Post-socialist transition, authoritarian consolidation and social origin of political elites: the case of Russian regional governors
The social origin of elites is important as it, first, affects the political decision-making, and second, is an indicator of social mobility important for the stability of a political system. However, how does the consolidation of an authoritarian regime affect the composition of elites in terms of their social origin? This study investigates this question looking at a sample of Russian regional governors in the period of 1992–2016. We document a gradual decrease of the share of governors from peasants’ and workers’ families, which is most likely related to abandoning the Soviet elite recruitment practices. At the same time, the main beneficiaries of the change (outside the ethnic regions) are not the most privileged groups (children of high-ranked bureaucrats and politicians) but rather offspring of intelligentsia (doctors, teachers and engineers). Interestingly, the military social origin became more important prior to Putin’s presidency, during the era when Russian politics was more competitive and pluralist.
Legislators are entrusted with key parliamentary functions and are important figures in the decision-making process. Their behaviour as political elites is as much responsible for the failures and successes of the new democracies as their institutional designs and constitutional reforms.
This book provides a comparative examination of representative elites and their role in democratic development in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It argues that as the drivers of the transformation process in CEE, individual and collective parliamentary actors matter. The authors provide an in-depth analysis of representatives from eleven national parliaments and explore country-specific features of recruitment and representation. They draw on an integrated dataset of parliamentary elites for individual, party family, and parliamentary variables over the 20 years following the collapse of Communism and develop a common framework for the analysis of variations in democratisation and political professionalisation between parliaments and political parties/party families across CEE.
This unique volume will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, elite research, post-communist politics, democratisation, legislative studies, and parliamentary representation.
The paper aims at revealing factors influencing the development of e-government in the Russian regions. Based mainly on the innovation diffusion concept we run quantitative analysis, testing the significance of political, tech-nological, socio-economic and administrative variables. Our study shows that the diffusion of e-government itself was to a large extent the result of a vertical influence of the federal government, however, disproportions of e-government performance can better be explained by internal characteristics of the regions. We argue that the key predictors for a more mature e-government are relatively democratic political regime, technological advancement, bureaucracy effective-ness and investment in ICT. The explanatory model could best be expanded by case studies focused on agency rather than the structure.
The fundamental idea underpinning spatial econometric models of economic growth is as follows: regional growth is determined not only by social, economic, geographic traits of a region but also by spillovers from other regions, most importantly adjacent ones. If one region starts booming, it can left neighbors unaffected (neutral mechanism), spur their growth (cooperation mechanism) or slow their growth by pulling resources over (competition mechanism). What mechanism and to which extent occurs in practice matters for designing balanced economic policy and evaluating efficiency of regional policy investment. Classic spatial econometric models make strong although simplifying assumption that the same mechanism matters for all regions in the same manner, and there is no variation in spillovers intensity across regions. This assumption seems plausible for relatively small and homogenous regions of European countries, but it looks excessively strong for large and diverse Russian regions. In this paper we attempt to relax this assumption and propose a new model, fitting better in Russian conditions and bringing only slight sophistication from the estimation point of view. We introduce sensitivity parameter governing regional exposure to externalities. We assume this parameter to be a linear function of region-level observables, like area, population density or urbanization rate. These hypotheses have been confirmed at least partially. We found that dense and urbanized regions were more sensitive to spillovers. In other words, a region surrounded by the fast-growing areas, will grow the more intense, the more its population density and the higher the level of urbanization.
The cahpter deals with the cross-regional variety of entrepreneurial activity in Russia and the factors which may determine it, basing on the results of a representative survey of ca. 56 000 adults in the regions of Russin (2011)/ It is shown that the quality of the entrepreneurial activity of population (prevalence of the opportunity driven entrepreneurship) does not correlate with the density of already existing SMEs as well as with the level of unemployment; but it correlates with with the level of urbanization as well as with the level of the well-being of population of rerspective regions. Besides, the regional TEA positively correlate with the perceived opportunity and the self-efficacy of adults i respective regions.
An important role of digital inequality for hindering the development of civil society is being increasingly acknowledged. Simultaneously, differences in availability and the practices of use of social network sites (SNS) may be considered as major manifestations of such digital divide. While SNS are in principle highly convenient spaces for public discussion, lack of access or domination by socially insignificant small talk may indicate underdevelopment of the public sphere. At the same time, agenda differences between regions may signal about local problems. In this study we seek to find out whether regional digital divide exists in such a large country as Russia. We start from a theory of uneven modernization of Russia and use the data from its most popular SNS “VK.com” as a proxy for measuring digital inequality. By analyzing user activity data from a sample of 77,000 users and texts from a carefully selected subsample of 36,000 users we conclude that regional level explains an extremely small share of variance in the overall variation of behavioral user data. A notable exception is attention to the topics of Islam and Ukraine. However, our data reveal that historically geographical penetration of “VK.com” proceeded from the regions considered the most modernized to those considered the most traditional. This finding supports the theory of uneven modernization, but it also shows that digital inequality is subject to change with time.
This paper provides a pioneering approach to estimate the relationship between interregional human capital mobility and the occurrence of high-growth firms (HGFs). We construct and employ the dataset on mobility of university graduates from top-100 Russian universities. We find that the relationship between the mobility of high-skilled university graduates and high-growth firms is non-linear and U-shaped: the initial rise in the number of HGFs is due to the relatively low concentration of highly skilled migrants and availability of innovations only for a small number of firms. However, the competition effect strengthens at some point when innovations become available for larger number of firms simultaneously with large inflow of highly skilled university graduates.
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.