Sharon Rivera

Associate Professor of Government Sharon Werning Rivera presented a paper titled “The Decline of Elite Uncertainty during Authoritarian Consolidation: Russia under Yeltsin and Putin,” on Nov. 11 at the 49th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in Chicago.

Rivera’s paper contributes to the literature on authoritarianism by examining whether political elites’ perceptions of uncertainty follow predictable patterns as a new and fragile democratic system descends into authoritarian rule.

Using original elite survey data collected in Russia from 1996 through 2016, the paper is the first to empirically demonstrate that elite uncertainty about both electoral and policy outcomes drops precipitously over time as quasi-democratic institutions are replaced with those of a consolidated authoritarian regime. It also confirms that for elites holding office in fully consolidated authoritarian regimes, uncertainty about electoral outcomes is low but not nil.

In addition to organizing the panel on “Survey Research on Contemporary Russian Elites” at which she presented her paper, Rivera also chaired a panel titled “Contemporary Post-Soviet Legislative and Constitutional Processes.”

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