Approaches to contemporary Russia
in Securitising Russia
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For most of the twentieth century Russia was markedly more authoritarian than it is today. Nonetheless, many observers of Russia in the first decade of the twenty-first century see a country increasingly moving back to authoritarianism, in comparison with the democratising moves and mood of the 1990s. This chapter places developments in contemporary Russia within the empirical and analytical contexts of the post-Soviet period. There is an apparent duality about both of these contexts, and this duality is centred on the issue of democratisation. Since President Putin's election in 2000, many observers have remarked on the ‘two faces’ of Vladimir Putin — is he a democratic or an authoritarian leader? Legitimate though this question undoubtedly is, this chapter argues that its inherent duality arises partly from the dominant analytical frameworks of the post-Soviet era, and militates against a more holistic and explanatory understanding of the current Russian regime. It also outlines the securitisation approach and assesses its applicability to domestic politics in contemporary Russia, focusing on areas such as security and the Chechen conflict, economic policy, and migration policy.

Securitising Russia

The domestic politics of Putin

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