Russia in Anticipation of Changes: Religious Factor and Socio-political Preferences

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The religious factor is now at the focus of theoretical and public discussions, addressing the issues of understanding and evaluation of its manifestation forms in various spheres of society: intra-Church, private, public and political. Numerous research focuses account for the variability of interpretations of how the religious factor impacts the political process, in Russia among other countries. The political connotations of the religious factor in relation to the domestic political sphere imply identification of its impact on the nature of socio-political demands, assessment of the situation in the country, visions of development, unity or demarcation lines in public consciousness and behavior. Demand for change in Russian society is shared by all religious and ideological groups, which is confirmed by sociological studies. This demand manifests itself in a plea to reform the political system to achieve greater openness on the one hand, and provide social guarantees, as well as ensure efficient institutional functioning, on the other. The issue of political subjectivity and readiness for certain actions demonstrates unequal activism among representatives of various religious and ideological groups. Filling the image of the desired future with the meanings of social justice related not only to common access to basic social benefits, but also to equality of all before the law, ensuring democracy and human rights, as well as universal geopolitical meaning, confirms the shared nature of the main socio-political parameters. These parameters demonstrate that there are no deep ideological obstacles on the way to articulation of common interests, which are aimed at socio-political changes or maintaining traditional foundations. In the context of Russian multi-religious society, which coexists with secular identities, the conclusion above is of key importance for ensuring social consolidation. The article is based on data from a nationwide representative survey of the Institute of Sociology 2018 (No. 4000), in which the authors personally participated.

About the authors

Maria M. Mchedlova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University); Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Political Sciences, Full Professor and Head of the Department of Comparative Politics, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Chief Researcher of the Center “Religion in Contemporary Society”, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 6, Moscow, Russian Federation, 117198; Krzhizhanovsky Str., 24/35, build. 5, Moscow, Russian Federation, 117218

Elena N. Kofanova

Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences


PhD in Social Sciences, Senior Researcher of the Center “Religion in Contemporary Society”

Krzhizhanovsky Str., 24/35, build. 5, Moscow, Russian Federation, 117218


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Copyright (c) 2020 Mchedlova M.M., Kofanova E.N.

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