Innovative Development and the Problems of Modern Russia

The officially inspired optimism can not suppress the concern for the future of Russia that has been accumulated in the society1 The article is based on the report from the Annual scientific session in the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (9.04.08). The article uses the materials of the research project of the Russian Humanitarian Academic Fund N 07 03 00074a.1. The only thing that might be able to dismantle it is more clarity on strategic course of the authority and its ability to solve the problems that the country is facing.

A lot of these problems emerged within the former development. The most important of them seem to be the following:

— one-sided industrial development, the depreciation of basic capital, growing misbalances, in the first place the problem of energy, transport and repair infrastructures drastically falling behind, increasing inflation;

— oncoming demographic catastrophe, mass poverty, high level of social inequality, inefficiency of the social help system, deprival of many groups of citizens of the access towards education;

— increasingly obvious intellectual level decrease, gradual “wilding” of the youth, destruction of the established educational system, increasing commercialization of culture2 See O Rossii 2008: Ch. 4, 5.2.

At the same time, Russian society is to face a lot of new problems caused

by its own as well as the world development. Russia is already so much incorporated into the world economy that it

will not be able to escape the challenges in front of it. Some of them are already well-known such as threats that are linked to the aggravating conflict between the human being and the environment as well as the crisis of existing world order (that is today more often and rather reasonably called the “world disorder”), other problems are just starting to be noticed and perceived.

First of all, we are talking about the neoconservative model of development exhaustion that was established in the world in the last third of the 20th century. Over several decades this model despite the inherent flaws had produced more or less positive results. However, with the turn of the century it started to reveal the obvious dysfunctions.

Although the discussion of the reasons for such turn of events is beyond this article, one of them is worth dealing with. The progressing globalization and accelerated technological progress led to the significant differentiation of the world economic structure and the whole world system as well, which caused the increasing demand in the outside regulating impulses since it is common knowledge that the more complicated the system is, the more problematic is its self-adjustment. However, the neoconservative model has always been based on the flat denial of such impulses as the ones negatively influencing the natural economic processes.

This discrepancy of theoretical postulates with objectively emerged necessities was reflected in the increasingly noticeable gap between the financial system and real production, the palpable change in the vector of money and goods flows as a result of the new dominant forces emergence, limits of the effective demand etc. Such an important circumstance as the reduction in reserves that is in the opportunity of consuming natural, in the first place, energy resources, was added to that.

The serious difficulties that the world financial system is facing today as well as the discernable indicators of the overall recession can be called the symptoms of the exhaustiveness of the neoconservative model. It is hard to judge about the ramifications of this tendency so far. However, its deepening character is rather clear.

Russian economic model has exhausted itself even to a greater extent. The lack of any significant efforts aimed at using the favourable for the resources exporters’ environment to attain the foremost positions in the sphere of modern production caused our country’s lagging behind not only the traditional world leaders, but also of the new economic giants such as China and India. Even the high-ranking leaders of Russia began to point out the inefficiency of this model and the need to alter it.

No wonder that in the last years the notion of innovative development3 See, e.g., Poslanie 2007.3 already established abroad4 was gaining its popularity. The associations calling themselves innovative and the venture funds started to emerge. The same engagement is being imitated by the authorities4 Shport, s. a.4. Following the call from above, many cities and districts are hastily elaborating their own programs of the innovative policy in different spheres of national economy, whereupon the innovative development is usually interpreted as the more intensive (than earlier) introduction of the modern scientific elaborations into the industrial production and its organizational structures5 See Trifilova 2003; Gurkov 2003; Vasilyev 2005; Folomyev 2005; Tacker 2006; Drucker 2007; Galperin, Kenevich 2007 and others.5.

By no means underscoring the significance of the broad practical introduction of latest technologies and methods in production organization, some serious flaws immanent in this approach should be indicated. Restricting innovative development to the undoubtedly necessary renewal of basic capital and active application of scientific results in a production process, we deprive this idea of the novel content that is inherent in it, since the innovations themselves have always played the key role in the human society development. Skills to get fire, invention of the wheel, metal smelting etc. are all examples of innovations. Innovations determined the content of the first and second industrial revolutions as well as the scientific-technological revolution of the second half of the 20th century.

