Viktor Bondarev and Vladimir Putin, by

Putin's Soft Power and the American Right

“Putin is playing chess and I think we are playing marbles,” says Western Michigan University’s Anna Popkova. Despite Russia’s plummeting soft power in the wake of the annexation of Crimea and the Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Putin has found popularity within certain American political circles.

“Vladimir Putin’s Soft Power and the American Right” tracks the Russian president’s popularity through qualitative textual analysis of coverage of his persona in several right-wing publications and blogs. Putin's application of hard power and his "strong-man" image generated appeal among those who valued hard-line stances and tactics. At the core of Popkova's work is an interesting question: can a leader translate a tough image into soft power? Her findings are particularly relevant amidst the rising popularity of hard-line conservative, nationalist, and isolationist discourses throughout the world.

The full article is available here.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons I CC 4.0


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