20 years under Putin: a timeline

On October 15th, the Institute of Modern Russia, the Legatum Institute, and the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) will hold a panel discussion on the recent political developments in Russia. The discussion will be based on “Russia: A Postmodern Dictatorship?”, a paper by Peter Pomerantsev.



With his third (de facto fourth) term well underway, Vladimir Putin continues to use the language and institutions of democratic capitalism to consolidate his power. The panel will discuss how Russia’s democratic façade has masked the construction of a new authoritarian model.

The appearance of democratic institutions, including pseudo-elections, some elements of media freedom, and a quasi-market economy, has helped subdue external criticism, while Russia’s hard-edged influence in its region and in global affairs remains strong. Christian Caryl will moderate a conversation on how this new authoritarianism works inside Russia, what it means for relationships with the West, and how it will affect what Russia’s leadership views as its “near abroad.”

The discussion will be based on “Russia: A Postmodern Dictatorship?”, a paper by Peter Pomerantsev. This is the first in a series of studies commissioned jointly by the Legatum Institute and the Institute of Modern Russia to analyze the challenges of transition in the former Soviet Union.

Introductory Remarks

  • Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy;
  • Pavel Khodorkovsky, President, Institute of Modern Russia;

Moderated by Christian Caryl, Editor, Democracy Lab and a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute.

Panel Speakers:

  • Peter Pomerantsev, Journalist, Producer and Author;
  • Vladimir V. Kara-Murza, Member of the Federal Council, Republican Party of Russia-People's Freedom Party;
  • Christopher Walker, Executive Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies.

The discussion will take place at the NED headquarters in Washington DC.

Address: 1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20004
Telephone: 202-378-9675

Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 
4:00–5:30 pm

Register for the event here. Please register early; space is limited.


About the Speakers

Peter Pomerantsev is a British TV producer, author, and journalist. For many years, he sold British programs to the Russian TV industry. His articles have been published in the Daily Beast, OpenDemocracy, and the London Review of Books.

Vladimir V. Kara-Murza is a member of the federal council of the Republican Party of Russia–People’s Freedom Party. He was a candidate for the Russian parliament in 2003, and has served as the campaign chairman for presidential candidate Vladimir Bukovsky (2007–08) and as an advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov (2000–03). He is a senior policy advisor at the Institute of Modern Russia and a member of the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition.

Christopher Walker is executive director of the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis of the theory and practice of democratic development. Prior to joining the NED in July 2012, Walker was vice president for strategy and analysis at Freedom House. He has been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Journal of Democracy, and a range of other publications.

Carl Gershman has been president of the National Endowment for Democracy since its founding in 1984. He presides over the Endowment’s grants program in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America, and has overseen the creation of NED’s signature programs and publications.

Pavel Khodorkovsky founded the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR) in 2010 to continue the work his father Mikhail Khodorkovsky began through the Open Russia Foundation. IMR is committed to strengthening respect for human rights, the rule of law, and civil society in Russia, and to promoting a principles-based approach to U.S.-Russia relations and Russia's integration into the community of democracies.

Christian Caryl is editor of Democracy Lab, a Legatum Institute website published in partnership with Foreign Policy magazine. Democracy Lab follows global transitions from authoritarianism to democracy. Caryl worked for a year as Washington bureau chief of RFE/RL, and from 2000 to 2009 he was a foreign correspondent for Newsweek, running the magazine's bureaus in Moscow and Tokyo.