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Russia's New AuthoritarianismPutin and the Politics of Order$
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David G. Lewis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474454766

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474454766.001.0001

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Democracy and the People

Democracy and the People

(p.81) Four Democracy and the People
Russia's New Authoritarianism

David G. Lewis

Edinburgh University Press

Russian conservatives struggled to conceptualise how a centralised, authoritarian polity could be constructed in an age of democracy. Their answer was a form of “illiberal democracy”, sometimes dubbed ‘sovereign democracy’, which sought popular support for the regime, but stifled genuine political pluralism. The idea of sovereign democracy owed much to Schmitt’s argument that democracy should be separated from liberalism – instead of liberal democracy, Schmitt argued for an authoritarian form of democracy, in which a popular majority would identify with the sovereign leader. Russian political technologists sought to construct a ‘pro-Putin majority’, while denying any opportunity for opposition political forces to compete for power.

Keywords:   Democracy, Sovereign democracy, Illiberal democracy, Russian elections

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