Between Freedom and Energy
Edited By Galina Michaleva and Andrey Ryabov
Alexei Zudin - Regime and Rotation: What’s Next? - 165
Alexei Zudin Regime and Rotation: What’s Next? On May 7, 2008 Vladimir Putin vacated his presidential post and transferred power to Dmitry Medvedev. The managed rotation of power was successfully completed. Two circumstances give special signiﬁcance to this fact. Firstly, up to the last moment such a turn of events seemed improbable. Since the 2000’s the governing elite, headed by Putin, had set up a “monocentric” regime, which was not only personalised by a particular Russian president, but was actually centred on him. It was quite difﬁcult to imagine that the key player of the regime would leave this central position. Secondly, the with- drawal of the key player made the transformation of the established political regime inevitable. For an adequate understanding of the changes, which started after the managed rotation, it is necessary to deﬁne how they correspond to the existing concepts and in what way they were determined by the regime’s development during the previous period. The Features of a Post-Soviet Cycle The transformation of political regime in Russia was for a long time perceived through the lens of a transition paradigm and rated by its location on a scale ranging from authoritarianism to democracy. The modiﬁcation of this approach – caused by the introduction of intermediate concepts (ﬁrst “democracy plus adjectives”, then “authoritarianism plus adjectives”)1 and a criticism of transitological 1 David Collier and Steven Levitsky, “Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research”, World Politics, 49, April 1997; Steven Levitsky and Lucan...
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