Virtual Event: Timothy Frye at the Henry Jackson SocietyWeak Strongman

On 19th September, Russia goes to the polls for parliamentary elections. A resounding win for the ruling United Russia party, with some seats allotted to the pre-approved systemic ‘opposition’, is a foregone conclusion. Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s stranglehold on Russian politics, and Russian political life, appears to be growing ever more constrictive.

It is easy, and often encouraged, to explain the increasingly dictatorial state of Russian politics exclusively through the person of Vladimir Putin. But the Kremlin’s grip on power is not a monopoly and it depends not on Putin’s omnipotence, but rather on the trade-offs, compromises and informal structures that typify authoritarian regimes around the world.

To look beyond Putin and explain how power and politics work in Russia, the Henry Jackson Society is delighted to be joined by Professor Timothy Frye. Discussing both his book, Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia, and the upcoming parliamentary elections, Professor Frye will answer important questions, such as: How popular is Putin?; Is Russian propaganda effective?; Can Russian cyber warriors really decide elections in the USA or Europe? The Henry Jackson Society invites you to join us and contribute some of your own questions on power, Putin, and politics in Russia today. 

Professor Timothy Frye is the Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy at Columbia University and a research director at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. His books include ‘Property Rights and Property Wrongs: How Power, Institutions, and Norms Shape Economic Conflict in Russia’ and ‘Building States and Markets after Communism: The Perils of Polarized Democracy‘. His work draws on three decades of his own on-the-ground experience and research in and on Russia.


Dr Jade McGlynn is the Associate Director of Research at the Henry Jackson Society, where she previously worked as a Research Fellow specialising in Russian political culture and foreign relations. Prior to joining HJS, Jade worked as a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Oxford. Jade holds a DPhil in Russian from the University of Oxford, where she also gained her BA in Russian and Spanish. She also has a Masters by Research in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Birmingham. Jade has published in various media outlets, leading academic journals, think tank reports, and collected volumes, and she is currently finalising a manuscript on the politics of memory in Putin’s Russia.