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The Specifics of the Legitimization of the Personalist Regime in the Russian Federation in 2012-2019

Student: Natalia Shereshik

Supervisor: Alla Chernykh

Faculty: Institute of Education

Educational Programme: Contemporary Social Studies in Secondary Schools (Master)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2020

The study deals with the specifics of legitimation of a personalist regime in the Russian Federation in 2012-2019. The inspiration behind the study was the lack of sufficient research concerning specific methods of popular support behind the Russian government. The study considers and analyzes institutional, sociological, and historical premises of the personalist regime in Russia. The official agenda as disclosed in the Addresses of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly was subjected to content analysis, where foreign policy (fighting to preserve national sovereignty) and social issues emerge as key items of the agenda. Secondary analysis of VCIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Center) polls over 2012 to 2019 was conducted to study the relations between the content of the President’s Addresses and such indices as public confidence and approval of foreign and domestic social policy. The analysis revealed that a crucial component of legitimation of the personalist regime in the Russian Federation is its political leader’s discoursive practice. Specific features of legitimation over the period covered is that the notion of social equality and justice, though always present on the agenda, is not an effective legitimation vehicle. A promotion of a concept of “historical memory” in the official agenda has become a key legitimation vehicle. Starting from 2013, the main vehicle of government legitimation has been the idea of national sovereignty preservation, triggered by the promotion of the historical memory concept in the agenda. Keywords: legitimacy, legitimation, personalist regime, head of state, Addresses of the President of the Russian Federation, speech themes.

Full text (added February 16, 2020)

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