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Putin's Presidency and Russian History

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image of Russian History

The regime crafted by Vladimir Putin and extended now with the election of Dmitry Medvedev in many ways represents a continuation of the Muscovite paradigm delineated by Professor Hellie in his earlier work. Indeed, we are witnessing the consolidation of a fourth version of the Muscovite service state and in the military a kind of serfdom still reigns. This continuity is not just a question of the autocracy of the Tsar but also of the tenuous situation regarding property rights which are not fully established. Furthermore, it is quite clear that government is still a service state where officials' income, power and status derive from the service they render the Tsar and their ability to provide the state's requirements in key industries. Just as this elite may be considered a rent-seeking elite, so may the state be considered a rent-granting state that grants them rents in the form of office so that they can provide for themselves at the same time as they serve the Tsar.


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