Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, September 19, 2014

Historic political culture

History and political culture have a lot to do with how governments function and policies that leaders adopt. When the two coincide, the results can be powerful. How much of the operation and policies of the Russian government can be explained by history and political culture? What about the role of leadership? Does economics offer alternative explanations?

Ukraine crisis: Is the noose around Putin tightening?
The Kremlin is a very different seat of power from 10 Downing Street, the Elysee Palace or the Washington White House.

The word Kremlin means "fortress".

For hundreds of years, that is exactly what it has been, with high walls, towers and a moat; besieged by foreign invaders, from the Polish army in the early 17th Century, to Napoleon 200 years later.

Today there are no foreign armies knocking at the gates.

Yet once again the Kremlin feels threatened…

"Putin sincerely believes that 'Orange Revolutions' in Ukraine were instigated by the US State Department and that Kiev's Association Agreement with the European Union is an EU conspiracy to take dominance of Ukraine," says political analyst Andrei Piontkovsky…

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