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Article

Between Collaboration and Subordination: State and Non-state Actors in Russian Anti-drug Policy

Aasland A., Kropp S., Meylakhs A.

Due to weak state and administrative capacity, the Russian government has involved resource-rich non-state actors into policy-making since about 2005 and established numerous institutionalized platforms, networks, and forums. These networks mainly emerge on regional and local levels and are designed to generate policy advice, implement decisions, and contribute to output legitimacy. A crucial question is how the authorities govern and regulate these bodies under the terms of a hybrid regime. The paper sheds light on why and how state authorities interact with non-state actors and unravels functions and flavors of governance networks in Russia. Drawing on the empirical results of case studies on anti-drug policy conducted in the regions Samara and St Petersburg, the paper reveals that state dominance within networks is a significant characteristic, although authorities rarely apply explicit ‘hard’ tools of government onto collaborations with non-state actors. The paper also allows for theorizing on the role of governance networks in a hybrid regime.