International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

2010 Edition
| Editors: Helmut K. Anheier, Stefan Toepler

Civil Society and Social Capital in Russia

  • Leah Gilbert
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-93996-4_638

Introduction

After the Soviet Union collapsed, many hoped civil society organizations in Russia would play a central role in the country’s democratization. Indeed, initial analyses of Russian civil society in the early 1990s showed a rapid growth of nongovernmental organizations (“NGOs”) throughout the country. These NGOs provided essential services to citizens during the transition from a state-based to a market economy and allowed individuals to actively take part in Russia’s political transformation. Despite these successes, civil society in postcommunist Russia has faced severe challenges, including uncooperative state authorities, intense resource scarcity, and a population that does not embrace volunteering. While the current regime maintains that the development of civil society is a governmental priority, many scholars argue that the form of civil society now promoted by the Putin/Medvedev administration is too closely tied to the state to effectively promote democratization.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leah Gilbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA