Pluralism without Democracy, Vertical without Power: From Gor’kii to Nizhny Novgorod . . . and Back?
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In this article I seek to identify the pivotal elements in the political trajectory of the Nizhnii Novgorod region since the beginning of the 1990s until present; from the first democratic experiences and innovations to their disavowal and repudiation. I intend to trace the main cycles of region’s political developments and on this basis define the specificity of its political system and relations with the federal center. By doing so, I retrospectively look at the evolution of the political landscape in the region during a quarter of century, from the first post-Soviet years to mature Putinism, and then discuss how political controversies take cultural form and are reflected in regional identity debates.