The Russian concept of sovereign democracy is centred around two core ideas. First is the idea of sovereignty. This concept is understood as non-interference from the West. Second is the idea that Russia has its own set of values. These values are democratic but they emerge from Russia's unique historical experience, and they are distinct from what the West understands as democracy. Thus, Russia's democracy should not necessarily corresponds to Western standards of democracy. The idea of 'sovereign democracy' has a number of functions. The first is to provide authoritarianism with respectable democratic clothes in order to strengthen it internally and insulate it from international criticism. The second is to challenge the West's idea of democracy and human rights as a set of universal values and practices.

Sovereign democracy highlights international problems. These are global competition, the struggle for energy resources, attempts by some countries to restrict the sovereignty of other countries etc... The goal is to furnish the power-wielding camp with grounds for claiming the exclusive right to the upkeeep of its preponderant status and to legitimize itself in the eyes of the nation and the world community.

'Sovereign democracy' carries two simutaneous messages to Russian society. The first message says that we are a party wielding state power and a sovereign elite, and the sources of our legitimacy are found in Russia, not in the West. Second, being a power-wielding force we are the guarantors of Russia's sovereignty and survival in the context of globalization and other external super-threats.



I disagree with your interpretation of sovereign democracy and think it would be valuable for you to go back to what the Russians mean by this term when they use it for their country.

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