Cover Osteuropa 1/2008

In Osteuropa 1/2008

A State without Society
On the Technology of Authoritarian Rule in Russia

Lev Gudkov

Deutsche Fassung


Russia faces a change in personnel at the top. Putin’s successor has already been selected. What is being called an election is merely acclamation. Although the power of the state derives its legitimacy from the fact that it has restored Russia’s traditional greatness, the regime is not a new edition of Soviet order. To the contrary, it is a new stage of decay. Now that the society created by a totalitarian ideology of mobilisation and mission has been worn away, the authoritarian state is all that remains. The demoralisation of society and the destruction of its basis for common action belong to the state’s technology of power.

(Osteuropa 1/2008, pp. 3–16)