The Credit Suisse Progress Barometer measures the desire for progress in society, politics and economy around the globe.
For this year’s edition, 16,000 citizens in 16 different countries on six continents (all except Antarctica) were interviewed and asked to share their views.
The questionnaire for the Progress Barometer was developed and launched in Switzerland in 2018 and taken to a global level in 2019. gfs.bern worked with local experts to ensure that the concept and questionnaire were adapted to reflect the context and characteristics of each country individually.
At the heart of the concept are 30 statements referring to 10 aspects of progress in society, politics and the economy in each case. For each of these aspects respondents were asked to indicate whether – in their opinion – the wheels of progress should move much faster (indicating desire for progress) or whether they should stop and be reversed (indicating aversion to progress).
This index allows opinions on progress within a country to be compared by looking at the areas of politics, society and the economy separately. Moreover, it also provides the opportunity to compare the 16 countries included in the study, thus helping us understand the readiness for progress around the world.
The process of adapting the questionnaire to each country brought to light how subjective progress as a notion is and how dependent it is on personal opinion and cultural background. Progress in one particular area can be viewed very favourably in one country, whereas in another country it might be seen as quite problematic. Progress is also not always seen as positive. The political zeitgeist, for example, suggests an increase in political polarization for the future – a development that many citizens would definitely prefer to reverse.
In addition to collecting information on where the citizens want their country to go in the future, the Progress Barometer also looks at the past and how citizens evaluate the changes their country has seen in the last ten years.
This cockpit is a portrait of how progress is seen in Russia in 2019. Readiness for progress is discussed for the areas of politics, society and the economy – as well for the country overall. The 30 items used to calculate the progress indices are displayed in a progress map showing readiness for progress on the x-axsis and the unanimity with which this progress is demanded on the y-axsis.
For methodological information, please consult the info box at the end of the cockpit.
While Russia is open for progress in economic matters, it is averse to moving the dial forward in society and politics. Overall, Russia has a comparatively low desire for progress, ranking 13th out of the 16 countries surveyed.
Russian voters seem to see progress as a function of learning and stress the importance of lifelong learning more than any other country. Keeping up with the latest developments and becoming more innovative requires further professional training. Russian society is therefore eager to make progress in the field of continuing vocational education and training and would like to see more commitment in this direction.
The leading topic of this year’s progress barometer on an international scale, e-mobility, also attracts many fans in Russia. In a country as large as Russia, mobility is naturally a central concern. The challenge will be to provide the enormous area with an infrastructure for e-mobility. Russia is also willing to embrace progress in terms of the transition of its energy system away from coal and nuclear power towards more sustainable power sources. While this is not the most urgent progress item, citizens are certainly willing to provide the land necessary to build new infrastructure for cleaner energy production.
On the axis of progress in society, Russian voters indicate that certain framework conditions have to be met in order to reconcile family and career. The Russian state should assume more responsibility in childcare in order to facilitate equality between women and men in the labour market.
When it comes to other social groups, however, rather conservative tones are struck. Gender equality or migration are not fields where Russian voters feel that much progress is needed.
Political organization, communication and/or participation is made easier and more efficient by the internet (e.g. social media). Enthusiasm about digitalization is perceptible according to this year’s Progress Barometer, and in particular the development of new participation opportunities and mechanisms in Russia has many sympathizers who are willing to make progress in this area.
In 2017, 4.7% of Russia’s workforce worked in agriculture, 32.4% in industry and 62.3% in services. The Russian population is not interested in the further development of the service society away from the production of goods. On the contrary, they would like to see the dial turned back in this respect. This rejection of deindustrialization is also reflected in the marked willingness to apply the brakes on the relocation of production processes abroad. Ideally, mechanisms should be developed to slow down these processes within companies aimed at increasing flexibility and to retain jobs in the industrial sector within Russia’s borders.
Russia shows a slight desire for progress when it comes to economic matters. In terms of society and politics, on the other hand, Russia would prefer to stick to the status quo.
Overall, Russia has a rather low willingness to make progress but would rather preserve the status quo.
Russias self- assessment of progress
When Russian voters are asked to rate progress in their country, only a third state that Russia is currently very or somewhat progressive when it comes to social matters; 34% think the same of economic progress, whereas 44% think political progress has been made.
It is remarkable that almost the same proportion of voters see change when it comes to social matters as do when it comes to economic issues, but the wish for more progress only exists in the domain of economics.
