Electoral Performance and Mobilization of Opposition Parties in Russia

In: Russian Politics
Andrei Semenov Center for Comparative History and Politics, Perm State University Perm Russia
MacMillan Center, Yale University, New Haven CT USA

Search for other papers by Andrei Semenov in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This paper documents the patterns of opposition parties’ engagement with street politics in Russia. It claims that in the electoral authoritarian regimes like Russia under Vladimir Putin, public protests remain a viable instrument for reaching out to the constituencies and eliciting concessions from the regime. In addition, collective actions signal commitment and strength and help to overcome the media blockade usually imposed by the state. However, in order to be a successful player in contentious politics, parties have to develop organizational capacity. Using the data on more than 7000 protest events that took place in Russia in 2012–2015, I show that the regional party branches with higher electoral returns in federal and regional elections organize more protest events controlling for other possible determinants of mobilization. The Communist Party remains the major mobilizing force covering a large array of issues and demands. However, the loyal opposition—LDPR and Just Russia—and the liberal parties like Yabloko and People’s Freedom Party also consistently stage the public protests with their electoral performance on the regional level being associated with the level of their protest activity. Overall, the study shows that the organizational capacity of the opposition is necessary though insufficient condition for the parties to engage with street politics.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1053 252 22
Full Text Views 211 48 5
PDF Views & Downloads 422 85 9