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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Michael Painter- Main

Russian Patterns of Modernization Modernization: (simple definition)  Radical transformation (adaptation or replacement of old institutions and patterns)) from traditional society through a transition to modernity.  Destructive and Constructive.  Includes all sectors of society: economy, polity, social structure and relations, culture, knowledge base, etc.  Changes are multiple and interrelated. Post-1991 not first attempt at ‘modernization’: Russian history may be viewed as a series of limited modernization projects.  Ivan the Terrible (16 century)  Peter the Great (late 17 – early 18 century) th  Catherine II (late 18 century)  Alexander II (1861+)  Nicholas II (1890-1914)  Bolshevik Revolution (1917) Major Features of Late Tsarist Modernization:  Agricultural Reform: (key) o Emancipation of Serfs 1861 ( mir) o 1905+: (Stolypin) break up communes, independent land- owning peasants, hereditary land ownership, consolidate land holdings, improved civil status  Industrialization 1890s (Witte): railways, trade, foreign investment, etc)  Political Reform:  Reform of Justice 1862  Reform of Local Government 1862 (zemstva)  Political Reforms 1905+: expand franchise, Duma, parties, free expression FEATURES OF RUSSIAN APPROACHES TO MODERNIZATION Basic Principles  Defined in terms of “relative backwardness”  Sharp division between “Westernizers” and “Slavophiles” Driving Forces:  State defined interests and goals; initiative for reform comes from above; however, absence of comprehensive planning and establishment of priorities;  Autocratic State (no independent executive, legislative or judicial institutions; no balance of powers; no representation; no formal constraints; no accountability; no official opposition, etc.), which defines modernization in terms of economic development while holding political, social, and other sectors stable;  Development defined in terms of extraction of resources (especially from peasantry) to provide for limited economic / military needs (defense & / or expansion); PATTERNS OF CONTINUITY IN RUSSIAN MODERNIZATION Cyclical Pattern of Russian Development:  Long periods of stability with limited modernization;  Crisis triggering recognition of need for change (usually an external trigger: national security / defeat in war / technological or industrial revolution);  Proposals for and implementation of limited reforms;  ‘Time of Troubles’;  Restoration of Stability. Issue today: Can Russia break cycle of administrative-command systems (stability) and disruption / chaos and emerge as a stable, developed country? Li
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