'One of France's leading Russian experts, Ms Mendras points up continuities from tsarist times. . . She portrays a society riddled with mistrust and corruption, which has fostered an elite around Mr Putin that has hugely enriched itself. For all his proud talk of a 'sovereign democracy', this has not been good for Russia. One poll she quotes finds 85% of Russians feeling they have no influence over how their country is run.' --Economist
'A solid study of the Putin political regime, emphasizing the structural tensions between a highly effective authoritarian political machine and a governmental system that cannot effectively manage the modernization of post-Communist Russia.' --Russian Review
'A brilliantly textured portrait and fiercely argued expose of the troubled and troubling political condition of Putin's Russia. Paradoxically, as Mendras lucidly explains, the Russian state abuses its citizens precisely because it is too weak to control itself. ... the most stimulating work yet published on the origins and evolution of post-communist Russian politics.' --Stephen Holmes, Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
About the Author
MARIE MENDRAS is Professor at Sciences Po University and Research Fellow with the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. She runs the Observatoire de la Russie at the Centre for International Study and Research (CERI) and is an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House.