chapter  1
18 Pages

Democratic repertoires of political legitimization

Russian echoes and European realities
WithEvert van der Zweerde

This chapter addresses transformations in the conception of democracy and democratic legitimization by using Russia and the Europe Union (EU) as each other's "mirror". It explores a working definition of the notion of "democratic repertoire," emphasizing "repertoires of legitimization" as one of its more specific forms. The chapter describes the "fate" of democracy in Russia during the post-Soviet period and focuses on the ways in which Russian political science echoes the development of democracy in the EU. It discusses the way in which Russian politics mirrors European politics. Apart from the EU's incapacity to develop anything like a common European foreign policy, which gives Russia and its allies ample opportunity to use the interspaces between EU member states, there is the, by now notorious, "crisis of democracy. Referendums are a potentially valuable element of democratic political culture only when they are well embedded in a tradition of active civic participation.