Russia's Stalled Democracy

Journal Articles
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Russia today is an electoral democracy. Political leaders come to power through the ballot box. They are not appointed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. They do not take office by seizing power through the use of force. Most elites in Russia and the vast majority of the Russian population now recognize elections as the only legitimate means to power. Leaders and parties that espouse authoritarian practices--be they fascists or neocommunists--have moved to the margins of Russia's political stage. Given Russia's thousand-year history of autocratic rule, the emergence of electoral democracy must be recognized as a revolutionary achievement of the last decade.

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