Russian Ideology

21.09.2017

Setting the Boundaries: Russia’s New Cultural State Policy

The Russian government is sending out the message that unofficial culture will be tolerated as long as it agrees not to seek state funding. But drawing the dividing line between official and unofficial will not be easy.
20.09.2017

The Active Minority and Passive Majority: Takeaways from Russia’s Regional Elections

Russia’s recent regional and municipal elections saw an increase in voting by the reform-minded minority and a decrease in voter turnout among Putin’s former majority. However, the Kremlin chooses to ignore these trends, turning a blind eye to the possibility that the active minority and the discontented passive majority may eventually meet.
29.08.2017

Russian Society Wants Change—But of What Nature?

Sociological research shows that up to two-thirds of the population supports changes in Russia. But they are not necessarily the kind of changes that the democratic community likes to discuss, and the majority of those polled have no understanding of how their desired changes might come about.
28.08.2017

Alexei Navalny’s Techno-Populism

Is opposition leader Alexei Navalny a “Kremlin project,” a “future tyrant,” or “Russia’s only hope?” Conversations about Navalny often proceed along these moral lines, though it is Navalny’s practicality—especially in the technological realm—that has been the driving force of his popularity.
21.07.2017

Russia’s Choice of Moral Rhetoric Over Pragmatism Is a Ticking Time Bomb

The demise of pragmatic politics will only amplify discontent with the regime and benefit populist opposition politicians. The public will no longer tolerate the regime’s strategy of tackling material problems with spiritual discourse, and will demand immediate practical solutions. As public discontent with the old regime grows stronger, new politicians will have an easy time promising quick material gains.
14.07.2017

Misremembering Russia’s War

The increased frequency in Russia of military ceremonies and parades removes the need to reflect on the real history of the Great Patriotic War against Germany. Nowadays, even the anniversary of the German invasion of June 22, 1941, no longer presents an opportunity to commemorate and mourn.
20.06.2017

Alexei Navalny’s Protest Gambit

Russians are engaging in increasingly confrontational forms of protest, choosing to voice their discontent with the regime at unauthorized rallies rather than at state-sanctioned gatherings. As arrests and restrictions on civil liberties mount in response to the rallies, the authorities will seem ever more hostile and unjust.
16.06.2017

Volodin vs. Kiriyenko: The Battle for Influence in Russia’s Power Vertical

The State Duma has joined the presidential administration as the second source of power in Russian domestic policymaking, and the tension between the two is threatening to open up a rift in Putin’s power vertical.
8.06.2017

When Propaganda Backfires: Why Russia’s Politicization Is Unavoidable

In 2014, ordinary people in Russia were called upon to be active and create history. But you can’t be active on the geopolitical stage while remaining passive in domestic politics. People are starting to apply their newly found political activity to the agenda at home.
8.05.2017

Mirrored Morality: Russian Society, Eurovision, and a New Ethics

Even as Russia officially proclaims moral conservatism, the official tactic of nominating a wheelchair-bound singer for the Eurovision Song Contest suggests a different approach. A political gambit reflects a wider trend. Much of Russian society is becoming more tolerant of difference and more Europeanized than it has been for a century.
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