Decoding Russia’s 2018 Presidential Elections

DOI10.1177/0020881718796986
Published date01 July 2018
Date01 July 2018
Subject MatterCommentaries
Decoding Russia’s 2018
Presidential Elections
Archana Upadhyay1
Abstract
Russia’s March 2018 presidential elections need to be analysed and understood
in the context of the inherited political culture of the Soviet times. The undevel-
oped political culture of participation clearly stands out as the dominant feature
of the Russian political landscape. Political processes and institutions have been
tailored to serve national goals shaped by the ambitions, demands and successes
of the dominant leader. It is against this background that Russia’s personality-
centric politics has evolved and continues to function. The outcome of the
18 March 2018 presidential elections is an affirmation of this reality.
Keywords
Citizens, decoding, political life, presidential elections, Russia’s 2018, Soviet times
Introduction
The outcome of the 2018 presidential elections in Russia resulting in the victory
of the incumbent President Vladimir Putin was on expected lines. In the absence
of a real political contest, the presidential elections was more in the nature of a
referendum on public confidence in Putin and his policies. It once again reaffirmed
the existing reality of political life in contemporary Russia as being reflective of the
inherited political culture of the Soviet times. This is evident in the overall general
culture reflecting attitudes toward politics, political participation and political
behaviour of citizens at large. Some of the distinct features being (a) minimal control
by the public over the political processes, (b) an underdeveloped political culture
of participation and (c) the merging of democratic and patriotic ideals. In this
context, it is noteworthy that nationalism is deeply embedded in the Russian
Commentary
International Studies
55(3) 271–277
2018 Jawaharlal Nehru University
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI: 10.1177/0020881718796986
http://journals.sagepub.com/home/isq
1 Chairperson, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies,
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Archana Upadhyay, Chairperson, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International
Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Delhi 110067, India.
Email: archanaupadhyay@yahoo.com

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