The Instrumentalisation of Mass Media in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes

Evidence from Russia's Presidential Election Campaigns of 2000 and 2008

Nozima Akhrarkhodjaeva

ibidem Press

The Instrumentalisation of Mass Media in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes

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Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9783838210438

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $45.00

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9783838270135

280 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $30.99

The Instrumentalisation of Mass Media in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes

Evidence from Russia's Presidential Election Campaigns of 2000 and 2008

Nozima Akhrarkhodjaeva

ibidem Press

Focusing on the case of Russia during Putin's first two presidential terms, this book examines media manipulation strategies in electoral authoritarian regimes. Which instruments and approaches do incumbent elites employ to skew media coverage in favor of their preferred candidate in a presidential election? What effects do these strategies have on news content? Based on two case studies of the presidential election campaigns in Russia in 2000 and in 2008, this investigation identifies the critical internal mechanisms according to which these regimes work.

Looking at the same country while it transformed from a competitive into a hegemonic authoritarian regime, allows a diachronic comparison of these two regime types. The book explicates the subtle differences between competitive and hegemonic regimes, different types of media manipulation strategies, the diverging extent of media instrumentalization, various interactions among state actors, large business owners, the media, and journalists, the respective effects that all these factors and interactions have on media content, and the peculiar types of bias prevalent in each type of regime. This deep exploration of post-Soviet politics is based on extensive review of documents, interviews with media professionals, and quantitative as well as qualitative content analyses of news media during two Russian presidential election campaigns.
This book is based on a sound understanding of the present state of research and an innovative analytical framework. Most importantly, through sophisticated and extensive empirical research, the author is able to offer a detailed and systematic examination of the Russian case, which is of high value not only for students of Russian politics but also for the broader literature on authoritarian regimes. The author demonstrates convincingly and with empirical details that a shift from competitive to hegemonic authoritarianism is not a simple increase in state repression but means a substantial change in the nature of the regime. Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines, University of Bremen
This contribution to the research field of electoral authoritarian regimes not only substantiates the claim that there is a shift observable in Russia between 2000 and 2008. It is also methodically and from its analytical contribution a step forward for this field of study. […] I am not aware of any study that has so systematically worked through the practices of mass-media manipulation in authoritarian states, and in addition to the findings on the case, the author also contributes an analytical approach that will certainly be helpful for other scholars […]. […] diligence and painstaking attention with which she has worked through an astonishing amount of sources, including a challenging content analysis. Prof. Dr. Klaus Schlichte, University of Bremen

About the Author

Nozima Akhrarkhodjaeva studied comparative politics and sociology at Jacobs University Bremen.