as political “maneuvering”. The proverbial “scissors effect”stands in the way of cognition of the current realistic processes.Construction of a new organism in place of the old decayed system and demolition of the remains and joining of the remaining elements with the modern cannot take place immediately.

Rapid activation of civil society in the political process of modern Russia is impossible. Therefore, the management techniques aimed at ensuring institutionalization of the political process must account for the decrease in transaction costs [see 5] within the framework of three main planes:

  • From the institutional perspective – the primary objective is the transformation of the existing systems of interaction;
  • From the behavioral perspective – with consideration of the trends of the political process, the most attractive is the shifting of accents towards the activity of the actors of the indirect political type, which will ensure stability of the institutional transformations, as such institutions set their sights not on the political interests, but rather their symbiosis with a professional interest, or one that pertains to a specific sphere of human activity, which provides unambiguous aim of the interests of such actors and legitimacy of the decisions made;
  • From the structural-functional perspective – the activities of the aforementioned institutions must be incorporated into the existing system of relations and decision-making; their role must be established as a formal procedure, which is best realized through organization of close cooperation with the branches of executive power.

The management technique of the political process can be defined as a repeating and sustainable influence of political actors upon the elements of the political system in order to endow its dynamic with certain qualities and direction.

Today, the scientific literature does not have the typology of management techniques for political process.

In the scaled-up view, the management techniques, depending on the tasks they solve, can be classified as:

  • Aimed at strengthening the authority of a subject;
  • Electoral techniques;
  • Techniques that ensure political accord;
  • Lobbying techniques;
  • Supranational techniques.

Institutionalization of the political process in Russia must be ensured by the management techniques that correspond with the modern stage of development of the political process and resolve the issue of lack of efficiency of the institutions, especially state institutions.

The peculiarity of the Russian political process in the period of the last two decades is its formation not in the framework of transformation of the existing political regime and management system, but on a larger scale: the establishment of the new Russian statehood.

The so-called value delegitimization of the institutional novelties accompanied the democratic transition in Russia same as in many other countries. Establishment of the principle of resource exchange within elite environment as compensation of the deficit of popular support was explained by the limited social base of the transformation of the political system.

The consensus achieved on the procedural, value, and behavioral levels, is the point of origin in the task or stage of consolidation of democracy.

One of the key conditions for the continuity and dynamics of development of the political system is the fusion of stable and fluctuating elements of the social system of values.

The current model of the Russian value system has a fragmented nature and combines traditional and modernistic features, and is oriented towards both, individualistic and collective interests.

The lack of established political orientations impedes the development of civil society and sustains the dysfunctions of the entire political system. Such dysfunctions can manifest themselves in various forms of crises. For example, identity crisis, the characteristics of which can include diffuseness of orientations and solidarities; deformation of collective identities; reassessment of values. At the present stage of development of Russia, the identity crisis is gradually being overcome.

Overall, we can point to the existence of contradicting trends within mass consciousness: individualism and community orientation; paternalism and liberation from state custodianship. The multi-direction of the institutional and sociocultural changes in societyis the basis for emergence of crisis of the political system on the part of public abandonment of the administration and communicative atrophy of the connection between the citizens and the government.

“The oppositionality in Russia acts as the content element of the partisan and information discourse, becoming understandable to society in this format.But its functionality within the scale of political process as a whole, as well as in the questions of structuring of the political agenda,remains rather limited” [9, p. 12].

The protest attitudes are strengthened by the wave of crises of various types. However, the lack of a unified platform for accumulation of attitudes and development of a unified position for the purpose of influence upon the state apparatus as a whole leads to attenuation of attitudes, while the endless opposition of the existing ruling parties in the eyes of the public discredits itself over time and leads to political weariness.

The solution lies in the involvement of an individual into the political process on the basis of conventional forms of participation, provided by the presentation and digestion of knowledge about the existing political system.

An integral component of the transformation of the political system of the society is the process of formation of the political culture of participation. It is the conventional and active forms of political participation that contribute to the process of institutionalization and legitimization of the democratic regime.

