Crisis and protection of the citizens’ labour rights


Petukhov V.V.

Cand. Sci. (Philos.), Head of the Center for Complex Social Studies, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia petuhovvv@mail.ru

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For citation:

Petukhov V.V. Crisis and protection of the citizens’ labour rights. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 11. P. 86-96




Abstract

Author, basing on the monitoring sociological data of the Institute of Sociology (Russian Academy of Sciences), analyzes influence of a “new crisis reality” on the minds of the Russian citizens and on their readiness to defend their social and economic rights and interests. Sociological data demonstrate that the society today is focused on the preservation of stability, albeit a crisis stability. And such effective world-wide popular ways of legitimate rights’ protection as participation in the enterprises’ management, street protests, solidarity actions and strikes are not too popular among Russians. At the same time, author emphasizes that the level of protest activity, as well as other forms of civic participation, are not directly derived from the social displeasure. The level of social activity and other forms of social participation used to go through serious fluctuations, unexpected bursts and downturns. Collapse of social and labor rights, of the right to move (including the right to travel abroad) and to peacefully express discontent, collapse of the right for a fair trial or freedom of business could seriously politicize society, encourage it to become more active and take solidarity actions to defend fundamental civil interests. As the author claims, these problem are especially true for social groups and strata, that are recognizing link between level and especially quality of life and presence/absence of political freedoms. In this regard the author analyzes prospects for new forms and practices that citizens would use to defend their labor and other socio-economic rights (although, author notes, many of these practices are of a network-informal nature and combine social and political agenda). Also, examined is potential of expressng radical forms of social discontent. The author stresses that a “creeping” legitimization of violence, used as instrument for resolving of economic disputes and for the fight against political opponents, is particularly dangerous in this context. Besides, it is noted that radical forms of protest could be provoked by limitations of many legal forms of defence of workers’ legitimate rights and interests, that are reduced within the confines of struggle against extremism.


Keywords
crisis; the “new economic reality”; labor rights; employment; social unrest; protest; protest activity; solidarity; individual adaptation
Content No 11, 2016