Kopoteva I.V. Civil society and civic engagement in rural Russia // Russian Peasant Studies. 2016. V.1. №1. P. 142-166

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2016-1-1-142-166


The article considers various approaches to the concept “civil society” (designed to serve the state, and therefore created on state initiative and with its support; a classical type of opposition to the government and business; Soviet-type organizations, a part of official and formal structures of the state and society), and discusses the possibilities to apply this concept to contemporary Russia. Although some scientists raise the question of whether or not there is a civil society in Russia, the author is interested in finding answers to other questions: what kind of civil society exists in Russia? Is there a rural civil society? If the answer to the last question is positive, then what are the in dicators of civil society — geography, target audience, registered social activity? The article considers examples of registered and unregistered public, non-profit organizations of different levels (federal level, e. g. ACCOR, and local level — e. g. women’s, sports and other clubs, veterans’ councils, action groups). The author discusses the criteria by which public organizations and initiative groups can be attributed to the rural civil society, and identifies two types of rural social organizations — the first possess political influence, the second focus on solving local problems by the local community members.


Civil society, state, civil participation, Russian society, rural communities, local initiatives, non-profit and non-governmental organizations.

About the author

Kopoteva Inna V., PhD (Geography), Senior Researcher at the Center for Agrarian Studies of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 82/5, Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, Russian Federation 119571.
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