Policy advice in an authoritarian environment: urban transport policies in Moscow and Beijing (2010-2017)
This paper examines the contemporary urban transport policies, and the policy advisory practices that shape then, in the capitals of the two largest authoritarian countries in the world: Moscow in Russia and Beijing in China. Policy advice has generally been analysed in the Westminster government system countries and part of the EU, where there is greater transparency and more pluralistic political systems, however, transport policies provide a window into better understanding of how policy advice could work in authoritarian environment, because this sphere is a less politically sensetive. Authoritarian decision-making is generally concealed from public view, so to avoid speculation this this paper examines policies that are relevant for both cities and their respective regimes: the problem of urban transport policy in a large megapolis. Moscow and Beijing as capitals can be considered good cases for comparison, because of significant public attention to the quality and results of transport policy implementation
This chapter is about relations between everyday and academic knowledge in professional knowledge and practice. The author faces to classical and contemporary sociological theories of professionalism.
Urban population is growing worldwide. Our societies are facing grand challenges like climate change and growing inequalities between people. There is an increasing need to develop cities that are environmentally and socially sustainable, functional and supporting well-being of their inhabitants. When striving towards these goals, transportation and mobility play a crucial role. Easy and environmentally sustainable mobility options are called for in most cities. For these to attract users, they need to be safe and pleasant, providing positive experiences and well-being in addition to efficiency in time or cost.
NECTAR conference is organized with a title “Towards Human Scale Cities – Open and Happy” to reflect the new requirements of urban transportation. This 15th NECTAR conference, organized in Helsinki 5th - 7th June 2019, provides presentations by world-class keynotes Mikael Colville-Andersen and Professor Tim Schwanen, who approach human scale mobility from the viewpoints of a designer and a researcher. More than 140 scientific presentations explore advancements in the field of transport, communication and mobility, with a particular focus on good quality mobility options for people. The focus of the conference is urban transportation and the new possibilities that open data and digital technologies provide for mobility solutions and their research. Presentations provide food for thought concerning mobility choices and quality, new mobility solutions like MaaS, and policies that are implemented to support them.
Helsinki offers an interesting environment for the 2019 NECTAR conference. It is the home of the busiest passenger harbor in Europe with a twin-city development with Tallinn across the bay, and a major air transportation hub between Europe and Asia. It is one of the fastest growing capital regions in Europe, with large densification developments taking place in old logistic centers: harbor areas of Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama and a train depot in Pasila. Public transportation is valued high by citizens, as well as politicians and planners making investment decisions for the future. First robotized buses are in operation and MaaS solutions are emerging. New bike sharing system is one of the most used in the world and has expanded to cover most of the city region. As everywhere in Europe, new forms of micromobility from electronic scooters to electric longboards are appearing on the streets making planners and police puzzled. The city has profiled itself as an open city: large amounts of open data about the region have been made available and the region of Helsinki is committed to open and transparent decision
and policy making. This supports also research in the major universities: University of Helsinki and Aalto University, the local organizers of the conference.
We anticipate that the conference days will forward our thinking on how to make cities more sustainable, functional and pleasant for people, and how to study them scientifically in a meaningful and transparent manner.
This book manuscript explores why dominant political parties emerge in some authoritarian regimes, but not in others. A dominant party is a strong ruling party that determines access to political offices, shares powers over policy-making and patronage distribution, and uses privileged access to state resources to maintain its position in power. Such dominant parties exist in about half the world’s autocracies. Prominent historical and recent examples include the PRI in Mexico, UMNO in Malaysia, the NDP in Egypt, the PDP in Nigeria, Nur-Otan in Kazakhstan, and, the primary focus of this book, United Russia in Russia. Political scientists have recently come to understand that dominant parties help autocrats win elections, reduce elite conflict, and, thereby, fortify authoritarian rule. If this is so, why do leaders and elites in many non-democratic regimes refrain from building strong ruling parties? Political scientists have yet to provide a clear answer to this question. In this book, I offer an explanation for why some regimes create these parties, but others do not. In turn, by demystifying the origins of dominant parties, this study advances our understanding of why some countries democratize, while others remain authoritarian.
In contrast to existing theories of autocratic institutions, which focus mostly on the incentives of leaders to construct institutions, I argue that dominant parties are the product of decisions by both leaders and other elites. Specifically, I argue that dominant parties emerge when elites—such as governors, chiefs, warlords, oligarchs, landlords, strongmen, bosses, regional barons, and prominent politicians—hold enough independent political resources that leaders need to coopt them, but not so many autonomous resources that they themselves are reluctant to commit to a dominant party project.
