Geopolitics: What 'social contract' will Putin offer his people?

Many support Vladimir Putin - but signs of discontent are already beginning to show (photo: dpa)
Many support Vladimir Putin - but signs of discontent are already beginning to show (photo: dpa)

Russia, a regime buoyed by oil riches, could well face rumblings of discontent as resources dwindle and austerity measures take hold. Russians have enjoyed a freedom not known for decades. So how will Vladimir Putin, in the role of president, package a 'social contract' which maintains his leaning for authoritarianism with a democracy his people will demand? asks GIS expert Stefan Hedlund in this special report.

THE past couple of decades have witnessed repeated cases of regime change in non-democratic states.

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Beginning with the collapse of Communism in Europe, at the end of the 1980s, it continued with the US-led armed intervent...

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