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Putin's children: Who will rule Russia after 2024?

This presentation is made by Andrei Kolesnikov. Presented during the Development Day conference 2019.

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Putin's children: Who will rule Russia after 2024?

  1. 1. Putin’s Children: Who Will Rule Russia After 2024? New demands/challenges and the response of Russian state Andrei Kolesnikov | November, 2019
  2. 2. Social framework: old-new fears • Fear of the world war - increase from 40% to 53% (from 2017 to 2019) • Fear of the political regime's tightening - from 17 to 35% • Fear of the mass repressions - from 21 to 39% • Fear of the lawlessness - from 29 to 50% • Fear of the criminal attacks - from 29 to 33% • Respect for Stalin – 70% (March, 2019)
  3. 3. Economic framework: not only GDP • 5th year of real incomes decrease (first half 2019 - minors 1,3%; Q3 – 3% growth - inexplicable) • A share of incomes from business-activity (2018) - the lowest rate in the post-soviet period - 7,5% • From property - 4,9% (lower than in 2013-2017) • A share of social payments - the highest in the post- soviet period - 19,4%
  4. 4. Political framework • Safe transfer of power for political, administrative, and business elites—not the modernization of the country— is what concerns the Russian establishment the most in the period between 2018 and 2024. • Strong state involvement in economic, political, and business processes is an important characteristic of the system. The “civilian” and technocratic elites are tasked with maintaining the sustainable state of the system, while the security elites are to set its political and ideological trajectory. .
  5. 5. Political framework-2 • The state is the main actor and employer in Russia. The state needs a new technocratic elite, and its goal is to maintain efficiency of the political system at an acceptable level. The basic idea of the technocratic transition is to change government personnel without changing (improving) government institutions and introducing political democracy.
  6. 6. 2018-2019: the fall, rebound, new plateau Approval rating, Levada center Do you approve the activities of V. Putin? • 04.2018 – 82% • 05.2018 – 79% • 07.2018 – 67% • 10-12.2018 – 66% • 01-03.2019 – 64% • 10.2019 – 70%
  7. 7. Voting July 2019 as a percentage of all those surveyed • Putin – 40%, Zhirinovsky – 3%, Grudinin -3%, Zyuganov – 1%, • Navalny – 1%. as a percentage of those surveyed who were ready to vote at the time of the survey: • Putin – 54%, Zhirinovsky – 4%, Grudinin – 4, Zyuganov – 1%, Navalny – 1%
  8. 8. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY DO MANY PEOPLE TRUST VLADIMIR PUTIN? People are convinced that Putin successfully and appropriately deals with the country’s problems People hope that, in the future, Putin will be able to deal with the country’s problems People don’t know who else they could rely on Difficult to say Jul. 19 27 24 43 7 Nov. 16 28 39 29 4
  9. 9. Who can propose a plan of changes (Carnegie and Levada survey, 2019)
  10. 10. Does Russia need changes (Carnegie and Levada survey, 2019)
  11. 11. Changes are possible in a case…
  12. 12. What is better: state interventionism or laissez-faire approach?
  13. 13. State’s response to the challenges-1 • More socially biased agenda – pouring money into the social sphere • Mirroring the civil society, creating imitative and controlled civil society institutions – this is an answer to the grass-roots modernization and reconsolidation of the real civil society on the negative ground (primarily a resistance to the urban reconstruction, landfill problems etc.)
  14. 14. State’s response to the challenges-2. Technocratic Transition: Basic Characteristics • The new technocratic elites are not required to be involved in making political decisions. • These technocrats are accountable to the upper political class only, and never to the public. • Logic of technocratic transition: appointing new technocrats at the mid-level of the government pyramid will gradually impact the appointments at the top. • Absolute political loyalty is more important than technocratic efficiency.
  15. 15. Digitization: Central Planning 2.0 • Digitization replaces substantive modernization and becomes a top priority. • Creating more automatic infrastructure is a technocratic rather than substantive goal. A formal bureaucratic approach to job performance goals dominates (i.e., “how many kilometers of cable must be completed”). • The personalization of initiatives advanced by certain government officials.
  16. 16. Digitization: Central Planning 2.0 • Today, the state is the main buyer of Russian IT products. If the Digital Economy program is implemented, IT presence in the competitive private sector economy will decline. • Digitization has a political aspect: the authorities are prepared to use “digital dictatorship” for monitoring and controlling the public. • Nevertheless, digitization may help to reduce the number of civil service bureaucrats, may solve the problem of excessive control.
  17. 17. The Limitations of Technocratic Transition • An average member of today’s elite is a “little Putin” of sorts. His administrative decisions and political behavior are guided by the question “What would Putin do in my place?” • Both domestic and foreign business communities have no serious reasons to believe that state elites harbor some modernization aspirations. • Russian politics, including the country’s economic policy, has little room for the modernization coalition that Dmitry Medvedev talked about during his presidency. Instead, the counter-modernization “coalition” and support for the status quo.
  18. 18. Response to the challenges-3: the shift away from informational dictatorship to repressions
  19. 19. 2018-2024 and beyond: authoritarian modernization vs “Francoization”. This dilemma is no longer relevant