Policy Memos

Maintaining Control: Putin's Strategy for Holding Power Past 2008

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:




There is little question that Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin is developing a strategy to preserve power beyond the 2007-2008 election cycle. There is also little question that neither his potential political rivals nor we will know what that strategy is until very late in the game. Just as Yeltsin did before him, Putin will reveal his plan at the last possible moment. The logic of waiting is inescapable. Regardless of the ultimate strategy—amending the constitution to remove the restrictions on reelection, rule through a dominant party within the confines of a parliamentary system, or appointing a malleable successor—revealing the Kremlin’s intent would provide potential opponents time to formulate effective strategies and coalitions and/or render President Putin a lame duck. Any indications of the future prior to spring 2008 should be taken with a grain of salt as Putin works to manipulate uncertainty to his own advantage. [...]


About the author

Professor, Political Science
Indiana University