Reading Russia: The Return of Personalized Power

Issue Date April 2009
Volume 20
Issue 2
Page Numbers 61-65
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In contrast to authoritarian power structures, which rest on a form of bureaucratic corporatism that makes the leader its hostage, the regime in Moscow rests on personalized power, something that signals a return to the traditional Russian political matrix. The regime has fused power and property in a manner that makes the oligarchs utterly dependent on the state. By cultivating an image of Russia as a "besieged castle," the regime is able to legitimize personalized and hypercentralized power.