The seminar of the Center for Comparative Governance Studies will take place on January 29 (Fri) at 6 pm (Moscow time)
The discussion of the manuscript of the paper "Civil-Military Relations and The Russian Military Culture: A Belief System Approach" by Kirill Shamiev is on the agenda of the seminar. It will take place online and in order to access the Zoom link, please, contact Anna Tarasenko (email@example.com)
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian state security forces (SSF) had to deal with deep economic, cultural, and political hardships. Although the military and the police were dragged into public affairs by their civilian leaders, these forces themselves did not attempt to overthrow the government. The military, socialized in the communist ideology, kept fulfilling its main duties, albeit the communist state they swore to protect had not existed anymore. At the same time, the military had been largely incapable of adjusting itself to contemporary military and political needs for almost 20 years after the fall of the USSR. This paper traces the role of military and civilian norms and values in the formation and development of the post-soviet civil-military relations. Using a belief system approach and analyzing data from 15 interviews, military literature, and public statements, the research shows the Russian military holds a deeply entrenched belief in civilian supremacy but simultaneously believes in its special role in the formation of Russian citizens. The emphasis on its special role and positive self-assessment bias by the military elites create an imperfect equilibrium in the Russian civil-military relations when the military neither overthrows the government nor is effective enough to stand for its special role.