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Fieldwork Study on Political Mobilization in Russia

Background of study

“Political mobilization” is a construct greatly analyzed in public life when people attempt to be active in events in the current environment. One of these challenges is the de-nuclearization of the world’s arsenals. Putting the current regime’s legitimacy into question is yet another option to consider. Political mobilization is the study of how and to what extent groups are politically or electorally mobilized to influence who rules and how they rule in a democratic society. It is also known as “political participation.” In addition, the ruling elite attempts to rally the populace behind the government. The term “political mobilization” is frequently heard in sociology and political sociology. It has been used to investigate social, national, and electoral movements, among other things. To oppose a government, their perception is either beholden to special interests or intrinsically oppressive. Populism seeks to unite people as individuals rather than as members of specific socioeconomic groups, which is one of its goals. Effective political mobilization is limited due to the state’s attempts to restrict the number of resources. Some characteristics that distinguish a successful politician include charismatic leadership abilities, financial resources, political networks, a recognizable symbol, and personal passion for the cause. It is difficult for political mobilization to succeed if these components are not present and functioning. An authoritarian regime can be overthrown by political mobilization, an integral part of a healthy democracy. Anti-colonial national movements and historic revolutions utilized it. It has played an essential role in modern social movements. Extremist right reactionaries used mass mobilization. Fascism in Italy and Germany arose from popular mobilization. It belonged to a democratic and popular era, which reactionaries despised. Fascism praised mass mobilization and sustained it symbolically through public theatre.

Problem of statement

Russia made considerable progress toward democratization in the 1990s, but many observers believe that Vladimir Putin’s ascension to rule in 1999-2000 stopped such progress. During this period, the State Duma became increasingly controlled by government-approved parties, gubernatorial elections were abolished, and the government secured possession of crucial news outlets and businesses, particularly in the energy industry. While repressing the insurgency in the North Caucasus, critics claim that the Putin regime has demonstrated a disregard for the rule of law and human rights in the process. Following the election of Dmitry Medvedev, a long-time Putin protege, Medvedev commissioned Putin as Prime Minister and carried out Putin’s objectives for the country’s development. In August 2008, the Medvedev-Putin “tandem” launched military operations against Georgia and recognized the independence of breakaway regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The move drew widespread condemnation around the world. Putin was re-elected President of Russia by an overwhelming margin in March 2012. Dmitry Medvedev was approved as Prime Minister by the Russian parliament in May 2012, following Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as President. Following the implementation of these measures, international involvement in Russia’s concerns has further aided Russia’s political mobilization.

Objectives of the study

  1. To determine the participation of Russians in the current political mobilization.
  2. To determine the impacts of the mobilization on the people of Russia

Research questions

  1. How do people participate in the current political mobilization in Russia?
  2. Does the political environment in Russia allow individuals to take part in mobilization openly?
  3. Has anyone observed economic or social change for people in society after other persons engaged in political mobilization?

Research questions

Formulation of a hypothesis shall be possible by analyzing diverse views of political mobilization in Russia. The following hypothesis shall guide the research:

H1: Political mobilization in Russia is impossible since the current administration eliminated democracy

H2: Political mobilization in Russia is possible since the current administration can integrate democracy for the benefit of its citizens

Literature review

According to the scholar Finch, since Vladimir Putin’s re-election, the Kremlin’s leadership has been more hostile towards the West and the US in particular. The Russian leadership appears to feel the West, particularly the United States, poses a significant threat to the system and has taken steps to put the country on a war footing. Officially, the Kremlin wants the Russian people to believe their country is under siege from external and domestic foes (by Western-sponsored opposition forces). The Western/American strategy, according to the narrative, is to weaken Russia with various weapons, including economic, political, intellectual, spiritual, technological, and military (Finch, 2019). Kremlin authorities claim the US is battling to keep the unipolar global security model, which gives the US a global security mandate. They claim that since the end of the Cold War, the US has worked hard to prevent Russia from regaining excellent power status.

According to Soviet/Russian military and political affairs specialist Dr. Stephen Blank, along with the stated goal of rallying against external threats, is the purpose of staying in power. Both plans are mutually beneficial. Today, the regime drives legitimacy not from the bottom up, through elections, but from the top down, by keeping the country at war. I liked the comment of the author that Putin is a celebrity, not a board chair. As a result of the shifting power balance, the elites have become more dependent on the President. The Kremlin leadership has organized Russian society to combat what the author has referred to as “perpetual war.” Russian strategic philosophy now holds that war and peace are interchangeable. In realpolitik, countries are always in competition. This is a win-lose model. Mobilization is used to better prepare a nation for war and deflect domestic criticism. As shown by operations in Ukraine and Syria, the Russian military has improved combat preparedness during the last decade. Having had some success in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria, the Kremlin will likely continue to bolster their armed forces. Greater military strength may translate into a greater willingness to use power when Russian interests are challenged.

Following the scholar Kazachuk, the recent military reform initiatives have focused on building a sustainable military reserve that could be mobilized in a war situation. Aside from preparing the military, Russian society has embraced a mobilization attitude. Russian society has become warier of impending warfare and increased military readiness rhetoric. Much like many Americans, many Russians are mentally prepared for war today. Soviets no longer believe conflict is an option and may even be desirable. The ramifications of this mobilization-mania are clear. Russia would have been unthinkable to battle its Ukrainian neighbor (Kazachuk, 362). However, recent polls show that roughly many Russians now see Ukraine as a threat. In November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian plane for violating airspace, demonstrating the potential to mobilize the Russian information sphere and turn a friendly neighbor hostile. Russia’s Kremlin-friendly media went on an all-out attack against Turkey. Military and patriotic education for Russian youngsters has increased significantly. Russian kids can now study the basics of solidarity from a young age. The Kremlin utilizes schools to teach students that foes have besieged their country throughout history and that existence depends on powerful armed forces. The Russian Orthodox Church has been mobilized to aid the Kremlin’s struggle against the materialist and immoral West on the spiritual and ideological front.


