An Example Of Putin 's Russia Essay
Gandhi (2008) all address is the following one: why do nominally democratic institutions, such as parliament elections, often exist in the authoritarian countries?
In this paper, I consider an example of Putin’s Russia and show that the explanations offered in these books do not fit very well to this particular case. Instead, I argue that the democratic institutions in Russia exist mainly due to the necessity of some degree of external and internal democratic legitimacy of the regime.
Before I start the main discussion though, it is important to say why we should even care about why democratic institutions are present in the authoritarian countries. If we use a definition of democracy given by Przeworski et al. (2006) (p.28), it is easy to demonstrate that Putin’s Russia technically satisfies all democratic criteria: 1. President is elected
2. Parliament is elected
3. There are multiple parties (more than ten parties participated in last Sunday’s parliament elections)
4. Putin did not participate in presidential elections in 2008 because he had already been in the office for two terms by that moment (Putin-Medvedev alternation) However, it would be a huge overstatement to say that Russia is a democracy1. It implies that using the same methods and models that are used for the democracies or pure dictatorships to study Russian politics might be inappropriate.
Understanding the origins and properties…