Corporate Raiding and the Role of the State in Russia
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.