One-Eyed King: Phenomenon of "Positive Program" in Russian Politics release_5jsddaqtcvcdbkoi35w424elhi

by K.O. Telin

Published in Полития by The Journal of Political Philosophy and Sociology of Politics.

2021   Volume 101, p68-96


One of the central issues of the Russian politics is whether its participants have the so-called "positive program", and the representatives of both the ruling regime and opposition regularly talk about the need for such program. The article examines three interrelated issues: 1) what a "positive program" means and how this phenomenon is interpreted in the Russian political space; 2) to what extent it is correct to accuse Russian parties in their lack of a "positive program"; 3) whether the current government, which articulates the demand for a positive program more often than others, has such a program. In this article the author shows that, being a specifically Russian phenomenon, a "positive program" today presupposes not only the advancement of concrete proposals and initiatives that look into the future and represent an alternative to the current political course. Its most important feature is the acceptance of the status quo: in order for the initiatives of an individual politician or a party to be recognized as "positive", they should not infringe on the legitimacy of the existing order. It is this criterion alone, according to which the programs of a number of parties can be deemed "non-positive". In terms of their concrete, alternative and future-oriented programs, many parties are not inferior, if not superior, to the United Russia that largely devotes its party program to the chronicle of the achievements made by the country (not the party) as well as to Vladimir Putin who did not offer to the public a single document called "program" in any of his presidential campaigns.
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Date   2021-06-23
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