This situation inevitably begs the question whether the innovative development is viewed as being equal with the normal renewal of means and technological foundations of industrial productions is just a way to distract public attention from the need in a real qualitative leap capable of paving the path into the future.

A totally different approach towards the innovative development seems to be more plausible. The term will obtain its real content only if it is regarded as a process of forming a specific innovative economy with three interdependent directions: (1) creation of technological, economic, social and political preconditions for the forthcoming innovative leap; (2) radical modernization of the already existing material production; (3) formation of the entirely new, innovative spheres of activities.

Despite some naïve conceptions, the formation of such economy is by no means equivalent to the change of the whole economic structure. Guided by previous experience, it is likely to provoke the emergence of the additional, high-technological “layer” that acts in organic connection with others and exerts the permanently increasing influence over them.

However, no doubt that on the whole it is all about the leap forward.

Can such a leap be reasonably considered urgent? There is enough evidence for the positive answer.

First, solving the whole set of global problems that the humanity has been facing since the second half of the 20th — beginning of the 21st century requires knowledge and skills of the substantially higher level than those that the society possesses today.

Second, a lot of leading countries suffering from the progressing ageing of their population and inflow of the immigrants from the regions with different culture and mass mentality are essentially interested in the multifold increase in the autochthonous labor force productivity.

Third, with the emergence of new centers of modern industrial development that possess such an inarguable competitive advantage as the cheap labor force, the ordinary as well as qualified one, traditional leaders can secure their positions only in case of innovative leap that will lead its production to the level beyond reach of the “new industrial tigers”.

There are also some objective prerequisites for the implementation of this leap such as new knowledge that has been accumulated by the humanity but has not been applied in the production process yet; the powerful scientificproduction infrastructure being able to put scientific ideas and conclusions into practice; the far-reaching system for preparing cadres that is flexible enough to promptly provide highly qualified labor forces of the type necessary for implementing the corresponding economic maneuver, and finally, an opportunity that the state still hasn’t lost to mobilize the capitals that are needed for the transition towards the innovative development.

All of this obviously suggests that the innovative development in the sense presented above is a “categorical imperative” for the countries oriented towards maintaining and strengthening their position in the world community. Not choosing this way means not only lagging behind, but falling down to marginal positions and bogging down there for a long time if not forever. This relates to all the countries with Russia being in the first place.

The turn to such development will not be easy: it will require both time and efforts.

The mass industrial production that is typical for the present stage of economic development is inertial in its essence. Its radical readjustment will necessitate a lot of efforts and material resources. Therefore, the innovations that are connected with such readjustment might encounter fierce confrontation from the influential economic and political groups. Thus, it is necessary to create on the state level the leverages and stimuli able to cope with this inertness without exposing the production and the social system on the whole to the excessive shocks, which is in its turn linked to the introduction of serious amendments into the management of economic processes and, which is the most important, into the system of allowances and other privileges.

The current structure of informational networks also needs reviewing. The innovative development implies maximally free access to the information and consequently, liquidation of all the barriers that hamper its attainment.

The innovative turn is impossible without a significant increase in the role of institutions that realize the accumulated interest of the society, and the accurate fixation of the set goals and methods of their implementation. In other words, again one has to resort to the indicative planning that has been much laughed at in the last years.

Of course, the institutions that reflect the groups’ interests can contribute to this trajectory of development. Nevertheless, the final elaboration of the corresponding projects should be conducted on the state level. It is no coincidence that in the states where the innovative development has already become or at least is now becoming the important sphere of politics the institutions that are controlled by the state or linked to it through the relations are the ones to work out its principles (including the description of the concrete goals and phases of achieving them), determine the participants of the realization of different projects and subprojects, the scope and forms of their financing etc.6 See Tsyrenshchikov 2007; Sokolov 2007.6

Since the investments into innovative development are normally risky, there is no point in hoping that they will be of any interest to the private capital (at least during its initial stages). Therefore, transferring to such development will require active participation of the state capital or the one that is guaranteed by the state in financing the innovations. If the number of such innovations is rather large, it will lead to the significant change in the directions of financial flows.

