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What is Vladimir Putin up to? This book shows how the mentality of Putin and his team - the code of Putinism - has shaped Russian politics over the past two decades. It explains not only the thoughts and ideas that motivate Putin's decisions, but also the set of emotions and habits that influence how Putin and his close allies view the world. The code of Putinism has powerf What is Vladimir Putin up to? This book shows how the mentality of Putin and his team - the code of Putinism - has shaped Russian politics over the past two decades. It explains not only the thoughts and ideas that motivate Putin's decisions, but also the set of emotions and habits that influence how Putin and his close allies view the world. The code of Putinism has powerfully shaped the nature of Russia's political system, its economy, and its foreign policy. Taylor draws on a large number of interviews, the speeches of Putin and other top officials, and the Russian media to analyze the mentality of Team Putin. Key features of Russian politics today -- such as authoritarianism, Putin's reliance on a small group of loyal friends and associates, state domination of the economy, and an assertive foreign policy - are traced to the code of Putinism. Key ideas of the code include conservatism, anti-Americanism, and the importance of a state that is powerful both at home and abroad. Dominant habits of Putin and his associates include control, order, and loyalty. Important feelings driving Russia's rulers include the need for respect, resentment about lost status and mistreatment by the West, and vulnerability. While some observers portray Putin as either a cold-blooded pragmatist or a strident Russian nationalist, Taylor provides a more nuanced and compelling interpretation of Putin's motives and actions. The Code of Putinism also shows how Putin's choices, guided by this mentality, have led to a Russia that is misruled at home and punching above its weight abroad.


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What is Vladimir Putin up to? This book shows how the mentality of Putin and his team - the code of Putinism - has shaped Russian politics over the past two decades. It explains not only the thoughts and ideas that motivate Putin's decisions, but also the set of emotions and habits that influence how Putin and his close allies view the world. The code of Putinism has powerf What is Vladimir Putin up to? This book shows how the mentality of Putin and his team - the code of Putinism - has shaped Russian politics over the past two decades. It explains not only the thoughts and ideas that motivate Putin's decisions, but also the set of emotions and habits that influence how Putin and his close allies view the world. The code of Putinism has powerfully shaped the nature of Russia's political system, its economy, and its foreign policy. Taylor draws on a large number of interviews, the speeches of Putin and other top officials, and the Russian media to analyze the mentality of Team Putin. Key features of Russian politics today -- such as authoritarianism, Putin's reliance on a small group of loyal friends and associates, state domination of the economy, and an assertive foreign policy - are traced to the code of Putinism. Key ideas of the code include conservatism, anti-Americanism, and the importance of a state that is powerful both at home and abroad. Dominant habits of Putin and his associates include control, order, and loyalty. Important feelings driving Russia's rulers include the need for respect, resentment about lost status and mistreatment by the West, and vulnerability. While some observers portray Putin as either a cold-blooded pragmatist or a strident Russian nationalist, Taylor provides a more nuanced and compelling interpretation of Putin's motives and actions. The Code of Putinism also shows how Putin's choices, guided by this mentality, have led to a Russia that is misruled at home and punching above its weight abroad.

44 review for The Code of Putinism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Scott Olson

