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Issue № 79. April 2020

Transformation of Political and Legal Opportunities for Public Contestation in Russia

Roman V. Savenkov

PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Political Science, Voronezh State University, Voronezh, Russian Federation.
E-mail: rvsaven@gmail.com

The article considers transformation of political and legal possibilities for public contestation in contemporary Russia and determines the factors influencing it. To solve this research problem modern types of public contestation have been described. The methodological principles are based on the paradigm of “rational choice” and non-institutional approach. The paper uses the methods of political and legal analysis, as well as elements of event analysis. Public contestation is carried out in the public sphere (public discussion and public events) and in the political sphere (“politicized” NGOs). In the 2000s the scale of public contest in the civil sphere was lower than in the next decade, which did not create the need for detailed regulation of this activity type. At the same time, changes in political and legal opportunities in the political (party) sphere have been intense throughout the entire period. Effective forms of public contestation in the civil sphere in 2012-2018 were mass public events, and since 2018 also public discussions in the media and the Internet. During this period, we record the largest changes in political and legal opportunities in this area and toughening the punishment for their violation. In the political sphere, we fix the pendulum dynamics: a reduction in opportunities in 2000–2011 and their expansion in 2012–2019. A significant factor in the narrowing of the political and legal possibilities for public contestation by public authorities is the potential financial, organizational and informational support of contestation practices by foreign organizations.

Keywords

Contestation, political opportunity, protest, political party, non-government organization.

DOI: 10.24411/2070-1381-2020-10054

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