The transition to innovative development will cause the inevitable alteration in the relations between science and state. Science should not only turn into the direct productive force, but also become the most important leverage of the state strategy implementation in the sphere of social production. To some extent science will continue to fulfill the orders that reflect the society interests. However, its main partner and thus a customer will be the state.

Nevertheless, the interaction between the state structures and science can not be conducted within the paradigm “master —servant”, which the Russian bureaucrats who are in charge of science have been long struggling for and continue to do it now. It is about the equal right partnership, within which not only the state poses tasks to science, but also science poses them to the state, which is impossible without psychological readjustment of the consciousness of those working in the administrative bodies.

In case of Russia solving the problems listed above is additionally hardened by the fact that as a result of the deindustrialization in the 1990s its economy appeared to be thrown back to the level only a little higher than that typical for the primary industrialization. In order to make the serious transition to the innovative development, Russia has to not only settle the whole complex of problems inherited from its past, but also to make the historical leap over several stages.

The innovative development will inescapably require the more intensive involvement of the Russian economy into the world economic system. One of the steps on this way seems to be the entry into the World Trade Organization. However, the main branches of the national industry are not ready for that yet. Its direct implication might be a collapse of the most of the Russian functioning companies that will not be able to sustain the competition with the flows of the foreign products.

The entire openness of the markets will make Russia to a greater degree vulnerable towards the crisis processes that the world economy is suffering today (financial instability, disturbances in the labor markets, delocalization of the production etc.). The pull-up of internal energy feedstock prices up to the level of the worldwide being inevitable under such conditions will provoke further increasing inflation and thereby, radical decrease in the quality of life for the significant part of population.

The deficit of highly qualified labor force might become a grave obstacle for the Russian transition to the innovative development. This deficit that is already being noticed in the key production branches is likely to increase due to more critical attitude of young generations towards education as such and an obvious decay of secondary and high education system.

The situation in the scientific sphere might also become the hindrance of no less importance. The humiliated state which Russian science was in during the last years undermined its status in the eyes of the youth. Talented young people rarely choose a scientific path. As a result, the scientific community is dramatically ageing. If the situation will not change, in a decade we might find ourselves without science at all. Which innovative development that we cherish hopes for today will we be able to talk about in this case?

No doubt that all the problems mentioned above are tractable, but only in that case if the process will organically include something which is can be called a political factor.

The efficient political encouragement of the innovative development requires the following:

— political will of the highest authority layers;

— active participation of the elite’s core in power in the implementation of this will;

— proven regulatory tools for solving the set tasks;

— readiness of the significant part of the population to participate in the reforms or at least not to inhibit them.

Does the modern Russia have the reserves that can contribute to the creation of the conditions necessary for the successful innovative development? It is hard to answer this question for now. One can only make some vague assumptions about the possible obstacles as well as the efforts that are necessary to embark on the right direction.

Let us start with the evaluation of the higher authority’s political will. As said before, it is present on the verbal level. However, there is no secret that in politics verbal attitudes are often substantially different from those in reality.

Even considering the presence of the real political will as an axiom, one should take into account the inner ambivalence of this very phenomenon. In order to lead to the desirable result, the authority’s political will should be founded on the adequate interpretation of the initial situation and the potential implications of the managerial decisions within each stage of getting closer to the designated purpose. Otherwise, the implementation of such will might appear to be just another adventure. In its turn, the adequate view of the initial situation and the potential consequences of the decisions crucially depend on the efficient feedback that is not perverted by the intermediate deviating impacts.

