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The Red MirrorPutin's Leadership and Russia's Insecure Identity$
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Gulnaz Sharafutdinova

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197502938

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197502938.001.0001

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The White Knight and the Red Queen

The White Knight and the Red Queen

Blinded by Love?

(p.30) 2 The White Knight and the Red Queen
The Red Mirror

Gulnaz Sharafutdinova

Oxford University Press

This chapter relies on the “new psychology of leadership”—an approach to analyzing leadership process relying on social identity theory—to explain the relationship between Vladimir Putin and the Russian people. The main insights of this theory highlight the key elements that make Putin’s leadership effective. These are the shared popular perceptions: (1) that Putin is “one of us”; (2) that he is “doing it for us”; (3) that he is “crafting a sense of us”; and (4) that he is “making us matter.” In this chapter I address each of these elements conceived as a glue that links the followers to the leader and discuss how these sentiments get manifested in people’s own articulations. This chapter also discusses the results of an original survey experiment that aimed at testing the political implications of prompting insecure collective identity.

Keywords:   Russia, political leadership, Vladimir Putin, psychology of leadership, social identity theory

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