State, “the third sector” and population policy
Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Professor, St. Petersburg State University of Economics, St. Petersburg, Russia email@example.com
The paper analyzes relations between the state and NGOs while designing, implementing and modifying the population policy. The cases of France, the U.S., China, Indonesia and Sub-Saharan Africa are compared as reference points to analyze Russia’s population policy. Paradoxically, in the 1990s institutional design of Russia’s population policy held a certain resemblance to the case of Sub-Saharan Africa. Both cases were characterized by passivity of the national governments and activity of foreign and international NGOs. In Russia, such policy was strongly condemned for its inability to raise fertility. Like the pronatalist movement in France and the U.S. international population policy, Russia’s new population policy in 2007 was influenced by not only domestic but also international challenges. Russia’s present-day population policy inherits certain features of the Soviet one, such as fertility growth, being financed predominantly from public funds and controlled by the central government. Since the state has always played the vital role in responses to challenges for Russia, this approach is in good agreement with Russian political tradition. Nevertheless, some important changes should be emphasized. Nowadays the NGOs in Russia are numerous and heterogeneous, the “third sector” is cleaved, the controversies of the population policy, especially on abortion law, remind us of the U.S. “cultural wars” rather than Soviet-time political “monolith”. Generally, the population policy is not a successful incarnation of the global civil society idea. Both in the West and in the rest. Key non-governmental agents in the population arena are affiliated both financially and personally with the government and the ruling elites.