Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2156342
 
 

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A Well-Organized Plаy: Symbolic Politics and the Effect of the Pro-Putin Rallies


Regina Smyth


Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Political Science

Anton Sobolev


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Irina V. Soboleva


National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow); Columbia University - Department of Political Science

October 3, 2012

Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 05/PS/2012

Abstract:     
The paper illustrates the government’s agility in response to opposition protests and the debacle of parliamentary elections. We explore the evolution of Kremlin strategies from a reliance on cooptation to more coercive strategies — a trend that continued after Putin’s election in March. These strategies were successful in mobilizing core voters, creating common identity among participants, and containing the electoral effects of the opposition protests. However, the government's strategy also embodied significant costs that are likely to have longer-term influences and did little to build a true movement of regime loyalists. The Kremlin’s rigid definition of both the symbols and rhetoric of Putinism left little room for participants to participate in the production of symbols and language. While the narratives imposed from above help Putin’s supporters to participate in political life in limited ways, they remain unable to formulate and articulate independent political positions. As a result, supporters remain highly dependent on the state. Deprived of the benefit of hearing supporters’ demands, this strategy also leaves the state in peril of further losing touch with its political base.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: elections, mass protests, collective actions, cooptive strategies, hybrid political regimes, Russia

JEL Classification: D72, D74


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Date posted: October 4, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Smyth, Regina and Sobolev, Anton and Soboleva, Irina V., A Well-Organized Plаy: Symbolic Politics and the Effect of the Pro-Putin Rallies (October 3, 2012). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 05/PS/2012 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2156342 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2156342

Contact Information

Regina Smyth (Contact Author)
Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Political Science ( email )
Bloomington, IN
United States
Anton Sobolev
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )
405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States
HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/antsobolev/
Irina V. Soboleva
National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) ( email )
Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )
MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
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