Governors and Local Elites in Russia: Patterns of Interaction
Empirical research conducted in 5 Russian local communities in 2011-2015 discovered asymmetric principal-agent relations between regional and municipal authorities in which regional authorities have all the necessary resources for effective control over the urban elites and interference in the local political process. However, despite the increasing centralization, the regional-local government relationships remain variable. The active presence or absence of the governor and his team in urban politics largely depends on personal relations between the heads of regional and municipal administrations, the resource base of the territory, the severity of conflicts and/or problems that threaten its stable development. Spectrum of relations between the regional and local elites varies from quite constructive and relatively conflict-free, to rather tense and open confrontation, while the interference of the regional authorities in the activities of the local government bodies differs from episodic to permanent.
Can foreign cognitive models be successfully applied to the study of Russian politics? This issue is discussed via the analysis of the application of American research models for the study of power in European and Russian urban communities. For a long time the US theories has not been widely recognized outside of the US. The situation has changed since the 1990s with the emergence of the "urban regime theory" which overcame the shortcomings of earlier approaches to the study of power in local communities and gradually began to be used by researchers of Western and Eastern Europe in the authentic (classic) version and (more often) after certain modifications. In the European versions the concept of "urban regime" has become wider and more flexible that has allowed to take into account the specifics of the new political and institutional context. The first empirical studies of power in Russian urban communities performed in the tradition of urban regime analysis showed that despite the significant differences between Russian and western political and cultural contexts including those associated with the weakness of the legal framework and the strong authoritarian component of the Russian policy, the international experience is definitely relevant. It helps to clarify research issues, develop working hypotheses, systematize existing theoretical and conceptual resources, classify power forms and regimes, put the Russian power studies in a comparative perspective.
The drive for “authoritarian modernization” provides incentives for the government to bypass democratic institutions and circumvent public discussions, similarly to what happened in education reform in the 2000s; or, alternatively, the government would go for a partial policy compromise, which may have satisfied major interest groups at the expense of policy efficiency, similarly to the case of the 2000-2001 pension reform. However, the 2000-2001 labor reform in Russia (analysed in this chapter) was adopted with the genuine use of democratic mechanisms and procedures. Moreover, the reformers proved successful in the process of selecting among policy alternatives and building a coalition to support the reform, which they managed to accomplish with only relatively minor compromises. This case study demonstrates that the government can squeeze unpopular reforms through the parliament without relying upon an “authoritarian modernization” model if its policies are backed by a strong and popular president and when its efforts to secure the support of various actors prove enough to build a broad informal coalition of supporters. The case of labor reform is also revealing because there were two full-fledged attempts at this reform in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and only the latter succeeded. This allows us to trace the ultimate policy success back to the factors that conditioned it in the second try but were lacking in the first attempt, and to consider some effects of policy learning.
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 chapter seeks to provide a detailed account of the policy process that led to the adoption of the pension reform in Russia in 2001. Focusing on the major actors involved in the elaboration of the reform concept and their preferences, I show that the 2001 Russian pension reform appeared to be a compromise squared for the liberal insiders of Kasyanov’s government and, most of all, for Mikhail Dmitriev, a major driver and proponent of the market-oriented reform. As the 2000-2001 attempts to reform pensions in Russia were not the first of such endeavours, a previous attempt to introduce a model of privatization into the Russian pension system, carried out by the “young reformers” government in 1997-1998, is also examined in this chapter. This analysis helps us to identify the network of policy actors involved in the bargaining at the turn of the century (namely, distinguishing the “old” bureaucracy from the Ministry of Labour and the liberal reformers who were invited by Anatoly Chubais from the outside to elaborate the reform). Also, I show how the “window of opportunities” which opened when Vladimir Putin became the Russian president in spring 2000, in fact, limited the liberal reformers’ room for manoeuvre as the newly elected president chose to stake on the “old” bureaucracy as the backbone of the regime in the earliest stage of his presidency.
This article addresses the questions, What do children in urban areas do on Saturdays? What type of organizational resources do they have access to? Does this vary by social class? Using diary data on children’s activities on Saturdays in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area, the authors describe the different types of venues (households, businesses, public space, associations, charities, congregations, and government/tribal agencies) that served different types of children. They find that the likelihood of using a charity or business rather than a government or tribal provider increased with family income. Also, the likelihood of using a congregation or a government facility rather than business, charity, or household increased with being Hispanic. The authors discuss implications for the urban division of labor on Saturdays and offer research questions that need further investigation.
Истражујући историјске везе Србије и Русије стиче се утисак да је у досадашњем времену већа пажња поклањана уметничким, културним, духовним и политичким, а знатно мање економским односима наших држава и народа. Управо због тога историјат економских веза нема тако богату прошлост, какав је случај са дугом традицијом и богатством српско-руске сарадње на осталим пољима. Први документи о економској сарадњи ове две земље потичу из 15. века када су први трговци путовали из Србије у Русију и обратно. Србија је први кредит од Русије добила 1867. године за изградњу железнице од Радујевца до Ниша. У новије време економски односи се значајно интензивирају и може се рећи они сада представљају прву и главну линију српско-руске сарадње. Србија је са Русијом 2000. године склопила Споразум о слободној трговини који омогућава нашој земљи да преко 95% домаћих производа извезе у Русију без царине. То је веома важан адут наше земље у привлачењу страних инвестиција, али и у бољем искоришћавању сопствених ресурса кроз покривање тражње на огромном руском тржишту. Србија и Русија су током 2008. године закључиле Споразум о сарадњи у нафтногасној области и Меморандум о разумевању за реализацију гасовода ЈУЖНИ ТОК, чија изградња је почела крајем 2012. године. Ради се о крупном и изузетно значајном пројекту чијом реализацијом ће се обезбедити енергетска сигурност наше земље, уз низ пратећих погодности за убрзани економски развој читаве привреде. Највећа руска банка СБЕРБАНКА започела је пословање у нашој земљи, а у најави су и стратешко партнерство руских компанија са смедеревском железаром, као и улагања у читав низ пројеката у нашој земљи. Под повољним условима започиње реализација руског кредита у износу од 800 милиона долара намењеног реконструкцији и модернизацији наших железница, а ускоро се очекује нови кредитни аранжман од једне милијарде долара. Велике инвестиције очекују се кроз војно-техничку сарадњу, као и на реализацији читавог низа других развојних пројеката. Потпуно је излишна дилема да ли се Србија окреће истоку или западу. Најбоља је солуција за све да Србија буде мост за повезивање истока и запада, пре свега у економској, али и не мање важним подручјима културне, научне, безбедносне, политичке и сваке друге корисне сарадње која ће бити на ползу земљама и народима који се у ту сарадњу укључују.
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 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.
This special publication for the 2012 New Delhi Summit is a collection of articles by government officials from BRICS countries, representatives of international organizations, businessmen and leading researchers.
The list of Russian contributors includes Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, Maxim Medvedkov, Director of the Trade Negotiations Department of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Vladimir Dmitriev, Vnesheconombank Chairman, Alexander Bedritsky, advisor to the Russian President, VadimLukov, Ambassador-at-large of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, and representatives of the academic community.
The publication also features articles by the President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev and internationally respected economist Jim O’Neil, who coined the term “BRIC”. In his article Jim O’Neil speculates about the future of the BRICS countries and the institution as a whole.
The publication addresses important issues of the global agenda, the priorities of BRICS and the Indian Presidency, the policies and competitive advantages of the participants, as well as BRICS institutionalization, enhancing efficiency and accountability of the forum.