Civil Society, Human Rights Struggles and Democratization in Argentina and Russia: Some Brief Comparative Conclusions

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Enrique Peruzzotti
Françoise Daucé

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Abstract

In terms of democratic accountability and the strength of civil society, Argentina and Russia exhibit strikingly different historical trajectories. In Argentina, the dictatorship was forced out of power, civil society could be resurrected, and the human rights movement created strong networks before its ideas were adopted by politicians. In Russia, there was no previous tradition of democracy, former communist leaders stayed in power, and politicians showed little interest in human rights or contacts with NGOs. The demand for democratic accountability was marginal and/or a foreign import in both countries, but it seems to have been institutionalized and internalized in Argentina more than in Russia, where activists are trying to conceive a civil society based on personal ties of proximity. In English, extensive summary in Russian.

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