Dominantse erakonna mõju poliitilisele kultuurile: erakond Ühtne Venemaa näitel



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The aim of the thesis was to find out how a dominant party affects the political culture, using the Russian Federation and the United Russia party as an example. The theoretical part gives a thorough overview of the concepts of political culture and dominant party. Theories presented point out the meaning of political culture and explain it in the context of an authoritarian system and also explain the relationship between citizens and authoritative political culture. Also, it discusses the notion of ‘dominant party’. For carrying out the empirical research, a method of grounded theory was used, based on a hypothesis that was tested for validity – the stronger the control of the dominant party in the political culture, the more passive the changes in the political system. The empirical study of the Russian Federation and the United Russia party showed that the party is dominant in its country and oriented towards power. The party has chronological dominance, dominant bargaining position, access to state resources, and it has monopolized the media. Also, it has a flexible political strategy, active mobilization of socio-economic groups and a party-created dominance that cannot be ignored in the country. The empirical analysis also revealed that the party has influenced the political system of the country by using its dominance, as the access to state resources favors the actions of the party and does not give political freedom and equality to the opposition. The analysis pointed out that the country is majorly affected by the Soviet legacy. Leading politicians have been socialized in it and they carry it on via new symbols. The same conclusion appeared in the analysis of Russian political system where United Russia is similar to a Soviet Union Communist party, affecting political institutions and thereby also the political culture to its advantage. By analyzing the civil society system, it appeared that the political culture of the Russian Federation can be described as a subject-oriented political culture where citizens know about the situation in their political system but do not see their possibilities to affect it. Qualitative data showed that the political system is at the beginning of transition to a participational political culture, as there is very limited amount of active grassroots politics present in Russia. As a result of the dominant United Russia, the political culture of Russia is not independent and does not create political structure. In conclusion, the study revealed that the stronger the role of dominant party in the political culture, the more passive the changes in the political system. As a result of nationwide activities of the dominant party, the political structure it has created affects the political culture but not vice versa. Due to that fact, it can be said that the political system of a country does not accept changes caused by changes in the society.