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RussiaThe Challenges of Transformation$
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Piotr Dutkiewicz and Dmitri Trenin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814785003

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814785003.001.0001

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The Changing Dynamics of Russian Politics

The Changing Dynamics of Russian Politics

(p.87) Chapter Four The Changing Dynamics of Russian Politics

Richard Sakwa

NYU Press

This chapter characterizes contemporary Russian politics as a struggle between two systems: the formal constitutional order, called the normative state, and the second world of factional conflict and para-constitutional political practices, termed the administrative regime. Much of politics takes place in the charged zone between the two pillars of the dual state. Therefore, it would be incorrect to label contemporary Russia as an authoritarian regime tout court. Not only does it remain formally committed to constitutional democracy and liberal capitalism, these commitments moderate its behavior and allow the formal constitutional framework to structure and influence the conduct of politics. Although many of the regime's actions are authoritarian in spirit, the formal niceties of a constitutional democracy remain preeminent and the legitimating framework for the system as a whole.

Keywords:   contemporary Russian politics, normative state, administrative regime, dual state, constitutional democracy, liberal capitalism, authoritarian regime

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