Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > THE RALLY `ROUND THE FLAG EFFECT IN RUSSIA: HOW AN INTERNATIONAL CRISIS TURNS REGIME OPPONENTS INTO REGIME SUPPORTERS
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Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 caused more than condemnation from the international community, it also led to a significant surge in Vladimir Putin's approval ratings--a paradigmatic instance of a "rallying" effect. This study looks at who switched from opposing the regime to supporting it after the rally event and explores the rallying phenomenon in a new, yet largely uncharted environment. To study opinion change on an individual level, I use panel data and analyze the responses of individuals that participated in the same survey in both October 2013 and July 2014. In the Russian case three main factors are strong predictors of rallying: attention to state TV, seeing oneself as a "patriot" and favorably assessing one's finances. These characteristics emphasize an important conflict between two critical factors: that of economic grievances and that of patriotism. The outcome of this clash is likely to determine Russia's political future.