Western analysts have become increasingly concerned with President Putin's centralization and control, with the term 'managed democracy' becoming a byword for the state of the Russian polity. In this important exploration, David White examines the gradual electoral decline of Russia's leading liberal party, the Yabloko Party. In doing so, he provides fascinating insights into the role of opposition, the development of the party system and, above all, the quality of democracy in Russia under President Putin. As an overtly democratic, liberal reformist party with a strong pro-Western orientation, the place and role of Yabloko in Russian politics is of concern to those interested both in the establishment of democratic norms and the relative strength of political forces promoting democratic and market reforms in Russia.
Contents: Introduction; Party development in Russia: putting theory and practice; Yabloko: the roots of the party; Russia's divided liberals; Yabloko: policies, social base and electoral strategy; Yabloko: organisation, cohesion, membership and funding; Yabloko and power; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.