Searching for a Russian National Idea: Putin Team Efforts and Public Assessments
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 25, Number 3, Summer 2017
- pp. 209-233
- Additional Information
The crafting of a new national idea has been the most elusive of the four processes comprising Russia’s quadruple revolution in the wake of the failing state of the 1990s. However, the seven policy position papers of Vladimir Putin’s 2012 presidential campaign illuminate a Putin-contoured national idea of four primary components. Relying on the October 2014 ROMIR national survey results, augmented with results from other surveys, this article explores Russian public judgments that are connected with a new national idea. Russians are found to strongly support a key component of Putin’s national idea, the strong state, and their views accord with the hegemonic leadership position assumed by Putin. Russians view Putin’s strong state as a democracy, though their understanding of democracy and its key components varies from that of Westerners. Russians’ overall mixed assessments of key policy efforts by the governing team generally fit with Putin’s articulated preferences, but there are policy soft spots. Putin and his team confront a Russian public that is more supportive of their hegemonic political-institutional position and vision of a national idea than laudatory of the results of that team’s policy efforts.