Politics and Economics in Putins Russia
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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at the Strategic Studies Institute s SSI IV Annual Conference on Russia that took place in Carlisle, PA, on May 15-16, 2012. They represent the first two panels of that conference, which examined politics and economics in Vladimir Putin s Russia. Despite their diversity of assessments and the varied subjects upon which they touch, the conclusions that they present are rather uniform in their pessimism concerning current and future trends in Putin s Russia. Readers will encounter here an immobilized political system that is essentially an archaic, neo-Tsarist, patrimonial, insular, even criminalized system where there is no rule of law, sanctity of contract, or guaranteed right of property, not to mention the civil and human rights we take for granted. Moreover, the present leadership has already shown that it will not hearken to increasing public demands from below for reform. Instead, President Putin, in his new term, has shown an increasing willingness to engage in repression and actions that cannot even be called cosmetic reforms. These repressions, show trials, and farcically staged exhibitions of Putin s masculinity, new laws that are essentially decrees passed by what was once called an aggressively obedient Duma, uncannily duplicate the same methods and procedures used by the Tsars after 1860 and the Soviet regime under Brezhnev from 1964 to 1982 when, in the wake of the great reforms, Russian society began to awake and demand still more reforms, and some brave souls even demanded revolution.
- Government and Political Science