Chapter

Approaches to contemporary Russia

Edwin Bacon, Bettina Renz and Julian Cooper

in Securitising Russia

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780719072246
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701317 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719072246.003.0002
Approaches to contemporary 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.

Keywords: Russia; Vladimir Putin; democratisation; securitisation; authoritarianism; domestic politics; Chechen conflict; security; economic policy; migration policy

Chapter.  9248 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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