Putin as a Non-populist Autocrat

in Russian Politics
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This article approaches Vladimir Putinʼs authoritarian rule by adhering to populismʼs minimal definition, and argues – in contrast to vernacular perceptions of populism – that Putin is not a populist by his political identification. Whereas the lack of political plurality is an important obstacle for the emergence of any populism, this factor alone cannot explain the Kremlinʼs lack of a consistent authoritarian populist alternative. For instance, the President of Belarus, Aleksander Lukashenko has justified his longstanding populist rule in a country, which certainly lacks political plurality. It is argued that Russiaʼs historical distrust in ‘the people’ as a political subject and the incompatibility of populismʼs simplified antagonisms for Putinʼs neo-imperial course, are the central explanations for the absence of an authoritarian populism in Russia.

Putin as a Non-populist Autocrat

in Russian Politics

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    The percentual relationship of the search words ‘the people and Lukashenko’ (the first query) to the mentions of ‘the people’ (the second query) in the Belarusian media between 1996–2015

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    The percentual relationship of the search words ‘the people and Putin’ (the first query) to the mentions of ‘the people’ (the second query) in the Russian media between 2000–2015

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