Democracy, Gender, and Social Policy in Russia
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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago, Russia has undergone a dizzying and complex transition that has seen it transform from a communist state into a democracy before regressing back to the more authoritarian regime that exists today. Through a compelling and insightful analysis of the Russian case, this book explores the role that social welfare plays in regime transitions, specifically it examines the role that gender and social welfare has played in Russia's often chaotic post-communist political evolution, from Boris Yeltsin's assumption of the presidency in 1991 to Vladimir Putin's return for a third term as president in 2012. From 2001 to 2011, social welfare (especially pronatalist policies) was a key part of the political leadership's governance strategy. A shift from pluralism to regulation accompanied a discourse in which strong government would rein-in a wayward society. But can a hierarchical political system satisfy the aspirations of a changing citizenry? This study demonstrates that gender is at the very centre of debates over the authenticity of democracy in Russia.