Staunton, Sept.6 – Even though Vladimir Putin has expressed doubts that political science is in fact a separate field (tass.ru/obschestvo/15156217), Sergey Kiriyenko, the director of the Presidential Administration’s political bloc, wants to develop a new group of politicized political scientists to serve as propagandists for the regime, Andrey Pertsev says.
Kiriyenko, the Russian analyst continues, is unhappy with the current situation on Russian television talk shows where participants clash on key issues and wants specialists whose training he will oversee to “’interpret’ events in a unified manner” on such shows, much as Marxist-Leninist ideologists did in Soviet times (ridl.io/ru/ministerstvo-schastya/).
Given how gray and unpopular such ideologists were in Soviet times, such a new team, now focused on promoting a kind of Russian nationalism would likely do little to step the flight of viewers from Russian state media to the Internet and especially telegram channels however much boosterism their messages contained, Pertsev says.
But Kiriyenko has made clear that that is what he wants to do and that he is seeking to please not those who survey viewership but only an audience of one – in this case, Vladimir Putin, who may see the return of such blandness as a positive step in the right direction (kommersant.ru/doc/5503859).
That may be especially likely given that Kiriyenko like his boss sees Russia as being under “’massive pressure’ from the West whose governments are seeking “to ‘cancel Russian culture, rewrite Russian history and isolate Russia from the world,” Pertsev says. But whether a newly politicized political science can save the day is very much an open question.