The widening gap between the rich and poor in China is turning ever more numbers of ordinary citizens into social activists. If the government wants to maintain stability, it must address the root causes of growing protests — not just suppress them
And yet the country boils with discontent. Last year China averaged 500 [...]
Vladimir Putin’s new presidential term is just beginning, but it increasingly looks like the beginning of the end. Whenever Russia’s people pour into the streets en masse, as they currently are doing, from that point on things never work out well for the authorities.
In 1917, Russian Emperor Nicholas II had to abdicate in the [...]
What happens, in other words, is that a paralysis sets in: Those in power see compromise as weakness, while those forced onto the streets by its absence see it as selling out. And the more each side digs in, the less a constructive solution becomes possible. The only way out becomes a revolution and the [...]
Can Washington have a working relationship with a Russian leader who thinks Americans are out to destroy him? After a week of listening to official anti-American rhetoric on a visit to Moscow, I find it hard to see how.
Vladimir Putin, newly elected to a third presidential term (after an interval as prime minister), has [...]
Yevgeny Gontmakher, a sociologist at Moscow’s Institute of Contemporary Development, recently suggested Russia could soon be on the brink of a revolution similar to that of 1917.
“The political machine built by Putin was effective in some places until 2007,” he wrote in an article in Nezavismaya Gazeta, “but the regime has started to malfunction, [...]
Masha Gessen is not so sure. A Russian-born writer who grew up in America and now lives in Moscow, and the author of a new book about Putin, Gessen believes that even as he consolidates his power, Russia is seeing the first signs of the inevitable fall of what she describes as ‘this small and [...]
What it does face, however, is enormous, inchoate rural unrest. The dark side of China’s economic rise has been a shocking widening of the gulf between the prosperous coast and the poverty-stricken interior, a flourishing of corruption among local officials and, by such data as we can gather, widespread anger and discontent. The government has [...]
The history of successive authoritarian regimes in Russia reveals a recurring pattern: They do not die from external blows or domestic insurgencies. Instead, they tend to collapse from a strange internal malady — a combination of the elites’ encroaching disgust with themselves and a realization that the regime is exhausted. The illness resembles a political version of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential nausea and led to both the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Soviet Union’s [...]
Some Russian analysts are warning that if Mr. Putin persists in this autocracy-as-usual approach he could provoke an even bigger uprising by Russians, who have already gathered for the largest demonstrations since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But to judge from the official media, if the president perceives a threat, he attributes it to [...]