Putin v. the People: The Perilous Politics of a Divided Russia
Samuel A. Greene & Graeme B. Robertson
“Vladimir Putin is a popular man. He is also a dictator. That is not a contradiction.” So begins Putin v. the People, a new book that explores why so many ordinary Russians support Putin—and why his hold on power may nonetheless be weaker than we think.
In their new book, Samuel A. Greene and Graeme B. Robertson take a bottom-up view of contemporary Russia, drawing on original research to explain the social foundations of Putin’s support. They argue that his power is “co-constructed” with the Russian people, driven in part by social pressures and a popular preference for “agreeableness.” At the same time, they reject the notion that Russians are inherently prone to autocracy—and reveal the many ways in which a reactive Kremlin is struggling to meet popular expectations and answer opposition challenges.
Samuel A. Greene is Director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London, and he joins Richard Aldous this week to discuss the book. Be sure to tune in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, where you can leave a review, and follow Samuel Greene (@samagreene) and @aminterest on Twitter.