Centralized but Fragmented: The Regional Dimension of “Russia’s Party of Power”
The key question addressed in this study is, how centralized and consolidated is the Kremlin’s “party of power”, United Russia (UR)? In order to answer this question we provide a detailed analysis of the recruitment of the secretaries of UR’s 83 regional political councils and the patronage ties of the secretaries with their regional governors. A study of the recruitment of regional secretaries provides important insights into: a) the balance of federal and regional forces, and b) the balance of regional elite groups in the recruitment of local party leaders. By analysing these appointments we can detect which party branches have been captured by regional governors or other influential regional groups. The conclusions of our analysis throws new light on the degree of centralisation within United Russia and the consolidation of the party at the regional level. As we demonstrate, in a number of regions UR is politically fragmented and regional factions within the party have successfully checked the powers of governors and their ability to exercise control over the appointment of UR regional secretaries.
Given limited resources and economic realities, how do politicians distribute monetary transfers in order to retain office? Previous work has largely focused on two models – a core model of rewarding loyal supporters and a swing model of purchasing the support of easily swayed voters. Empirical results have proven mixed, however. In this article, we argue that these mixed results are due to economic factors, which condition politicians’ distributive strategies. In our model, we consider that politician and voters are involved in a repeated game, where past expectations condition future strategy. Current (core) supporters who receive few benefits and perceive themselves worse off than other, less loyal, groups are likely to be less loyal themselves tomorrow. In our model, politicians avoid this by providing their supporters consumption benefits directly, in the form of transfers, or indirectly, via strong economic growth. Where economic growth is good, politicians can distribute less to core supporters, who benefit from the rising economy. Where economic growth is weak, however, politicians make transfers to their core supporters to ensure future loyalty. We test our theory using data on federal transfers from the Russian Federal government to 78 Russian Regions from 2000–2008.
Today's Russian Federation Council, the upper chamber of the bicameral parliament, effectively represents the federal government in the regions rather than providing the regions representation in federal policy-making. The system of choosing members has evolved considerably over time, from direct elections in the early to mid-1990s, to appointments today by the regional executive and legislative branches. In practice, the appointment process is neither democratic, nor representative, instead giving strong benefits to the ruling United Russia party, whose members dominate the chamber. Businesspeople make up a third of the members, but Russia's largest energy and metals companies do not see the rubber stamp body as a way to influence policy-making1.
Written by an international team of experts working on Russian development scenarios since 2007, this cutting edge Pivot examines Russia's reaction to the Ukraine crisis, and argues that subsequent decisions made by the Russian government have dashed hopes for Russia's modernization. Russia scholars whose expertise ranges from politics and economics to demographics and foreign policy analyse the changes that have occurred in Russia and address key issues such as foreign policy, the nature of the political and administrative system, the economy, relations between the centre and the regions, the state of Russian society and ideological facets of Putin's regime. Harsh confrontation with the West, isolationism within the country, militarization and increased government control of the economy, public and private space, as well as a crackdown on any independently-minded civic forces are all factors that have been rapidly obliterating gains made in the quarter of a century after the collapse of the communist regime. Both relevant and timely, this Pivot makes a key contribution to the debate on Russia's development and traces emerging trends in various spheres of Russian life, from the economy and foreign policy, to society and ideology.
A collection of articles on contemprorary Russia by Russian authors; the book is organized in three parts: Part 1: Political Economy, Political Geography and the Politics of Federalism; Part 2: Regime, Ideology, Public Opinion and Legitimacy; Part 3: Civil Society: Defeat and Radicalization?
The article undertakes a comparative analysis of party systems concentrating on the evolution of parties and party systems since World Was Two and particularly in the last decades of the 20th century following drastic redefininion of political regimes; it also analyzes modern trends in development of parties in countries that either underwent democratization or ended up with political regimes in which one or more parties operate. The comparison is based on a set of quantitative criteria evaluating the efficiency of party system. The article distinguishes three scenarios, and analyses for each scenario functions of political parties and trends of its evolution: the first scenario is tentative limitation of political pluralism; the second os “linear” development of multiparty systems; and the third is long-term period of limited competition in party space.
