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Regular version of the site

Article

Why Are There so Many or so Few Parties? Factors of Party System Fragmentation in the Russian Regions

Problems of Post-Communism. 2018. Vol. 65. No. 4. P. 233-242.

Prior to the 2002 electoral reform, political parties in Russia’s regional legislative elections showed poor performance. Since December 2003, however, all regions have been obliged to elect no less than half of the members of their assemblies by proportional representation. As a result, party competition at the sub-national level became unavoidable. This study tests three kinds of hypotheses dealing with the institutional, sociological, and political factors in the fragmentation of party systems within Russia’s regions. The analysis demonstrates that political factors, especially the activity of the Kremlin and the heads of regional executives, have played the primary role in shaping regional party systems.