Policy Memos

Civil Society in the New Authoritarianism

Policy Memo:


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Russian prime minister and former president Vladimir Putin’s efforts to strengthen the Russian state are well-known. His consistent advocacy of a strong society is less so. In this respect, Putin’s approach is not much different from Beijing’s. Both regimes recognize that bureaucratic management of society can no longer compete in a globalizing society, and both look to social organizations to perform tasks previously left to the state: the delivery of social services; provision of vertical and horizontal information conduits; the channeling of societal demands into accepted institutional pathways; and the monitoring of government agencies to reduce corruption. [...]

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About the author

Professor, Department of Political Science
Bates College