At first blush, there would seem to be a wide gap between a “presidential decree” in the Russian context and an “executive order” issued by a U.S. president. Remington, however, makes precisely that comparison, and he also considers how today’s Russian decrees compare to those issued by the tsars and Soviet rulers. Even in repressive systems, governing is a complex business, and lining up the necessary bureaucratic and legislative pieces involves complicated strategic calculations. Remington, a seasoned and exceedingly careful scholar, concludes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of issuing presidential decrees on matters as fundamental as institutional reform and as narrow (albeit emotional) as changing the national anthem. In this way, his situation is not dissimilar to the one U.S. President Barack Obama faces when considering whether to work with Congress or govern through executive authority alone.
In This Review
In This Review
Most Read Articles
Let Russia Be Russia
The Case for a More Pragmatic Approach to Moscow
The Demolition of U.S. Diplomacy
Not Since Joe McCarthy Has the State Department Suffered Such a Devastating Blow
A Better Iran Deal Is Within Reach
How to Force Tehran Back to the Table
The Real Immigration Crisis
The Problem Is Not Too Many, but Too Few
The Real Fight for the Future of 5G
Who Will Patrol the Borders of a New Network?