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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.

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The state of surprise

Rude awakenings The eruption of war in Ukraine in 2014 illustrated the strong and prevailing sense of surprise, even astonishment, that has pervaded post-Cold War Western public policy and mainstream media commentary in response to Russian actions. Perhaps the sharpest point was Russia’s unexpected annexation of Crimea: one US observer suggested that the US administration

in The new politics of Russia
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.

Building on earlier work, this text combines theoretical perspectives with empirical work, to provide a comparative analysis of the electoral systems, party systems and governmental systems in the ethnic republics and regions of Russia. It also assesses the impact of these different institutional arrangements on democratization and federalism, moving the focus of research from the national level to the vitally important processes of institution building and democratization at the local level and to the study of federalism in Russia.

Bacon 01 3/2/06 10:22 AM Page 1 1 Approaches to contemporary Russia 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 in an authoritarian direction, in comparison with the democratising moves and mood of the 1990s. According to this view, if the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin was the decade of democracy then a new century and a new president, Vladimir Putin, have seen a shift in emphasis

in Securitising Russia
The Muscovy Company and Giles Fletcher, the elder (1546–1611)

This book tells the story of English relations with Russia, from the 'strange and wonderfull discoverie' of the land and Elizabeth I's correspondence with Ivan the Terrible, to the corruption of the Muscovy Company and the Elizabethan regime's censorship of politically sensitive representations of Russia. Focusing on the life and works of Giles Fletcher, the elder, ambassador to Russia in 1588, it explores two popular themes in Elizabethan history: exploration, travel and trade and late Elizabethan political culture. The book draws together and analyses the narratives of travel, the practicalities of trade and the discourses of commonwealth and corruption that defined English encounters in late sixteenth century. In the early stages of English mercantile contact with Russia, diplomatic negotiations took shape in the wake of developing trade relations and were made up of a series of ad hoc embassies by individuals. The embassy of Giles Fletcher in 1588, however, represented a change in diplomatic tack. Fletcher's writing of Russia reveals some shared Elizabethan images of the land on Christendom's periphery and fundamentally how Russia was used as a site to reflect on themes of cultural development, commonwealth, trade and colonisation. The extensive use in Fletcher's text of the language of anti-popery points to resonances with the anxieties that riddled the political and religious consciences of late Elizabethan England. His work engaged in cajoling the commonwealth to think with the image of Russia.

This book is a systematic study that considers how international environmental agreements are transformed into political action in Russia, using three case studies on the implementation process in the fields of fisheries management, nuclear safety, and air pollution control. It develops the social science debate on international environmental regimes and ‘implementing activities’ at both national and international level to include regional considerations.

Giles Fletcher’s early career and embassies

Chapter 2 A commonwealths-man in Russia Giles Fletcher’s early career and embassies So the case standeth in a Common-wealth: and so it is in the consultations of Kings and Princes. If evill opinions and naughty perswasion cannot be utterly & quite plucked out of their hearts, if you cannot even as you would remedy vices, which use and custome hath confirmed: yet for this cause you must not leave and forsake the Common-wealth. Thomas More, Utopia (1539) Giles Fletcher’s mission to Russia was intended to combat the diplo­ matic ­disarray left by Sir Jerome

in Exploring Russia in the Elizabethan commonwealth

FAD2 10/17/2002 5:41 PM Page 17 2 The Soviet legacy and Russian federalism, 1991–93 Russian federalism and the Soviet legacy According to the 1977 Constitution, ‘the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ was a ‘unified, federal, multinational state formed on the principle of socialist federalism’. The federation, which was established according to the dual principles of ethnicity and territory, encompassed fifteen ethnically defined union republics, twenty autonomous republics, eight autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, and 159 territorially based

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia

3 Northwestern Russia and the federative system This chapter gives a presentation of Russia’s federative system and of the political and economic situation in the northwestern regions of the country. The objective of the first part of the chapter is to describe the overarching political structures of the Russian Federation, particularly those pertaining to the centre–region dimension, thus providing a backdrop to the discussion of various agencies’ involvement in the implementation of international environmental agreements. The second part of the chapter

in Implementing international environmental agreements in Russia