1st Edition

Authoritarian Backlash Russian Resistance to Democratization in the Former Soviet Union

By Thomas Ambrosio Copyright 2009

    Authoritarian Russia has adopted five strategies to preserve the Kremlin's political power: insulate, bolster, subvert, redefine and coordinate. Thomas Ambrosio examines each of these in turn, all of which seek to counter or undermine regional democratic trends both at home and throughout the former Soviet Union. Policies such as these are of great concern to the growing literature on how autocratic regimes are becoming more active in their resistance to democracy. Through detailed case studies of each strategy, this book makes significant contributions to our understandings of Russian domestic and foreign policies, democratization theory and the policy challenges associated with democracy promotion.

    Chapter 1 The Authoritarian Backlash Against Democracy; Chapter 2 The External Promotion of Democracy and Authoritarianism; Chapter 3 Political Trends in the Former Soviet Union: An Overview; Chapter 4 Insulate: Shielding Russia from External Democracy Promotion; Chapter 5 Redefine: Rhetorical Defenses Against External Criticism; Chapter 6 Bolster: Russian Support for Authoritarianism in Belarus; Chapter 7 Subvert: Undermining Democracy in Georgia and Ukraine; Chapter 8 Coordinate: Working with Others to Resist Democratization; Chapter 9 The Russian 2007–2008 Election Cycle; Chapter 10 The Future of Democracy and the Challenge of Authoritarianism;


    Thomas Ambrosio, North Dakota State University, USA.

    ’ ...offers a cutting edge account of active international strategies of authoritarian persistence and survival. Studies of international democracy promotion should take note. Future research will profit by building on the book’s analysis well beyond its focus on Putin’s Russia.’ Peter Burnell, University of Warwick, UK '...offers a compelling framework for how dictators resist internal and external pressure to expand rights and freedoms for their citizens. Authoritarian Backlash contributes to our understanding of Russia as a consolidated dictatorship, rather than democracy, from its chilling portrayal of the Putin Youth to the ominous signs of a budding partnership with other dictatorships around the world.' Joel M. Ostrow, Benedictine University, USA '...Ambrosio's penetrating discussion provides a perceptive, rich and thought provoking analysis of the rhetoric deployed by Putin's regime.' Europe-Asia Studies