The New Kremlinology is the first in-depth examination of the development of regime personalization in Russia.
In the post-Cold War period, many previously democratizing countries experienced authoritarian reversals whereby incumbent leaders took over and gravitated towards personalist rule. Scholars have predominantly focused on the authoritarian turn, as opposed to the type of authoritarian rule emerging from it. In a departure from accounts centred on the failure of democratization in Russia, this book's argument begins from the assumption that the political regime of Vladimir Putin is a personalist
regime in the making. Focusing on the politics within the Russian ruling coalition since 1999, The New Kremlinology describes the process of regime personalization, that is, the acquisition of personal power by a leader. Drawing from comparative evidence and theories of personalist rule, the
investigation is based on four components of regime personalization: patronage networks, deinstitutionalization, media personalization, and establishing permanency in office. The fact that Russia has gradually acquired many, but not all of, the characteristics associated with a personalist regime, underscores the complexity of political change and the need to unpack the concept of personalism. The lessons of the book extend beyond Russia and illuminate how other personalist and personalizing
regimes emerge and develop. Furthermore, the title of the book, The New Kremlinology, is chosen to emphasize not only the subject matter, the what, but also the how the battery of innovative methods employed to study the black box of non-democratic politics.
Comparative Politics is a series for researchers, teachers, and students of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. Global in scope, books in the series are characterized by a stress on comparative analysis and strong methodological rigour. The series is published in association with the European Consortium for Political Research. For more information visit
The series is edited by Susan Scarrow, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston, and Jonathan Slapin, Professor of Political Institutions and European Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Zurich.
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Alexander Baturo is an Associate Professor of Government, Dublin City University. He has published in journals such as Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, the British Journal of Political Science, and Political Research Quarterly. His book, Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits (University of Michigan Press, 2014) won the Brian Farrell book prize in 2015. He also edited the Politics of
Presidential Term Limits (OUP, 2019).
Johan A. Elkink is Associate Professor in Research Methods for the Social Sciences at University College Dublin. His work spans computational modelling, spatial econometrics, and statistical network analysis, applied to voting behaviour, democratization, and comparative politics generally. His work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, the European Journal of Political Research, and Comparative Political Studies.
- The New Kremlinology: Understanding Regime Personalization in Russia
- List of Tables
- List of Figures
- 1: Regime Personalization in Russia
- Analysing Personalization in Russia
- Personalization in Comparative Context
- Strong Personalization in Libya
- Weak Personalization in China
- Four Pillars of Personalization
- The Case of Russia
- Pillars of Personalization in Russia
- The New Kremlinology as a Method
- Plan of the Book
- 2: Understanding Regime Personalization
- Theoretical Foundations and Conceptualizations
- Personalism and Personalist Regimes
- Personalism and Regime Personalization
- Personalism as 'One Man Rule'
- Beyond 'One Man Rule': Personalism as Patrimonialism
- Pillars of Regime Personalization
- Patronage Personalization
- Media Personalization
- Permanency in Office
- Dynamics of Regime Personalization
- Stages of Personalization
- Causal Complexity, Endogeneity, and Agency
- Conclusions: Expectations for the Case of Russia
- 3: The Politics of 'Collective Putin' and Patronage Personalization
- The 'Collective Putin' and Regime Personalization
- Understanding Patronage
- Measuring Patronage Networks
- Patronage and Regime Personalization
- Stages of Personalization and the Decline of Other Networks
- Patronal Control in Institutional Segments
- 4: Regime Deinstitutionalization
- Understanding Deinstitutionalization
- The 'Stability of Cadres' and Institutionalization
- (Mis-)alignment of Formal and Informal Hierarchies
- The Zeta-Ratio of (De)institutionalization
- The Influence of Individual Offices and Officeholders
- Regime Deinstitutionalization over Time
- 5: Tandemology: The Problem of Succession and Permanency in Office
- The Problem of Succession and Term Limits
- Political Rhetoric of President and Prime Minister
- Regional Governors and Regional Legislative Addresses
- How Elites Assessed Power in Tandem
- 6: Personalization in the Media and Rhetoric
- Understanding Regime Personalization in the Media
- Media Personalization
- Rhetoric and Regime Personalization
- 7: Conclusions and Implications for the Study of Russia and Personalist Regimes
- The Four Pillars of Personalization in Russia
- Implications for the Study of Personalist Regimes
- Personalism versus Personalist Dictatorship
- Personalization versus Regime Transition
- Informal Power Relations versus Formal Institutions
- The New Kremlinology: The Study of Personalism
- Implications for Russian Politics
- Appendix A
- Further Details on the Patronage Data
- Further Details on the Expert Survey of Political Influence
- Coding and Aggregation of Political Offices
- The Zeta-Ratio of Institutionalization: Model Specification
- Text Corpus of Regional and Federal Addresses, 2009-13
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