Mark Galeotti writes on his blog:
Recently the indefatigable Ekaterina Schulmann – whom every serious Russia-watcher should follow – delivered a fascinating lecture on the evolution of Russian society…
…what I want to focus on is her core point, that especially since 2014, Russia has been moving towards what Westerners might consider ‘normalcy,’ with less of the atomisation, survivalism and dependence on state institutions that has so consistently dogged Russian politics and society.
That’s possible but the picture is probably more complex and controversial. In addition, Schulmann and Galeotti make a similar but different, more general claim. The quality of Russia’s public administration is “substandard” relative to the country’s “level of social depelopment,” according to Schulman. “A normal society and an abnormal regime,” according to Galeotti.