“The pursuit of national glory,” which M. Steven Fish counts among the features of Vladimir Putin’s “populism,” is emerging as central to the regime’s legitimation. Unlike previous instances of patriotic mobilization (around the Second Chechen War and the 2008 Georgia war), the current one appears to have evolved into a permanent structure sustaining Putin’s regime. As a result, of the two presidential roles that undergird what Kirill Rogov called Putin’s “supermajority”—which safeguards Putin’s popularity even in tough economic times—that of “savior and protector of the nation” has all but supplanted that of “wealth manager.” The most probable threat to Putinism’s survival in the short term lies in the possibility that efforts to bolster the credibility and salience of the “savior and protector” narrative may lead to a foreign-policy setback.
The Kremlin Emboldened: Putinism After Crimea
Issue Date October 2017
Page Numbers 76-79