The Russian protests, sparked by the 2011 Duma election, have been widely portrayed as a colourful but inconsequential middle–class rebellion, confined to Moscow and organized by an unpopular opposition. In this sweeping new account of the protests, Mischa Gabowitsch challenges these journalistic clichés, showing that they stem from wishful thinking and media bias rather than from accurate empirical analysis. Drawing on a rich body of material, he analyses the biggest wave of demonstrations since the end of the Soviet Union, situating them in the context of protest and social movements across Russia as a whole. He also explores the legacy of the protests in the new era after Ukraine’s much larger Maidan protests, the crises in Crimea and the Donbass, and Putin’s ultra–conservative turn.
As the first full–length study of the Russian protests, this book will be of great value to students and scholars of Russia and to anyone interested in contemporary social movements and political protest.
Chapter 2. Putin’s Regimes
Chapter 3. Insurgent Observers
Chapter 4. Scenes and Solidarities: Opposition and Grassroots Protest Before 2011–13
Chapter 5. Crossed Purposes: Opposition and Grassroots Protestors in the 2011–13 Protest Wave
Chapter 6. Pussy Riot and Beyond: Art, Religion and Gender Regimes in Russian Protest
Chapter 7. Cognitive Spaces of Protest
Chapter 8. The Transnational Dimension
Chapter 9. Conclusion: Protest in Putin’s third term
Laurent Thévenot, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris
"This book sheds new light on the forces and conditions that have shaped the anti–Putin protests in Moscow and elsewhere, examining in unprecedented detail the events, personalities and ideas that have changed Russian and global politics in recent years. There is little doubt that mass protests will occur in Russia again, though in new and unpredictable forms. This book helps us understand their fateful crescendos."
Alexander Etkind, European University Institute, Florence, author of Internal Colonization: Russia’s Imperial Experience
"Gabowitsch’s seminal study is of interest to the specialist as well as the general reader. It is a meticulously researched volume that throws light on the diverse protests that swept Russia in the wake of the 2011 Duma election. While they failed to prevent Putin′s return to the presidency, the protests may well have heralded potentially momentous social change."
Josephine von Zitzewitz, University of Cambridge
Protest in Putin’s Russia combines stirring reportage with conceptual sophistication, taking readers into sites of protest not only in Moscow but in cities across Russia."
The New York Review of Books
"...an extremely important and rare contribution to the scholarship on social movements and political mobilisation in Russia and around the world"