How Long Will Putin Stay in Power?
That’s the question facing anyone who’s trying to forecast future Russian policy. The former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt gave him five to 10 years. Some Russian analysts predict the Putin regime will falter as early as mid-2016.
Putin will not remain in power indefinitely. But he won’t be out anytime soon.
To understand why, let’s look at the research into autocratic regimes. Political scientists Barbara Geddes, Joseph Wright, and Erica Frantz have found that when an autocratic leader starts losing power, one of these three things usually results:
- A new autocratic group takes over, creating a new but still authoritarian regime.
- The original regime hangs on, but someone from the incumbent group replaces the outgoing leader.
- Democratically elected leaders replace the incumbent group altogether.