This article evaluates the role of the authoritarian welfare state (AWS) in upholding regime stability in Vladimir Putin's Russia. The AWS has contributed to sociopolitical stability over the past 20 years by (1) maintaining frequent interactions between the state and the population, (2) providing a way for the regime to uphold a reputation for not cheating the population out of the proceeds of growth, and (3) generating significant benefits for the rulers and the ruled. The pension reform enacted in 2018 undermined the three pillars of the AWS and, therefore, increased the chances of future political instability.

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