Russian Ideology

19.09.2016

Russia’s Lost Liberals

Russia’s parliamentary election campaign again dealt a crushing blow to the country’s liberal parties, which still believe the key to their success is appearing on television, whether in commercials or in debates. This is a losing strategy; liberals must learn to listen to the Russian people’s needs to garner support.
14.09.2016

Dictatorship 101

Some degree of isolationism—“sovereignty,” in official political parlance—is necessary for every authoritarian regime to survive. But elites and societies as a whole don’t want full-blown isolationism. In Russia and elsewhere, “authoritarian internationalism”—an alliance of quasi-democracies—has come to the rescue.
12.09.2016

Russia’s Militant Anti-Atheism

Public expression of atheism can now get a Russian citizen punished by the state. The jailing of a young blogger in Yekaterinburg is symptomatic of a culture of intolerance in which church and state work hand in hand.
23.08.2016

Russian-Turkish Relations: Quick to Destroy, Slower to Mend

While the Erdogan-Putin summit in St. Petersburg on August 9 aimed to end the conflict between the two presidents triggered by Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet last year, upbeat reports and promises of eternal friendship conceal a long list of problems that can’t be solved any time soon
29.07.2016

Why Turkey’s Military Coup Is Impossible in Russia

The military takes over when it feels superior to the rest of society. Its perceived superiority lies in the view of the army in developing nations as the primary instrument of modernization. The Turkish coup failed because soldiers have lost that status in Turkish society—a process that happened long ago in Russia.
22.07.2016

Relegitimizing Russian Power

Although Russian officials were initially shocked and concerned about the military coup in Turkey, it has in fact given them a formula for strengthening their gradually declining regime: all they have to do to restore their vanishing legitimacy is declare themselves defenders of democracy.
20.07.2016

YouTube Spawns New Generation of Russian Political Stars

The Russian electorate has regressed in its demands and gullibility to where it was in the early 1990s, when firebrand politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky had his first success. Russian society has a soft spot for wisecracking politicians who give populist speeches and bash the government, even if they tend to contradict themselves.
12.07.2016

The Black Hole Where Russia’s Ethics Should Be

In the current Russian political climate, ethical reasoning is no longer a recreation but a necessity. Although the country is stuck in a moral quagmire, a new system of ethics is being born—through contrariness.
7.07.2016

Killing Russian Criminal Law

The “Yarovaya laws” threaten to undermine the core principles of Russian criminal law. With the Criminal Code stripped bare and the revival of a number of notorious Soviet legal principles—including the ability to hold people criminally responsible for withholding information—legal textbooks will soon have to be rewritten.
4.07.2016

Putin Indulges the Duma

Putin’s address was deeply conservative in content and artfully liberal in rhetoric. He frames being elected to the Duma as being elevated to the ranks of the chosen few. The right to be a Putinist is celebrated, and it’s out of the question that the institution might let in “irresponsible forces”: real threats to power.
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