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SPP 349

Author: Richard Rose
Description: National upheavals in the past decade have challenged every Russian to cope with upheavals in their everyday life. The resulting pattern need not be steady progress or continuing decline. Decline can be reversed, and strategies to cope with the impact of events can end up a random walk to nowhere. This paper draws on a decade of evidence from the New Russia Barometer, a nationwide survey first conducted in January, 1992, and most recently in June/July, 2001. It examines how good were the good old days; adaptation, resilience or destitution in response to economic upheavals; and incremental changes, both benign and otherwise, in political and economic life. It concludes that there has been a revolution of falling expectations, which has avoided the political frictions that frustration would bring but the patience of Russians needs to extend far beyond the presidency of Vladimir Putin before Russia joins the 'common house of Europe' that Mikhail Gorbachev set as his goal.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland