Over the period December 2011-July 2013, a tidal wave of mass protests swept through the Russian capital and engulfed scores of cities and regions. These demonstrations came as a great shock to the Russian political establishment. After decades of passive acceptance of the status quo, it appeared that civil society was at last awakening. The protests came in the wake of the "Arab Spring" revolts which toppled authoritarian dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. However, by the end of 2013 the number of mass protests in Russia, and their size, had declined precipitously. President Putin, on returning to office in 2012, had quickly regained the upper hand over the protestors.
This book examines the reasons for the rise and fall of the mass protests in the Russian Federation. Internationally renowned experts in the field of Russian politics from Russia and the UK provide important new insights into the nature of the mass opposition movement (the "non-systemic opposition"), its strengths and its weaknesses. A key novel aspect of the study is its focus on the national and regional dimensions of the protest movement, and its class and ethnic dimensions.
This book was published as a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies.
Table of Contents
1. State against Civil Society: Contentious Politics and the Non-Systemic Opposition in Russia Cameron Ross
2. Political Opposition in Russia: A Troubled Transformation Vladimir Gel’man
3. Questioning Control and Contestation in Late Putinite Russia Richard Sakwa
4. The Calculus of Non-Protest in Russia: Redistributive Expectations from Political Reforms Irina Busygina and Mikhail Filippov
5. Lost in Transition? The Geography of Protests and Attitude Change in Russia Mikhail Dmitriev
6. Competing Ideologies of Russia's Civil Society Elena Chebankova
7. The Middle Class and Democratisation in Russia Evgeny Gontmakher and Cameron Ross
8. Mind the Gaps: Media Use and Mass Action in Russia Regina Smyth and Sarah Oates
9. Ethnicities, Nationalism and the Politics of Identity: Shaping the Nation in Russia Irina Semenenko
10. New Data on Protest Trends in Russia’s Regions Tomila Lankina and Alisa Voznaya
Cameron Ross is a Reader in Politics and International Relations, in the School of Humanities at the University of Dundee, UK. He has published widely in the field of Russian politics, particularly in the areas of federalism, regional and local politics. His most recent books are: Russian Regional Politics under Putin and Medvedev (Routledge, Europe-Asia Studies Series, 2011); The Politics of Subnational Authoritarianism in Russia (co-edited with Vladimir Gel’man, 2010); and Local Politics and Democratization in Russia (Routledge, BASEES Series on Russian and East European Studies, 2009).