Russian modernization: Between the need for new players and the fear of losing control of rent sources
This paper considers current contradictions in state–business relations in Russia. On one hand, the Russian political elite needs economic growth to keep social stability in the country and to limit mass protesting in big cities. Economic growth is impossible without investment, which explains Russian leaders’ increased interest in improving Russia’s business climate. On the other hand, influential interest groups (represented first of all by security and law enforcement agencies) try to expand their control on rent sources in the economy. These groups of interests could strengthen their positions due to fear of political protests. This strong conflict among different groups in the Russian elite creates additional uncertainty for investors and the business community, and can lead to economic recession independent of the level of oil prices and dynamics of global markets. Reversing these negative trends in economic development will be possible only with collective actions of different economic and political actors (including technocrats in federal and regional governments, representatives of large and successful middle-sized business and topmanagers of public sector organizations) in the search for pragmatic solutions to the challenges faced by Russian economy and society.
The author considers the hypothesis that under certain circumstances mistrust acts as the driving force for political development whereas trust, especially in its essential paternalistic forms, preserves the unsatisfactory status quo. The problem analyses as a part of general trend in the contemporary world towards declining prestige of public institutions and taking into account the Russian specifics.
The article concerns the problem of the Russian absolutist monarchy of the XVIII - the beginning of XX-th centuries in a comparative perspective. The social function of absolutism consisted in national integration, cultural unification and social transformation of traditional society by using of legal and coercive measures. The crucial problem is the changing role of the bureaucracy which could be the main protagonist of reforms or, just the opposite – its main opponent. From this point of view the author summarizes positive and negative aspects of absolutist reforms making outlook on the comparative experience of other absolutist empires of Europe and Asia.
How do Russian leaders balance the need to decentralize governance in a socially and politically complex country with the need to guarantee political control of the state?
Since the early 2000’s Russian federal authorities have arranged a system of political control on regional elites and their leaders providing a ‘police control’ of special bodies subordinated by the federal centre on policy implementation in the regions. Different mechanisms of fiscal federalism and investment policy were used to ensure regional elites’ loyalty and a politically centralized but administratively decentralized system was created.
Asking clear, direct and theoretically informed questions about the relationship between federalism, decentralisation and authoritarianism, this book explores the political survival of authoritarian leaders, the determinants of policy formulation and theories of federalism and decentralization, to reach a new understanding of territorial governance in contemporary Russia. An important work for students and researchers in Russian studies and regional and federal studies.
The article analyzes the competitiveness of the Russian economy in comparison with the leading economies of the world in the context of Russia's WTO accession on aspects such as the level of interest rates and the availability of financial resources, the dynamics of energy prices, condition of fixed assets and investment activity, investment climate. We outline the basic negative tendencies, hindering the development of the economy and reducing its attractiveness to investors. Based on these results it can be argued that WTO accession will not lead to significant improvement of the investment climate and economic efficiency, and without the implementation of measures to address the problems considered, it can be a catalyst for the negative trends in Russian economy.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.