Center for Open Access in Science (COAS)
ISSN (Online) 2560-5380 *


2018 - Volume 2 - Number 1

Cycles of Russian History: The Inner Driver and Actual Political Dynamics

Nikolai S. Rozov * * ORCID: 0000-0003-2362-541X * ResearcherID: K-5447-2017
Novosibirsk State Technological University Department for International Relations and Regional Studies, Institute for Philosophy and Law, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences

Open Journal for Studies in Philosophy, 2018, 2(1), 19-34 *
Online Published Date: 8 September 2018

LICENCE: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ARTICLE (Full Text - PDF)

KEY WORDS: Russian cycles, Russian history, macrosociology, historical dynamics, Russian mentality, liberalization. authoritarian rollback, state breakdown, stagnation.

Socio-political history of Russia is characterized by well-known cycles with the most frequent pattern (a circular dynamics): a repetition of three phases “stagnation→crisis→authoritarian rollback”. The first model includes two actors: ruler with strategies of repressive coercion and conservatism, and elite with strategies of honest service and corruption. The main effect of elite’s strategies is the level of so called resource balance (between state, elite, and people). Repressive coercion switches on the elite’s honest service that provides normal level of balance. In these conditions ruler’s strategy switches to conservation and elite’s strategy becomes corruption which decreases the resource balance. Then the social-economic and/or geopolitical crisis and instability begins. It turns to new authoritarian rollback when new pair of ruler and elite start again their strategies of repressive coercion and honest service. Other models represent various versions of complication of this simple scheme. The model components are compared with the specifics of Russian mentality given in such oppositions as “ours/alien”, “high serfdom/low profit”, “order/freedom”. The dynamic view enables us to pose questions about the conditions under which these crises may develop and be resolved in various ways, including the conditions under which the alienated, irresponsible, and repressive character of “Russian state power” may be overcome. The question is whether social groups that do not accept these features of the regime will be able to acquire a new worldview or platform (once again, a system of frames and symbols) for consolidating their forces, surpass the critical level of social support, and on this basis accomplish — through a series of impressive ritual acts and practices — a peaceful institutional revolution, a breakthrough to authentic democracy, a new pattern of sociopolitical dynamics, and a new logic of Russian history.

Nikolai S. Rozov, Nikolayeva 8, Institute for Philosophy and Law, 630090, Novosibirsk, RUSSIAN FEDERATION. E-mail:


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