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The Myth of the Authoritarian Model

How Putin's Crackdown Holds Russia Back

Authors: Michael A. McFaul, Stanford University, and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss
January/February 2008
Foreign Affairs


A growing conventional wisdom holds that Vladimir Putin's attack on democracy has brought Russia stability and prosperity -- providing a new model of successful market authoritarianism. But the correlation between autocracy and economic growth is spurious. Autocracy's effects in Russia have in fact been negative. Whatever the gains under Putin, they would have been greater under a democratic regime.

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