Law clerks as an instrument of court–government accommodation under autocracy: the case of the Russian Constitutional Court
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 author presents a review of the book «The Economic Institutions of the Old Believers». The study is at the crossroads of economic history, economic sociology, economic theory (in the first place, the new institutionalism) and maybe even religious studies. The author tries to understand the mysterious phenomenon of Old Believe entrepreneurship, played a very important role in the economic development of Russia in the late XVIII-early XX centuries.
The number of conflicts in the world is increasing, as well as their intensity and fierceness. We see the trend of unfolding spiral of violence in the world and thus there is a pressing need to assess the underlying reasons of it. Challenges to a secure development of the world stem from political, economic and social issues that have long been ignored or have not been effectively dealt with by both policymakers and researchers. Likewise, both academic and policy responses to the unfolding global grievances and local ferocities are still one-sided in many cases, which causes ever more fighting and insurgence. This project aims to fill in existing lacunas in the area of understanding issues underlying the current global conflict trend, many of which have long been in the shadow of research and policy-analysis internationally. This book project sheds light on complicated and long-term issues, such as revival of authoritarianism, crucial transformation of peacekeeping concept, rising security and strategic issues of small states, as well as security challenges presented by\to new international grouping such as BRICS. An intentionally diverse scope of this project allows to bring along such issues as Islamophobia and the prospects for Christian-Muslim dialogue, the scope, essence and consequences of international sanctions to manage international disputes, as well as the issue of a failed state. The geographical scope of this project ranges from North Korea to Somalia, and from Russia to Brazil. This project aims to educate all interested in the underlying fundamental long-term reasons of current political conflicts worldwide and to provoke debate on many issues that are still considered “second priority level”, though they provide even stronger basis for the current conflict-prone situation in the world. This book project aims to satisfy the need of in-depth analysis and expertise on issues of international sanctions, revival of authoritarianism, failure of state, formation of new international organizations, changing essence of peacekeeping in conflict-prone areas and globally, new contexts for Muslim-Christian dialogue and it successes and failures, as well as lesser-known contexts of strategic choices of small states.
The authors: Francesco Giumelli, Mitchell Belfer, Hanna Shelest, Piskunova Natalia, Gracian Cimek, Yefimova Anna, Bekkin Renat, Solkin Victor, Sarah Rial, Esther Sule.
This study identifies how country differences on a key cultural dimension—egalitarianism— influence the direction of different types of international investment flows. A society's cultural orientation toward egalitarianism is manifested by intolerance for abuses of market and political power and a desire for protecting the weak and less powerful actors. We show egalitarianism to be based on exogenous factors including social fractionalization, dominant religion circa 1900, and war experience from the 19th century era of state formation. Controlling for a large set of competing explanations, we find a robust influence of egalitarianism distance on cross-national investment flows of bond and equity issuances, syndicated loans, and mergers and acquisitions. An informal cultural institution largely determined a century or more ago, egalitarianism exercises its effect on international investment via an associated set of consistent contemporary policy choices. But even after controlling for these associated policy choices, egalitarianism continues to exercise a direct effect on cross-border investment flows, likely through its direct influence on managers’ daily business conduct.
The book is devoted to the causes and special aspects of modern authoritarian political regimes, which differ from their last century analogues with a pronounced imitative character. Hamstrung by democratic constitutions and international obligations, many post-socialist countries actually mimic democratic institutions and procedures, trying to hide real authoritarianism behind a beautiful democratic signboard. It turns out that the level of authoritarianism is directly proportional to the imitations level. The study also proves that the imitations level is also proportional to the levels of aggression, corruption and poverty. What are the reasons for the rise of imitative political regimes? How and by what means is their constitutional field transformed? On what grounds can they be identified in advance? The book attempts to answer these questions in the name of preventing the threat of return of authoritarianism in the post-socialist countries.
Since the early 2000s, authoritarianism has risen as an increasingly powerful global phenomenon. This shift has not only social and political implications, but also environmental implications: authoritarian leaders seek to recast the relationship between society and the government in every aspect of public life, including environmental policy. When historians of technology or the environment have investigated the environmental consequences of authoritarian regimes, they have frequently argued that authoritarian regimes have been unable to produce positive environmental results or adjust successfully to global structural change, if they have shown any concern for the environment at all. Put another way, the scholarly consensus holds that authoritarian regimes on both the left and the right generally have demonstrated an anti-environmentalist bias, and when opposed by environmentalist social movements, have succeeded in silencing those voices.
This book explores the theme of environmental politics and authoritarian regimes on both the right and the left. The authors argue that in instances when environmentalist policies offer the possibility of bolstering a country’s domestic (nationalist) appeal or its international prestige, authoritarian regimes can endorse and have endorsed environmental protective measures. The collection of essays analyzes environmentalist initiatives pursued by authoritarian regimes, and provides explanations for both the successes and failures of such regimes, looking at a range of case studies from a number of countries, including Brazil, China, Poland, and Zimbabwe. The volume contributes to the scholarly debate about the social and political preconditions necessary for effective environmental protection.
This book will be of great interest to those studying environmental history and politics, environmental humanities, ecology, and geography.
In the 1990s, sub-national authoritarian regimes – local-based monopolies of ruling elites – emerged in many of Russia’s regions and cities against the background of spontaneous decentralization of government and competitive electoral politics. In the 2000s, the decline of political competition and recentralization of the Russian state led to incorporation of sub-national authoritarian regimes under federal control and cooptation of local-based actors into the dominant party, United Russia. This paper is devoted to a comparative analysis of sub-national authoritarianism in Russia in light of the experience of local political machines in other countries, ranging from US cities from the 1870s-1930s to Southern Italy from the 1950s-1980s. Unlike the American political machines, which were demolished from below as a by-product of modernization processes, Russia’s sub-national authoritarian regimes were integrated from above into the nation-wide authoritarianism. One might expect further stagnation of sub-national authoritarian regimes in Russia until major regime changes will occur on the national level.
Various forms of dictatorship have been a context in which SBS have been developing through most of the 20th century. Nazi and fascist regimes in Europe, Communist single-party states, military juntas in Latin America and elsewhere in the post-colonial world accompanied the crisis of tradition and development of modernity as an alternative to liberal democracy. Dictatorships have thoroughly affected the history of SBS pursuing a policy of repression and control and, sometimes, encouraging a growth of various social science disciplines. The lack of intellectual and institutional autonomy is generally endured, though to different degrees and in different aspects, by SBS under dictatorship.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.