Spring 2017

Paradoxes of Putinism

Timothy J. Colton

Since taking charge of Russia’s government almost two decades ago, Vladimir Putin has pursued systemic stability above all else, and with it, he has achieved economic and demographic recovery. But societal growth has been juxtaposed with the state’s growing rigidity and control-mindedness. And the accumulation of economic, social, and foreign-policy problems raises questions about the sustainability of the current regime. Timothy J. Colton explores Putin’s tenure through several core paradoxes, including that Putin’s personal popularity has not always been matched by confidence in his policies and that Russia bucks the global trend that links social and economic modernization to political democratization.

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