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Punk’s not dead in Russia, although it will be going to prison for a while. Three members of the band Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years in prison for a protest against both Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. Whether or not you agree with them, their protest would be legitimate in the United States as an expression of political speech (although their could be some trespassing and vandalism charges for staging the protest inside of a church).

From an investing standpoint, this brings up the difference between emerging markets investing and social investing. There are similarities, in that much of the potential in emerging markets comes from harnessing human capital: using profits to generate a stronger, healthier, more creative workforce. Economic development draws from political stability and a climate where rewards is commensurate with risk. This is usually associated with democracy and human rights, but not always. “Capitalism” and “Democracy” are not synonyms.

If your interest is in socially responsible investing, keep in mind that emerging markets investing may not fit the bill. Russia has amazing natural resources and an educated population, which should translate into continued economic growth. For an investor, that’s pretty good stuff. Whether that translates to political reform is anyone’s guess.