Futuribles Journal n° 322

Société, modes de vie

The Russians and Democracy


What is the position now of Russian society, just over 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union? What are the ideological, political and social values that sustain it?
Leonid Sedov, a sociologist attached to one of the (few) independent polling organizations in Russia (the Yuri Levada Centre), analyses the main trends in Russian value systems observed in recent years. He shows how public opinion favours strong ideologies and powerful individuals, having over the years (and especially since President Putin's election) resorted to a nostalgic type of patriotism and submission to strong authority.
In addition to the political and ideological trends among Russians, Sedov analyses how attitudes have changed with regard to tolerating sexual preferences and the presence of foreigners in their country. He stresses the growth of homophobia and increasing hostility towards immigrants, two trends that vary with the age, place of residence and level of education of the person questioned, but that nevertheless confirm the very weak hold of liberal and democratic views in Russia.

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