The Co-Construction of Authoritarianism: Emotional Engagement and Politics in Russia after Crimea
Posted: 26 Nov 2018
Date Written: September 12, 2018
What is the role of emotion in authoritarianism? While studies of the emotion and politics have flourished in democratic settings, the study of contemporary authoritarianism remains dominated by institutional and material/rational explanations, focusing on a regime’s ability to maintain control rather than the social phenomena that may impel citizens to support their leaders. Findings from a panel survey of Russian citizens immediately before and after the annexation of Crimea demonstrate that role that emotional engagement can play in building and deepening support for authoritarian leaders. Participation in a mediated collective experience – one that creates a sense of connection with other members of the political community – is shown to increase respondents’ emotional attachment to the leadership, which in turn improves individuals’ sense of their own well-being, altering the perceptions of the material factors that also influence regime support.
Keywords: Russia, authoritarianism, emotion, politics, war, collective effervescence
JEL Classification: none
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation