Giovanna Cigliano

Il populismo russo

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The essay deals with the controversial issue of the place to be assigned to the Russian case in discussing and analysing the concept of populism. It reconstructs the prolonged historiographical debate on Russian populism, stressing the different points of view from which it was each time reinterpretated: the quest for the Russian roots of revolution, the concern for the intellectual aspects of backwardness, the reflection about the "otherness" of Russia as compared with the West, the individuation of a democratic tradition rooted in the history of the Tsarist period. What emerges is the very important role played by the evaluations of narodnicestvo in the assessment of historical trends in pre-Soviet Russia and, at the same time, the lasting divergence between the peculiar Russian debate and the international discussion, which is today in full development, concerning the relationship between populism and democracy.

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