Policy Memos

The Dictatorship of Law in Russia: Neither Dictatorship, Nor Rule of Law

Policy Memo:


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During the course of the 2000 presidential campaign, Vladimir Putin announced the idea of a "dictatorship of law" as a core part of his presidency. His pre-electoral message and state of the nation presidential address in July emphasized a stable and predictable legal environment, and the key role of the state as a guarantor of law enforcement. While optimists openly associate their hopes for a revival of the Russian economy and society with the emergence of a law-bound state, pessimists fear the rise of a police state in Russia, bearing in mind Russia's autocratic traditions and Putin's KGB background. [...]

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About the author

Distinguished Professor, Political Sciences and Sociology
European University at St. Petersburg; University of Helsinki