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Russian Politics and Presidential Power
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Russian Politics and Presidential Power
Transformational Leadership from Gorbachev to Putin



October 2016 | 312 pages | CQ Press
Russian Politics and Presidential Power takes an in-depth look at the Russian presidency and uses it as a key to understanding Russian politics. Donald R. Kelley looks at presidents from Gorbachev to Putin as authoritarian, transformational leaders who set out to build the future, while sometimes rejecting and reinterpreting the work of past modernizers. Placing the presidency in this context helps readers understand both the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the nature of the Russian Federation that rose in its place. And by setting the presidency within a longer historical context, Kelley shows how the future of the presidency is dependent on other features of the political system.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1: Executive Power in Russian Politics
What Does Executive Leadership Mean in the Russian Context?

 
Authoritarian Modernizers: The Prototype

 
Characteristics of Authoritarian Modernizers

 
What Can We Learn from Past “Executives”?

 
Earlier Authoritarian Modernizers

 
The Brezhnev Era: The Long Calm before the Storm

 
The Uncertain Interregnum: Andropov and Chernenko

 
 
Chapter 2: The Gorbachev Presidency
The Starting Point: What Gorbachev Intended

 
Gorbachev’s Rise to Power

 
From General Secretary to President

 
The Reform Agenda: Politics and Policy

 
Glasnost

 
The Economy: Perestroika

 
Judicial Reform

 
Foreign Policy

 
Political Reform: Democratization

 
Democratization of the Communist Party

 
The Gorbachev Presidency

 
The Presidency of the Russian Federation

 
The Battle of the Presidents

 
Gorbachev as an Authoritarian Modernizer

 
 
Chapter 3: The Yeltsin Presidency, 1991–1993
Yeltsin’s Path to Moscow

 
From Outcast to President

 
The President Becomes a President

 
A Real President Gets a Real Nation

 
Personal Rivalries

 
Economic Reforms as a Political Issue

 
Yeltsin’s Economic Reforms: Phase I (1991–1993)

 
The Reform of the Party-State

 
National Identity and the Union Treaty

 
Judicial Reform

 
The President and the Legislature

 
Foreign Policy

 
Yeltsin as an Authoritarian Modernizer: A Preliminary Assessment

 
 
Chapter 4: Yeltsin and Russia Reborn
The Presidency and the Legislature

 
Judicial Reform

 
The 1993 Duma Elections

 
The 1995 Duma Elections

 
The 1996 Presidential Election

 
The Second Term: From Victory to Resignation

 
Yeltsin’s Economic Reforms: Phase II (1994-1999)

 
Foreign Policy

 
The First Chechen War

 
The December 1999 Duma Elections

 
Yeltsin’s Surprise Resignation

 
Yeltsin as an Authoritarian Modernizer: A Final Assessment

 
 
Chapter 5: Putin I, 2000–2008
The 2000 Presidential Election

 
Vladimir Putin: From Spy Novels to the Kremlin

 
The Putin Formula

 
The Putin Presidency Emerges from Yeltsin’s Shadow

 
Outside the Garden Ring: “Managing” the New Democracy

 
The Presidency and the Legislature: The 2003 Duma Elections

 
Judicial Reform

 
The 2004 Presidential Election

 
The Rules and the Game Change

 
The Run-Up to the 2008 Presidential Election

 
The 2007 Duma Elections

 
Putin’s Economic Reforms

 
Foreign Policy

 
The Second Chechen War

 
The 2008 Presidential Election

 
Putin as an Authoritarian Modernizer

 
 
Chapter 6: The “Tandem”
Dmitry Medvedev: Putin’s Friend from Leningrad

 
Governing the Nation in Tandem

 
Medvedev and Putin in Tandem

 
Factional Realities

 
Medvedev and Economic Reform

 
Medvedev and Political Modernization

 
Judicial Reform

 
Foreign Policy

 
The Russian-Georgian War

 
Medvedev and the Legislature: The 2011 Duma Elections

 
The Duma Election and Voting Fraud

 
The 2012 Presidential Election

 
Election Results

 
Medvedev as an Authoritarian Modernizer

 
 
Chapter 7: Putin II, 2012–
The “New” Cabinet

 
Putin II: Old and New Realities

 
Maintaining the Balance within the Garden Ring

 
Controlling the Opposition

 
The Economy: Prosperity and Modernity

 
Foreign Policy

 
Crimea and Ukraine

 
Russian Foreign Policy and the World

 
The Three Arenas of Russian Politics

 
Inside the Garden Ring: Factional Politics in Putin II

 
A Note on the Siloviki

 
Outside the Garden Ring: Politics in the Rest of the Russian Federation

 
The Authoritarian Modernizer Revisited

 
The Legal System and the Courts

 
Connecting Those Inside and Outside the Garden Ring

 
Political Parties

 
Civil Society

 
Control of the Media

 
The Leadership Cult as a Connection

 
Putin as an Authoritarian Modernizer

 
 
Chapter 8: The Future(s) of Russian Politics
The Future of the Russian Presidency(ies)

 
What Will Drive Change?

 
Changes in the Nature of Factional Politics

 
Changes in the Nature of Electoral Politics at the National, Regional, and Local Levels

 
Politics Moves to the Street: A Color Revolution or Moscow Spring

 
What Is a Color Revolution?

 
A Russian Color Revolution?

 
 
Index

Russian Politics and Presidential Power provides excellent insight into the Russian national character and the intellectual and emotional challenges that motivate people. The narrative is well written, , profound, and honest. The book is a very good resource for students who want to learn more about the nature of Russian politics.”

Irina Vakulenko
University of Texas Dallas

“Donald Kelley’s concept of 'modern authoritarians' as a central theme enables a reader to follow the complex personalities and course of events.  Perhaps even more valuable is the accuracy of the concept in portraying the Russian political experience. It is clear and presents the material that students need to understand.”

Richard Farkas
DePaul University

Russian Politics and Presidential Power is a fine text for undergraduate audiences and a good one for graduate students to review, too. The notion of the 'authoritarian modernizer' helps as a way to understand the Russian presidency and to get away from the tendentious arguments about Yeltsin and Putin that are so often indulged in. Kelley’s work is clearly written with well explained examinations of the turbulent eras covered.”

Gerry Hudson
The Ohio State University

“Russian Politics and Presidential Power is notable for Professor Kelley’s attention to political 'legacies' of past Russian and Soviet chief executive offices and practices.  Dr. Kelley demonstrates a number of the reasons for which Russian Federation politics have remained very fluid, and he acquaints the reader with many of the major political issues that have surfaced within the Russian political arena since before the disappearance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”

Barbara Chotiner
Professor Emerita at the University of Alabama
Key features
KEY FEATURES:
  • Reinterprets of the concept of authoritarian modernizer for the purposes of understanding the mindset of transformational leaders from 1985 onward.
  • Discussion of separate arenas of Russian politics demonstrates the complexity of politics in an electoral authoritarian regime.
  • Discussion of possible futures offers nuanced alternatives shaped by the nature of political institutions, strengths and weakness of major actors, and impact of tactical choices by politicians.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 5


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