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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Vladimir Putin’s Gradual Erosion of Civil Society in Russia
by Alexander, Stephanie Renee , M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2018, 63; 27605883
Abstract (Summary)

Since 2001, there has been a gradual erosion of civil society in Russia under Russia’s current president Vladimir Putin’s. Despite Putin’s rhetoric on the importance of a strong civil society, his strict policies on nongovernmental organizations have weakened civil society over time. This thesis aims to prove that Vladimir Putin’s fear of regime change and Western influence paired with his objective to rebuild Russia from the demise of the Soviet Union led him to take specific measures: the undesirable and foreign agents laws to protect his regime which led to the erosion of civil society in Russia.

In May 2015, three years following the enactment of Russia’s Foreign Agent Law in 2012, Putin’s Undesirable Organizations' Law was passed. Both the undesirable and the foreign agent's laws grant the Russia’s Ministry of Justice power to determine which nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) can operate in Putin’s Russia. Under these repressive anti-NGO laws, organizations that receive foreign funding, participate in political activity or pose a threat to the security of the Russian Federation must register as foreign agents or shut down due to their status as an undesirable. The undesirable and foreign agents laws represent just two pieces of legislation in a series of statues enacted by the Kremlin to better control civil society organizations in Russia.

The results in this study show that several regional political uprisings and events in world politics such as the color revolutions in the early 2000s, NATO’s intervention in Libya in 2011 and the Ukraine Crisis in 2014 caused Putin to take specific measures ending with the Foreign Agents and Undesirable Laws to build a strong society in Russia by heavily regulating civil society. The Orange, Rose, and Tulip Revolutions in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine represented a Post- Soviet shift towards the West in Central and Eastern Europe politics. This shift was a threat to Putin’s regime because Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine were former Soviet Union territories. Since Putin believed that the West was closely involved with many international NGOs that influenced political demonstrations, organizations with Western ties were targeted, labeled as foreign agents or shut down as undesirables.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Newton, Julie
Commitee: Perry, Susan
School: The American University of Paris (France)
School Location: France
Source: MAI 81/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Slavic Studies, Social structure, International Relations
Keywords: Putin, Vladimir, Foreign Agent Law, Undesirable Organizations' Law, Nongovernmental organizations
Publication Number: 27605883
ISBN: 9781088346464
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