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This article is devoted to analysis of the central figure of Russian history: the politarian state, which is a true “Leviathan” for Russian society and for the individual. From the author’s point of view the following pattern of Russian history can be shown: In the face of severe nature, natural and social disasters, external pressure, military and economic failures, blunders by the heads of state, Russian society, being a complex self-organizing system, chooses each time a politarian system as the only form of life suitable for survival under extreme conditions. The Russian elite also prefer politarism as the simplest and most effective way to manage and draw surplus goods from the people. Therefore, through every external or internal crisis a politarian system for Russia is sooner or later created anew and the state again takes all spheres of the life of society into its hands, imposing and dictating its will. This process is occurring now, marking the emergence of the Russian “Leviathan” in its next incarnation.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Transformation of the Russian “Leviathan” over the Centuries

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 93

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Andrei V. Grinëv is a professor in the department of Sociology & Law at Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University. This article was translated by Richard L Bland of the Museum of Natural & Cultural History, University of Oregon.