CPSU Legacies and Regional Democracy in Contemporary Russia
What is governmental effectiveness on the regional level? How can the study of regional effectiveness help us understand the performance of the political, social and economic systems of the state as a whole? These questions are very important from both the theoretical and applied perspectives, and the Russian Federation, with its huge and diverse territory, provides extremely rich material to answer them. Serious institutional reforms in the public sector have been implemented in recent years, and the results vary substantially from one region to another. So, in Russia, we can study how general attempts to make government more effective - guided by federal policies - produce particular regional effects, and, conversely, how regions implement federal policy differently. Both views tell us something important about overall governmental quality.
Governmental effectiveness, though in a broad sense one of the oldest issues in political science and philosophy, is currently enjoying a renaissance. The quantity of recent publications and even a special academic structure - The Quality of Government Institute in Sweden – illustrate the current interest. However, researching governmental effectiveness poses serious difficulties, on both the conceptual and instrumental levels. Despite (perhaps even because of) the variety of available theoretical frameworks, the essential core notions of governmental effectiveness and good governance remain murky. Furthermore, scholars disagree about what effectiveness and efficiency mean in a general sense. These issues obviously make it difficult to construct adequate measurement instruments.
The paper seeks to achieve three goals: 1) to review existing approaches and highlight their weak points; 2) to propose a theoretical framework for analyzing governmental effectiveness using appropriate estimation tools; and 3) to present empirical results based on data on public health care from Russia’s regions. Three patterns that ought to correlate - regional efficiency, how reform has been implemented and public opinion – are, instead, inconsistent with each other. Russia’s health-care sector today faces considerable problems with basic, systemic effectiveness.
This article describes the results of sociological research on estimation of condition and development prospects of federalism in Russia, which was conducted by ZIRCON Research Group in January - May 2011. The opinion of population and elite groups of four regions about the foundations of Russian federalism development, administrative-territorial system of the Russian Federation and its principles, relations between subjects-regions and federative centre is presented. The results of the research indicate that at the moment a request for political and administrative autonomy of the subjects of the Federation is not obviously formulated by either citizens or regional elite groups. Regional identity is not a common phenomenon. The authors mark out necessary factors of federalism development: expansion of economic self-dependence of regions, existence of ethno-national or regional identity of citizens, democratization and decentralization.
On the basis of in-depth case studies of four Russian regions, Kirov and Voronezh oblasts and Krasnoyarsk and Perm' krais, the trade-offs among social and economic policy at the regional level in Russia are examined. All four regional governments seek to develop entrepreneurship while preserving social welfare obligations and improving compensation in the public sector. Richer regions have a greater ability to reconcile social commitments with the promotion of business. Regions differ in their development strategies, some placing greater emphasis on indigenous business development and others seeking to attract federal or foreign investment. Governors have considerable discretion in choosing their strategy so long as they meet basic performance demands set by the federal government such as ensuring good results for the United Russia party. In all four regions, governments consult actively with local business associations whereas organized labor is weak. However, the absence of effective institutions to enforce commitments undertaken by government and its social partners undermines regional capacity to use social policy as a basis for long-term economic development.
Intergovernmental Reforms in the Russian Federation: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? is a critical analysis of Russia’s intergovernmental reform program which began in the early 1990s. It assesses the effects of a broad range of reforms adopted over two tumultuous decades during which the Russian Federation experienced significant, and at times drastic, political regime changes, coupled with a similarly turbulent economic growth trajectory. This environment reshaped intergovernmental relations, requiring certain fiscal responsibilities to be delegated to the subnational levels. These reforms, however, were not always accompanied by the kinds of administrative and political structures required to support a truly devolved system of intergovernmental fiscal relations. As this study indicates, in recent years there has been a tendency to recentralize some powers that had been granted to subnational governments under earlier reforms—a trend that may call into question the future of fiscal decentralization in the federation. Moreover, the current global economic downturn has had a significant effect on Russia’ economic growth, largely because of the country’s overdependence on oil, gas, and mineral exports. It is likely that in the present economic climate the political regime will be inclined to further limit subnational autonomy.
In this paper we study convergence among Russian regions. We find that while there was no convergence in 1990s, the situation changed dramatically in 2000s. While interregional GDP per capita gaps still persist, the differentials in incomes and wages decreased substantially. We show that fiscal redistribution did not play a major role in convergence. We therefore try to understand the phenomenon of recent convergence using panel data on the interregional reallocation of capital and labor. We find that capital market in Russian regions is integrated in a sense that local investment does not depend on local savings. We also show that economic growth and financial development has substantially decreased the barriers to labor mobility. We find that in 1990s many poor Russian regions were in a poverty trap: potential workers wanted to leave those regions but could not afford to finance the move. In 2000s (especially in late 2000s), these barriers were no longer binding. Overall economic development allowed even poorest Russian regions to grow out of the poverty traps. This resulted in convergence in Russian labor market; the interregional gaps in incomes, wages and unemployment rates are now below those in Europe. The results imply that economic growth and development of financial and real estate markets eventually result in interregional convergence.
The article discusses the contemporary state of political regional science in Russia. The author outlines three approaches towards the key notion of political region (political administrative, political system and political sociological), based on its own region-making factors, such as administrative borders, political interests and political identities. The author points out two main parts of political regional science; these are comparative federalism and regionalism on one hand and cross-regional comparative politics on the other hand. The key concepts of political regional science are intergovernmental (or inter-level in broader sense) relations and regional politics. The successful development of Russian political regional science needs for the integration with the Western political science and the resolution of contradictions with some of its traditions.
Subnational political units are growing in influence in national and international
affairs, drawing increasing scholarly attention to politics beyond national capitals.
In this book, leading Russian and Western political scientists contribute to
debates in comparative politics by examining Russia’s subnational politics.
Beginning with a chapter that reviews major debates in theory and method,
this book continues to examine Russia’s 83 regions, exploring a wide range of
topics including the nature and stability of authoritarian regimes, federal politics,
political parties, ethnic conflict, governance and inequality in a comparative perspective.
Providing both qualitative and quantitative data from 20 years of original
research, the book draws on elite interaction, public opinion and the role of
institutions regionally in the post-Soviet
years. The regions vary on a number of
theoretically interesting dimensions while their federal membership provides
control for other dimensions that are challenging for globally comparative
studies. The authors demonstrate the utility of subnational analyses and show
how regional questions can help answer a variety of political questions, providing
evidence from Russia that can be used by specialists on other large countries
or world regions in cross-national
Situated within broader theoretical and methodological political science
debates, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Russian politics,
comparative politics, regionalism and subnational politics
In the publication we describe Russian regional markets of higher education. We consider the following indicators of the markets: size in terms of students per 10 000 of population; its institutional structure – number of public and private institutions, universities and their local branches; program diversity; level and dynamics of tuition fees during recent years; and levels of market concentration in higher education. For each key indicator we present geographical maps that characterize differentiation of the regional markets. We also analyze indicators of regional markets of higher education in conjunction with clusters of Russian regions outlined by Independent Institute on Social Policy (2006) on the basis of socio-economic indicators and derive meaningful conclusions on differentiation of key indicators of higher education markets. We show that in Russia the level of regional development corresponds to the level of concentration and diversification at regional higher education markets.
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.
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.