S04E09: Cur­rent State of Affairs in Putin’s Russia

This episode presents a descrip­tion of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in Putin’s total­i­tar­i­an Rus­sia and ana­lyzes whether there is hope for change com­ing from with­in the coun­try itself. It is a vivid pic­ture of how author­i­tar­i­an regimes shape what cit­i­zens see, believe, and think and how this leads to a pro­found sense of hope­less­ness, iso­la­tion, a state of gen­er­al anx­i­ety and despair. Is the resur­gence of Putin’s new impe­r­i­al ambi­tions like­ly to bol­ster his pow­er nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly? Can sanc­tions or eco­nom­ic sanc­tions in gen­er­al give a hope in resolv­ing the conflict?

Guests fea­tured in this episode:
Masha Gessen,  a dis­tin­guished jour­nal­ist & staff writer for the New York­er.  Born in Moscow in the Sovi­et Union, Masha moved to the Unit­ed States in 1981, only to return to Rus­sia as a jour­nal­ist a decade lat­er. A strong crit­ic of Putin’s regime from the very out­set, Masha decid­ed to leave Rus­sia and return to the US due to the polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed crack­down on gay par­ents by Russ­ian author­i­ties.
They have authored 11 books, most recent­ly, Sur­viv­ing Autoc­ra­cy (2020), an insight­ful account of the Trump Pres­i­den­cy that also draws on their expe­ri­ence of liv­ing in Rus­sia. Two of their oth­er books dis­cussed with­in the pod­cast are; The Future Is His­to­ry: How Total­i­tar­i­an­ism Reclaimed Rus­sia, and The Man with­out a Face: The Unlike­ly Rise of Vladimir Putin (2012).


Shalini Randeria

Shalini Randeria is Rector and President of the Central European University (Vienna/Budapest). Before, she was Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute Geneva, and Rector of the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna from 2014 to 2021. She has published widely on the anthropology of globalisation, law, the state and social movements. Her empirical research on India also addresses issues of post-coloniality and multiple modernities.