Pres.: Weimar/Russia Comparison, Kyiv 26.2.13 19:00
- History course of the education project "Vilna Shkola" (Free School)
Lecture by Andreas Umland (http://kiev.academia.edu/AndreasUmland )
"Why the Fascists Won't Take Over the Kremlin (for Now): A Comparison of Democracy's Breakdown and Fascism's Rise in Weimar Germany and Post-Soviet Russia"
A paper by Steffen Kailitz (HAIT Dresden) and Andreas Umland (NaUKMA Kyiv)
When: Tuesday, 26 February 2013, 19:00-21:00Where: vul. Volodymyrska 51/53, 10th floor, office 46 (mention "Vilna Shkola" to the concierge)
Abstract: Structural explanations featuring socioeconomic changes dominate the study of authoritarian regression. We demonstrate that such theories are insufficient to account for democratic decline in two of collapsology's "crucial cases" - inter-war Germany and post-communist Russia. Instead, we identify (a) a dearth of pro-democratic actors on the elite�as well as population levels, and (b) a misconstrued form of government allowing the head of state to rule circumventing parliament in combination with the election of a non-democratic president, as a configuration constituting a sufficient cause for a country's slide to authoritarianism. We then hypothesize about the conditions for an electoral autocracy to further transmute into a fascist ideocracy. Like in Weimar Germany, in today's Russia, fascist actors are present, and nationalism is widespread in the population. The post-Soviet Russian situation is, however, distinct from the inter-war German one in that the party system is heavily manipulated and the third sector remains underdeveloped. Fascists have thus neither had a chance to use elections nor did they have the opportunity to penetrate civil society in order to build up political support. The continuing presence of a resolutely authoritarian, yet non-fascist "national leader" (Vladimir Putin) is a hindrance for the country to become a liberal democracy, but makes it, for the time being, also improbable that the Russian regime will transgress towards fascism.
Presentation language: Russian
PowerPoint language: English
Discussion languages: Ukrainian and Russian
Host: Vitaliy Shtefan
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