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The Militarization Theory in Post-Soviet Russia: Dispelling the Pathological Look at Political and Administrative Elites

  • Violier, Victor
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
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This paper aims, through the specific example of the plenipotentiary envoys – a.k.a. the polpredy, at questioning Law as a legitimate knowledge of the political elite in post-Soviet Russia. The term legitimate has to be understood as both a legitimated and a legitimating knowledge.A new level of administration was set by Vladimir Putin right after his election in May 2000 and has become a symbol of the militarization of political elites in Russia, concretized by a massive recruitment of people from the so-called power ministries. Beyond this, in the context of a closed institutional game and the power’s will to neutralize a whole bunch of the political game’s rules, law also becomes a ground on which to build a control of the political and administrative elites’ recruitment. Our approach blends a critical overview of the literature and a prosopographical study of more than 20 members of Russian top political elites between 2000 and 2012, corresponding to Putin’s three first mandates as the head of the Russian state – two as President and a third one as Prime Minister under Dmitri Medvedev’s Presidency.Our study led us to the conclusion that, not only should we regard Law as esteemed but also, and above all, as invested with an instrumental function by the power in place, but also those who long to be in power.

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