Policy Memos

Promoting Activism or Professionalism in Russia's Civil Society?

Policy Memo:


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Most scholars and development professionals agree that a stable democracy requires a strong civil society. For this reason, many assistance agencies rightfully have made promoting civil society a key objective in Russia and other post-communist countries. The task is a daunting one. The experience of enforced activism under the communist regime has left most Russians deeply suspicious of public organizations. The government has not made things easier with complicated and often hostile laws and tax codes regulating public associations and charitable giving. The organizations that do exist, therefore, are often small, dubious organizations unlikely to survive the enthusiasm of their leaders. [...]

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About the author

Professor, Department of Political Science
Bates College