Studying Russia’s Authoritarian Turn

New Directions in Political Research on Russia

In: Russian Politics
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  • 1 Indiana University

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Between 2011 and 2016, the Kremlin altered its strategy to maintain elite coherence and shore up social support. The papers presented in this volume argue that these changes in formal rules, informal practices, state policy, and ideational narratives constituted a second authoritarian turn since 2000. In comparison to the first regime shift in the mid-2000s this strategic change combined tactics designed redefine the Kremlin’s core support and construct electoral majorities that could deliver victories in the 2016 national parliamentary election and the 2018 presidential election. While the outcome of the 2016 election suggests overwhelming regime success, these papers raise important questions about the long-term efficacies of these strategies, their unintended consequences, and the contradictions that are evident in social attitudes. In the context of the growing literature on contemporary autocracy, these papers present a strong case for increased focus on social attitudes and behaviors as well as the ideational and informal elements of the state’s mechanisms to maintain regime stability.

  • 2

    Gill, G., 2006. "A new turn to authoritarian Rule in Russia?" Democratisation, 13, no. 1: 58–77.

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