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The 1996 Russian Presidential Election

By Jerry F. Hough, Evelyn Davidheiser, and Susan Goodrich Lehmann

The 1996 Russian presidential election is a crucial referendum on the policy of economic reform that had been conducted over the previous five years. This book, written before the election on the basis of two major public opinion surveys at the time of the 1993 and 1995 Duma elections, explores the evolution in Russian thinking, the positions and strategies of the candidates, and the dilemma of the centrists choosing between a president they profoundly dislike and a Communist party they do not trust. In the 1990s, the northern regions of Russia supported free-trade reform and the southern regions protectionism, but this reversed the more normal pattern found in Russian politics a century ago. As the book looks at the psychological and sociological factors that produced the politics of the early 1990s and began to transform it in a more “normal” direction in the mid-1990s, it goes beyond a simple analysis to discuss the more enduring problems of economic and political reform in Russia. A Brookings Occasional Paper

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