Policy Memos

The Role for US Democracy Assistance: Helping Build Parties from the Bottom Up

Policy Memo:


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Despite the extraordinary development of the Russian political party system over the past ten years of political transition, parties themselves remain elite-dominated organizations with little connection to societal interests. This configuration of political parties supports an interpretation of Russia as an illiberal democracy--a state in which competitive elections provide citizens with choices among candidates but little access to the levers that control government policy. The election of President Vladimir Putin in the absence of viable alternative candidates and amidst claims of media bias and campaign fraud is a prime example of the current state of affairs. [...]

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About the author

Professor, Political Science
Indiana University