Speaker Series: The New Kremlinology

   16th April 2019 10:00 - 12:00, 16th April 2019 12:00

10:00 16th April 2019

Alexander Baturo: "The New Kremlinology: What Text Mining and Latent-Variable Approches Can Tell Us about the Russian Political Regime and Leadership.”

The talk, The New Kremlinology, is based on a book manuscript. Focusing on the politics within the Russian ruling coalition since 1999, The New Kremlinology explains the process of regime personalisation, that is, the acquisition of personal power by a political leader. How do regimes turn personalist? How do their rulers acquire and maintain personal control? Because in a personalist regime the identity of an individual ruler is paramount and institutions are either malleable or a mere facade, the study of such regimes presents a unique challenge to empirically-oriented scholars. What are the tools and methods that may permit a rigorous examination of elite politics in non-democratic settings, when traditional research design approaches are difficult to implement? Even though the politics in the Kremlin has returned to its opaque style of Soviet times, The New Kremlinology relies on several new empirical tools and data that illuminate and improve our understanding of, the inner workings of the Russian regime. With this goal in mind, it draws from the expert surveys, new biographical data from various sources, and most important, from various text data. Specifically, it applies advances in text analytics and mining to official speeches of the Russian leadership, regional elites, as well as the media data. The investigation is based on four components of regime personalisation: patronage networks, deinstitutionalisation, media personalisation, and establishing permanency in office. The lessons extend beyond Russia and illuminate how other personalist regimes, as well as populist and illiberal democratic regimes that may gravitate towards personalism, emerge and develop, as well as how to study them. 

Venue: MTA Humán Tudományok Kutatóháza PTI Körtárgyaló
1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán u. 4. T.2.28. (Building T, Floor 2 28.)