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Regular version of the site

Article

United we stand: the effects of subnational elite structure on succession in two Russian regions

Post-Soviet Affairs. 2020. Vol. 36. No. 5-6. P. 475-494.

In this paper, we build a theory that presents the process of succession at the subnational level as bargaining between the region and the center. The region should first be able to produce qualifying candidates for successor status, which requires incumbent control. If potential successors emerge and one is designated as such by the incumbent, the central authorities still need to accept such a candidate as the new leader. The center’s strength (depending on the level of centralization) and the region’s strength (depending on regional elite cohesion) shape this negotiation. Using biographical data on subnational political elites in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan in the 1990s and 2000s, we construct elite social networks and demonstrate how and why we observe leader succession in Tatarstan in 2010, but not in Bashkortostan.