This paper uses the famous events related to Pussy Riot as a natural experiment to examine the effect of alternative media on church membership. A difference-in-differences strategy is used to explore the effect in question. The hypothesis is that, given a lack of religious background in the majority of the population and strong temporary interest in religious issues promoted by a particular provocative event, mass media substantially affect religious choice. To check if this is the case, I compare the dynamics of religious choice of those exposed to alternative media reports on church topics and the rest of the population. As a proxy of familiarity with an alternative view, I use a dummy variable for using the Internet to obtain news. The main finding is that, during the experiment run over the year 2012, the growth of self-reported Orthodox believers was significantly lower in the treatment group than in the control group. Exposure to alternative media coverage turned out to heavily affect religious choice.
В статье подвергается критической переоценке разделяемая рядом авторитетных авторов теория так называемой J-кривой, предполагающая, в частности, что автократиям свойственны более «качественные» институты, чем гибридным и переходным режимам.
Авторы показывают, что эта теория не может быть универсальной и не очень хорошо вписывается в эмпирические данные выборки из постсоветских стран: действительно, нельзя назвать ни одной страны, хотя бы отдаленно напоминающей «постсоветский Сингапур». Взамен они предлагают объяснительную модель под названием «Царь горы». В этой модели ключевое внимание уделяется монополии на политическую ренту как предварительном условии для извлечения ренты экономической.
Авторы обнаруживают обратную корреляцию между качеством институтов и извлечением политической и экономической ренты, и объясняют, почему самодержец не имеет стимулов к улучшению институтов. Это может сделать его монополию уязвимой, поэтому он скорее предпочтет сохранить низкое качество институтов и плохую управляемость.
Проанализировав различные внешние и внутренние факторы, которые могут угрожать монополии самодержца, и рассмотрев альтернативные стратегические решения, авторы приходят к выводу, что наиболее выгодными для самодержца, как это ни парадоксально, являются частичные реформы и улучшение качества институтов.
Upgrading skill formation has become an increasingly urgent task for societies facing the challenges of rapid technological change and globalization. However, reform of systems of vocational education and training (VET) poses severe challenges for aligning the interests of schools, firms, households, and governments, even in societies with relatively efficient markets for labor and education. Where market institutions are poorly developed, these challenges are particularly acute, resulting in endemic mismatches between the supply and demand of skill. Currently governments in many countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, are seeking to adopt elements of the German dual education model. The Russian federal government has undertaken several initiatives designed to upgrade VET by encouraging closer cooperation of vocational schools and firms at the regional level, including the adoption of dual education programs. This paper focuses on one such project: a 2013 pilot program administered by the Russian Agency for Strategic Initiatives, to foster the development of new models of dual education. The paper compares the 13 pilot regions with regions that submitted proposals but were not selected and with all other regions along multiple economic, social, demographic, and institutional dimensions. The findings suggest hypotheses about the conditions that enabled the pilot regions to take advantage of federal policies encouraging the adoption of dual education. More generally, the paper sheds light on institutional solutions to collective action dilemmas in skill formation in transitional and developing societies.
To what extend are Russian state agencies involved in predatory behaviour, and what are the determinants of their activities? Analysing a novel dataset containing 312 cases of illegal corporate raiding (reiderstvo) between 1999 and 2010, this paper identifies a shift both in the regional and sectoral distribution of raiding attacks over time, as well as an increasing participation of state agencies in criminal raiding attacks. Using panel regression analysis to look at the determinants of increasing state involvement, I find that election results for the ruling president and his party, as well as the degree to which elections are manipulated throughout Russia’s regions are significantly and positively correlated with the number of raiding attacks in a given region, while regions with governors that have stronger local ties are characterized by a smaller number of attacks. A potential interpretation of these findings is that the federal centre might tolerate a certain degree of predatory activities by regional elites, as long as these elites are able to deliver a sufficiently high level of electoral support for the centre, with the effect being weaker in regions where the governor is interested in the long-term development of the regional economy.
