Adjusting to institutional realities: the 2006 NGO law and its effects on civil society in Russia

Sergej Ljubownikow, Jo Crotty, Peter Rodgers

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


Key findings: The paper investigates the impact that the legislative changes of 2006 had on civil society in Russia. This legislation has change the regulatory environment in which civil society actors such as Third Sector Organisations operate. Using the past development of civil society organisations as well as insights about how the institutional environment influences this article illustrates: - the undemocratic nature and motivation of the law and how it exploits the structural weaknesses of civil society - how Third Sector Organisations rationalise and translate the legislative changes into their organisational realities and how this changed or did not change their behaviour - the shift in state-civil society relations away from liberal co-existence into more hierarchical arrangements were Third Sector Organisations are subordinated to the state. These trends have far reaching implications for civil society. The empirical evidence shows that state now manages civil society to meet its own political ends. It also shows that organisations in the field welcome the more engage and directive nature of the Russian state. Why is this important? What does it mean for business or other users? Are there policy implications? The research is important as it shows how Third Sector Organisations have reacted to the legislative changes. Further it provides a basis for interpretation of the potential future development of civil society. Additional it highlights how the continuous process of democratisation in transition economies sometimes might come unstuck. In particular donor agencies will need to consider these trends when disturbing funding to Third Sector Organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherAston University
Publication statusUnpublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note



  • civil society
  • Russia
  • third sector organisations


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