The modern Russia does not yet have the efficient feedback system. The established practice of playing up to and flattering the authority deprives the Russian government of the opportunity to soberly evaluate the real situation and the tendencies of its development. The jeopardy of such practice is starting to be conceived on the highest level. However, for its termination the necessary common appeals are missing.

The ruling elite’s readiness to get actively engaged into the realization of the course aimed at the innovative development is under a big question. These doubts are not from scratch. The specificity of the elite’s formation as well as its attitudes make them reasonable7 See Kryshtanovskaya 2005; Gaman-Golutvina 20067.

The main core of the Russian elite is now interested in the first place in maintaining and strengthening the economic as well as power positions obtained in the 1990s and later on. It finds the reflection in its firm orientation towards stability interpreted exclusively as the inalterability of the established relations between power and property. Consequently, any changes even though they promise positive results in the future are usually get a hostile reception. Sometimes it can turn into the active confrontation, but most often it takes the shape of passive sabotage.

Since the course targeted at the innovative development inevitably requires not only the technological-productive innovations, but also modernization of the social and political institutions, the attitude of the ruling elite core towards such development is likely to be totally negative.

The governing institutions are also badly adjusted for the implementation of this course.

The several-years long construction of the power hierarchy made some of the public believe that finally the efficient system of power relations has been created. However, this belief is in many respects illusive. The new governing structures, which their leaders admit themselves, are “corrupted” and are “not motivated towards the positive alterations, let alone any dynamic development”. This is rather the pattern than the result of some defects.

Any overcentralized administrative system focused on the leading figure or a small group of leaders inescapably obtains all the flaws typical of the authoritarian regimes, which reduces both real and hypothetical advantages of the hierarchical power system to nothing. Such systems normally lose their initial efficiency soon. The solution to the problem is becoming spurious and entails the emergence of new, more complicated problems than the ones that seemed to be settled.

This pattern is based on the whole set of objective reasons.

There are physical limits that restrict the field of problems, and their evaluation lies within the ability of one person (or a small group of people). Moreover, his decisions are unavoidably distorted under the impact of the court intrigues. The deficit in the adequate information on the public reaction reduces the possibility of making corrections to the decision that had already been taken.

The strict power hierarchy makes the decision-making process cumbersome and awkward. Retaining the ability to deal with the routine problems, the system is afraid of new problems and appears get lost when they emerge.

Every layer of the power hierarchy inevitably encounters the deviating “interferences” caused by the individual or group interests that are often at odds with those of the higher authority. In case of emergency these “interferences” appear to be so strong that the content of the original impulse vanishes already within the higher steps of the hierarchical ladder. Overcoming the deviating “interferences” creates the demand in a huge number of controllers, which entails bulking of the bureaucratic apparatus that is hard to regulate. Most often the controllers also find themselves under the influence of the “interferences”, which causes the “stupid endlessness” of the control over controllers. All of this fuels the growth of corruption paralyzing the mechanisms of the state governance.

The heel of Achilles of any strict power hierarchy is the cadres’ selection. It is rather personal loyalty, obsequiousness and absolute compliance rather than professionalism, qualification or abilities and moral qualities that obtain the decisive importance in recruiting and nominating. There is no room left in the administrative system for the independent people and those of principles. The mobility of cadres is radically reduced; the so called embolism of the governing apparatus takes place8 See O Rossii 2008: 202—2038.

It appears the administrative measures alone, even though the most radical ones are not enough for the profound reforms of the governing institutions that are necessary for the innovative development. The decisive democratization of the whole system of power is needed.

Now let us try to evaluate the position of the population — whether it is ready (or not) to accept the program of innovative development offered from above and participate in its implementation. Are the promises of the wealthy future that are linked to the realization of the program capable of ripping the veil of disappointment, skepticism, and alienation that still separated the significant part of the society from the administrative apparatus and the power on the whole? The answer is likely to be negative.

