Russia is the world’s largest country, and its politics affect the entire international community. Formally, who exercises the power of government is decided, as in Western democracies, by competitive elections that are held at regular intervals. But there have increasingly been doubts about the extent to which Russian parliamentary and presidential elections can be considered ‘free and fair’, and it is the argument of this coauthored study that they are better defined as ‘authoritarian elections’, with a number of distinct characteristics. Using a wide range of sources, including surveys, election statistics, interviews, focus groups and the printed press, the contributors to this important collection analyse Russia’s authoritarian elections in a variety of ways: how they are conducted, what citizens think about them, and how the Russian experience relates to a wider international context. Elections are the central mechanism by which citizens can seek to hold their government to account; this collection shows the ways in which that mechanism can be manipulated from above such it becomes more of an extension of central authority than a means by which the public at large can impose their own priorities.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies.

chapter 1|26 pages

Elections Russian-Style

ByStephen White

chapter 2|22 pages

Changing the Russian Electoral System

Inside the Black Box
ByStephen White, Ol’ga Kryshtanovskaya

chapter 3|24 pages

Russia's Authoritarian Elections

The View from Below
ByStephen White, Valentina Feklyunina

chapter 4|19 pages

Metastasised Fraud in Russia's 2008 Presidential Election

ByEvgeniya Lukinova, Mikhail Myagkov, Peter C. Ordeshook

chapter 5|17 pages

The Regional Roots of Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia

ByGrigorii V. Golosov

chapter 6|21 pages

Regional Elections and Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia

ByCameron Ross

chapter 7|21 pages

Public Perceptions of Electoral Fairness in Russia

ByIan McAllister, Stephen White

chapter 9|23 pages

Post-Soviet Electoral Practices in Comparative Perspective

BySarah Birch