Aleksei Naval’nyi and Populist Re-ordering of Putin’s Stability

Jussi Pekka Lassila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This essay examines Aleksei Naval’nyi’s political discourse in order to answer the question why Naval’nyi in particular has become the most visible oppositional figure in Russia since 2011–2012. It is argued that the principal reason for Naval’nyi’s success lies in his populist re-ordering of Putin’s eclectic principles of people, patriotism and the rule of law. By simplifying the political space between ‘us and them’ under his anti-corruption activism Naval’nyi has managed to challenge the regime in its own terms. At the same time this straightforward style separates him from Russia’s other political figures who have been unable to provide compelling ideas for
larger oppositional mobilisation. In this respect, regarding Russia’s weak political institutions, eclectic usage of political ideas and personalistic political culture, Naval’nyi appears to be a natural alternative.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEurope - Asia Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)118–137
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science


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