The Russian Predicament


Colton, Timothy J. 2005. “The Russian Predicament.” Journal of Democracy 16 (3): 113-126. Copy at

Date Published:

Sep 1, 2005


At the end of the Cold War, semipresidentialism became the modal constitution of the postcommunist world. In Russia and other post–Soviet states, however, this system of government has impeded consolidation. Semipresidentialism combines a popularly elected head of state with a prime minister responsible to the legislature; though this framework seemed to promise the best of all constitutional worlds, when put into practice in many countries during their transitions, the framework began to pose serious design dilemmas and facilitate democratic backsliding rather than consolidation.


Last updated on 03/21/2015