Political Security in Authoritarian Systems With a Resource Rent Economy: a Result of the “Social Contract” and High Resource Prices?
Most researchers believe that states which are rich in natural resources are more able to maintain political stability in comparison to countries without such an access to exceptional profits. However, some rent resource autocracies are unanimously considered fragile, and their ability to extract maximum rents does not always contribute to political and economic security during price fluctuations. Based on the idea that the state’s ability to extract resources imposes on it certain obligations, the research question touches upon the quality of governance as a supposed core factor, which mediates the resource dependence and political security in terms of stateness and the ability to fulfil the “social contract.” The latter is described as implementation of political decisions, provision of public goods and services. However, the quality of governance is substantially different in various autocratic systems. Using case-study and descriptive statistics, the authors try to reveal the context and ascertain which factors trigger the horizon length of autocrats` political strategies during rising and falling resource prices. The authors affirm that resource dependence negatively affects political security less due to an absence of economic growth during price breaks, and more due to the struggle of political elites for the redistribution of resources, absence of disciplinary mechanisms, weak representation and accountability systems, and poor enabling environments as a basis for quality of resource management. The authors conclude that political security in autocratic resource economies is achieved through the coexistence of political will and triggers, conducive to specifying the length of the planning horizon.
Tomas Hobbes’ conception of language can not be described in common terms of conventionalism and nominalism. Language plays a very important role in the Hobbes’ thought, therefore, we should pay careful attention to it. What can the language says about distinction between natural and political philosophy? Has the sovereign the power over the language of his subjects? Can we distinguish the language in the commonwealth and the language in the natural state? Searching answers to these questions is important not only in the context of the history of philosophy, but allows us to include Hobbes’ ideas in modern political and philosophical discourse.
To beginning of XXI century the most of states of post-Soviet period have formed the own political systems. Predominance in political consciousness of inhabitants the traditions, the mythologized generally accepted opinions in combination with severe struggle for the power have attached to political process the contradictory character bringing sometimes to constitutional crisis' or to superficial reforms.
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.
Almost all modern autocracies hold elections, and most hold multiparty elections. The prevalence of electoral authoritarian regimes has led an increasing number of scholars to study them. However, one topic that has received less attention is subnational elections. Subnational officials play a central role in the governance of authoritarian regimes. Regime leaders rely on local officials to maintain political stability, implement policy, and gather information about the provinces. Many of the world’s electoral authoritarian regimes hold elections to fill subnational offices,2 and several of the world’s most prominent single-party regimes – e.g., China and Vietnam – have recently begun experimenting with semi-competitive local elections. The decision to hold subnational elections has significant consequences in autocracies. They may directly affect the prospects for democratization, as when opposition parties use subnational elections as staging areas from which to mount broader challenges. Alternatively, autocrats may use subnational elections to improve their information gathering capacity and entrap voters in state-dependent,clientelist relations. Subnational elections may also affect government responsiveness and the quality of officials that are selected. Yet in spite of their importance, there are few studies that attempt to explain why subnational elections are held in some settings, but not in others. This paper helps fill that gap.
In this Introduction a short biography of Hobbes is followed by an analysis of his main ideas.
Using different cross-country data sets and simple econometric techniques we study public attitudes towards the police. More positive attitudes are more likely to emerge in the countries that have better functioning democratic institutions, less prone to corruption but enjoy more transparent and accountable police activity. This has a stronger impact on the public opinion (trust and attitudes) than objective crime rates or density of policemen. Citizens tend to trust more in those (policemen) with whom they share common values and can have some control over. The latter is a function of democracy. In authoritarian countries — “police states” — this tendency may not work directly. When we move from semi-authoritarian countries to openly authoritarian ones the trust in the police measured by surveys can also rise. As a result, the trust appears to be U-shaped along the quality of government axis. This phenomenon can be explained with two simple facts. First, publicly spread information concerning police activity in authoritarian countries is strongly controlled; second, the police itself is better controlled by authoritarian regimes which are afraid of dangerous (for them) erosion of this institution.
High energy resource dependence of Ukraine's economy on gas imported from Russia is caused above all by the fact that while the Ukrainian industry is largely dependent on the Russian fuel there are no alternatives for Ukraine to diversify its import in the medium term. Key Ukrainian industries (the ore-metallurgical complex and the chemical industry) are too much dependent on the Russian gas.
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.