Open Access (free)
Deciphering power in Russia

The end of Putin (again)? Since Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, ‘Putinology’ has dominated the mainstream Western discussion about Russia. It has become the central pillar of what appears as a form of ‘neo-Kremlinology’, as observers seek to interpret subtle and often ambiguous indications of the relative influence of those who are close to Putin and thus on

in The new politics of Russia
Open Access (free)

FAD8 10/17/2002 6:02 PM Page 137 8 Federalism under Putin In August 1991 Yeltsin created two new administrative bodies to keep the regions in check: presidential representatives and regional governors. Between 1991 and 1996 Yeltsin was able to maintain control over the governors through his powers of appointment. However, once Yeltsin relinquished these powers and governors were able to come to power via the ballot box (see chapter 6), he was forced to turn to his presidential representatives to win back control of the regions. As we noted in chapter 3 one

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia

(finally) of the urban middle class as a revitalising force in Russian political life after the ‘de-democratisation’ of Vladimir Putin’s second term as president and the disappointments of Dmitri Medvedev’s term. The almost unanimous enthusiasm the protests generated in the mainstream Western discussion led to the emergence of an expert orthodoxy that they represented the beginning of the end of the Putin

in The new politics of Russia

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James Baldwin Review
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Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

, 1990 : 11). When faced with Trump, Xi Jinping, Orban, Erdogan, Putin, Assad, Duterte, non-liberals all, how can the argument for neutrality be successful? They see opponents not as legitimate competitors protected by a set of institutional rules that limit the scope of conflict but as threats to be eliminated. Chantal Mouffe differentiates ‘the political’ from ‘politics’: the political is the sphere of existential conflict over the nature of the state where the most basic institutions of the system itself are fought over ( Mouffe, 2005 : chap

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

influence. Humanitarian emergencies are often heavily politicised and multiple stakeholders seek to influence their representation in the news media and elsewhere online. Some of these groups are willing to spend considerable resources to create fabricated websites and social media content: a continuation of long traditions of propaganda. Russian President Vladimir Putin oversees extensive, precise, disruptive fake-information campaigns that are designed to cause confusion ( Paul & Matthews, 2016 ). At Russia’s ‘Internet Research Agency

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Documentary theatre in twenty-first-century Russia

Since the early 2000s, Russia’s most innovative theatre artists have increasingly taken to incorporating material from real-life events into their performance practice. As the Kremlin’s crackdown on freedom of expression continues to tighten, playwrights and directors are using documentary theatre to create space for public discussion of injustice in the civic sphere and its connections to the country’s twentieth-century past. This book traces the history of documentary theatre’s remarkable growth in Russia since its inception in 1999 and situates the form’s impact within the sociopolitical setting of the Putin years (2000–). It argues that through the practice of performing documents, Russia’s theatre artists are creating a new type of cultural and historical archive that challenges the dominance of state-sponsored media and invites individuals to participate in a collective renegotiation of cultural narratives. Drawing on the author’s previous work as a researcher, producer, and performer of documentary theatre in contemporary Russia, Witness Onstage offers original insight into the nature of the exchange between audience and performance as well as new perspectives on the efficacy of theatre as a venue for civic engagement.

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The domestic politics of Putin

This book shows the impact of twenty-first-century security concerns on the way Russia is ruled. It demonstrates how President Vladimir Putin has wrestled with terrorism, immigration, media freedom, religious pluralism, and economic globalism, and argues that fears of a return to old-style authoritarianism oversimplify the complex context of contemporary Russia. Since the early 1990s, Russia has been repeatedly analysed in terms of whether it is becoming a democracy or not. This book instead focuses on the internal security issues common to many states in the early twenty-first century, and places them in the particular context of Russia, the world's largest country, still dealing with its legacy of communism and authoritarianism. Detailed analysis of the place of security in Russia's political discourse and policy making reveals nuances often missing from overarching assessments of Russia today. To characterise the Putin regime as the ‘KGB-resurgent’ is to miss vital continuities, contexts, and on-going political conflicts that make up the contemporary Russian scene. The book draws together current debates about whether Russia is a ‘normal’ country developing its own democratic and market structures, or a nascent authoritarian regime returning to the past. Drawing on extensive interviews and Russian source material, it argues that the growing security factor in Russia's domestic politics is neither ubiquitous nor unchallenged. It must be understood in the context of Russia's immediate history and the growing domestic security concerns of many states the world over.

Interpreting change

This book focuses on the Western difficulties in interpreting Russia. It begins with by reflecting on some of the problems that are set in the foundations of Russia's post-Cold War relationship with the West. The book points to problems that emerge from linguistic and historical 'interpretation'. It looks at the impact of Russia's decline as a political priority for the West since the end of the Cold War and the practical impact this has had. It then reflects on the rising influence, especially, but not only, in public policy and media circles, of 'transitionology' as the main lens through which developments in Russia were interpreted. The book then examines the evolution of the West's relationship with Russia since the end of the Cold War, focusing particularly on the NATO-Russia relationship. It focuses on the chronological development of relations and the emergence of strategic dissonance from 2003. The book also looks at Russian domestic politics, particularly the Western belief in and search for a particular kind of change in Russia, a transition to democracy. It continues the exploration of domestic politics, but turns to address the theme of 'Putinology', the focus on Putin as the central figure in Russian politics.

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Bacon 02 3/2/06 10:06 AM Page 22 2 The security forces In this chapter we introduce the role in Russian political life of the siloviki (that is, personnel from the ‘force structures’ or ‘power ministries’, chiefly the security services, the armed forces, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD)).1 We critically analyse the degree to which the Putin administration has acted to boost the role of the force structures in Russia in the public space, by which primarily we mean political life and civil society, concluding that the picture is not so

in Securitising Russia