Putin’s Regime and the Ideological Market: A Difficult Balancing Game

16 Mar 2017

(Carnegie Endowment) At a time of economic stagnation, the Russian state is in need of social consensus and popular support behind the figure of President Vladimir Putin. After feeding an anti-Western atmosphere during the first year of the Ukraine crisis, the regime deliberately decreased its nationalist rhetoric, sidelined some of the nationalist actors who had become too prominent and not reliable enough, retired some of Putin’s old friends, and brought some more liberal figures back to the political game. The Kremlin continues to advance a diverse ideological repertoire, combining several isms and historical narratives that seem contradictory, all under a broad and blurry rubric of conservative values. While the presidential administration has been able to successfully manage this doctrinal diversity, it remains a difficult balancing act in some respects, especially on the issues of more or less Russian nationalism and mobilization potential for or against the political status quo. [...]

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