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Articles in English

Articles in English

George E. Hudson
American Perceptions of Russian NGO Development and the Need for Evidence
The development of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia has evoked significant discussion in the United States among scholars, in the mass media, and within U.S. governmental circles. No matter which audience one chooses, one can find within it at least two contending views expressed about Russia’s democratic future—one based on fear and the other based on hope. This article argues that both schools of thought need to form their arguments on more concrete information than exists at present, although it seems clear that the NGO segment of Russian civil society is becoming more and more dynamic.

Alexander N. Domrin
«Trophy Art Law» as an Illustration of the Current Status of Separation of Powers and Legislative Process in Russia
Russia is a country of extremes. «The Icon and the Axe», symbolically titled James H. Billington his book of «interpretative history of Russian Culture», and George F. Kennan called contradictions the «essence of Russia»: «West and East, Pacific and Atlantic, Arctic and tropics, extreme cold and extreme heat, prolonged sloth and sudden feats of energy /.../ ostentatious wealth and dismal squalor /.../ simultaneous love and hate for the same objects /.../ The Russian does not reject these contradictions. He has learned to live with them, and in them. To him, they are the spice of life /.../ The American mind will not apprehend Russia until it is prepared philosophically to accept the validity of contradiction» .

Alexander N. Domrin
Ten Years Later: Society, “Civil Society,” and the Russian State
Grazhdanskoe obshchestvo (civil society) is becoming the new mantra of the Russian government and the political elite in general. The term is widely used in the contemporary Russian political lexicon. A reference to the “creation of civil society” or its “further development” is usually present in a typical set of arguments put forth by Russian policymakers endorsing certain political initiatives in the country. Work on “developing structures of civil society in Russia” is regularly discussed during meetings between President Vladimir Putin and leaders of parliamentary factions or presidential envoys, as happened, for instance, on 28 June 2001 during Putin’s meeting with envoys Petr Latyshev (Urals federal district) and Leonid Drachevskii (Siberian federal district). Even the formation of a coalition of two political parties—the pro-Putin Edinstvo (Unity), and Primakov-Luzhkov’s Otechestvo–Vsia Rossiia (Fatherland-All Russia)—was officially welcomed by President Putin because it was expected to become an “important step aimed at strengthening and developing the political system, and creating civil society.”

Alexander N. Domrin
Controls over Foreign Funding of NGOs: What Do They Have to Do with Development of Civil Society in Russia?
Stricter controls over grants and donations to Russian NGOs from foreign organizations have been long anticipated. It’s certainly a positive development. There is nothing “draconian” about it. Among other experts in the country, scholars at the Russian Government’s Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law have been speaking (and not only speaking) about the necessity of imposing such controls since the mid-1990s.

Alexander N. Domrin
“Free, But Not Fair”: “Not Fair” for Whom?
It’s not the first time that Western officials and mass media question a “free and fair” character of elections in Russia. Just 2 years ago, the U.S. “Russian Democracy Act of 2002” (P.L. 107-246) named only two “substantially free and fair Russian parliamentary elections” – of 1995 and 1999 (sec. 2(3)(B)). Fascinatingly, early drafts of the act extended the same definition to Russian “Presidential elections in 1996 and 2000”. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations struck down the second part of the sentence. At long last, U.S. Senators got embarrassed to call Yeltsin’s shameful reelection in 1996 “free and fair”.

Alexander N. Domrin
The Sin of Party-Building in Russia
Fifteen years after creation of the first non Communist proto parties (Democratic Union, «Pamyat’», etc.) and twelve years after formation of the Democratic Platform in the CPSU which triggered the collapse of the Communist h...

Eduard V. Karyukhin
The role of public organisations in defending the rights of the elderly
The importance of civil organisations participating in society to solve problems, related to the global phenomenon of an aging population, has been emphasised in United Nations documents (Vienna Plan of Action on Aging 26.07.- 06.08.1982, Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging, 08.04.-12.04.2002). In an announcement by the General Secretary of the United Nations concerning the infringement of the interests of the elderly (Committee of Social Development, second session, 25.02.- 01.03.2002) the inter-relationship between the infringement of their interests and the problems of human rights was noted...

Artem Zagorodnov
Heroes of Our Time
One of President Vladimir Putin’s most misunderstood policies has been his approach to the conflict in Chechnya. Unfortunately many correspondents attempt to mold the reality in the Caucasus into the classic situation of a major power bullying one of its rogue provinces, whose people only desire a breath of sovereignty to rid themselves of exploitation. The truth, however, does not fit any standard model, nor can it be formed or simplified into a bestseller plot about a nationalistic, democracy-hating tyrant reigning in the wary constituents of his fallen empire.

Non nascondo, il primo Messaggio del Presidente Medvedev all'Assemblea Federale non mi ha lasciato indifferente. E' stata una cosa buona che un simile discorso sia risuonato. Spero che aiuterà a ravvicinare una nuova tappa nella vita della nostra società e del nostro paese, il trapasso dall'idea alla pratica dello sviluppo dell'istituto costituzionale.



Representative Power – 21st Century: Legislation, Commentary, Problems
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