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A Democratic Conundrum: Illiberal Democracy and Putins Russia Professor Neil Mitchell.

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Presentation on theme: "A Democratic Conundrum: Illiberal Democracy and Putins Russia Professor Neil Mitchell."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Democratic Conundrum: Illiberal Democracy and Putins Russia Professor Neil Mitchell

2 Outline Defining Democracy and the Concept of Illiberal Democracy Application: Russia –Constitutional framework –The Exercise of Power

3 A Democratic Conundrum Difficulty Defining Democracy? –Multidimensional concept –Essentially contested concept (W.B. Gallie) –Categorical (various categories) or Continuous Concept?





8 Further reading: Gerardo L. Munck, and Jay Verkuilen Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy. Comparative Political Studies (February) 35:5-34.

9 Illiberal Democracy and The Russian Federation Democracy is flourishing; liberty is not. Zakaria Russian Democracy: –1993 Democratic Constitution Mixed presidential-parliamentary system, federal

10 1993 Constitution Executive Legislature Constitutional Rights –Article 29 guarantees free speech and media The freedom of the mass media shall be guaranteed. Censorship shall be prohibited. Strength of guarantee? cfm?page=363&year=2007

11 What about Power? The Three Sources of Power 1. Coercion (hard power): You can take the man out of the KGB but not the KGB out of the man Direct exercise: –Arrest of Khodorkovsky –Igor Shuvalov (Kremlin aide). Once you behead someone, he says, you give a good example [to Russia's other tycoons] of how to behave. Those oligarchs not in prison or exile are indeed politically quiescent. Economist 13/7/2006 –Chechnya – high estimates of civilian fatalities Indirect Exercise: "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" –Journalists and critics – canaries of a political system –Who murdered Anna Politkovskaya 7/10/06 or Litvinenko?


13 Journalists Killed for their Journalism 1. Iraq: Algeria: Russia: Colombia: Philippines: India: Somalia: Bosnia: 19 Turkey: Rwanda: 16 Sierra Leone: 16 Tajikistan: 16 Afghanistan: Brazil: Pakistan: Mexico: Bangladesh: Sri Lanka: Angola: 8 Yugoslavia: 8

14 The Committee to Protect Journalists an independent, nonprofit organization founded in We promote press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. CPJ applies strict journalistic standards when investigating a death. We consider a case "confirmed" only if our research confirms or strongly suggests that a journalist was killed in direct reprisal for his or her work; in crossfire; or while carrying out a dangerous assignment. We do not include journalists who are killed in accidentssuch as car or plane crashesunless the crash was caused by hostile action (for example, if a plane were shot down or a car crashed trying to avoid gunfire).

15 Coercion sociology Siloviki – KGB/Military background

16 Incentives and Persuasion: Soft Power 2. Incentives –Oil and growth 3. Persuasion –Media –NGOs

17 CandidatesNominating parties Votes% Vladimir PutinUnited Russia48,931, Nikolay KharitonovCommunist Party of the Russian Federation9,440, Sergey Glazyevnone, but supported by RodinaRodina2,826, Irina Khakamada2,644, Oleg MalyshkinLiberal Democratic Party of Russia1,394, Sergey MironovRussian Party of Life518, Against all2,319, TOTAL66,307,156100

18 Illiberal Nondemocracy? Is it even illiberal democracy? Is it the worst form except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time in Russia? (Is it: a conundrum within a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma) Labels aside: It is worth thinking about leadership, the decisions made, and as Ive indicated the sources of power.

19 Leadership and Decisions More assertive internationally Domestic politics –Upcoming Duma election (freeze food prices until January 2008) –Appointment of Zubkov No signs of liberty or democracy increasing Continuing approval


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