Putinism – An ideology?

Anna-Cara Keim takes a look at the Russian president.
Note: This post is part of a new cooperation with the blog Crossing the Baltic.

Russian president Vladimir Putin | photo by Politsurfer via wikimedia commons

Putinism is an expression widely used to describe the ruling style of Russia’s current president Vladimir Putin. This ruling style has been described as a guided democracy with a carefully managed economy resembling the rent-seeking oil economies of the Persian Gulf. Moreover, gas and energy have also become Russia’s defining foreign policy features. Media censorship might not be comparable to the days of the Soviet Union – however, it is ensured that the life of the few remaining independent and critical journalists is as difficult as possible.

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Inaugural addresses of CEE presidents: A link list

In my last blog post I compared the inaugural addresses of Central and East European presidents – as a follow-up, you can find links to all the speeches of the current presidents and – if available – their predecessors below. The links are to the English translations, if the text is in another language this is indicated in parentheses. I aim to update this list in the future – suggestions for further links and countries to be included are always welcome! Continue reading

Comparing inaugural addresses of CEE presidents: Putting the country first?!

Yesterday, Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term as US president drawing thousands to the West front of the Capitol and his inaugural address (full text here) was awaited by citizens and journalists around the world alike. In CEE inaugural addresses are usually held in parliament (also due to the fact that half of the president are elected there by the deputies and not by popular vote) and while presidents’ words receive their fair share of media attention, it can hardly measure up to American proportions.

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev during his inaugural speech on 19 January 2012 © Office of the President of Bulgaria

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Back at work: Why there could still be hope for the Hungarian presidency

When the Fidesz-led Hungarian government installed Pál Schmitt in the presidential office, many mourned the end of the presidency as an active check-and-balance in the political system. There is no doubt that Schmitt’s successor, János Áder, is as much convinced of the government’s policies as Viktor Órban himself. Nevertheless, he has recently discovered the possibilities of his office giving hope that the Hungarian presidency might once again become independent of parliament and government.

Presidential activism in Hungary, 1990-2012

Presidential activism in Hungary, 1990-2012

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