Democracy. Russia. CIS.

About Democratist

“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those others that have been tried from time to time.” Churchill.

Welcome to Democratist; featured on The Economist, Financial Times, Radio Free Europe, Kyiv Post and inoSMI websites, and read by almost 50,000 people per month in over 100 countries –  including Foreign Ministers, Diplomats, Academics, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalists, non-Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalists, other bloggers, the staff of Russia Today, the SVR, the FSB – and assorted innocent bystanders…

About me: I have been interested in democratization, Russia and the CIS for about 15 years and have a MA in Political Science from UCL (University of London). I also studied at the LSE (under the late, great Fred Halliday). I have worked extensively in the region for various international organizations.

I blog from a somewhat (although by no means unreservedly) economically liberal, and pro-democracy perspective. I’m also generally pro-EU and pro-NATO. I don’t like authoritarianism or its attendant inefficiencies and corruption. My analytical framework draws strongly on aspects of historical sociology. In terms of foreign policy I’m for a pragmatic mix of realism and liberalism.

You can contact me at if you like, or follow me on twitter; MrDemocratist.

Recent articles are listed below;

Should RT be banned?

The Russian State and the Berlin Wall. Lying then, lying now.

Yanukovich: Running on Empty.

A “French Spring?”

 To Rig Or Not to Rig?

Putin’s Third Term: “Potemkin Reform”

(Russian Translation):

Putin’s Third Term: Towards Instability?

(Russian Translation):

The Counter-Revolutionary Council and the Temptations of Foreign Adventurism.

(Russian Translation):

Americans, Liberasts, and Russian Democracy.

(Russian translation):

International Relations and the Arab Spring: A Non-Conspiratorial View.

(Russian translation):

“Colour Revolution” and the Legitimating Myths of Putinism.

(Russian Translation):

Putin 2.0?

(Russian Translation):

Spies, lies, and the OSCE.

Russian Autocracy and the Future of the Arab Spring.

(Russian Translation):

A reply to Peter Lavelle’s article, “The return of Vladimir Putin.” in The National Interest.

Book Review: “Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West.” By Edward Lucas.

Provokatsiya: Regime may be preparing stitch-up job on OSCE.

You have been weighed, and found wanting: RT and the 1st Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution.

CSTO: What ya gonna do when they come for you?

Revolution, democracy and the West.

Lviv: Nationalist Overreaction in Galicia.

The Crimean Tatars: Future Opportunities, lingering threats.

Whispers of Change in Tiraspol.

Moldova’s 2011 local elections will confirm its European Orientation.

Ukraine: The other 2012.

Ukraine may be turning towards the EU, but integration remains a distant prospect.

Ukraine under Yanukovich.

Russia 2012: Mr. Kudrin Takes a (Semi) Stand.

Mr Putin’s Very Very Large White Elephant.

Bunga Bunga! Russia Today lends an old friend a hand.

The FSB and the Web: Out-innovated, yet again.

The Arab Spring, Susan Strange, and Western “Structural Power”. 

The Great “Arab Spring” of 2011: Causes and Consequences.

The Enduring Relevance of NATO in “an Asian Age.”

Dimitry Medvedev and the autonomous power of lies.

Anna Chapman and United Russia: Inevitable Bedfellows.

Wikileaks and the Broader Foreign Policy Context.

FDI into Russia and the Forthcoming Elections

The Egyptian Revolution and the Precariousness of Modern Autocracy.

Moldova 2011: A New Opportunity for EU diplomacy.

Eric Kraus and the Khordokovsky Trial.

Russia: Counter Espionage as Foreign Policy.

Belarus 2010: “An Internal Matter”.

Belarus 2010: Electoral Coercion and Fraud Techniques.

An Introduction to the Historical Sociology of International Relations.

Democratist is currently working on a series of articles about the relationship between democracy and innovation;

i) Democracy and Innovation: Martin Wolf Makes the Liberal Case.

ii) Democracy and Innovation: A Cold War Case Study.

iii) Democracy and Innovation: Dimitry Medvedev’s Skolkovo Illusion.

iv) Crane and Usmanov: A more detailed overview of current policy and innovation.

The Russian Military Industrial Complex: An Unresolvable Discrepancy .

The FSB and the Web: Out-innovated, yet again.

NB – this an ongoing “project” and the articles we write here are liable to change/revision over time.