A new book Moscow in Movement, the first exhaustive study of social movements, protest, and the state-society relationship in Vladimir Putin's Russia, will form the basis of this evening’s discussion, to be led by the author.

The talk will concentrate on the evolution of the relationship between citizens and their state from 2005 through to the summer of 2013. The focus tonight will on a series of in-depth, individual case studies, illustrating how ordinary Russians are motivated to defend human and civil rights; a process that culminated in the dramatic election protests of 2011–2012 and their aftermath.

Looking beyond blanket arguments about the impact of low levels of trust, the weight of the Soviet legacy, or authoritarian repression, the discussion zooms in on an active and boisterous citizenry that nevertheless struggles to gain traction against a ruling elite. Why is this? How does the structure of the political arena influence patterns of collective behaviour that form civil society?

These and other questions to do with contemporary Russian politics and society, comparative politics, and sociology will be raised and answered over the course of the evening, offering a unique, three-dimensional viewpoint on Russian news.


Samuel Greene is Director of King's Russia Institute at King's College London and senior lecturer in Russian politics. Prior to coming to London in 2012, he lived and worked in Moscow for 13 years, most recently as deputy director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and director of the Center for the Study of New Media & Society at the New Economic School. His book, "Moscow in Movement: Power and Opposition in Putin's Russia" will be published in August 2014 by Stanford University Press.

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