Valerie Sperling
Articles by Valerie Sperling

Exodus: Russian Repression and Social “Movement”

In past research, we identified several broad trends in Russian civil society prior to the war, which we labeled enduring, evaporating, and adapting forms of activism. These terms captured, respectively, organizational types that had persisted since the 1990s, those unable to survive, and those that adapted to Russia’s increasingly repressive environment. Here we examine a new trend in Russian civil society: escaping.

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New and Enduring Forms of Feminist Activism in Contemporary Russia

From the NGO-ized civil society environment that existed in the 1990s and early 2000s, a new pattern of informal activism has developed, often assisted by the use of social media platforms. We find that the major drivers of these changes have been the steady narrowing of democratic freedoms in Russia, the exodus of foreign donors from the country, and the emergence of new online communication technologies available to activists.

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“Happy Birthday, Mr. Putin!”: celebrating political masculinity in Russia

A key element of Vladimir Putin’s legitimation strategy has been the cultivation of a macho image.

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