Policy Memos

Russia's 'Over-Managed Democracy' in Crisis

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:




Two years ago, when evaluating the hybrid regime of “over-managed democracy” (OMD) that Vladimir Putin constructed during his two presidential terms, I concluded that this regime was transitory; it had to develop toward either democracy or authoritarianism. Since then, Russia’s OMD has survived not only a presidential succession, but a year of economic crisis that has exacerbated the system’s shortcomings. Its survival raises the question of whether I underestimated OMD’s sustainability or whether an unforeseen political evolution took place that provided a new stability to the system. The short answer is neither; the political system has undergone slight modifications, but with no increase in managerial effectiveness. The respite has been bought at the expense of huge financial resources, accumulated at a time of high oil prices. [...]

More (PDF)


About the author

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