Putin to become Chairman of Edinaja Rossija

Another interesting turn in the russian merry-go-round: President Putin announced to accept the proposal of president elect Dmitri Medvedev to become Chairman of Edinaja Rossija after resigning on Mai 7th. One could arguethat this was a foreseeable move. But what is interesting about this, is that Putin will become the leader as a non-party-member. This might be interpretet as the next step of Edinaja Rossija towards becoming an all-russian movement somewhat in the tradition of the former CPSU, but with a substantial difference: The new ideology is neither totalitarian nor inspired by communism. It rather is what some analysts call etatist turbo capitalism or neo-liberalism. With the chairmen of Gazprom, Dmitri Medvedev and Alexei Miller, and the future leader of Edinaja Rossija, Vladimir Putin, the most exposed men control the most important posts in the country. This strategy fits well into what I would analyze as authoritarian consolidation. One main factor in this strategy seems to be the institutionalization of informal politics and networking to raise the capacity of the state to demobilize the people, civic society and oppositions.

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