Russia is an example of a “managed democracy”. Citizens continue to vote in free elections, but the state does absolutely everything in its power to predetermine the outcome. The question is not: who will win? The question is: what will the margin of victory be? Will voter turnout be higher or lower than the previous election? This is how political success is measured in modern Russia.
From the outside, Russia’s political system seems quite stable. Putin is genuinely popular among ordinary Russians and is viewed as having restored Russia to its rightful place in world politics. However, the economy at home is still plagued by weak growth, inefficiency, and widespread corruption. Will Putin be able to navigate these challenges over the course of his next 6-year term in office?
Are Russians growing tired of Putinism? Will Russia moderate its foreign policy after the elections? And what do our readers think of President Vladimir Putin?
Debating Europe has been asking Europeans to share their thoughts and comments in a series of online debates titled ‘Elections 2018 – Russia’. We have been approaching politicians, economists, academics, and activists to respond to the comments of our audience, and to engage them in a debate.
Join the debates!