UCL Uncovering Politics

Alexei Navalny and the Future of Russian Politics

Episode Summary

Welcome to season 4 of UCL Uncovering Politics. This week we are examining the state of Russian politics, and its future, through a new book about the country’s most prominent opposition activist, Alexei Navalny.

Episode Notes

In this, our first episode of the new academic year, we’re looking at politics in Russia. Alexei Navalny – who hit the headlines around the world last year by surviving an attempt to assassinate him by lacing his underpants with Novichok, and who now languishes in prison 100km east of Moscow – is Russia’s best known opposition leader. Indeed, a new book about Navalny’s life and activism describes him as ‘the main political counterforce in the country’ and ‘its second most important politician’. 

So who is Alexei Navalny? What does his current predicament say about the state of Russian politics? And what chance is there that he – or anyone else – might be able to lead Russia towards a more democratic future?

Our host Professor Alan Renwick is joined by one of the new book’s authors Dr Ben Noble, Associate Professor in Russian Politics at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and Dr Katerina Tertychnaya, Lecturer in Comparative Politics in the UCL Department of Political Science and expert on Russian politics, who is now leading a major research project on ‘Non-Violent Repression in Electoral Autocracies’.

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