    The collapse of the Soviet Union was a pivotal moment in history. The Western values of democracy, liberty, and free markets seemed to be sweeping the world. Would the new Russia, emerging from the ruins of communism, also adopt these values? The answer is found in The Code of Putinism, by Brian D. Taylor, Professor and Chair of Political Science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. This is a gem of a book, concise and well-researched. The author shows a deep breadth of knowledge, and hi The collapse of the Soviet Union was a pivotal moment in history. The Western values of democracy, liberty, and free markets seemed to be sweeping the world. Would the new Russia, emerging from the ruins of communism, also adopt these values? The answer is found in The Code of Putinism, by Brian D. Taylor, Professor and Chair of Political Science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. This is a gem of a book, concise and well-researched. The author shows a deep breadth of knowledge, and his writing makes history come alive. Russian leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin laid the groundwork for a new nation, setting up a system of property rights, democratic elections, and the rule of law. Yeltsin’s leadership was unstable, however, and in 1999 Russia elected a new President, Vladimir Putin. Was Russia ready to move away from the authoritarian tradition of Ivan the Terrible and Stalin? President Putin yearned for Russia to regain its standing as one of the world’s great powers, and to be as rich and prosperous as the West. He recognized the superiority of free-market capitalism over the centrally planned economy, and was ready to leave communist ideology in the dustbin of history. And yet, as Professor Taylor’s book illustrates, Mr. Putin did not accept the lack of state control that comes with governing a free people. Americans see a free economy as offering choices and opportunity. They see free democratic elections as their right to throw out the old leader and try a new leader, perhaps someone unconventional, such as a movie star or athlete. To Mr. Putin, however, this all represented disorder. Disorder meant chaos. And chaos meant only bad things: famine instead of prosperity, weakness instead of strength, vulnerability rather than security. Nothing better illustrates the enormous chasm that still remains between Russia and the West, than these opposing views of a free society. Putin’s solution, evolving over his long rule, has been to retain the outward shells of democracy, federalism, and a free market, but to subvert them from the inside so that Russia remains an updated version of central control from the Kremlin. The chapter “Leashes and Clubs” illustrates this in fascinating detail. Gone are the days of the Gulag and death squad; such things would not play well to an internet-connected world. Instead, Putin utilized what the author calls “low-intensity coercion,” built around harassment, investigation, and imprisonment. This effectively neutered the system of checks and balances, and gave Putin unlimited power. Over time most serious opposition to Putin was thus eliminated, with many high-profile individuals forced to surrender their wealth and leave the country. Does Russia today have political parties and elections? Yes, but all the parties are loyal to the Kremlin, and the elections serve to legitimize its rule. Is there a criminal courts system? Yes, but the courts are concerned with following protocol, not some silly concept of justice, and most defendants are assumed to be guilty. Can you start a small business? Yes, but be prepared to pay protection to the local authorities. Can you start an internet blog? Yes, but you must register with the state. Do you have the right to free speech? This quote from a Kremlin aide says it all: “Putin is no enemy of free speech. He simply finds absurd the idea that somebody has the right to criticize him in public.” There you go. To the statist mind, democracy is a scam and freedom is a threat. Capitalism is allowed, but only managed crony-capitalism that properly rewards friends of the state. To give Mr. Putin credit where credit is due, life in Russia today is far better than in the Soviet days. Russians today are more urban, literate, and prosperous than ever before. To give just one example, Moscow is now dotted with attractive shopping malls, and, to quote the author, in the old days “Brezhnev didn’t do malls.” Inevitably, however, centrally planned economies begin to decline. Imagine one central planner, one dictator, trying to duplicate the combined talents of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Ken Langone, et al. Today the Russian economy is stagnant, limping along at a growth rate of 0.4% per year. What lies in store for the future of Russia? The author paints a bleak picture of an ossifying bureaucracy, and notes that such regimes rarely end well. All true. I would add however, that for a country that has produced Dostoevsky and Stravinsky, chess masters and stunning ballerinas, there is always cause for optimism. Simply imagine the possibilities, were the Russian nation to embrace individual freedom. The Code of Putinism is highly recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tobias

    This is a really interesting book, well written and well presented. If you are already familiar with Putin, Russia, and the events surrounding both Putin's rise to power and Russia's rollercoaster following the collapse of the Soviet Union, then this book is unlikely to offer you anything hugely revelatory. However, it has some great analysis, and is a very good introduction and well researched foundation for those who really want to understand what is going on in Russia today. Putin, and Putini This is a really interesting book, well written and well presented. If you are already familiar with Putin, Russia, and the events surrounding both Putin's rise to power and Russia's rollercoaster following the collapse of the Soviet Union, then this book is unlikely to offer you anything hugely revelatory. However, it has some great analysis, and is a very good introduction and well researched foundation for those who really want to understand what is going on in Russia today. Putin, and Putinism, do not have to be an enigma, and this book will help you to understand the code behind the man.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim Connelly

    A must read for those who wish to understand the mindset of Putin and the Russian ruling elite. Highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alex O'Donnell

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Lecchi

  6. 5 out of 5

    Don Wilson

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dramatika

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  11. 4 out of 5

    Molln

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anssi Hautaviita

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Crosbie

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    Sanna

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    Pasi Hakkarainen

  16. 5 out of 5

    Filippo

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matt Bissonnette

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bruno Quadros

  19. 4 out of 5

    Corey Eubanks

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Murphy

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    Becky

  22. 4 out of 5

    Johannes

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex O'Donnell

  24. 4 out of 5

    W.T. Anderson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Short

  26. 4 out of 5

    Masseyalum

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Adde

  28. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jonas Erne

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Hein

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    Tom

  32. 4 out of 5

    Andrei Istrate

  33. 4 out of 5

    Neil David

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    Marko Mehner

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    Max Berendsen

  36. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  37. 4 out of 5

    Katie Mokhtarzadeh

  38. 5 out of 5

    karlis

  39. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Kreutz

  40. 5 out of 5

    Travis

  41. 5 out of 5

    julie norris

  42. 4 out of 5

    Jason Knoll

  43. 5 out of 5

    Angus

  44. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

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