Doing Fractions: An Analysis of Partisanship in Post-Socialist Russia

Buck, Andrew D.

Since its extrication from state socialism, Russia is notable for the ways in which coercive and, at times, violent displays of partisanship have divided its state. Drawing on evidence from ethnographic fieldwork and membership lists of civic organizations, the paper analyzes the composition and configuration of political factions in an in-depth case study of a Russian urban area, 1994-1999. The analysis demonstrates partisan antagonisms in the city emerged from a process of polarization that eliminated identification across factions. During the competition for state office, political groups became embroiled in a cycle of conflict setting the stage for partisans to purge themselves of coalition-builders.

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Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University
ISERP Working Papers, 01-03
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August 23, 2010


October 2001.