The policies emerging under Russian President Vladimir Putin hold the potential for building more robust democratic institutions as well as for growing repression of political opposition. The conviction of Putin and most of the Russian elite that only a market economy and closer links with the West will provide a basis for prosperity and international stature gives the United States substantial influence over how the fluid political situation in Russia develops (Lührmann, A., Tannenberg, M., & Lindberg, 2018). America should carefully consider how to approach such hotly contested issues in Russia as NATO expansion and domestic missile defense in order to persuade Russia to participate, show that U.S. support for Russia’s inclusion into the West is more than just talk, and discredit anti-American elites who claim that Russia is not encouraged and has nothing to gain from doing so.
A democratic and complimentary Russia would be a helpful partner on the regional and global levels as opposed to being a hostile danger to domestic security. Following Vladimir Putin’s election as president, worries over the state of democratization looked to be increasing. Since then, Russians have experienced a rise in government election tampering and campaigning, limits on media independence, and widespread violations of their civil rights (Henderson, 2018). Following the terrorist assaults in Russia that resulted in the murder of hundreds of schoolchildren in the town of Beslan, democratization faced new difficulties. To adequately tackle such terrorist threats, President Putin very immediately suggested reorganizing the administration and enhancing federal authority. The restructure has received approval from certain Russian and foreign commentators as being compatible with Russia’s democracy. They have agreed with Putin’s justification that the restructure would thwart Chechen and foreign terrorists seeking to undermine Russia’s political and economic advancement.
Three primary tendencies or possibilities of Russia’s potential political development, such as democratization, authoritarianism, or the medium path, which many analysts refer to as managed democracy, can be used to organize the implications of Putin’s administration. When evaluating the programs, the critical concern is whether the current state of managed democracy can last for a while or if it is only a transitional stage leading to either increased democracy or increased authoritarianism (Chenoy and Kumar, 2017). The degree of democracy may have an impact on economic growth and international policy.
- Hypothesis 1: With the worsening of the situation in foreign and domestic policy, will the managed democracy regime remain?
- Hypothesis 2: Given all the prerequisites of the Russian government with the introduction of an authoritarian regime, it will not affect the perception of the local people.
- Hypothesis 3: With a radical change of power, Russia can take the path of becoming a democracy.
Managed Democracy Hypothesis
Typically managed democracy scenarios call for the continuance of current practices that obstruct democratization. Russia may eventually restart its democratic transition, or it may adopt an authoritarian regime (Lysenko and Brooks, 2018). Others caution that administered democracy may continue indefinitely, with democratic structures occasionally leaning toward democratic reform and occasionally toward more outstanding management but failing to produce fundamental adjustments in strategy or people. Some analysts claim that Putin’s attempt to exert more authority is seriously hampered by regional, ethnic, socioeconomic, political, and other groupings (Petro, 2018). Instead of utilizing the money to further democratization and centrally planned economic reforms, Putin has generously given these organizations to alleviate them due to the high global oil prices. While such a stalemate may continue, democratic activism and economic trends may finally put this precarious political order in danger.
If the projected increase in xenophobia and ultra-nationalism among the populace is mirrored in more backing for political candidates endorsing similar attitudes in Duma and presidential elections, authoritarianism may strengthen in the system of government. The Putin government has been determined to channel and restrain such ideas, although occasionally seeming to embrace them, through managing political party and organization formation and activity and by implementing legislation that forbids parties and candidates from endorsing extreme viewpoints (Brands, 2018). However, some investigators express concern that recently elected council members and a new president may support xenophobic and ultra-nationalist policy proposals, mainly because recent laws have limited the ability of civil society advocates for democratization and human rights to exert a counteracting effect.
Democratic Progress Hypothesis
Despite Russia’s millennia of tsarist and communist party control, specific democratic cultural ambitions have emerged and served as a foundation for greater liberalization. However, many observers agree that the Putin administration’s efforts to erect obstacles to political involvement risk reinforcing a culture of inactivity in politics; they refer to the well-known “color revolutions” in Georgia and Ukraine as proof that this cycle may be broken (Oliker, 2017). These observers argue that as the middle and lower classes expand and civil society develops, Russians will amend the constitution and alter other aspects of their system of government to establish a more democratic power balance.
Concept and Measures
Russia is more illiberal than it is undemocratic; many Russians choose authoritarianism and nationalism over liberalism, which is reflected in the country’s present administration. Putin is a potential ally of the United States who has been turned off by the latter’s aggressive policies, such as assistance for the colored rebellions in three post-Soviet states and NATO augmentation, as well as by the latter’s harsh and excessive public criticism of Russian domestic and international politics. The issue is the loss of societal trust and the frailty of civic institutions, notably the judicial system (Sperling, 2018). Many Russians developed the misguided impression that Americans had terrible intentions for Russia and that their support was intended to make Russia weak as a result of this disastrous involvement (Gulakov and Vanclay, 2018). In this way, several measures can be derived for potential analysis. The first measure will be the percentage in terms of support for the current mode. Next, it can be asked about possible changes and possible proposals for the introduction of democracy.
The majority of the media advertising market is controlled by the government, either directly or via state-owned businesses and benevolent corporate moguls, along with all of the national television networks, numerous radio stations, and print publications. The Ministry of Justice had designated 86 NGOs and public groups, 36 news organizations, and 75 people as foreign intelligence agencies (McFaul, 2018). A total of 48 groups had each received their own “undesirable” designation. One of Russia’s most reputable human rights organizations, Memorial Worldwide, was shut down by the Supreme Court of Russia that month on the basis that it had consistently disregarded the laws governing foreign agents.
Brands, H., 2018. ‘Democracy vs. authoritarianism: How ideology shapes great-power conflict’. Survival, 60(5), pp. 61-114.
Chenoy, A.M. and Kumar, R., 2017. ‘Russian Democracy and Its Paradoxes’. In Re-emerging Russia. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. pp. 265-276.
Gulakov, I. and Vanclay, F., 2018. ‘Social impact assessment in the Russian Federation: does it meet the key values of democracy and civil society?’. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 36(6), pp. 494-505.
Henderson, S.L., 2018. ‘Building democracy in contemporary Russia’. In Building Democracy in Contemporary Russia. Cornell University Press.
Lührmann, A., Tannenberg, M., & Lindberg, S. I. 2018. ‘Regimes of the world (RoW): Opening new avenues for the comparative study of political regimes’. Politics and Governance, 6(1), p. 60.
Lysenko, V. and Brooks, C., 2018. ‘Russian information troops, disinformation, and democracy’. First Monday.
McFaul, M., 2018. ‘Choosing autocracy: Actors, institutions, and revolution in the erosion of Russian democracy’. Comparative Politics, 50(3), pp. 305-325.
Oliker, O., 2017. ‘Putinism, populism and the defense of liberal democracy’. Survival, 59(1), pp. 7-24.
Petro, N., 2018. ‘Crafting Democracy’. In Crafting Democracy. Cornell University Press.
Sperling, V., 2018. Building the Russian state: institutional crisis and the quest for democratic Governance. Routledge.