Perspectives on the Structures and Limitations of Power in Russia

21 Aug 2020

(Moscow-on-Thames) In a recent interview, timed to help drum up support for a constitutional reform that would strengthen the power of the presidency and potentially extend his rule until 2036, Vladimir Putin said, among many other things, the following:

What is democracy? It’s the power of the people, that’s right. But if the people elect their higher authorities, then those higher authorities have the right to organize the work of the organs of executive power in such a way as to guarantee the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population of the country.

Putin was, in fact, talking about the United States, lamenting the fact that American state governors failed to fall in line with President Donald Trump’s orders, whether on COVID-19 or the response to Black Lives Matter protests. But it was also a statement of political philosophy, encapsulating much about how Putin sees the source of his own power, its structures, and its limitations—three fields that are at the heart of the latest combined issue of Russian Politics & Law. [...]

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