Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Speculation about Russian politics

Three academic experts offer analyses of the politics of leadership in Russia at The Monkey Cage blog. There are links to other speculations as well.
Sufian Zhemukhov, Visiting Scholar at George Washington University’s Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies: "Why so fast and so simple? That is the question... Both the speed and simplicity of the decision suggest that the situation inside the Russian elite has been becoming more and more unstable because of the uncertainty of who will be the next president..."

Georgi Derluguian, Northwestern University: "Still more unknown is what could be the ideologies and mobilization resources of the opposition in the eventuality of catastrophic crisis with such daily-life occurrences as electrical shutdowns and industrial accidents...."

Regina Smyth, University of Indiana and currently a Fullbright Scholar in Moscow: "The most surprising aspect of President Medvedev’s coronation of Prime Minister Putin at the United Russia party conference on September 24 was that it happened at all. Until this point, Mr. Putin’s political strategy has been to deploy uncertainty to keep his political opposition off guard. Both in terms of parliamentary and presidential elections, the Putin team has waited until the last moment to reveal its intentions. This strategy placed considerable burdens on the political opposition, forcing them to organize to face a number of different contingencies or risk being unprepared for the eventual reality of the eventual contest...."

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