Agreeable Authoritarians: Personality and Politics in Contemporary Russia

47 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2016

See all articles by Samuel Greene

Samuel Greene

King's Russia Institute, King's College London

Graeme Robertson

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Date Written: January 16, 2016

Abstract

Personality research is a growing field in political behavior, but most research to date is confined to democracies. We expand the scope to Russia, an authoritarian regime, and find that the impact of personality on political behavior is substantial but different from the existing literature. We find that agreeableness, a personality trait associated with a desire to maintain positive relations with others that is usually peripheral to politics, becomes the single most important and consistent trait affecting attitudes. This perspective helps us to understand why individuals who are socio-economically and demographically similar can have quite different attitudes to the regime. Our analysis also helps us to understand the mechanisms through which personality works and to how it shapes attitudes to such important elements as religion and state propaganda. Our findings suggest a new, and empirically testable, mechanism behind situations in which regimes rapidly dissolve, including revolutions.

Keywords: Personality, Politics, Authoritarian Regimes, Russia

Suggested Citation

Greene, Samuel and Robertson, Graeme, Agreeable Authoritarians: Personality and Politics in Contemporary Russia (January 16, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2726144 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2726144

Samuel Greene

King's Russia Institute, King's College London ( email )

Bush House
30 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4BG
United Kingdom

Graeme Robertson (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
NC 27514

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
288
Abstract Views
1,141
rank
104,774
PlumX Metrics