PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

Staging Democracy: Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond, Jessica Pisano

Reviewed by Serhiy Kudelia
 

With her new book, Jessica Pisano lifts the veil on what she sees as a political theater of post-Soviet politics—a distinct “political practice with its own set of meanings” (4). Behind it, Pisano finds an array of characters responsible for turning routine political events, such as elections or protests, into staged performances. Their success is based on myriad entangling relationships they establish and maintain with factory workers, pensioners, and public sector employees, whose livelihoods suddenly depend on their effectiveness in these new, imposed roles. Even though these political performances are, usually, short-lived, their repeated nature leaves a profound impact on how participants understand the nature of politics and interpret actions of political leaders and government officials. They also transform identities, establish new community boundaries, and produce a reality that remains little understood by outside observers.

Pisano's work builds on several earlier studies of post-Soviet political regimes, which explore the significance of informal exchanges and political manipulation for explaining electoral outcomes and protest outbreaks. Her book, however, probes these phenomena further by explicating the exact mechanisms that sustain them. At their core is the ability of national and local officials to redefine Soviet-era enti

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

America at a Crossroads: The 2024 Presidential Election and Its Global Impact
April 24, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
New York, NY

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

Virtual Issue

Introduction: Black Power and the Civil Rights Agendas of Charles V. Hamilton
Marylena Mantas and Robert Y. Shapiro

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

China in a World of Great Power Competition   CHINA IN A WORLD OF GREAT POWER COMPETITION

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS