• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Russian Politics and Presidential Power takes an in-depth look at the Russian presidency and uses it as a key to understanding Russian politics. Donald R. Kelley looks at presidents from Gorbachev to Putin as authoritarian, transformational leaders who set out to build the future, while sometimes rejecting and reinterpreting the work of past modernizers. Placing the presidency in this context helps readers understand both the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the nature of the Russian Federation that rose in its place. And by setting the presidency within a longer historical context, Kelley shows how the future of the presidency is dependent on other features of the political system.

Executive Power in Russian Politics
Executive Power in Russian Politics

The office of the Russian presidency is a relatively new creation. In constitutional terms, it has existed in its present form only since 1993, when Russia’s current constitution was written amid the turmoil of the early Yeltsin years. The office itself has had only three incumbents, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, and Dmitry Medvedev. Even during its brief existence, the Russian presidency has undergone considerable evolution marked both by the personalities and strategies of the incumbents and by the broader transformation of the Russian state, within which it is unquestionably the single most important institution. For the foreseeable future, Russian political life will be defined by the continuing transformation of the presidency, and although it seems ...

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