State capacity and regime resilience in Putin’s Russia

David White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Vladimir Putin’s state-building project which has included a ‘war on the oligarchs’, the reining in of regional power, the co-optation or marginalisation of civil society and political opposition, and the establishment of a ‘power vertical’, has not been based on state strengthening but has had much more to do with regime consolidation. It is argued that, in the Russian case, the building of state capacity may not be a crucial factor in determining the medium or even long-term survival of the authoritarian system. Although Russia has relatively weak state capacity, the Putin regime has remained stable. The regime’s resilience is built on the distribution of rents among political and economic elites, the provision of social welfare, the coercion or co-opting of civil society and political opposition, and the mobilisation of public support through the provision of economic benefits and a national-patriotic appeal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-143
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Issue number1
Early online date28 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • State capacity, electoral authoritarianism, neo-patrimonialism, Russia, regime


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