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Dimitry Furman on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments

Krastev I 92
Democracy/Furman/Krastev: Writing in the context of a disintegrating country and a frightening power vacuum, Moscow political scientist Dmitry Furman was convinced that, while the only democracy Russians could expect in the short run was 'imitation democracy', in the long run, faking democracy would inculcate democratic habits regardless of the will of governing elites.
As Perry Anderson observed, Furman 'viewed democracy simply as a normal attribute of a given age of humanity, as literacy, firearms or railways had been of other ages'. In his view, 'There was no
way of knowing how Russians would dress, eat, live, work or fear in the future, but it could be predicted with some confidence that they would choose their rulers at the ballot box, take decisions by a majority and guarantee the rights of the minority.(1) - But while Furman was an optimist about the long run, he harboured deep-seated fears when it came to the immediate future of the democratic transition.
Krastev I 93
At the end of the day, he believed, the democratic facade, because of the psychological expectations it creates, would foster the emergence and stabilization of electorally accountable government. In Furrnan' theory, therefore, the series of 'colour revolutions' (especially the Rose Revolution in Georgia and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine)(2) that shattered post-Soviet space at the beginning of the twenty-first century were a logical sequel to imitation democracy.


1. Cited in Perry Anderson, 'Imitation Democracy', London Review of Books 37: 16
(27 August 2015).
2. Lincoln A. Mitchell, The Color Revolutions (University of Pennsylvania Press,2012).


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Furman, Dimitry
Krastev I
Ivan Krastev
Stephen Holmes
The Light that Failed: A Reckoning London 2019


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-20
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