Cover Osteuropa 5/2019

In Osteuropa 5/2019

Autocracy or Perestroika 2.0
Can Russia escape from its path dependence?

Tat’jana Vorožejkina

Deutsche Fassung


Russia seems to be unable to leave the trajectory of its historical develop-ment as a patrimonial power. Once again, an autocratic regime is in power. The state is the fixed point of all political activity. However, the ability of the centralist state to control politics and modernise the economy is highly limited. The supposedly strong state is in fact weak, and is repressive and despotic precisely for this reason. Society is powerless, and the economy is dysfunctional. Under President Putin, power and property have merged to a degree never seen before, while the political process is intransparent and hardly institutionalised at all. The state development model has run into the sand. Unlike under Gorbachev, reform from above is unlikely to occur. The analysis of the failures under Perestroika and the wrong directions taken under Yeltsin are an indication of what is needed: pressure from below and reformist forces that combine social issues with the demand for participation and equality before the law.

(Osteuropa 5/2019, pp. 5–20)