Since 1992, Richard Rose has explored a new dimension of Russian politics through the New Russia Barometer, which regularly surveys public opinion and yields important insights into the development of a democratic civic culture and civil society. As with many aspects of post-communist politics, the poll paints a picture of a society still in flux. It does, however, permit us to explore in ways not before possible the critically important question of the creation of a civil society. On this issue, its findings are at best ambiguous. On the one hand, it reveals that Russians now grudgingly accept the new political and economic order. According to Rose, the turning point came in the summer of 2001 when poll results first indicated that more respondents offered a favorable evaluation of the changes that had occurred since 1991; 47 percent responded favorably, while 37 percent were negative. But on the other hand, this "lukewarm readiness to comply with the existing regime" came about more from a revolution of declining expectations than from improved government performance. While poll results indicate that the average citizen perceives that he or she has benefited materially from market reforms and feels a greater sense of personal freedom, they do not yet fully establish a firm commitment to democratic norms that guarantee the further consolidation of Russian democracy. As Rose notes, it is perhaps too early to expect a complete transformation in a society that initially had virtually no commitment to democracy or a market economy.
|Title of host publication||In Donald W. Kelley, ed., After Communism: Perspectives on Democracy. Fayetteville: U. of Arkansas Press,|
|Place of Publication||In Donald W. Kelley, ed., After Communism: Perspectives on Democracy. Fayetteville: U. of Arkansas Press,|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|