Russia’s Choice
Will it establish democracy at last or let Vladimir Putin rule for life?

(Roman Genn)


The possible fall of the Putin regime raises the question of what is likely to succeed it. Neither the regime itself nor the opposition is giving this question serious thought. It sometimes seems as if the two sides share a desire not to look ahead. Putin has tried to appeal to Russians on the basis not of his plans for the future but rather of his claim to being the guarantor of “stability.” The opposition, in part because it is composed of disparate groups, has limited itself to calls for honest elections.

Removing Putin might be the easy part. There is agreement across many sectors of Russian society that he has to go. Only a segment of the opposition, however, has liberal-democratic values, and for those values to emerge victorious in any political struggle after Putin is gone, Russia must face the question of why Russia has failed to establish democracy in the past.

July 30, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, No. 14

Books, Arts & Manners
  • Vincent J. Cannato reviews Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, by Jay Cost.
  • Michael Rubin reviews The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran, by David Crist.
  • Ryan T. Anderson reviews Debating Same-Sex Marriage, by John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher.
  • Andrew Stuttaford reviews The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins.
  • Diane Scharper reviews Pity the Beautiful: Poems, by Dana Gioia.
  • Ross Douthat reviews Ted.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .