Synopses & Reviews
All forms of government require popular support to survive, whether voluntary or involuntary. Following the collapse of the Soviet system, Russia's rulers took steps toward democracy, yet under Vladimir Putin Russia has become increasingly undemocratic. This book uses a unique source of evidence, eighteen surveys of Russian public opinion from the first month of the new regime in 1992 up to 2009, to track the changing views of Russians. Clearly presented and sophisticated figures and tables show how political support has increased because of a sense of resignation that is stronger than the uncertain economic reliance on exporting oil and gas. Russia is not only an outstanding example of popular support increasing for a government that rejects democracy, but is also representative of a surprising number of regimes around the world that have been able to mobilize popular support for undemocratic regimes. Richard Rose is Director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy and Sixth Century Professor of Politics at the University of Aberdeen. William Mishler is Professor of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona, Visiting Professor of Political Science at the University of Aberdeen, and co-editor of the Journal of Politics. Neil Munro is currently a visiting lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh and was formerly a senior research fellow in the Centre for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen.
"Popular Support for an Undemocratic Regime is a sophisticated examination of a fundamental question facing analysts of Russian politics, and indeed of other semi-authoritarian systems: what happens when the rulers supply the regime that the people are asked to support? This book is essential reading for all those in comparative politics concerned with the persistence of undemocratic regimes."
- Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics, University of Kent
"Nowhere is widespread citizen support for democracy more critical than in Russia. Using the unique New Russia Barometer, this path-breaking book charts popular support for democracy in Russia from the collapse of communism to the present day. Rose, Mishler and Munro tell us much about Russian political attitudes in the past - and about their trajectories in the future."
- Ian McAllister, Professor of Political Science, The Australian National University
"For 18 years, Richard Rose and colleagues have surveyed Russian citizens on their political attitudes. In this masterful overview, they probe the data to explain why support for the existing system of government has grown. They show that, contrary to some accounts, Russians want democracy, recognize the defects of their current regime, yet have been reconciled to it by the dramatic economic gains of recent years along with the passage of time. Lucidly written and erudite, the book will provoke and inform future debates about public opinion in the postcommunist world."
- Daniel Treisman, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev
A unique study of how popular support can grow when governors reject democracy and create an undemocratic regime.
Russia is not an example of a failed democracy but of a regime that has succeeded in becoming undemocratic. This book uses sophisticated surveys of Russian public opinion to track the changing views of Russians, as popular support has increased for the regime through a sense of resignation.
About the Author
Richard Rose is Director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy and Sixth Century Professor of Politics at the University of Aberdeen.William Mishler is Professor of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona, Visiting Professor of Political Science at the University of Aberdeen, and co-editor of the Journal of Politics.Neil Munro is currently a visiting lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh and was formerly a senior research fellow in the Centre for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen.
Table of Contents
Introduction: the need for popular support; 1. Democratic and undemocratic models of support; 2. Changing the supply of regimes; 3. Putin consolidates a new regime; 4. Increasing support for an undemocratic regime; 5. Individual influences on regime support; 6. Time tells: there is no alternative; 7. Finessing the challenge of succession; 8. The challenge of economic reversal; 9. Maintaining a regime: democratic or otherwise.