This original, to some extent iconoclastic article examines the varied grounds for V. Putin’s decision to eliminate Russia’s governorate elections, through explanations at the central and regional levels. The preservation by the State Duma of the president’s room for manoeuvre shows a broad acceptance of the need to roll back regional autonomy. As to Putin’s very popularity among the regions’ population and élite, it is explained by the fact that the elimination of governorate elections serves the governors’ individual interests. At the same time, the author also suggests that the selective activation by Putin of Soviet institutional legacies in a period of uncertainty was crucial for rendering the centralisation of power as inevitable.

The Redaction
CER: II-7.2-581