Out of Order: Russian Political Values in an Imperfect World

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Overview

One common explanation for the failure of democracy to take root in Russia more quickly and more thoroughly than it has points to inherited cultural values that predispose Russian citizens to favor an autocratic type of governance. Ellen Carnaghan takes aim at this cultural-determinist thesis in her study of Russian attitudes, based on intensive interviews with more than sixty citizens from all walks of life and a variety of political orientations.

What she finds is that, rather than being influenced by an antidemocratic and anticapitalist ideology, these ordinary citizens view the economic and political system in Russia today very critically because it simply does not function well for them in meeting their everyday needs. They long for order not because they eschew democracy and free markets in any fundamental way, but because they experience them currently as chaotic and unpredictable, leading to constant frustration. As a result, there is reason to be optimistic about further progress in democratization: it depends on improving the functioning of existing institutions, not transforming deep-rooted cultural norms.

About the Author:
Ellen Carnaghan is Associate Professor of Political Science at Saint Louis University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book deserves a wide and diverse readership among Russianists, survey researchers, and students.”

—Richard Rose, Russian Review

“Carnaghan has written a useful research study about Russian attitudes toward democracy.”

—Y. Polsky, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271029740
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Carnaghan is Associate Professor of Political Science at Saint Louis University.

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Table of Contents


List of Tables     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
A Note on Transliteration     xiii
Out of Order     1
The Tangled Web of Culture     13
Russians in Their Own Words     43
Abstract Notions of Democracy Versus Current Experiences     73
Views of Markets: Russians Confront Inequality     107
Views on Order, Disorder, and Democracy     155
Views of Change: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same     193
What Russians Want     227
Conclusion     265
Appendixes     283
References     297
Index     321
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