The analysis of transitional party system confirms applicability of our criteria for evaluation of the processes of evolution of political parties. In societies undergoing profound transformation of political systems, parties developed in a matter of decades into full-fledged political institutions and actors. Parties in non-post-Communist European countries are nowadays comparable by substantive characteristics and efficience with “old” democracies. In other parts of the world, such as Latin America, Asia, western part of post-communist space and selected ex-Soviet republics parties did not reach similar levels of stability and efficiency, but also became valid political actors and implement the same set of functions.
In a number of other post-Soviet states we find regimes with one predominant party, intertwined with the presidential power and bureacrtic pyramid. Such states form a continuum from fully authoritarian regimes to regimes with limited competition. Dominant parties is such regimes perform a set of fuction, which is more narrow in comparison with pluralistic and competitive regimes; it particularly concerns fuctions pertinent to interaction between parties and societies; yet, the role of such parties in political system of its respective countries is quite important.
Many of the “deficiencies” of the political parties de facto constitute “growing pains” and do not cancel successes attained by these polities in building viable parties and party systems, or, in a broader sense, in democratization. The analysis drives us to a conclusion that in countries reaching a certain threshold of socio-economic and political development, emergence of political parties and party systems constitutes a general trend: universal in cases of at least minimally successful democratization and frequent even in hybrid and authoritarian regimes.
The article deconstructs the frames of homosexuality by society, the authorities, and the homosexuals as a result of the legislative prohibition of “homosexual’s propaganda” on the basis of the search queries interpretations. The anti-gay law has identified two trends with three frames in the perception of homosexuality but did not produce new frames, because the authorities are not given full rights to framing homosexuality. On the one hand, we see the articulation of the negative-attitude towards homosexuality in government discourse and negatively-biased part of society. On the other hand, we can see changes of homosexuals’ attitudes and formation gay-friendly community. Framing focused public attention on the problems of the homosexual community and has opened the possibility to the recognition of sexual minorities. In the article, I propose search analysis requests as a method of framing success.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.
The article is devoted to the study of the authoritarianism prevalent in the mass consciousness of Russians. The article describes a new approach to the consideration of the authoritarian syndrome as the effects of the cultural trauma as a result of political and socio-cultural transformation of society. The article shows the dynamics of the symptoms of the authoritarianism, which appear in the mass consciousness of Russians from 1993 to 2011. This paper proposes a package of measures aimed at reducing the level of the authoritarianism in Russian society.
This work looks at a model of spatial election competition with two candidates who can spend effort in order to increase their popularity through advertisement. It is shown that under certain condition the political programs of the candidates will be different. The work derives the comparative statics of equilibrium policy platform and campaign spending with respect the distribution of voter policy preferences and the proportionality of the electoral system. In particular, it is whown that the equilibrium does not exist if the policy preferences are distributed over too narrow an interval.
The article examines "regulatory requirements" as a subject of state control over business in Russia. The author deliberately does not use the term "the rule of law". The article states that a set of requirements for business is wider than the legislative regulation.
First, the article analyzes the regulatory nature of the requirements, especially in the technical field. The requirements are considered in relation to the rule of law. The article explores approaches to the definition of regulatory requirements in Russian legal science. The author analyzes legislation definitions for a set of requirements for business. The author concludes that regulatory requirements are not always identical to the rule of law. Regulatory requirements are a set of obligatory requirements for entrepreneurs’ economic activity. Validation failure leads to negative consequences.
Second, the article analyzes the problems of the regulatory requirements in practice. Lack of information about the requirements, their irrelevance and inconsistency are problems of the regulatory requirements in Russia.
Many requirements regulating economic activity are not compatible with the current development level of science and technology. The problems are analyzed on the basis of the Russian judicial practice and annual monitoring reports by Higher School of Economics.
Finally, the author provides an approach to the possible solution of the regulatory requirements’ problem. The author proposes to create a nationwide Internet portal about regulatory requirements. The portal should contain full information about all regulatory requirements. The author recommends extending moratorium on the use of the requirements adopted by the bodies and organizations of the former USSR government.