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Sovereign Democracy and Shrinking Political Space

Journal Articles
21590 small rbwSpring2007

Several years ago, Kremlin public relations specialists coined the term "managed democracy" to describe the unique features of Russia's evolving political system. As the label faded in appeal and explanatory power, this same team of communication specialists floated a new term, "sovereign democracy," as a new way to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime. The new moniker cleverly fused a nationalist notion with an ideal regime type. To date, the adjective does more to capture the essence of the Russian regime than does the noun. This new focus on "sovereignty" rather than democracy as the most important element of the Russian political system captures the real essence of Putin's political reforms.

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