(Routledge) (Co-author: Robert Orttung) President Vladimir Putin’s Olympic venture put the workings of contemporary Russia on vivid display. The Sochi Olympics were designed to symbolize Russia’s return to great power status, but subsequent aggression against Ukraine, large-scale corruption, and the doping scandal have become the true legacies of the games. Putin’s style of governance through mega-projects has had deleterious consequences for the country’s development. Placing the Sochi games into the larger context of Olympic history, this book examines the political, security, business, societal, and international consequences of Putin’s political system.
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The book was mentioned in the 2014 New York Times article "Putin’s Olympic Fever Dream":
In a forthcoming book, “The 2014 Winter Olympics and the Evolution of Putin’s Russia,” two scholars at George Washington University, Robert W. Orttung and Sufian Zhemukhov, argue that what we’re seeing is a return to the national purpose of the Soviet megaprojects, though without an explicit ideology — other than the continuation of Putin’s rule and the enrichment of a new oligarchy. “The games,” they write, “help to promote regime stability by providing a sense of national pride for the masses and a source of rent distribution for key elites whose support is crucial for the leadership to maintain the status quo.”
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Also see: Two Guys Discussing Russia Over Pastries