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La morale à l’épreuve de la politique : la pensée politique de l’intelligentsia libérale soviétique de l’époque de la perestroïka

Abstract : This dissertation is inspired by a paradoxical phenomenon in recent Russian political history: the support for the concentration of power in the hands of an “enlightened elite” by a large numbers of distinguished figures of the liberal intelligentsia, who thus favored the conditions of the demise of their own political project. Based on a contextual study of the political thought of authors who were at the heart of the debates at the time, this research sheds light on the specific moral perspective of the liberal intelligentsia. It also demonstrates how these moral assumptions and ideals were challenged in the crucible of pluralist politics, from 1989 on. One of the main conclusions of this study is to question a pervasive presumption of similarity between the ideas of Soviet liberals and the Western liberal canon. Indeed, the moral project of perestroika, as it was conceived by Soviet liberals, did not aim at the guarantee of individual independence and state neutrality about the definition of the good. It was rather a perfectionist project in which the reformers were expected to create the political and economical conditions of the thriving of a substantial good, by way of the dismantling of the administrative and ideological control of the communist system. This does not mean, however, that Soviet liberals were merely ‘immature’ or ‘utopian’ in their understanding of politics, as they are also accused of. We argue that it is more fruitful to situate their association of democratization with moral renewal in a long tradition of reflection, in Western political philosophy, on the institutional and moral conditions for the foundation of freedom.
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Guillaume Grégoire-Sauvé Sauvé. La morale à l’épreuve de la politique : la pensée politique de l’intelligentsia libérale soviétique de l’époque de la perestroïka. Science politique. Institut d'études politiques de paris - Sciences Po, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016IEPP0040⟩. ⟨tel-03455287⟩

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