Muddling Through the Shadow of the Past: Post-Communist Russia's Search for a New Regime Ideology
33 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 21 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2009
For many scholars, the current Russian regime is characterized by pragmatism aimed at, first and foremost, the maintenance of political power. Nevertheless, as the country’s international status rises and domestic problems persist, the current Russian regime is clearly interested in defining a new regime ideology that can justify regime rule and guide long-term developmental strategy. This paper seeks to examine the major forces shaping the current Russian regime’s search for a new ideology, and explores the reasons why this process has been so difficult and full of ambiguities. It argues that the current Russian regime’s difficulty in forming a clear new regime ideology is not due to its unwillingness to do so, but because of its inability. This inability largely stems from two major sources: the relative incoherence of the regime’s ideological repertoire, and the relative weakness of Russian political elite’s commitment. Finally, this paper also seeks to offer a tentative assessment of the potential implications of the current Russian regime's ongoing ideology-building process.
Keywords: Russia, politics, ideology, elite
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