Economics and politics are currently the main topics of discussion in the broad strata of society. The organizational form of these spheres of human activity in most cases receives rather negative feedback from the population. At the same time, the level of education continues to decrease, while the moral orientations of the individual in modern Russia are still being blurred. This is the cause for the shapelessness of the oppositional movements and diffuseness of organizations. Hence the paradox: the positions of authority are often filled by dilettante who do not possess management skills, while on the other hand – the bluntdenial of everything from the side of the population, which completely rejects lawfulness by definition.

According to the public opinion polls conducted by VCIOM from the third quarter of 2014, the number of people that are completely dissatisfied with the policy conducted by the government has doubled [11].

Moreover, among the classic polls there is a question of happiness and satisfaction with life. It is noteworthy that an average Russian links their happiness and self-realization not with their own personal immanent qualities, but with the transcendental subject in form of the government and authorities. The lack of desire to carry responsibility for their own fate is a classic trait of a modern Russian.Thus forms the “risk society”. According to Fedin, “the risk society represents the totality of social subjects, not only subjected to various forms of risks, but also directly acknowledging the indeterminateness and instability of the surrounding world, and thus exist in the state of constant fear with regards to realization of life goals and their future” [8, p. 18].

The prospect of establishing a constructive dialogue within the framework of Russian political process is the creation of conference institutions on triple bases with participation of government structures, representative organizations of civil society, and commercial-corporate structures.Namely this format carries out the function of constraint of the government administration apparatus and prevention of excessive politicization.

One of the key issues in support of post-Communism structuring in Russia is the so-called “deficit of democratic actors”, as Guillermo O’Donnell puts it. The low level of assimilation of new values and principles by the masses leads to concentration of new knowledge in the hands of certain classes and monopolization of power by the newly elect elites. At the same time, as defined by O. V. Gaman-Golutvina, the state monopoly on political control predeterminesa fairly homogenous structure of the ruling class [see 4]. This is in turn a factor in ensuring stability and continuity of the system of administration as a whole.

The low level of mass political activity, syncretism and personification of power contributes to preservation of stability of the political system, but at the same time, it is also a factor that defines the prevalence of the mobilization type of renewal of political system, “teleological rather than instrumental understanding of the principles of democratic structure” [10, p. 62].

The method of compensation of the deficit of democratic actors and minimization of the negative consequences of polarization of value orientations of the mass groups is particization and institutional finishing of the political system by the ruling elites. But there is also presence of the internal elite demarcation, which manifests not in conflict of ideologies or values, but in the growth of confrontation of the corporate structures.

Such artificial measures are aimed at overcoming the crisis of legitimacy of the functioning political regime. But such attempts, which justify support of the reforms, mix with the absence or low level of orientation towards their practical implementation.

Stabilization of the group and general perceptions of the value system, along with the forced consensus of the elites, represents the distinct trait of the modern stage of establishment of the political system and consolidation of democracy.

The pseudo-reflexive political thought of modernity reaches absurd levels:the absolutes and pure categories, which were the scourge of the past, have been changed by the fusion and substitution of notions, when every argument can be unequivocally refuted by the opposite.

In the new political reality the key position must be taken by the indirect political actors of the political process, whose activity can be most efficiently built into the supranational regional structure.

The first step towards it must be development of the mechanism of ensuring participation of such forms of representation in the decision-making process, which legitimizes the result of the work of the government structures, increase their trustworthiness, and contribute to advancement of the political culture of participation. Such forms of participation must be based upon branch principle.

Reproduction of the basic parameters of the political system with absence of consolidation of values and stability of transformational activity of the population becomes the key issue in functionality of the political system and provision of institutional structuring.

The level of social development also predefines the dynamism of the political system, demonstrates the system’s ability to develop and adapt, and serve as the foundation for distinction of such dynamism from the state of instability.

As a result, we can note the presence of the so-called functional crisis or crisis of system overload in Russia. The cause for such a phenomenonis the issue of the system’s inability to solve the tasks. The problem can have a procedural character, when contradictions are overcome via partial restructuring of the system, or translate into development crisis that requires fundamental changes.

The optimal correlation of formal and informal institutions, possibility of transition of latent institutions into a formal track, coherence of political, economic, and social processes – all require corresponding value support, which has been repeatedly noted by various researchers.

The problems of determining the supraconstitutional value, and possibly supranational values, which could become the foundation for EAEU with its transition into another political legal form on the example of the Eurasian Economic Union, are fundamental in provision of sustainable gradual development.

