For too long, Vladimir Putin was dismissed as a thuggish or thoughtless authoritarian leader. But the institutional and ideological underpinnings of Putinism are in fact quite sophisticated and are becoming more so with time. Containing elements of managed democracy and of corporate capitalism – and reflecting the culture and values of the 1980s KGB – Putinism is now taught to Russian children and propagated in the media. It comes complete with a foreign policy and an interpretation of recent history, and it has an ostensible goal: Along with protecting the power and wealth of Putin and his inner circle it proposes to make Russia strong and feared again.
This lecture was recorded at the London School of Economics on February 12, 2013.