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Then and Now: Change and Continuation in Putin’s Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

Student: Adam thomas Gould

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations in Eurasia (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2017

Recently the East and West appear to be moving further and further apart, in opposition from the post-Cold War thaw that saw a relative coming together. Endless Western sources and outlets cite Putin and Russian institutions, often in negative ways, making presumptuous blasé statements with little understanding. It is a crucial time, therefore, to turn towards a more informed assessment and understanding of Putin’s Russia. Such an improvement in understanding is critical, before any effective policies or valid opinions regarding Russia can be even contemplated. Following this aim, this dissertation examines and uncovers themes of continuity and change within the two non-consecutive Russian presidencies of Putin by analysing the landmark speeches of Putin in his Annual Address to the Federal Assembly using a CDA approach. The speeches analysed are from 2000-2007 for Putin’s first presidency and from 2012-2016 for his ongoing second presidency. The theories of articulation (Hall, 1985) and “Othering” (Said, 1979; Staszak, 2008) are applied in examining discursive construction within the uncovering of themes of continuity and change of Putin’s two presidencies. The CDA and its application to the transcripts of Putin’s Annual Addresses to the Federal Assembly will add to academic literature on discursive construction, articulation and “Othering” within political speeches and alsoon conceptualisations of Putin and his two presidencies. [continued...]

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