• 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.

The “Tandem”
The “Tandem”

Although Dmitry Medvedev’s victory surprised no one, it created considerable ambiguity about what would come next. Medvedev had scored an impressive first-round victory, receiving a slightly smaller percentage of the vote than Vladimir Putin four years earlier. There was a clear message in the returns. Medvedev was a winner, but Putin had outpaced him in his second bid for the presidency. It also was clear that the new president elect had won because of Putin’s support, manifested both in his personal endorsement and in the efforts of United Russia to turn out the vote.

What was not as clear was what lay ahead. How long would the arrangement of dual power last? Quickly dubbed “the tandem,” this power-sharing dualism raised both legal ...

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