Contradictions in the Development of the Welfare Non-Profit Sector in Russia
The article focuses on the core contradictions within the development of the social non-profit sector in Russia. The empirical basis of the study comprises statistical data, legal documents regulating the social services’ sphere, research data from previous studies conducted in Russia, as well as qualitative data collected for this study. The introduction provides background information on the stages of reforming the social service system in Russia. The first part is devoted to the contradictions between international trends and Russian patterns. In line with a neoliberal approach, non-profit NGOs play a significant role as key actors in social work providing social services for different client groups. At the same time, they are not independent and Russian civil society is not yet strong enough to realize social rights of citizens. In the next section, some of the key issues of interaction between the government and NGOs are discussed. An analysis of the current situation demonstrates that while a social partnership between the state and NGOs is affirmed by authorities on official level, in practice, the state still dominates the social sector. The article then focuses on how Russian NGOs have reoriented their efforts toward financial sustainability through government support.