A minority of Russians (21%) take a rather gloomy view of their personal future – in contrast to 66% who look to the future with some optimism or mixed feelings. Regarding the future of the next generation, the Russian population is more pessimistic: 54% believe that there is a risk their children will have to cope with less wealth.
Only 27% of all Russians are fully satisfied with their life, while 22% are completely dissatisfied. The majority of Russian society ranges someweere in between.
The confidence in new technologies appears strong in Russia: 79% agree with the notion that new technologies will help solve global problems. Russians are among the most optimistic people in this regard.
84% of the Russian population wants more state intervention to prevent companies from polluting the environment, while 81% also believe that the economy is too focused on growth and that the focus should be on a more environmentally friendly economy. But the introduction of an oil tax is not popular in Russia (19%), as the country has oil reserves. The Russian economy exports petroleum products and is not interested in taxing the product.
86% of Russian voters believe that only a small minority will get richer, while everyone else will not benefit from the development. In this context it comes as no surprise that 82% of Russians think the state should do more to reduce income inequality between rich and poor, even if this results in higher taxes.
on behalf of: Credit Suisse
basic population: Ruaai citizens with the right to vote
fieldwork: Cint AB
surveying: online panel
survey period: 20.09.2019-18.10.2019
sample size: min. 1000 per country, Russia (N=1028)
margin of error: at 50/50 (and 95 percent probability) Russia (± 3.1)
quota characteristics: age/gender interlocked
survey duration: average survey time in minutes in Russia = 22
Progress Index and Items:
Respondents were asked the following question: „For each of the areas below, assess the current development and imagine this development as a wheel that turns. For each case, decide whether the development should be accelerated or reversed.“ Ten statements asking about a development in society, economy and politics each were surveyed in all 16 countries. The adaption of these items to best suit the countries context were made in cooperation with local experts.
The following items were surveyed in Russia:
Progress items economy:
service-based society: Russia produces fewer goods and is turning into a service-based society.
digitalization: Digitization/robotization makes our working lives easier and more efficient, but it also makes traditional professions redundant.
free trade: The trade of goods is getting freer and more global.
lifelong learning: You have to do regular on-the-job training in order to keep up.
production outsourced: Many aspects of production are moved abroad.
low corporate taxes: Because of low corporate tax rates, many international companies move their head offices to Russia.
influx foreign experts: Russia needs more and more experts from abroad.
e-mobility: Electric cars allow even more individual mobility with reduced emissions of climate-damaging substances./Mobility with electrically powered cars allows even more individual mobility with reduced emissions of climate-damaging substances.
tax money for research: To strengthen Russia as a research location, more taxpayers money is spent on research.
energy transition: In Russia renewable energies are being enhanced, while nuclear and coal power are being abolished.
Progress items society:
gender equality: Gender equality is promoted in all areas of life.
urban-rural contrast: People living in big cities and in small towns in the rural areas have fewer and fewer interests in common.
gay rights: Gay couples increasingly enjoy equal rights in all areas of life.
fewer independent media: There are fewer and fewer independent media outlets in Russia.
expansion public childcare: Public daycare and childcare services are being expanded.
increase life expectancy: Advances in medicine means that we are healthier into old age, but at the same time we’ll have to work for longer.
professionalization voluntary work: Many areas of society that used to function on a voluntary basis are now being professionalized.
migration transforms society: Immigration transforms the composition of societies./Transmigration transforms the composition of societies.
sense of purpose in work: People increasingly look for passion and meaning in their work.
petrol tax: Additional taxes on petrol are demanded worldwide in order to slow down climate change.
Progress items politics:
increase in pension deductions: Wage deductions for pensions are increasing because people are living longer.
increase in development aid: Russia’s contributions to global development cooperation are increasing.
dependence on international agreements: When it comes to its global market position, Russia is increasingly dependent on international agreements with other countries.
individualization and self fulfillment: With increasing individualization, social pressure diminishes and everyone can live by their own values.
regulation increase: More and more everyday things are becoming more strictly regulated./The state ensures that many parts of life and work are clearly regulated.
transition to knowledge based society: Russia is turning into a knowledge-based society and is spending less on agriculture and instead more on universities and higher education.
accessability trough social media: People can organise themselves spontaneously via the internet and force policy-makers to become more accessible to the public.
polarization: Politics is becoming increasingly polarised and cooperation between the parties more difficult.
media diversity vs. reliability: While more and more sources of information are available to form a political opinion, the facts become less important.
land for clean energy: To organize the production of energy in a more sustainable way, enough land needs to be provided./In order to make energy production more renewable, sufficient land must be made available for wind and solar energy.