The research process shall integrate qualitative methods of interviews and observation since they allow the collection of first-hand data. Since the study integrates fieldwork, the qualitative methods chosen are accurate. It shall be possible to integrate one-on-one conversations with persons suitable for the research by only selecting interested participants. There shall be a spontaneous method of collecting data from the interview procedure once the methods suggested get used. Organization of data in the research shall be possible by recording all data from unstructured interviews using audios after clients provide informed consent to participate in the research. The use of discussion sessions where participant data gets used to create discussions is valid in improving quality during research. Observation methods accurate for the research are covert and passive observations since they are robust qualitative research methods structured to improve accuracy during research.

Since some participants might not be available for face-to-face interactions, it shall be possible to use virtual ethnography that improves data collection over the internet. The use of emails to invite participants for the research is accurate, and it shall be possible to target persons experienced in political mobilization. Once the targeted individuals confirm participation, it shall be possible to interact with them on an online platform like MyBB.

The most appropriate procedures for this study were an unstructured interview with participants, discussions with them, passive and covert observations, and questioning techniques. As a result of the methods, my study would be much more manageable. Conversation and rigorous interviews would allow me to create a personal relationship with my interviewers, increasing my chances of collecting accurate and timely information. While conducting my research, I also would consider the previously mentioned literature. There are many peer-reviewed documents that analyze political mobilization, some of which integrate current research methods and others analyze how to generate political balance. It shall be imperative to conduct a literature review using appropriate keywords directed at learning how the topic has valid data.

Anticipated results

According to the information I gathered from the interviews, the vast majority of Russians are involved in political mobilization through social media, demonstrations, and other public meetings held regularly. The educational systems in Russia have also provided the people with the opportunity to sow the seeds of mobilization among the school-age population. According to the interviewed experts, Russian leaders’ efforts to isolate society from decision-making pose a significant risk of systemic collapse in ways that were not expected. When it comes to policymaking in Russia, it is frequently based on the leadership’s best judgment as to what society would tolerate and what it will not tolerate, with a high likelihood of miscalculation due to the severely weak institutions for interest representation and negotiated compromise in the Russian system.

In my fieldwork, I may encounter several challenges that might contribute to wrong information, such as the participants not being willing to give the information, accessing the participant for observation, and the questions’ appropriateness of the questions asked. To mitigate this, I would first ensure the confidentiality of my interviewers to gain their trust. Secondly, I would reach out to the participants and ask them to be monitored by explaining the study’s main aim. Lastly, I would formulate questions that are non-offending to the participants since some may get emotionally involved. My primary data source for the analysis will be individuals who support the political mobilization in Russia and the protestants in different community backgrounds; this would enable me to develop the most real positive and negative impacts imposed on the individuals or a community as a whole.

The process of forming an analytical report for the research shall be valid by the integration of data collected from all participants. Once the records get attained, the use of the qualitative analysis method will be imperative for the procedure. It shall be possible to create interconnections between the patterns formed in the research procedure by learning how political mobilization methods got integrated into the social environment.


Interviewing persons in government positions is imperative since they shall provide accurate information concerning how the political environment operates. Since Russians resorted to using social media to engage in political mobilization, it is valid to integrate non-conventional methods of seeking information from the country’s citizens. Analysis of data from blogs, peer-review journals, and interviewing demonstrators shall be factual in connection with information involved in the country’s political construct. Integration of educational systems’ techniques is valid in creating an in-depth understanding of how political mobilization creates change in people’s mentality and distribution of resources for the ultimate development of a country.

Interview questions

  1. Does the Russian government interfere with citizens’ right to protest when they notice unfair scenarios in the political environment?
  2. Have there been any political changes once people demonstrate again unethical, unfair, and unconstitutional activities performed by the government?
  3. Do political groups in the government allow the formation of ideas directed at solving the majority of public issues?
  4. How does the Russian educational system allow citizens to get improved in historical knowledge and the formation of ideas to solve current issues?
  5. Does the government base its policymaking procedures to research conducted by experienced persons?
  6. Are there opportunities for government officials to enhance leadership by developing policies directed at promoting change?
  7. Is there support for political change in the Russian government in terms of resources and how officials handle change?
  8. Is it possible for normal members of society to get their voices heard by persons in leadership positions without demonstrating?
  9. Does political hostility affect the Russian economy?
  10. Does the Russian political system integrate ideas from world leaders to promote accurate handling of the country’s internal affairs?

Work Cited

Brunnbauer, Ulf, and Peter Haslinger. “Political Mobilization in East Central Europe.” Nationalities Papers 45.3 (2017): 337-344.

Finch, Ray. “THE MOBILIZATION OF RUSSIAN SOCIETY.” THE RUSSIAN MILITARY IN CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVE, edited by Stephen J. Blank, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, 2019, pp. 249–64,

Kozachuk, Oleh. “Political mobilization of Russian Speakers as a challenge for Ukraine’s ethnic policy?” Ante Portas–Studia nad Bezpieczeństwem 2 (2016): 361-380.

Tsygankov, Andrei P., ed. Routledge Handbook of Russian foreign policy. Routledge, 2018.


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