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About Grigorii Golosov

Grigorii Golosov is Professor of Political Science, Project Director, Center for Democracy and Human Rights Helix, St. Petersburg

Articles by Grigorii Golosov

This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Have the September elections changed anything?

Recent regional elections in Russia provoked more interest than usual, mainly because charismatic and controversial opposition leader Alexei Navalny was standing in the Moscow mayoral election. Some results were dramatic, but Grigorii Golosov wonders whether they will make a lasting difference to the political landscape

Navalny steps into the ring

Alesksey Navalny was this morning unexpectedly released from custody, but he will be back in prison within a few weeks, says Grigorii Golosov. How has the opposition leader managed to become so well-known — and so dangerous for the Kremlin — in such a short space of time? 

Join the party!

A concession or a ruse to ensure continued authoritarian rule? In the second of two articles examining changes in Russia's electoral architecture, Grigorii Golosov considers the recent relaxation of Russia's party registration rules.

The incompetent many or the corrupt few?

Recent protest rallies and continuing opposition sentiment have provoked the Kremlin into reform.  The first part of the process sees the partial return of regional governor elections, abandoned nine years ago in favour of appointment by the president. Democractic Russia should be very wary of the changes, thinks Grigorii Golosov

Medvedev’s party reform: concession or convenience?

The protest movement which was born after Russia's recent parliamentary elections achieved one very rapid result when President Medvedev announced a programme of political reform, including a new law on political parties. Excellent news this may be, but the opposition will need to keep its eye on the ball, says Grigorii Golosov

Anyone but Putin: how Russians should vote in March

Russians keen to punish Vladimir Putin at the polls on March 4 have four opposition candidates to choose from, but all are tarnished in some way by their links to the government. Grigorii Golosov analyses what voting strategy will work best to build on the momentum of this winter’s protests, and cautions against accepting any of the candidates’ claims to be true opposition material.

Russian protests: this time it’s different...

The protests against widely perceived fraud in Russia’s parliamentary elections were broadcast throughout the world and went viral on the internet. The role of social networks in spreading discontent and organising the demonstrations in Russian cities is a crucial development, but with the leadership of the opposition in disarray, profound change is not an inevitable consequence, says Grigorii Golosov

A defeat in all but name

United Russia may have obtained a technical victory in Sunday’s disputed parliamentary elections, but their failure to obtain 50% of the votes has imparted serious psychological damage on the ruling elite. It has also emboldened the public, which for the first time in a long time realises it can make a difference. These developments makes yesterday's result extremely significant, writes Grigorii Golosov.

Russia's silent election campaign

Russia goes to the polls on Sunday for parliamentary elections, yet Grigorii Golosov has failed to notice much of a campaign. Rather than presenting a case in a traditional electoral manner, it seems the authorities have settled on a different formula: mobilising state-dependent citizens and denying voters a relevant alternative.

Reflections on Mikhail Prokhorov and the Right Cause

Russian electoral politics are a minefield and nothing demonstrates it more clearly than the recent debacle of the ‘Right Cause’ party. A knowledge of past history helps to explain why Prokhorov was dismissed. He will now be able to spend more time on his business interests, having learnt the lesson that in Russian politics there are no free agents and ‘everything is under control’, says Grigory Golosov

Russian opposition: inside or outside the system?

The parliamentary election has been called for 4 December and the jockeying for position among the opposition parties will doubtless increase as politicians return refreshed from their holidays. How can those outside the system have any effect at all on the outcome? Grigorii Golosov considers some of their options

Putin-Medvedev: Russia's managed drama

A combination of factors make it virtually certain that Putin will emerge as president in next year's elections. The continued ambiguity over who will stand is but a calculated game played by the authorities, says Grigorii Golosov.

Lipstick on a crocodile: electoral authoritarianism in Central Asia

Western governments and investors have long indulged themselves by describing Central Asian states as “hybrid regimes” or “imperfect democracies”. The truth is that they are dictatorships occasionally “legitimising” themselves with highly engineered elections. Such electoral authoritarianism doesn’t begin to deceive those who are forced to live under it...

Sovereign democracy, Egyptian style

The similarities between the Egyptian and Russian regime are striking, says Grigorii Golosov. Arguably, Mubarak’s was the more liberal one.

Kushchevskaya: crime and punishment in a Russian village

The story of scores being settled with a brutal mass murder in southern Russia has hit the Russian national press. It reveals much about the links between organised crime and power in the country today and gives the lie to the propaganda machine’s claims of increasing happiness and stability.

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