Partial Adaptation and Political Culture
For most of the modern era Russia has been looking for a suitable political form to institutionalise its diversity and to defend its identity while searching for effective ways to interact with the rest of the world. This tension can be defined, on the one hand, as self-affirmation, the attempt to remain loyal to some sense of self-identity (samobytnost’) rooted in national traditions, and on the other hand, adaptation to the norms and technological imperatives of parts of the world that have taken the lead in defining the nature of the advanced modernity of a particular time. The debate over the nature of the transition in contemporary Russia is, once again, a debate over Russia’s past and how to draw the balance between self-affirmation and adaptation. The ‘self’ to be affirmed, of course, does not remain a constant, since it is modified by previous patterns of affirmation and adaptation. By the same token, the political form taken by defenders of self-affirmation in contemporary Russia is not homogeneous, but in broad terms can be characterised as ‘traditionalist’, whereas the adaptationists tend to be liberals, of whatever stripe. As the dominance of economic liberalism during post-Communism demonstrates, adaptation can be lopsided.
KeywordsCivil Society Political Culture Partial Adaptation Political Order Political Capital
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.