Russian Intelligentsia in the Age of Counterperestroika: Political Agendas, Rhetorical Strategies, Personal Choices

Dmitri N. Shalin, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


This book examines the phenomenon of intelligentsia as political discourse, civic action, and embodied practice, focusing especially on the political agendas and personal choices confronting intellectuals in modern Russia. Contributors explore the role of the Russian intelligentsia in dismantling the Soviet system and the unanticipated consequences of the resultant changes which threaten the very existence of the intelligentsia as a distinct group. Building on the legacy of John Dewey and Jürgen Habermas, the authors make the case that the intelligentsia plays a critical role in opening communications, widening the range of participants in public discourse, and freeing social intercourse from the constraints nondemocratic political arrangements impose on the communication sphere. Looking at current trends through a variety of different lenses, this book will be of interest to those studying the past, present, and future of the Russian intelligentsia and its impact not only in Russia, but around the world