Kirill Rogov

Fellowships

Fellowships
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The analysis of public opinion under authoritarianism poses a significant problem. The very structure of the object "public opinion" is significantly distorted by the institutional conditions of autocracy, and the interpretation of mass opinion survey data in the framework of the same models that are used in democratic and semi-democratic regimes leads to significant errors. The strength of official propaganda under such conditions is determined not so much by its effectiveness (plausibility) and not even by its monopolistic position, as by the costs incurred by citizens in trying to oppose the "official" picture of the world. Moreover, these costs are related both to threats emanating from the state and to threats of isolation emanating from the "imaginary majority". This "imaginary majority" plays a crucial role in the mechanisms of psychological repression of dissent.

Under the conditions of war there is an escalation of these mechanisms, repression, costs and political conflicts. Russian public opinion is currently in a state of shock and is simultaneously a space of "war" - a war for public opinion and the dominant picture of the world in this public opinion. The main issues of this research are both the commonalities and the differences between public opinion in an autocracy and public opinion in an aggressor state during wartime.

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The analysis of public opinion under authoritarianism poses a significant problem. The very structure of the object "public opinion" is significantly distorted by the institutional conditions of autocracy, and the interpretation of mass opinion survey data in the framework of the same models that are used in democratic and semi-democratic regimes leads to significant errors. The strength of official propaganda under such conditions is determined not so much by its effectiveness (plausibility) and not even by its monopolistic position, as by the costs incurred by citizens in trying to oppose the "official" picture of the world. Moreover, these costs are related both to threats emanating from the state and to threats of isolation emanating from the "imaginary majority". This "imaginary majority" plays a crucial role in the mechanisms of psychological repression of dissent.

Under the conditions of war there is an escalation of these mechanisms, repression, costs and political conflicts. Russian public opinion is currently in a state of shock and is simultaneously a space of "war" - a war for public opinion and the dominant picture of the world in this public opinion. The main issues of this research are both the commonalities and the differences between public opinion in an autocracy and public opinion in an aggressor state during wartime.

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This is a book project focused on the re-interpretation of post-soviet transition trajectories in a broad societal perspective. While in previous decades a normative approach prevailed in the interpretations of post-soviet states social development the one proposed in this book pretend to revise its foundations. All labeled as “post-soviet” ones in fact these countries were “soviet” in a very different ways and the diversity of their post-soviet trajectories in last thirty years are seen as the diversity of societal responses to the collapse of the soviet political order.