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Staging Democracy - Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond

  • Pocket

  • 2022

  • Engelsk

Focusing on the experiences of people in Russia and Ukraine, Staging Democracy shows how some national leaders'' seeming popularity rests on local economic compacts. Jessica Pisano draws on long-term research in rural communities and company towns, analyzing how local political and business leaders, seeking favor from incumbent politicians, used salaries, benefits, and public infrastructure to pressure citizens to participate in command performances.

Pisano looks at elections whose outcome was known in advance, protests for hire, and smaller mises en scène to explain why people participate, what differs from spectacle in totalitarian societies, how political theater exists in both authoritarian and democratic systems, and how such performances reshape understandings of the role of politics.

Staging Democracy moves beyond Russia and Ukraine to offer a novel economic argument for why some people support Putin and similar politicians. Pisano suggests we can analyze politics in both democracies and authoritarian regimes using the same analytical lens of political theater.

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