This paper applies the concept of delegative democracy to contemporary developments in Russia and Ukraine. They qualify as examples of this phenomenon insofar as leaders in these states are elected by the people but use their democratic legitimacy to justify authoritarian behavior. Factors which contribute to this trend are a deep socio-economic crisis, existent political culture, and a lack of institutions to safeguard democratic norms. While recognizing the various arguments endorsing this solution, this paper concludes that this form of rule is unlikely to live up to its promises and ultimately undermines the emergence of a representative, pluralist democracy.

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