Policy Memos

The Full Cycle of Political Evolution in Russia: From Chaotic to Overmanaged Democracy

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In the seven years that President Vladimir Putin has been in power, Russia seems to have regressed politically almost to where it was a decade and a half ago. This is not to say that the Kremlin has been actively fighting against democracy; its decline is a side effect of the strengthening of the state. The rise of democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s was the result of a weakening of the state, not a strengthening of society. With the state becoming stronger and society still weak, democracy in Russia is also becoming weaker. It is important to understand what of democracy has gone and what, if anything, is still left. [...]

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About the author

Professor, Department of Comparative Politics; Senior Research Fellow
Higher School of Economics, Russia; Chatham House, UK