Leaders and leadership continue to dominate Russia's political development. Like his predecessors in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin has made a crucial impact on the substance and style of Russian politics. His efforts to use traditional tools of state power to manage democracy and market capitalism have had mixed effects on both. Leading Russia investigates the ambiguities and contradictions of Putin's rule from four perspectives. The volume first considers his leadership in the context of Russia's convulsive historical cycle of revolutionary transformation, breakdown, consolidation, and stagnation. The study then analyses how normative and institutional components of democracy have fared under Putin's regime of stronger executive control. It proceeds to examine the strengths and weaknesses of presidential power vis-á-vis bureaucratic, regional, and corporate groups. The volume concludes with two assessments of the strategic direction in which Putin is taking Russia. They explore the tensions between bureaucratic-authoritarian trends and Putin's apparent commitment to electoral democracy, market capitalism, and alignment with the West. The book helps to deepen our understanding of the cultural and institutional factors shaping Putin's leadership approach and policy priorities. More widely, it sheds light on the complexity of the relationship between post-communist leadership, democracy, and economic modernization.