Religious Politics of Post-Soviet States: Between Path Dependence and Governmentality

Religious Politics of Post-Soviet States:
Between Path Dependence and Governmentality

Malakhov V.S.,

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 223604 |

Letnyakov D.E.,

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 588916 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2021.04.12

For citation:

Malakhov V.S., Letnyakov D.E. Religious Politics of Post-Soviet States: Between Path Dependence and Governmentality. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No. 4. P. 163-175. (In Russ.).

The reported study was funded by RFBR and CASS according to the research project №19-511-93003. The authors are grateful for help with the text to Maria S. Ivchenkova, senior researcher, Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS.


The subject of this article is the relationship between state and church in post-Soviet countries. The authors claim that the term “post-Soviet” is not a mere reflection of a chronological sequence, but is a concept with deep semantics. The nation states that came into being after the USSR collapsed in 1991 share a common institutional legacy. One of the manifestations of this legacy is their behavior in the religious field. The religious policies of the post-Soviet countries reveal significant similarities, despite the deep differences between the countries in terms of history and culture. In particular, the post-Soviet states belonging to the Islamic cultural realm demonstrate Soviet standards in their religious policy. However, the analytical identification of the “post-Soviet model” of secularism is not to imply blindness to differences in the strategies of specific states in managing religion. Addressing these differences, the authors single out three basic types of post-Soviet secularism: “authoritarian”, “neutral”, and “ambivalent”. 

religious policy, church-state relations, secularism, church, Islam, post-Soviet space, Russia, path dependence, governmentality.


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Content No. 4, 2021

See also:

Zubov A.B.,
Christians and Politics: Persecuting Church and Persecuted Church. Why Will All Who Seek Living in Christ, Will Be Persecuted?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2008. No2

SOCIUM AND POWER: POST-SOVIET EXPANSE. – Polis. Political Studies. 2001. No4

Abazov R.F.,
Central Asia: Islam and Politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 1992. No4

Habermas J.,
Religion, law and politics. – On political justice in a multicultural World-Society. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No2

Bespalov S.V.,
Prospects of realization of Russia’s geopolitical interests on the post-soviet space. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No2



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