Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Linda J. Cook ─ Vladimir Putin’s Time of Troubles?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

4 p.m.

Board Room

Reception to follow.

In the years since 2000 Vladimir Putin has consolidated an electoral authoritarian regime in the Russian Federation, with himself firmly at the helm. The first decade of the 21st century also brought rapid economic growth, and with it return of the Russian political elite’s confidence and the Russian state’s power. That economic growth, based largely on energy export revenues, ended by 2012; in 2015 Russia’s economy contracted almost 4% as global oil prices continued their steep decline. The lecture explores President Putin’s continued power and Russia’s political stability in light of the economic downturn. What are the sources of Putin’s popularity and levers of control in the current period? How does his regime maintain support among the population and within the political elite? How important are appeals to patriotism and security, social protections and tightening authoritarian controls? Why do central and regional elites apparently remain loyal? To what extent are the urban professional classes alienated since the suppressed 2011-2012 political protests? Based in part on Cook’s observations during a month-long research trip to Moscow in December, 2015, the lecture analyzes sources of political stability and control in contemporary Russia.

Linda J. Cook is a professor of Political Science and Slavic Studies and 2015-17 Fulbright Research Scholar

European Politics Seminar