Since President Putin came to power, Russia's domestic political process underwent continuous changes. Up till now it remains unclear whether Russia is on the road towards becoming a fullfledged democracy or if it is diverting from this path. Elusive Russia brings together the views of four leading Russia experts on Russian state identity and institutional reform. Marie Mendras, Luke March, Irina Busygina and Andrei Zakharov share their original approaches on some key components of today's russian politics and bring their own perspective to the complex and ongoing process of Russia's nation and state building. They address urgent questions that relate to Russia's post-Soviet democratization process. In which way has the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of power been developing? How has Russia conceptualized itself as a federal state? How strong is the nationalist component in today's Russian politics? Which concept of the Rule of Law finds its resonance in Russia's state structures? Although Russia seems to remain an elusive entity according to the concepts of Western political sciences, this volume aims to shed some light on the ongoing political developments by offering a'status questionis'.