Rethinking Russia is honored to present to you its new book “Surprising Russia” that was published in collaboration with the Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Research, VCIOM public opinion research center and Platform Center.
Public opinion is a key factor for modern states in decision-making at the national and international level. Public opinion is shaped by electoral competition alongside basic democratic principles, such as political representation and public interest.
Meanwhile, the relations between Realpolitik and decision-making and public opinion are a two-way street. Political developments and processes affect constituencies; they bring about evolving public opinion and changing assessments of various issues.
State and political leaders turn to opinion polls on the regular basis. The general public learn about the findings ad-hoc mainly via mass media, with the information matching the pace and the ideas of the news feeds. Such data tends to be highly relevant and applicable but soon we lose their very track in the wild stream of information.
In other words, though opinion poll results concerning specific events and cases appear regularly, the need for a systematic sociological analysis of a wide range of issues remains. It is this very comprehensive and accurate picture, underpinned by the relevant expert opinion that largely contributes to effective decision making in various spheres. This is relevant for politics as well as management in other realms, as well as for society at large as a tool for better self-analysis.
This edition of “Surprising Russia” aims to facilitate reaching these objectives. This review presents public opinion on the most burning issues, followed by comments of notable political scientists and analysts; sociologists and other experts. The book has the potential to become a manual for policymakers in everyday management and decision-making. It may help them as well as other readers to learn more about Russia and its society.