Sign up to
news feeds:

Select RSS feed catergory:

The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

Русский Русский


Back to newsline
21 July 2014

“Leaders step forward when their time comes. This is true, but now is the time for collective leadership”

Letter to Participants in the 23d World Congress of Political Science,
Montreal, 19 – 24 July, 2014

Dear friends,

I am glad to convey my greetings to the participants in the 23d World Congress of Political Science, who came to Montreal from different parts of the world. Your Congress is a public and intellectual event of major importance.
It takes a sense of responsibility and indeed intellectual courage, as well as the professionalism of a scholar, to study and make judgments on contemporary world politics. Therefore, your role as analysts and scholars of political processes is of great importance today, at a time when mankind is facing tremendous challenges and threats arising from political developments with a diverse, sudden and mixed impact on the current world order. The world has changed and continues to change while we are lagging behind in our understanding of this accelerating process and in our political decisions. We are still reluctant to abandon our stereotypes and outdated concepts, which have far more dangerous and disastrous implications in a global world. Our understanding of modern-day realities is insufficient, often resulting in a failure of politics.

When in the mid-1980s my associates and I launched Perestroika in the Soviet Union, we were driven by similar feelings and were ready to step up to the challenges of the times. Among my closest associates was Georgy Shakhnazarov, who made an invaluable contribution to the emergence of political science in the Soviet Union and then in Russia and for many years was a member of the International Political Science Association’s Executive Committee, and subsequently its Vice President and First Vice President. It was Georgy Shakhnazarov who came up with the idea of holding the World Congress of Political Science in Moscow in 1979, which became a landmark event.

Perestroika, glasnost and the concept of new thinking triggered a dramatic shift in politics. Back then, in the mid-1980s, we became fully aware both of the danger of increased confrontation between the opposing political systems and of the need to move from confrontation to cooperation. We succeeded in ending the nuclear arms race. The new thinking we proposed was a combination of a new vision of global processes and the necessary political will.

It is said that leaders step forward when their time comes. This is true, but now is the time for collective leadership.

Therefore I would like to stress the timeliness and significance of the subject of governance on which your congress will be focusing.

I wish all participants in the Congress fruitful discussions, new ideas and success.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Moscow, 19 July 2014