Cover Osteuropa 10/2011

In Osteuropa 10/2011

At a Fork in the Road
Civil Society and Politics in Russia

Jens Siegert

Deutsche Fassung


Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has changed fundamentally. During Perestroika, civil society exploded. Since then, non-governmental organisations and initiatives have been steady in their engagement on the one hand; on the other hand, they are weak and exposed to the political climate. Cooperation between NGOs and the state in times of a de facto ban on politics is only possible if the illusion of the “unpolitical” activity of NGOs is maintained. Now, many representatives of civil society see themselves at a fork in the road. The renunciation of a fundamental modernization of the economy and politics that accompanies Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency will have consequences for civil-society.

(Osteuropa 10/2011, pp. 61–76)