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Political Stability and Putin’s Russia

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image of Russian Politics

Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012 and the imposition of Western sanctions on Russia in 2014 prompted many observers to argue that the Russian regime was in crisis and its fall was imminent. The problem is that such analyses have focused purely on the situation in Russia itself, listing the challenges and declaring that they would bring about the regime’s fall. However, by simply enumerating the challenges the regime faces, such analyses have no means of evaluating how serious those challenges actually are, and therefore how dangerous they are for continued regime survival. Certainly, the difficulty in measuring both crisis intensity and regime resilience renders this a difficult judgement to make. Another way of approaching this question is to look at the comparative literature on regime change and see what it tells us about the dynamics of regime challenge and survival. This paper looks at three triggers of regime change identified in the comparative literature – economic crisis, elections, and the decline of the presidency – to evaluate the danger facing the current Russian regime.

Affiliations: 1: University of Sydney,


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