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Photo: “Flag In The Wild Russian Federation (164796773)“, by Santiago Quintero licensed under CC BY 3.0. Hue modified from the original.

Kravtsov, Vlad. “Securitizing the Epidemic: Ideological Adaptations and Illiberal Meanings.” In Autocracy and Health Governance in Russia, pp. 153-188. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2022.


This chapter explores how, why, and with what consequences relevant health actors securitize HIV/AIDS. It proposes that key actors move to protect their contracts with the autocratic principal. They interpret Putin’s illiberal ideological frameworks as a mandate to find and eradicate ontological threats to the country instead of eliminating public health crises. Each empirical section of this chapter delineates the sequence of events, from massive corporate vulnerability crises aggravated by the inability to show unequivocally positive health outcomes of agents’ work to the incremental construction of agency-friendly and exclusively proper knowledge regarding the epidemic. Russian federal narcotic agency, the Ministry of Health, and the Russian Orthodox Church are at the center of my investigation.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.