Institutionalization of the political process in Russia presupposesexistence of an efficient system of government administration. The program of state structuring emphasizes the need for strengthening of the rational administrative and legal function of the state, which focuses attention on the class of professional staff, ensuring stable and efficient execution of set functions.

Currently, lack of subjects ofmeso-level influence, which mediate interaction between authorities and society, leads to a lack of interest by the institutions in an active and independent activity of the social organizations and attempts to secure control thereof.

The weakness of the institutionalization of political process, which is also evident in the low level of efficiency of government administration, is determined based on multiple sociopolitical signs. Some of them are the legal nihilism of the political subjects, separatist tendencies, delegation of state functions to a regional level with low degree of development of local self-governance, as well as lack of active and transparent mechanism of organization of public control over the authority, etc. All of these things confirm the absence of potency in regulation of the sociopolitical processes by the main actor of the political process.

According to D. Rustow, stability of democracy is not always secured by the same factors that gave rise to it [6, p. 11]. Combining the genesis of democracy with its efficient functionality is one of the key problems in organization of an efficient political structure.

As time progresses, so does the rate and quality of changes in the sphere of the system of political decision-making, as well as expansion of the whole political process. Complication of the political system, as well as complication of the political process leads to shift in priorities,and often to distortion of perception of the surrounding political picture and the resulting actions of the individual and collective actors of the current political reality.The result of such distortion is the concentration of attention on the spheres of work and the factors that do not have the principle and decisive importance for the system of decision-making and insurance of stable government structuring as a whole.

Efficiency represents the only qualitative expresser of the principle of fair public organization. But in such a complex system as society, the only achievable element is the efficient structure of institutions, which is a way to achieve the best balance. In this regard, the foundation is the principle of common interest, which arranges the institutions by the bases of provision of guarantee of conditions necessary for each individual in the process of achievement of goals, as well as by provision of achievement of common goals that ensure multilateral gain.

The process of institutionalization is impossible without increasing the efficiency of political decision-making, and the latter are also impossible without their administrative realization.

The detachment of measures aimed at increasing the institutionalization of procedures from the professional scientific environment, chronic deficit of budget means, and necessity of the extensive participation of interested organizations and population in the process of realization of the stated decisions, originate the need for comprehensive and continuous connection between the development of government policy and the reception of feedback on one or another decision.For example, in the EU such interaction is realized on the basis of the system of comitology and advisory branches, the functions of which are established within the constituting foundations of the union.

In the conditions of Russian political reality, the development of state policy and political course of the nation in various branches is tightly intertwined and interdependent.The problem of the bureaucratic passage of legislative bills often takes years, or even decades.

Therefore, the government authorities must choose solutions that are based on a comprehensive expert analysis thereof. Later, such system can be scaled and incorporate experts in various scientific fields and scientists within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.

The problem of realization of government policy and government administration in itself most often escapes the field of view of many researchers.It is namely the “poor management” that becomes the cause for such public orientation, distrust towards the current system, and the overall low level of legitimacy.The solution can be the creation of a stable system of support of administrative decisions in the area of government administration.

The mechanism for provision of such cooperation, which ensures the highest volume of transaction costs, is creation of special noncommercial expert structures.

The processes of institutionalizationof constantly new forms of public policy relations and renewed system of government administration, in part lead to transformation of means of scientific insurance of government administration and importance of the modern scientific environment in the process of political decision-making.

Various methods of scientific research also found their reflection in the publicized environment of political technologists not only of the governing apparatus, but also various organizations of national and international levels. The work in this area has reached a level that allows speaking of serious competition and transformation of results of scientific research into an object of negotiations.

Thus, to ensure sustainable development and order of elements of timely political process it is necessary to have the following: presence of supraconstitutional, supranational values, in the spirit of regional formations, which would influence not only domestic policy, but also international world structure; high level of mutual trust between the actors; coherence of sociopolitical and economic changes; support of the process of political decision-making, as well as the stage of their realization on various levels, especially from the indirect political institutions; new mechanisms due to the planned transition of the Russian Federation to a supranational format of decision-making.

Link to this article

You can simply select and copy link from below text field.

Other our sites:
Official Website of NOTA BENE / Aurora Group s.r.o.