Eurasian Demotia: Formation of the Concept of Self-government

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The article examines one of the key concepts of the Eurasianists - demotia. Despite its theoretical significance, the concept of demotia, like many other Eurasian concepts, has not been developed in detail. Meanwhile, demotia, as a concept proposing new principles of self-government, is of special interest and still has a certain practical potential. In Russia, the introduction of the beginnings of local self-government is associated with the Great Reforms of Alexander II. However, the acquired rights were deemed insufficient. Of the constructive criticism of reforms in the sphere of self-government, the most consistent was the theory of A.I. Herzen (“communal socialism”). It was in it that the Eurasians saw the basis for the future organization of the Eurasian space, which received its form in the concept of demotia. The article examines the views of a number of Eurasians on demotia. According to their views, demotia is the most important principle of self-government, which implements the method of “organic representation” of the people at all levels of government (N.N. Alekseev); being a Eurasian demotic system - δημοτία, it is fundamentally different from the Western democratic - δημοκρατία (Ya.D. Sadovsky). They also pointed to the political homogeneity of the demotic system, which was seen as a huge advantage over the multiparty democratic system of the West (N.S. Trubetskoy). As a result of the study, it is concluded that demotia was a necessary part of the ideocracy-demotia construct, actively promoted in the works of the Eurasians, as a project to create a truly classless and harmonious society. Demotia combines the idea of the Eurasian nationality (the circle of traditional ideas of the Eurasian peoples) and the principle of direct democracy, which reconciles the idea of an ethnos as a people as a whole with its traditional ideas and specific ways of being and the idea of a demos as a “political” people.

About the authors

Andrey V. Shabaga

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2444-299X

Doctor of Philosophy, Full Professor of the Department of History and Theory of International Relations

6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 117198


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