Konstantin Sonin makes an interesting point in today’s Moscow Times about the nature of modernization as a strategic tool for gaining power in government. Sonin implies that Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin’s peaceful tandem rule is getting in the way of any real reform. The notion that by its very nature, modernization is a dynamic force and should be understood as such, is particularly striking.
“Modernization” is a common unifying theme for building coalitions. If it is in great demand, somebody will use that demand as a means of gaining power. But modernization is impossible without a physical change of those in power. It would be logical, for example, for President Dmitry Medvedev to operate under the slogan of modernization in order to grab power from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. If Medvedev desires greater power, he needs a coalition, and a coalition can only be rallied around a theme.