When voters fear that politicians may be influenced or corrupted by the rich elite, signals of integrity are valuable. As a consequence, an honest politician seeking reelection chooses "populist" policies--that is, policies to the left of the median voter--as a way of signaling that he is not beholden to the interests of the right. Politicians that are influenced by right-wing special interests respond by choosing moderate or even left-of-center policies. This populist bias of policy is greater when the value of remaining in office is higher for the politician; when there is greater polarization between the policy preferences of the median voter and right-wing special interests; when politicians are perceived as more likely to be corrupt; when there is an intermediate amount of noise in the information that voters receive; when politicians are more forward-looking; and when there is greater uncertainty about the type of the incumbent. We also show that soft term limits may exacerbate, rather than reduce, the populist bias of policies.
A political scientist examines how regional elites shape the electoral fortunes of Russia’s hegemonic party, United Russia (UR). Using original data on regional legislative elections from 2003 to 2011, we show that UR performs better in those regions where regional governors control strong political machines. Russia’s leadership undercut its own electoral strategy by replacing popular elected governors with colorless bureaucrats who struggled to mobilize votes on behalf of United Russia. This is one of the reasons for United Russia’s poor performance in recent elections.
The article represents some key theoretical and legal aspects of the opposition phenomenon in stable democracies and transitional regimes regarding such items as the formation of political parties, legal regulation, forms and methods of the opposition activity in contemporary Russian political debates.
The chapter examines Russian Jews’ participation in Russian political parties as a consequence of their integration into Russian society, and the role of the Jews in various political parties in late XIX – early XX centuries, from social-democrats to cadets.
In early 2010 Russia once again entered a turbulent period. From the system of property distribution, to structure of the political elites and relations between the Center and the regions - various spheres of Russian life are in a state of flux. Two major factors are driving this change: oil prices which are unlikely to grow the way they did in the 2000s and the rapidly deteriorating efficiency of governance. Relations between federal and regional elites, as well as public activism, are derived from these two factors and play an important role of their own. Will change take an evolutionary path or is Russia facing another revolution? The book offers a view of the Russian future until 2025 based on thematic scenarios created by an international team of Russia scholars whose expertise range from politics and economics to demographics and foreign policy.