Being the product of the individual and group experience that has been accumulated for centuries the mass consciousness as a factor determining the everyday and social behavior of people is a sort of quasiphysical substance possessing the same properties as the physical bodies: complicated structure, elasticity and inertia.

Those who view such consciousness as an invariant as well as those who compare it to something such as plasticine, which any figure at discretion can be made of, are wrong. Being the product of the historical experience, although rather late, it absorbs new information digesting it in accordance with the established canons. At the same time, it actively resists any attempts of the rude outside interference. It can not be broken radically. The greater is the pressure, the stronger is the comeback. Ignoring it means failure of any plans including the reasonable ones.

Despite all the fluctuations caused by the environmental impacts there is a deep layer of preferences and expectations in the mass consciousness of the Russian population reflecting the specificity of the country historical way. The formation of these preferences and expectations were influenced by the following:

— the century-long traditional lifestyle that was characterized by both the developed forms of the communal life and the serfdom and other types of the pre-capitalist social inequality;

— more than 70-year long experience of the state socialism with the strict system of centralized planning and distribution guaranteed by the modest consumption, orientation towards social equality with the restricted political freedom;

— short-term “democratic breakthrough” linked to the reforms of the second half of the 1980s;

— heterogeneous and in many respects catastrophic ramifications of the government of the liberal-fundamentalists aiming at entirely destructing the former system and “capitalizing” the society in accordance with the patterns established in the West.

Each of the mentioned stages of the past requires specific comprehension.

Determining the impact of traditional lifestyle on the Russian public consciousness requires avoiding mythological evaluations that can seriously pervert the real picture. One of such evaluations is grounded on the idea that the historical past of Russian people that for many centuries lived under the oppression of the absolute sovereigns, underwent the long-lasting stage of serf relationships, had never experienced the traditions of self-government had elaborated the Russian people stable mentality with its main features being patience, humbleness, modesty, lack of confidence in its strength and social passiveness.

Another mythological evaluation that mostly emanates from the previous one is that the type of the relationships between the “elites” and the “masses” established in the country implies worshiping higher authority and absolute compliance with its demands being deeply entrenched in their consciousness.

This is not true. As a result of the social consciousness contradictory nature, which was historically formed in Russia, it is typical for it along with paternalism to interpret any power including the legitimate one as a force confronting and even being hostile towards the individual as well as the society on the whole. The amoral absolute rule of the today’s bureaucracy that has long advocated radical reforms brought this alienation to a higher level.

The years of the state socialism dominance with its stillborn efforts to violently make the society “happy” caused disappointment of many Russians in the socialist values and the very notion of “socialism” that the population associates with the real functioning of the Soviet system. At the same time the 7-decade long existence of this structure in the mostly peasant country with the patriarchal-communal values holding the predominant position encouraged the formation of the specific ideas about the preferred social structure in the society that include the following:

— orientation towards high stability of the established living conditions that people got used to;

— overestimated social expectations linked to the state activity; — attitude towards free education and health service, cheap accommoda-

tion and leisure as the inalienable components of the lifestyle; — denial of the too deep gaps in the living conditions of different population


The period of readjustment encouraged the high social activity of the citizens, helped them to perceive and realize the value of the democratic procedures and institutions, freedom of thought, information and unlimited movements around the world. Consequently, a lot of democratic principles and procedures appeared to be compromised. Nevertheless, the adherence to them, although having declined, but by no means vanished. As various surveys indicate, the percentage of Russians who despite being discontented with one or another aspect of the democratic procedures implementation in principle advocate the democratic form of government still exceeds 50%.

At that time, under the conditions when the USSR was more obviously lagging behind the developed Western countries, a lot of Soviet citizens became permanently interested in the social and economic practice typical for these states. The mass consciousness will gradually obtain the idealized image of the “West” as a sort of the “island of prosperity”, where justice prevails, democratic mechanisms properly work, there are no social barriers and the highly qualified material goods are accessible to everyone. All of this was associated with the modern capitalist social order. The negative attitude towards the notion of “capitalism” that was shared by most citizens was replaced by the neutral and often even positive one.

