International Trade as a Limiting Factor in Democratization: an Analysis of Subnational Regions in Post-Communist 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.
We investigate the 2008–2009 trade collapse using microdata from a small open economy, Belgium. Belgian exports and imports mostly fell because of smaller quantities sold and unit prices charged rather than fewer firms, trading partners, and products being involved in trade. Our difference-in-difference results point to a fall in the demand for tradables as the main driver of the collapse. Finance and involvement in global value chains played a minor role. Firm-level exports-to-turnover and imports-to-intermediates ratios reveal a comparable collapse of domestic and cross-border operations. Overall, our results reject a crisis of cross-border trade per se.
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.
This article assesses the level of openness of Russian economy. It is shown that the open-ness indicators used in the Concept of Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation differ from those employed by international organisations. The present research analyses both the intensity of Russian trade in terms of its gross domestic product and the relative strength of import penetration in Russia. Methodological differences determine the differences in the analysis results.
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 author elaborates that in the transition from a previous political system into a liberal democracy, there is an ever-present threat of the encroachment of authoritarianism into the democratization agenda. This chapter argues that the conditions for “authoritarian syndrome” can be found in the form that democratization takes and in the culture of a given transitional state. The focus here is on the latter and on the social, political, and economic dynamics that can lead a transitional society to reject democratization. Russia, a transitional state where echoes of authoritarianism and great power aspirations are always on the surface of politics, is presented as a case study.
The article examines the impact of culture on the formation of institutions of political democracy in transitional societies. Special attention is paid to the negative influence of authoritarian syndrome on the democratization process, to the conditions of activation of the authoritarian syndrome and ways to overcome it.
Russia is a country of great complexity—eighty-nine subject regions, ethnic diversity, economic variance across regions, the power struggle of Moscow versus the regions—and multiple realities—urban versus rural, rich versus poor, and cosmopolitan versus provincial, just to name a few. Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation explores Russia's complexity and the meanings of the country's internal borders, the future of its agricultural spaces, the development of its political parties, and the effect of its federal organization.
The contributors examine stratification, citizenship, federalization, democratization, the politics of culture and identity, and globalization. These essays show how political leaders within Russia and scholars and policymakers from outside must accept the country's complexity and view uncertainty as a positive development rather than a liability. The authors explore how Russian experience can enhance theory political science, sociology, geography, and economics.
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
This study analyzes the effects of reducing trade barriers in the context of the objectives of competition policy. Separate chapters are devoted to the assessment of the height of Russian trade barriers, the analysis of the impact of international trade on domestic prices and concentration of production.
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.