Keywords: sovereign democracy, Russia, Putin, post-Soviet, USSR
The paper aims to explain what the Russian suverennaya demokratiya (sovereign democracy) is. The concept was developed by Vladislav Surkov between 2005 and 2006 as Deputy Chiefs of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office. Since that
time, a public and academic debate started in Russia to define the characteristics of the Russian political system. On close examination, sovereign democracy is a complex of ideas and rituals useful for the Kremlin to build a collective identity in today’s Russia. This complex is based on practices and values linked to the legacy of Stalinism, and consolidated during the Soviet period. The sovereign democracy is an anti-liberal counter-ideology that serves as a legitimizing tool for the Russian ruling class. Specifically, it is a «mental habit» that characterizes the country’s political elite.