The book explores this argument and its implications with a multi-method empirical approach that combines within-country qualitative and quantitative analyses with cross-national statistical tests. Much of the book focuses on the process of ruling party formation (and non-formation) in contemporary Russia. In a span of just over 20 years, post-Soviet Russia has witnessed the failure of at least two ruling party projects and the emergence of a successful dominant party, United Russia. I show how, in the 1990s, Russia’s powerful elites—in particular, regional governors and other local powerbrokers—eschewed real commitments to the various pro-presidential parties of the time, preferring instead to focus on the cultivation of their own political machines. In turn, seeking to avoid the costs of supporting a party that could not be sustained, President Boris Yeltsin undermined his own pro-presidential parties.
By contrast, in the early 2000s a surge in oil revenues, sustained economic growth, and the attendant popularity of Yeltsin’s successor, Vladimir Putin, changed the balance of power between the Kremlin and regional elites. This readjustment in the balance of resources gave elites more reason to cooperate with the center than they had had in the 1990s. At the same time, existing elites were still strong enough that the Kremlin would need to work with them if it wanted to win elections, pass legislation, maintain social quiescence, and govern cost-effectively. Because the Kremlin needed to coopt these elites and elites were no longer so strong that they would necessarily be unfaithful partners, the Kremlin felt comfortable investing in a dominant party that could be used to coopt them. The result was Russia’s current ruling party, United Russia.
Through an analysis of United Russia’s rise, this book sheds new light on how the current regime in Russia was built. It addresses questions such as why elites affiliate with the regime, what keeps elites loyal and how the regime wins elections. I argue that United Russia is an important, and often overlooked, pillar of regime stability. By demonstrating the party’s institutional role in perpetuating the regime, this study demonstrates some of the limits of personalism in contemporary Russia.
The Origins of Dominant Parties is the result of more than 18 months of fieldwork in 10 Russian regions and Moscow. It draws on over 100 elite interviews and a series of original datasets compiled by the author. It contributes to research agendas on democratization, authoritarian regimes, and political institutions, as well as current debates in the study of Russian politics. As such, it should be of interest to both general comparativists and to scholars of post-Soviet politics. In addition, given its focus on recent political developments in Russia and its novel arguments about the organization of political power under Putin, this book should also be appealing to Russia watchers outside academia.
After the total governmental control of the urban transport systems during the Soviet epoch came the 20 year long period of almost complete deregulation. Currently there is a trend towards the return to the practice of formal urban transport management, which represents a strange mixture of the remnants of the Soviet methods and the selective adoption of western urban planning practices. The chapter highlights the institutional aspects of transportation systems design and functioning. Using the neo-institutional approach, authors analyze urban transportation system management institutions as well as transportation policy of Russian authorities. The presented analysis consists of two levels: macro-level reveals trends at institution design, explains path dependency from the Soviet epoch. The micro-level put the light on the issue of decision design and the influence of certain actors. The clarification of the formal and informal urban transport management requires the overview of the following questions: the interests and the principles of authorities and private operators interaction, practices of transport demand management implementation and public reaction, the evolution of public perception of private and public property. The chapter is organized as follows. The first, introductory part of the chapter is dedicated to explaining the approach and methodological framework used. The second part reveals peculiarities of Soviet transportation system heritage. The third part examines the challenges of 90s period — introduction of free market mechanisms and era of deregulation. Fourth part discusses the experience of the first decade of XXI century and relevant changes in transport system. In the final part authors analyze main institutions; both formal and informal which shape the modern transport system.
The paper analyzes the contents and objectives of ‘public social science’, the relationship between scholarly and popular knowledge, conventions governing the representation of scientific knowledge outside the academic context, and the transfer of scholarly knowledge from academic to media environment. Public science is treated as a specific type of judgment and practice, thus the analysis of ‘public science’ cover cognitive aspects as well as social ones.
Over the past three decades, Russia and China have both experienced extensive socio-economic and political transformation, as well as foreign policy reorientation. However, this transformation has not followed one pattern, but rather has taken two specific routes. How do their strategies differ, and how are they interrelated? When – and at what junctures – were the crucial choices made? What are the strategic choices that have yet to be made by Russia and China? What are the alternatives, how are they constructed and what are the internal and external settings that constrain the choices between different policy lines? This book provides the first structured comparison of Russia's and China's post-communist modernisation paths from the perspective of three interrelated arenas of social change: political system, socio-economic system, and foreign policies.
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.