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Article

Власть в малых российских городах: модели взаимодействия исполнительной и представительной власти

Чирикова А. Е., Ледяев В. Г.

On the basis of an empirical study conducted in three towns and one district (rayon) of the Perm region and the Ivanovo region the processes of interaction between the legislative and executive branches of local government has been described and explained. In all the local communities the representative bodies were not equal partners of the executives while the heads of the local administrations remain the most powerful figures. The differences between the communities were determined, first, by the composition of the executive leaders and, second, by the configuration of power resources and methods of influence used by them. Both elected mayors and appointed city-managers can be the leaders of the executive institutions; their leadership positions depend not so much on institutional (formal) properties, but on personal characteristics of particular actors. Four types (models) of interaction between the branches of local government has been identified: (1) “dominance based on coercion”, (2) “covert manipulation", (3) “dominance based on bargaining”, (4) “dominance in the situation of confrontation”. In the first case the dominance of the local executive over the local legislature is the most evident: dependence of the deputies from the city-manager is so high that he does not need to directly interfere with their activities since the right decisions are made “by default”. In the second and third cases the dependence is less obvious and the leaders of the local executives have to be more actively involved in the process of local decision-making; in the configuration of resources and techniques used to influence the local deputies the major roles play, respectively, resources of manipulation and bargaining. In the last case the situation is complicated by the continuing split within the political and administrative elite which poses a threat to the dominance of the leader of the local administration in the local politics.