References (34)



Explaining Increases in Xenophobic Outcomes in Post-Communist Russia

Christopher Wendt

Lewis & Clark College

Gabriel Rubin

Montclair State University


APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper

Since 2000, Russia has witnessed a stunning increase in xenophobic voting and violence. Unlike manifestations in Western Europe, Russian xenophobia is significantly more likely to end in fatal encounters or large-scale infringements of domestic liberties. Russia is home to half the world’s skinheads, averages several dozen fatal attacks on ethnic minorities yearly, and has seen local ordinances and pogroms intended to reverse the access of immigrants to Russian markets.

Our paper collects data on three dimensions of Russian xenophobia: votes for xenophobic parties, legislation restricting immigrant minorities, and explicitly xenophobic crimes. We then test three competing explanations for the increase in xenophobic outcomes since 2000. We find that increases in xenophobia are driven primarily by increases in inter- and intra-national migration, due a combination of a more attractive Russian economy combined with political instability in the Caucuses. We reject two alternate explanations: that xenophobia is driven by high or increasing levels of economic instability or inequality, or that xenophobia is driven by increases in nationalist sentiment utilized by the Putin regime to consolidate power, though we cannot rule out that Russia’s weak rule of law and indifferent civic culture play a role in facilitating violence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: post-communist, Russia, xenophobia, hate crime

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Date posted: August 13, 2009 ; Last revised: September 22, 2009

Suggested Citation

Wendt, Christopher and Rubin, Gabriel, Explaining Increases in Xenophobic Outcomes in Post-Communist Russia (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1450285

Contact Information

Christopher Wendt (Contact Author)
Lewis & Clark College ( email )
0615 SW Palatine Hill Road
Portland, OR 97204
United States
Gabriel Rubin
Montclair State University ( email )
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
United States
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