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Managing Society: Protest, Civil Society, and Regime in Putin's Russia

Graeme B. Robertson
Slavic Review
Vol. 68, No. 3 (Fall, 2009), pp. 528-547
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25621654
Page Count: 20
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Managing Society: Protest, Civil Society, and Regime in Putin's Russia
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Abstract

Postcommunist Russia has become a paradigmatic case of contemporary authoritarianism in which elections coexist with autocratic rule. In this paper, Graeme B. Robertson argues that it is vital for the stability of such hybrid regimes for incumbents to maintain an image of political invincibility. This means intensively managing challenges both during elections and in the streets. To do this, Vladimir Putin's regime has built on the Soviet repertoire of channeling and inhibiting protest, creating a new system for licensing civil society and crafting ersatz social movements that rally support for the state. This contemporary style of repression has become a model for authoritarian regimes in the post-Soviet space and elsewhere.

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