This is why most of the Russian population welcomed the ideas deriving from the need in the radical social changes with such euphoria. The first stage was about the perfection of socialism.

However, soon the decisive turn to capitalism took place.

Over several years the overestimated expectations were replaced by the deep disappointment. As a result of the reforms conducted by the liberal-fundamentalists the society split into the winning minority and the losing majority, which caused by the substantial part of the population the revival of the negative attitude towards the social structure denying the state social obligations and being associated with capitalism. All of this overlapped with the preferences emanating from the traditional communal-collectivist orientation that were based on the values of the authorities’ and society’s responsibility.

These preferences can be treated differently, but they can not be ignored while performing the political course.

The changes that occurred within the social consciousness deprived the power structures that determined the destiny of Russia in the 1990s of the significant part of the political credit that they had possessed from the beginning. Hardly anyone could evaluate the situation in the country as successful.

The discontent that was based on that took different shapes. Some (not without reason) saw the cause for what was happening in the flawed principles that the new social system was founded on. Others were confident that thieves and bribers who held positions in all structures were the ones to put blame on for all the problems, and once someone got rid of them, the situation would be substantially better. Thirds embraced xenophobic prejudices that were additionally fuelled, similarly to many Western countries, by the mass inflow of the immigrants from the countries with the lower quality of life.

In some cases, this discontent manifested in the hostility of Russian “back country” towards the capital metropolises, above all Moscow. On the one hand, the ground for such hostility was created by the gap in the existence between the provincial and capital populations, on the other hand, by the intensification of the unitary sentiments in the federal structures, their efforts aimed at reducing the rights and competences of the subjects of the federation.

The increase in the protest potential was reflected both in the demonstrative alienation from politics and nostalgia for the past, in the readiness to support the “strong power” being associated with the “strong leader”.

All of this have affected the political process. The disagreement of the society majority with the choice made by the elite in power was not mitigated by the flexible political actions, but rather deepened. The opportunities of transforming the latent political attitudes into the political actions, also in connection with the eradication of the electoral process, were minimized.

In this sense the fact that the modern Russian society is deeply segmented in its attitude towards values (and not only values) was of great importance. Its typical antinomies include “modernization/fundamentalism”, “westernization/pochvennichestvo (return to Soil)”, “elitism/ sociality”, “authoritarianism/democracy”. There are also additional “cleavages” that reflect the discontinuity of the many citizens’ consciousness9 See Grazhdane 2005; Byurokratiya 2006; Rossiyskaya identichnost 2007.9.

Nevertheless, the deep and ubiquitous discontent of the society with authorities largely manifested in the passive form. The reasons for that need additional research. Some of them can be stressed now.

The first reason is the denial by the most of the modern Russians of any violent actions that can provoke collapse of the power structures, anarchy and armed confrontation of the social and national groups. The historical experience that is imbedded in the social consciousness led to the firm confidence of Russian population that such actions will not bring urgent problems solution and can only worsen the living conditions. Therefore, unless the authorities push the boundaries so that it is no longer possible to be patient most of the citizens, regardless of their attitude to the ruling political forces, will not overstep the constitutional framework.

The second reason is the alienation between the elites and the masses. Most of the Russian citizens think that the elites by no means will take into account the interests of the population, and thus, any efforts undertaken by the people will fail.

According to the external indicators, the attitude of most Russians towards the political institutions and the regime on the whole can be defined as alien-passive. However, such unambiguous conclusion seems to be wrong. The society has accumulated the potential not only for the social discontent, but also for the latent civil activity that for a long time lacked the adequate expression. Therefore, the political and civil alienation that is being so heatedly debated in the academic literature is unstable. Some fluctuations of the socialeconomic and political situation might promptly change this alienation into activism, including its most radical forms.

