Popular Support for an Undemocratic Regime

Popular Support for an Undemocratic Regime : The Changing Views of Russians

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To survive, all forms of government require popular support, whether voluntary or involuntary. Following the collapse of the Soviet system, Russia's rulers took steps toward democracy, yet under Vladimir Putin Russia has become increasingly undemocratic. This book uses a unique source of evidence, eighteen surveys of Russian public opinion from the first month of the new regime in 1992 up to 2009, to track the changing views of Russians. Clearly presented and sophisticated figures and tables show how political support has increased because of a sense of resignation that is even stronger than the unstable benefits of exporting oil and gas. Whilst comparative analyses of surveys on other continents show that Russia's elite is not alone in being able to mobilize popular support for an undemocratic regime, Russia provides an outstanding caution that popular support can grow when governors reject democracy and create an undemocratic regime.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 30 b/w illus. 17 tables
  • 1139074490
  • 9781139074490

Review quote

'Popular Support for an Undemocratic Regime is a sophisticated examination of a fundamental question facing analysts of Russian politics, and indeed of other semi-authoritarian systems: what happens when the rulers supply the regime that the people are asked to support? This book is essential reading for all those in comparative politics concerned with the persistence of undemocratic regimes.' Richard Sakwa, University of Kent 'Nowhere is widespread citizen support for democracy more critical than in Russia. Using the unique New Russia Barometer, this path-breaking book charts popular support for democracy in Russia from the collapse of communism to the present day. Rose, Mishler and Munro tell us much about Russian political attitudes in the past - and about their trajectories in the future.' Ian McAllister, Australian National University 'For 18 years, Richard Rose and colleagues have surveyed Russian citizens on their political attitudes. In this masterful overview, they probe the data to explain why support for the existing system of government has grown. They show that, contrary to some accounts, Russians want democracy, recognize the defects of their current regime, yet have been reconciled to it by the dramatic economic gains of recent years along with the passage of time. Lucidly written and erudite, the book will provoke and inform future debates about public opinion in the postcommunist world.' Daniel Treisman, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev 'The surveys cited in this tantalizing book note a gap between support for Putin personally and for the regime ...' Edwin Bacon, International Affairs 'The book is strongest and most informative with respect to the indexes constructed on regime support ... includes some general background of recent Russian political history ... such discussion makes the book more appealing to a wider range of readers. The work will be useful to the debate on the evolution of democracy and the current political situation in Russia.' Europe-Asia Studies 'This fascinating study seeks to answer two key questions: why do undemocratic regimes persist and why did support for Putin's regime increase while Russia itself became less democratic? ... That the Russian system today may be 'more typical of how the world's peoples are governed than are Anglo-American democracies gives this study a wider scholarly significance than one that simply focuses on a single country, important as that country may be.' David White, Political Studies Review 'The authors provide a highly readable, sweeping panorama of the dynamics of Russian politics in the Yeltsin and Putin era. Acta Politicashow more

Table of contents

Introduction: the need for popular support; 1. Democratic and undemocratic models of support; 2. Changing the supply of regimes; 3. Putin consolidates a new regime; 4. Increasing support for an undemocratic regime; 5. Individual influences on regime support; 6. Time tells: there is no alternative; 7. Finessing the challenge of succession; 8. The challenge of economic reversal; 9. Maintaining a regime: democratic or otherwise.show more