Contemporary Russia as a Feudal Society: A New Perspective of the Post-Soviet Era

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Yanuar Sumarlan
James R. Rumpia


What has happened in post-Soviet Russia that its leader behaves in such a violent manner lately? One of the glimpses that appear rather convincingly from the realm of the political-economic realm is Shlapentok’s Contemporary Russia as a Feudal Society: A New Perspective on the Post-Soviet Era. This book appeared almost immediately after the first signs of ‘re-feudalization’ of post-Soviet Russia popped up in 2006. Vladislav Surkov’s words that Russia is a “sovereign democracy” was refuted by Dmitrii Medvedev in June 2006. It offers a quantum leap beyond this 'little debate' by proving and concluding that post-Soviet Russia is an epitome of a "feudal model". The major features of feudal Europe were similar to those of post-Soviet Russia. The central administration must cooperate with powerful actors, including regional leaders, corporations, and wealthy individuals, as well as churches and other major social actors; in exchange for legitimacy—a commodity provided only by the central administration—various social actors supply the supreme leader with troops, money, and support in the election process . Vassal relations as the basis of feudalism go back to the works of March Bloch (1961) and other, who claimed that such relations are a direct consequence of the weakness of the central state and the dependence of the king on feudal lords and other "big actors". Elements of feudalism in Russia had appeared in the Kyiv State in the ninth century when the king was only seen as a senior among other warriors, told by Russian chroniclers in the twelfth century.

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Sumarlan, Y., & Rumpia, J. R. . (2022). Contemporary Russia as a Feudal Society: A New Perspective of the Post-Soviet Era. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 8(1), 177–189. Retrieved from
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