Understanding the Sources of Anti-Americanism in the Russian Elite
Type of Work
This paper applies the model of opinion formation developed by John Zaller to the study of anti-American attitudes in the Russian elite. It examines the relative weight of political predispositions (interests, values, and experiences) versus immediately accessible “considerations” that depend on the flow of information in elite discourse. Based on survey data from 1995–2016, we find that two key political predispositions (identification as a Westernizer or Slavophile and service in the military and security agencies) are highly significant in the Yel’tsin period, when debates about Western intentions toward Russia were robust and the Kremlin’s messaging was diverse. By contrast, anti-American sentiment in the elite has become more uniform in the Putin era, which we attribute to an increasingly fervent anti-American narrative on state-controlled television. In a period of clear and unequivocal messaging emanating from Kremlin-controlled media, these signals have surpassed civilizational identity and service in the force structures in importance.
Rivera, Sharon Werning, and James D. Bryan. "Understanding the Sources of Anti-Americanism in the Russian Elite." Post-Soviet Affairs 35, nos. 5-6 (2019): 376-392.
Hamilton Areas of Study
Government, Russian Studies, World Politics
Hamilton Cosponsoring Organization
Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center