Article Information

AN INFLUENTIAL LIGHT OF MOSCOW WINDOWS: COMMUNICATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS OF CIVIL AND POLITICAL ACTIVITY IN MOSCOW DISTRICTS

Vsevolod Bederson (vsbederson@gmail.com)

Perm State National Research University, Perm, Russia 

Citation: Bederson V. (2022) Moskovskikh okon negasimyy svet: kommunikatsionnyye i organizatsionnyye faktory grazhdanskoy i politicheskoy aktivnosti v rayonakh Moskvy [An influential light of Moscow windows: communication and organizational factors of civil and political activity in Moscow districts]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 25(2): 158–175 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2022.25.2.7

Abstract. This article presents the results of a qualitative study of civil and political activity at the district level in modern Moscow. The study is based on the theoretical expectation that there is local variation in organizational forms, forms of communication, and intensity of civic and political mobilization in Moscow districts/municipalities. The research questions that the article tries to answer are: what role do communicative factors play, and what place do organizational factors (organizational structures and resource mobilization) occupy in the district civic and political activity? How do Moscow districts differ from each other based on these factors? The key research data is 17 semi-structured interviews with district civil and political activists, municipal deputies and representatives of non-profit organizations or grassroots civil associations. The research shows that Moscow, at the level of its districts and district communities, is a polity to which one can apply theoretical models of political science. Citizens are more active where they communicate and interact more horizontally, and organizational structures play the most important role in this: they reduce transaction costs, the costs of entering collective action, increase trust, etc. It is also noted that the density of the activist population as a whole is approximately the same according to estimates from respondents across all districts. In some districts, activity is concentrated on solving small and often non-political issues, in others, small problems are a springboard for politicization and struggle for deputy mandates in the municipal council or other forms of political influence through the local level of government.

Keywords: civic activism, elections, Moscow, organizational analysis.

Acknowledgements

The study was supported by a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for state support of young Russian scientists — candidates of science (grant MK-328.2020.6).

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