Policy change and the narratives of Russia’s think tanks

Bacon, Edwin (2018) Policy change and the narratives of Russia’s think tanks. Palgrave Communications, 4 . p. 94. ISSN 2055-1045

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-018-0148-y

Policy change and the narratives of Russia’s think tanks
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Russia’s ruling regime, dominated by Vladimir Putin since he first became president in 2000, is often seen as presenting a consistent and coherent narrative and allowing little space for plurality of opinions. While it is the case that at the level of metanarrative, a consistent official story of a Russia resurgent both domestically and internationally has been told, analysis of the work of think tanks within the purview of Russia’s political leadership reveals that conflicting narratives remain at play within the regime’s political tent. Analysis of a decade of think tank activity shows that the Medvedev presidency (2008–2012) saw the rise and then decline of the liberal INSOR think tank, while the most prominent think tank in Putin’s third term as president (2012–2018) was the anti-liberal Izborskii Club, which followed a similar pattern of waxing and waning prominence. From the point of view of Russia’s leadership, the existence of these think tanks has a functionalist explanation, allowing what is essentially a non-ideological regime to engage with and adopt different positions according to its proximate requirements. Such a functionalist approach runs the risk of undermining the coherence and persuasiveness of the regime’s narrative(s). From the point of view of the political science classification of the extant Russian regime, Russia’s post-Soviet ‘transition’ remains to be resolved in terms of its chosen course even a quarter of a century on from the collapse of Communism.

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Keywords:Russian studies, Think Tank
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:33561
Deposited On:09 Oct 2018 15:10

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