Since the fall of communism Russia has undergone a treble transformation of its political, social and economic system. The government is an autocracy in which the Kremlin manages elections and administers the law to suit its own ends. It does not provide the democracy that most citizens desire. Given a contradiction between what Russians want and what they get, do they support their government and, if so, why? Using the New Russia Barometer - a unique set of public opinion surveys from 1992 to 2005 - this book shows that it is the passage of time that has been most important in developing support for the new regime. Although there remains great dissatisfaction with the regime's corruption, it has become accepted as a lesser evil to alternatives. The government appears stable today, but will be challenged by constitutional term limits forcing President Putin to leave office in 2008.
Richard Rose is Director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen. He is the founder of the Barometer series of surveys of popular response to transformation in 16 post-Communist countries and author of dozens of books on comparative politics and public policy. William Mishler is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Arizona and has published widely on political behaviour in America, Canada and Europe. Neil Munro is a Senior Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen. He is co-author with Richard Rose of Elections without Order: Russia's Challenge to Vladimir Putin (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
Introduction: transformation and its aftermath; 1. Time matters: the dynamics of regime support; 2. The supply of regimes: democratic and autocratic; 3. A changing supply of Russian regimes; 4. Uncertainties of transformation: a view from the bottom; 5. Changing levels of regime support; 6. Social structure and the evaluation of regimes; 7. Influence of political performance and values; 8. Finding the economic influences that matter; 9. The impact of the passage of time; 10. What could challenge the new equilibrium?; Appendix A. New Russia Barometer samples; Appendix B. Coding of variables.