Russia is the world’s largest country, and its politics affect the entire international community. Formally, who exercises the power of government is decided, as in Western democracies, by competitive elections that are held at regular intervals. But there have increasingly been doubts about the extent to which Russian parliamentary and presidential elections can be considered ‘free and fair’, and it is the argument of this coauthored study that they are better defined as ‘authoritarian elections’, with a number of distinct characteristics. Using a wide range of sources, including surveys, election statistics, interviews, focus groups and the printed press, the contributors to this important collection analyse Russia’s authoritarian elections in a variety of ways: how they are conducted, what citizens think about them, and how the Russian experience relates to a wider international context. Elections are the central mechanism by which citizens can seek to hold their government to account; this collection shows the ways in which that mechanism can be manipulated from above such it becomes more of an extension of central authority than a means by which the public at large can impose their own priorities.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Elections Russian-Style Stephen White 2. Changing the Russian Electoral System: Inside the Black Box Stephen White and Ol’ga Kryshtanovskaya 3. Russia’s Authoritarian Elections: The View from Below Stephen White and Valentina Feklyunina 4. Metastasised Fraud in Russia’s 2008 Presidential Election Evgenya Lukinova, Mikhail Myagkov and Peter C. Ordeshook 5. The Regional Roots of Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia Grigorii V. Golosov 6. Regional Elections and Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia Cameron Ross 7. Public Perceptions of Electoral Fairness in Russia Ian McAllister and Stephen White 8. Elections, International Observers and the Politicisation of Democratic Values Derek S. Hutcheson 9. Post-Soviet Electoral Practices in Comparative Perspective Sarah Birch 10. Appendix: The Russian Federal Elections, 2007–2008 Stephen White
Stephen White is the James Bryce Professor of Politics and a Senior Research Associate of the University's School of Central and East European Studies. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin in history and political science, and then completed a PhD in Soviet studies at Glasgow - including an exchange year at Moscow State University - and a DPhil in politics at Wolfson College Oxford. He is the chief editor of the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, and was for some time also the editor of International Politics.