Stephen Holmes

Structural problems in conventional democracies are alienating citizens worldwide, writes Stephen Holmes. Political marketing, cross-party compromise and elite withdrawal threaten to rob democracy of its original role as instrument of justice.

Blatantly rigged elections are the easiest way for the Putin regime to mimic the authoritarian power it does not possess. December’s protests destroyed Putin’s reputation of being in control; even genuinely competitive elections would be unable to restore his legitimacy.