Russia’s Road to Modernity
Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe was a “Baron Münchausen syndrome” – a venture similar to that of a fairytale personage who boasted to be able to lift himself up by grabbing hold of his own hair. Post-communist transition still involves social, cultural, and political engineering, since fundamentally it is a transition to modern society in the conditions of an assertive and sometimes forceful presence of ready-made Western institutional and cultural formats. Such is the challenge facing Russia in the epoch of globalisation. Russia’s Road to Modernity looks at Russian social change through the prism of modernisation theory. It singles out Russia’s modern traits, traditional traits, and the mergers of the two. By doing this, the book tries to answer the questions about Russia’s place among other nations, in what way she is different from other countries, and whether she is unique in the sense some of Russian intellectuals have claimed her to be. The conclusions drawn may be of interest not only to Russia scholars, but also to those who study any country undergoing rapid modernization, like post-communist countries or newly democratic Arab societies. The overall conceptual framework applied in this research allows, in author’s view, to illuminate some basic issues, relating to how a comparatively closed society opens up to the world under the influence of the more advanced societies, which it aspires to emulate.