restricted access Post-Soviet “Political”?: “Social” and “Political” in the Work of Russian Socially Oriented CSOs
Abstract

This article seeks to understand the role of civil society organizations (CSO) in contemporary Russian society. Rather than looking narrowly at advocacy groups, the investigation focuses on less-studied socially oriented organizations, including more recently established CSOs as well as the so-called Soviet-type voluntary organizations, which have been almost completely neglected by Western scholarship on Russian civil society. In contrast to the argument that Russia’s socially oriented CSOs are apolitical – an argument often made in Western scholarship on Russian civil society – the research found that organizations from both categories – the old Soviet-type and the more recent post-Soviet – were engaged in both political advocacy work and service provision, although they were engaged in political and social action to varying extents.


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