From Economic to Political Crisis? Dynamics of Contention in Russian Regions (2008-2012)

Andrey Semenov


This article tackles the issue of interconnectedness between the global economic crisis in 2008 and the “For Fair Elections” movement in Russia in 2011-2012. Studies have shown that the 2008 crisis has affected political attitudes of Russian citizens that might have contributed to the mass mobilization in 2011-2012. To test this hypothesis, a dataset covering public protest events from 2008 to 2012 in Perm krai and Tyumen oblast’ has been developed. The comparison between the cases demonstrates different dynamics of contention, however, a similar composition of  protests: local/urban governance issues are the most frequent, closely followed by political/civil rights and economic demands. The comparison indicates that the connections between the 2008 crisis and the 2011-2012 movement are mostly indirect: economic misfortunes caused some groups to protest; it helped some political parties to create broad coalitions based on these grievances, which later became the pillars of the 2011-2012 movement.


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