Significant share of citizens feel capable of influencing Russian nation, poll shows

Ordinary Russians have started to trust in themselves and their ability to influence the life of their nation, according to recent research by a leading economics university.

On Thursday Russia’s Higher School of Economics released the results of the research, entitled ‘Volunteer movement and social capital.’ According to the study, 37 percent of Russians currently think that they are able to influence the life of the nation. The proportion was even higher for those who felt that they could change the situation in the city where they live – 76 percent. The figure reached 88 percent when researchers inquired about the ability of people to influence life in one particular apartment block.

Over 90 percent of citizens say new revolution in Russia unthinkable

Of the 37 percent who feel capable of changing the life of the nation, 35 percent said they could do it by participating in political elections, 18 percent mentioned cooperation with non-governmental groups and another 18 percent said that the life of the country can be changed through posting information on the internet.

The share of Russians who agreed that they bear part of the responsibility for events in their country was at its lowest at 27 percent in 2008 and at its highest at 62 percent in 2015.

In comments released together with the survey results, the researchers noted that the share of optimistic Russians had increased by 20 percent since 2008.

Of course, manifestations of the economic crisis have played their part but another important thing was that the state started to impose on the public discourse the ideas of citizens’ responsibility for the events that take place in their country,” the head of the Institute of Strategic  Research and Forecast, Dmitry Yegorchenkov, said in comments with the Izvestia daily.

The results of the fresh research contrast with those released in late 2017 by the independent Russian sociological service Levada. Back then, 21 percent of Russians told researchers that they considered themselves capable of correcting a few things in society and five percent said that they thought they were able to affect the course of the nation’s development.

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