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The Present of ‘Putin System’ and Prospects over the Future Evolution of Russian Political System

  • Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Abbr : JAPS
  • 2019, 26(2), pp.97-125
  • DOI : 10.18107/japs.2019.26.2.003
  • Publisher : Institute of Global Affairs
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general
  • Received : May 7, 2019
  • Accepted : June 10, 2019
  • Published : June 30, 2019

Sun Woo (Sun-Woo) Lee 1

1전북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines and prospects four scenarios over the future evolution of Russian electoral authoritarian regime via the consideration of politico-social and economic conditions of the ‘Putin system.’ In the dimension of politico-social condition, first of all, Putin currently seems to have few incentives in pursuing political and social reforms strong enough to damage the authority of his regime or even himself. In the dimension of economic condition, moreover, a large-scale economic reform cannot be attempted for Russian economy, as long as Putin will not actively reform the current electoral authoritarian system. Thus the day when economic development begins in Russia is still far-off. In this situation, both the options of transferring power to a heir and building the 2008-style diarchy seem not to be attempted because they cannot guarantee Putin’s political safety and he has to dismantle and reorganize the distribution of power and interest among the existing core elite clans. The evolution of ‘Putin system’ to a hegemonic party system in China or Mexico in the past is also difficult, considering the current status of United Russia. In contrast, the scenario of Central Asian model allowing a dictator to rule for life can be a reasonable option for Putin now, considering that this model will serve both the two core actors, Putin himself and other power elites’ interests, and Russia still entails several politico-social conditions favorable for its achievement. Therefore, the possibility that Putin will pursue the Central Asian model through one more constitutional amendment among the above four scenarios of evolution of the ‘Putin system’ is relatively high.

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