Article Title

Understanding the Sources of Anti-Americanism in the Russian Elite

Type of Work

Article

Date

2019

Journal Title

Post-Soviet Affairs

Journal ISSN

1060-586X

Journal Volume

35

Journal Issue

5-6

First Page

376

Last Page

392

DOI

10.1080/1060586X.2019.1662194

Abstract

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.

Hamilton Areas of Study

Government, Russian Studies, World Politics

Hamilton Cosponsoring Organization

Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center

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