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How to 'Win' an Election: The Secrets of Russia's Authoritarian Regime

When:Th 14-03-2024 20:00 - 21:15
Where:Senate Room, Academy Building
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The Russian presidential elections differ significantly from many other elections taking place around the world this year. With multiple "administrative resources" available to manipulate the elections, jailed, exiled, or murdered opposition politicians, and an almost entirely censored public space, there is little doubt about who will be re-elected, and even the exact percentage points that the winner will achieve can be predicted.

Furthermore, since the war against Ukraine, the autocratisation of the regime has intensified and radicalised, leading to what the Human Rights Watch has called a 'supersized repression'. It is estimated that there are now more court cases for political offences than during the Brezhnev era. Russia is becoming increasingly entangled in a one-way street of institutional erosion and unrestrained personal power. With Navalny's death, even the idea of an alternative has perished. However, the war against Ukraine also sends shockwaves through the Russian regime, risking disturbing the delicate balances on which the authoritarian regime rests.

In this lecture, Lisa Gaufman and Tom Casier provide insights into everyday authoritarianism and the functioning of elections in Russia's "sovereign democracy".

About the speakers

Lisa Gaufman is an Assistant Professor of Russian Discourse and Politics at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. Her research lies at the intersection of political theory, international relations, media, and cultural studies.

Tom Casier is a Chair in Global Politics of Europe at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. His research focuses mainly on Russian foreign policy, EU–Russia relations, and the EU and its eastern neighbours.

The lecture will be moderated by Piero Tortola, associate professor at the Faculty of Arts of the UG. The lecture will be in English.

Election Spotlight - Lecture Series

2024 is not just any election year; it is arguably the most significant one yet. Across the globe, a record number of voters are expected to participate, with at least 64 countries (plus the European Union) scheduling national elections. These outcomes will carry substantial weight for many, shaping the trajectory of their respective nations for years to come.

The Faculty of Arts in collaboration with the Democracy and Governance theme group at the Rudolf Agricola School is organizing a series of lectures where experts will share their knowledge about the elections taking place in various parts of the world. The lecture on the Russian elections is the first in the series. Later this year, lectures on the European elections, the American elections and possibly more will follow. Feel free to email us if you also want to organize a lecture in this series.

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