At the same time, it is worth noticing that the mistrust to the power does not arouse the social activity. First, the individual alienation from the politics occurred. In the next place the social irritation adds up along with the discouragement and presentiments of the looming catastrophe. Thus, there is a tendency of escaping reality: mass drinking, drugs etc. The object of discontent is often being replaced. The social irritation is sublimated into the excessive aggressiveness targeted not so much at the power structures as at the artificially created image of a “foe”. After that the overall absolutely hostile alienation from the power took place with most of the citizens malignly observing its convulsions.

For this escalation of the social discontent to turn into the more or less conscious manifestations of protest and active actions, not only the high level of social tension, but also the deep personal identification of people with their social communities are necessary.

By all appearances, the social discontent has not reached its critical level yet. Neither there is a clear identification crystallization of the society. The social discontent and even tension normally are of a local character, even more so when the material deprivations and everyday problems cause tiredness, divert the spiritual and physical strengths into the adaptation to the hard economic situation. However, despite all of the above said, the destabilization of the social orders stays within measure.

With the ascension to power of the new team at the turn of the century the downfall of the political credit that the authorities possessed stopped. The elites obtained a new credit that seems to be retained for now.

At the same time, as paradoxical as it might seem, the existence of such credit by no means led to the erosion of the deep mistrust to the authorities that being in many respects traditional substantially intensified under the influence of the “chaos” of the 1990s.

The attitudes that determined the specificity of the mass consciousness being predominant today are still based on the following ideas:

— the functioning system in the country represents the interests only of the rich part of the society ignoring the needs and demands of the less wealthy majority and therefore, any impulses coming from the system will bring this majority mostly losses;

— the large property that emerged in the country in the 90s of the former century (that in the first place fell into the hands of the so called oligarchs) is a result of the machinations that incurred the incalculable damage to the society and the state;

— under the established conditions one is nearly to hope for the creation (or at least partial restoration) of such system of the social amortizations that would guarantee every member of the society the acceptable living conditions on every stage of their life as the compensation for their labor contribution to the common deed;

— the chances of the ordinary citizen for the vertical social mobility, whichever efforts he makes, are minimal under the modern circumstances, and it is all only about survival;

— in the society that is based on the complex of the law violations the law can not regulate the relationships between the citizens and therefore, there is no point in taking it into the account.

In such situation, is it reasonable to hope that the power structures will be able to assure the citizens of the reality of constructing within the relatively small time period if not ideal, then at least successful society, and this time it is suggested that it be called the “innovative”, and to encourage them for the active participation in its creation? Of course, one can not entirely deny the possibility of such scenario. History witnessed a lot of unforeseen turns. It might be that despite all the serious difficulties the present authorities using the retained political credit will manage to turn the wheel in the new direction. For this to occur, it is necessary not only to choose the right direction, but also to reinforce it with deeds.

The power will be able to obtain the social support only if the citizens get the decisive evidence of its readiness to radically break with the former course and qualitatively alter the policy’s vector. Such evidence is usually the institutional changes that provide the society with more opportunities than earlier to exert influence over the political decisions and rather fundamental cadres’ alterations that imply nominating for the state key positions those figures who enjoy the absolute public authority.

The set of the certain measures that would be interpreted by the citizens as the proof of the sincere concern about their wealth is especially important. The population will agree to assume the burden that is inevitable while transiting to the innovative development only if it is distributed more or less equally.


This analysis points out the need in the alternative set of strategic priorities different from the one that is taking shape now judging by the statements that were recently made, including the ones at the highest level. The transition to the innovative development is undoubtedly very important. If Russia does not choose this path, it will unavoidably find itself in the rearguard of the countries claiming the significant standing in the modern world.

At the same time, such transition will require the well-prepared siege of the confronting bastions rather than the mounted attack. One should in advance lift the minefield that causes numerous problems, both the old ones inherited from the past as well as the new ones inevitably emerging within the progressive movement. It is also of no less significance to create the preconditions for such movement, above all the social and political institutions that would ensure the final success of the efforts made. Without this, the innovative development will never transform from the virtual space into the real one.


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