Podvintzev O. B. Popularity of conservatism in post-soviet Russia and the diversity of its nature (.pdf)


The paper analyzes the interpretation of the term “conservatism” in Russian political discourse after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then, politicians, ideologues and publicists have changed their attitude to the term from negative to positive, but often they define it differently. In the 1990s and partly in the 2000s, they determined conservatism as a strategy of Western governments, or as a political approach that allows critics of radical destruction of the Soviet system and its legacy. In the 2010s, “conservatism” is used as an ideological basis of Russia’s “imperial revival” in the confrontation with the West, or simply understood as anti-liberalism. In fact, those who make such parallels speak not about “conservatism” but about “reaction”. However, any expert in the history of conservatism as a political phenomenon agrees that sometimes it is in fact difficult to make the distinction between conservatism and reaction. The author states that serious achievements of Russian studies in the understanding of conservatism as a complex historical and political phenomenon still have little impact on Russian political practice, and their perception by the politicians is very superficial.


Key words: conservatism, empire, liberalism, holism, reform, socialism, modernization.


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