Gender inequality in Russia's rural formal economy is examined using quantitative and qualitative data. Rural women continue to be underrepresented in farm managerial positions, and gendered income differences remain the norm. Rural women are underrepresented because they continue to have responsibility for most of the housework and child care. The traditional division of labor inside the household continues to dominate, thereby affecting women's career trajectories and earning potential. Value change about gendered roles in the formal economy has been minimal. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
It is widely recognized that unified oppositions present a bigger threat to dictators than divided oppositions. In this paper, we use micro-level data on opposition protests in Putin-era Russia to examine the factors that facilitate co-operation among different opposition forces. In particular, we focus on what leads so-called systemic opposition parties – those who have been granted some institutional accommodation by the regime – to join forces with non-systemic opposition forces. We propose a novel permutation-based method for analyzing protest coordination using event count data and find that coordination is most likely on issues of fundamental importance to the systemic opposition’s base supporters. We also find that state co-optation reduces the extent of coordination. These findings illustrate the politically precarious position of “loyal” oppositions under autocracy; they must simultaneously show fealty to the state and maintain some measure of credibility as an opposition party that cares about its supporters’ demands.
Vladimir Putin has managed to achieve strikingly high public approval ratings throughout his time as president and prime minister of Russia. But is his popularity real, or are respondents lying to pollsters? We conducted a series of list experiments in early 2015 to estimate support for Putin while allowing respondents to maintain ambiguity about whether they personally do so. Our estimates suggest support for Putin of approximately 80%, which is within 10 percentage points of that implied by direct questioning. We find little evidence that these estimates are positively biased due to the presence of floor effects. In contrast, our analysis of placebo experiments suggests that there may be a small negative bias due to artificial deflation. We conclude that Putin’s approval ratings largely reflect the attitudes of Russian citizens. © 2016 Taylor & Francis
This paper investigates the effect of informal ties between court chairpersons and prosecutors on the repressive implementation of criminal justice in Russia in the area of fraud convictions. We use criminal law statistics of Russian regional courts for 2006-2010 and determine the alignment between chairpersons and prosecutors by measuring the length of their mutual career paths. The informal ties have a strong impact on trial outcome, which, however, changes over time. During periods of high bureaucratic risks and uncertainty, regions with higher extent of informal ties between judges and prosecutors exhibit more repressive law enforcement. If external risks decrease, informal coalitions seem to increase the independence of the courts, insulating them from bureaucratic pressures and limiting their repressiveness.
There is a normative expectation that constitutionalism does not co-exist well with autocracy. How do constitutional courts then uphold their integrity under authoritarianism? In this paper, I answer this question by taking the case of the Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) and showing how court–government accommodation in the new post-third wave autocracies can be achieved by limiting the amount of information the court receives from its secretariat. It follows from a detailed analysis of case selection in the RCC that the secretariat can function as an “insulator,” protecting the Court from political and reputational risks. The two features that make this possible are its invisibility to the judges and the clerks’ specific professional culture. The research is informed by an extensive series of in-depth interviews in the RCC, and benefits from the relocation of the RCC to St. Petersburg in 2008.
The arrest of the protest punk band Pussy Riot (PR) in February 2012 and the subsequent prosecution of three band members pose a significant puzzle for political science. While PR’s performances presented a coherent alternative to the Putin regime’s image of Russian reality, it was unlikely that the discordant music and crude lyrics of their art protest would inspire Russian society to take to the streets. Yet, the regime mounted a very visible prosecution against the three young women. We argue that the trial marked a shift in the Kremlin’s strategy to shape state-society relations. In the face of declining economic conditions and social unrest, the Pussy Riot trial encapsulated the Kremlin’s renewed focus on three related mechanisms to ensure social support: coercion, alliance building, and symbolic politics. The Pussy Riot trial afforded the Kremlin an important opportunity to simultaneously redefine its loyal constituency, secure the Church-state relationship, and stigmatize the opposition.