Policy Memos

Can Putin Rebuild the Russian State?

Policy Memo:


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During his first year as president, Vladimir Putin has repeatedly declared that the rebuilding of the Russian state is his very highest priority. Indeed, on this score there is now a remarkably widespread political consensus among Russian liberals, nationalists, and former Communists: all agree that the Russian central government must find some means of enforcing its own laws in order to reverse the nation's prolonged decline in the post-Soviet period. Prominent Western analysts and advisors, too, proclaim that successful state-building in the Russian Federation is the prerequisite for sustainable political and economic development--as well as the only means of attaining reliable control over Russia's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. But on the question of how a future strong Russian state might be built, elite opinion in both Russia and the West remains vague and contradictory. [...]

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About the author

Vice Provost for International Affairs; Director of the Reves Center for International Studies
College of William & Mary