The Political Economy of Russian Gubernatorial Election and Appointment
Political and economic outcomes depend, in part, on the quality of the officials making policy. Many scholars argue that free and fair elections are the best method for selecting competent officials. Others, however, argue that elections can lead to the selection of amateurs, demagogues, and political sycophants. Under this view, sub-national officials should be appointed by centralized planners who are insulated from local popular pressures. In this paper, we use original data on the biographies of Russian regional governors to determine whether the backgrounds of governors elected between 1992 and 2004 differ from the backgrounds of appointed governors post-2004. We find that the two groups are surprisingly similar along many dimensions. Elected and appointed governors have similar career backgrounds, ages, educational profiles, and ethnicities. But there are some important differences as well. Elected governors are more likely to have held elected office and be from the region where they serve. Appointed governors are also more likely to be federal bureaucrats, hold a graduate degree, and have education in economics. Finding that the selection mechanism explains only a small portion of the variance in governor backgrounds, we conclude the paper by speculating on other possible explanations for variation in governor background.
Elections are among the most important and least understood institutions in contemporary authoritarian regimes. Theoretically, electoral authoritarian regimes should have an informational advantage that makes them more robust than other types of authoritarian regimes, but much empirical evidence suggests otherwise. In this article we offer a new perspective on why this might be the case. Specifically, we consider how authoritarian elections influence a ruler’s choices in making cadre appointments. We argue that the imperative of winning authoritarian elections forces authoritarian leaders to prioritize the appointment of politically loyal cadres, who can help the regime win elections. This choice often comes at the expense of appointing officials who are competent at making good public policy and promoting economic development, factors that may contribute to long-term regime stability. We test this theory using an original dataset of gubernatorial appointments in one leading contemporary authoritarian regime, Russia.
What is governmental effectiveness on the regional level? How can the study of regional effectiveness help us understand the performance of the political, social and economic systems of the state as a whole? These questions are very important from both the theoretical and applied perspectives, and the Russian Federation, with its huge and diverse territory, provides extremely rich material to answer them. Serious institutional reforms in the public sector have been implemented in recent years, and the results vary substantially from one region to another. So, in Russia, we can study how general attempts to make government more effective - guided by federal policies - produce particular regional effects, and, conversely, how regions implement federal policy differently. Both views tell us something important about overall governmental quality.
Governmental effectiveness, though in a broad sense one of the oldest issues in political science and philosophy, is currently enjoying a renaissance. The quantity of recent publications and even a special academic structure - The Quality of Government Institute in Sweden – illustrate the current interest. However, researching governmental effectiveness poses serious difficulties, on both the conceptual and instrumental levels. Despite (perhaps even because of) the variety of available theoretical frameworks, the essential core notions of governmental effectiveness and good governance remain murky. Furthermore, scholars disagree about what effectiveness and efficiency mean in a general sense. These issues obviously make it difficult to construct adequate measurement instruments.
The paper seeks to achieve three goals: 1) to review existing approaches and highlight their weak points; 2) to propose a theoretical framework for analyzing governmental effectiveness using appropriate estimation tools; and 3) to present empirical results based on data on public health care from Russia’s regions. Three patterns that ought to correlate - regional efficiency, how reform has been implemented and public opinion – are, instead, inconsistent with each other. Russia’s health-care sector today faces considerable problems with basic, systemic effectiveness.
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.
The research is devoted to the effects of evolution electoral systems to politics. The article analyses results of the electoral reform in Russian Federation from the point of view of elite representation. It is stated on the basis of the frequency analyses that legislative changes in countries of the electoral authoritarianism are aimed at preserving the status quo within elites. The study finds out that the proportion of regional, national and business elite representation is retained in the Russian State Duma of three terms convocations (2003, 2007, 2011).
In this paper we study convergence among Russian regions. We find that while there was no convergence in 1990s, the situation changed dramatically in 2000s. While interregional GDP per capita gaps still persist, the differentials in incomes and wages decreased substantially. We show that fiscal redistribution did not play a major role in convergence. We therefore try to understand the phenomenon of recent convergence using panel data on the interregional reallocation of capital and labor. We find that capital market in Russian regions is integrated in a sense that local investment does not depend on local savings. We also show that economic growth and financial development has substantially decreased the barriers to labor mobility. We find that in 1990s many poor Russian regions were in a poverty trap: potential workers wanted to leave those regions but could not afford to finance the move. In 2000s (especially in late 2000s), these barriers were no longer binding. Overall economic development allowed even poorest Russian regions to grow out of the poverty traps. This resulted in convergence in Russian labor market; the interregional gaps in incomes, wages and unemployment rates are now below those in Europe. The results imply that economic growth and development of financial and real estate markets eventually result in interregional convergence.
Russia is a country of great complexity—eighty-nine subject regions, ethnic diversity, economic variance across regions, the power struggle of Moscow versus the regions—and multiple realities—urban versus rural, rich versus poor, and cosmopolitan versus provincial, just to name a few. Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation explores Russia's complexity and the meanings of the country's internal borders, the future of its agricultural spaces, the development of its political parties, and the effect of its federal organization.
The contributors examine stratification, citizenship, federalization, democratization, the politics of culture and identity, and globalization. These essays show how political leaders within Russia and scholars and policymakers from outside must accept the country's complexity and view uncertainty as a positive development rather than a liability. The authors explore how Russian experience can enhance theory political science, sociology, geography, and economics.
Subnational political units are growing in influence in national and international
affairs, drawing increasing scholarly attention to politics beyond national capitals.
In this book, leading Russian and Western political scientists contribute to
debates in comparative politics by examining Russia’s subnational politics.
Beginning with a chapter that reviews major debates in theory and method,
this book continues to examine Russia’s 83 regions, exploring a wide range of
topics including the nature and stability of authoritarian regimes, federal politics,
political parties, ethnic conflict, governance and inequality in a comparative perspective.
Providing both qualitative and quantitative data from 20 years of original
research, the book draws on elite interaction, public opinion and the role of
institutions regionally in the post-Soviet
years. The regions vary on a number of
theoretically interesting dimensions while their federal membership provides
control for other dimensions that are challenging for globally comparative
studies. The authors demonstrate the utility of subnational analyses and show
how regional questions can help answer a variety of political questions, providing
evidence from Russia that can be used by specialists on other large countries
or world regions in cross-national
Situated within broader theoretical and methodological political science
debates, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Russian politics,
comparative politics, regionalism and subnational politics
In the publication we describe Russian regional markets of higher education. We consider the following indicators of the markets: size in terms of students per 10 000 of population; its institutional structure – number of public and private institutions, universities and their local branches; program diversity; level and dynamics of tuition fees during recent years; and levels of market concentration in higher education. For each key indicator we present geographical maps that characterize differentiation of the regional markets. We also analyze indicators of regional markets of higher education in conjunction with clusters of Russian regions outlined by Independent Institute on Social Policy (2006) on the basis of socio-economic indicators and derive meaningful conclusions on differentiation of key indicators of higher education markets. We show that in Russia the level of regional development corresponds to the level of concentration and diversification at regional higher education markets.
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.
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.