Since 2012, with a view to strengthen the development of strategically important regions, Russia has established several federal agencies responsible for these territories. The essay investigates one of these agencies: the Ministry for the Development of the Far East (Ministerstvo Rossiiskoi Federatsii po razvitiyu Dal’nego Vostoka). We identify two main trade-offs associated with the governance approach used in Russia—between federal power and local knowledge, and between bureaucratic expertise and novel ideas—and examine how the ministry has dealt with these trade-offs and their consequences for the ministry’s performance.
This article explores the nature of the 2008 crisis and the channels through which it affected the performance of firms in Russia. Based on the findings of a manufacturing industry survey, the evidence suggests that all manufacturing firms were affected by crisis and that there is no single and dominant transmission channel. Crisis reactions were signficantly related to participation in international markets, although participation in trade, in external borrowing or FDi can not explain recession by themselves. The reversal of growth was mainly caused by a demand shock, and, following that, by financial constraints. Thus, the hypothesis that blames the overheating of internal demand in the years prior to the crisis seems to receive statistical backing. Globalised companies, though hit by external shocks, were better prepared to pay the costs and balance the consequences of the crisis.
This article examines how Russian NGOs in the field of domestic violence operate in a legal climate characterised by both state restriction and support. I conceptualise anti-violence NGOs that belong to a network as an ‘epistemic community’ and demonstrate that NGOs in my study faced challenges to the recognition of their expertise by state representatives and to the promotion of their vision of policy change. Yet, these NGOs continued to invest their resources in educational events for state specialists. I propose to theorise these educational events as a means of developing a knowledge-based network that can support domestic violence survivors despite lacking formal mechanisms of inter-agency collaboration.
Why do some market-oriented reforms survive, but not the others? What are the factors, which influence the mechanics of maintenance and abandonment of these reforms? Sarah Wilson Sokhey makes an effort to clarify this problem focusing on the phenomenon of pension privatisation reversal in post-communist countries
This paper contributes to the studies of governmentalities of the late 20th century which are predominantly focused on the raise and on various national careers of neoliberal ideas and policy prescriptions, and have only rarely taken into account another powerful trend related to proliferation of information technologies. To complement available research on the role of computer and automation of decision-making in (neo)liberal economy, we’re revealing the existence of alternative technoscientific networks associated with different political projects. Based on archival materials and oral history interviews, we’re reconstructing and analyzing the story of the Franco-Soviet cooperation in the field of economic management, from the late 1950s to the 1980s, which was initially motivated by a common interest in promoting and perfecting planning methods, but was later recast as a dialogue dominated by purely technical issues of the information processing and communication, which finally became a part of the commercial strategy aiming to support the French and Eastern European computer industry. We’re showing that this dynamics was underpinned by various interests and visions of “scientific management” and of the role of computers and information technologies in managing national economy. Importantly, we found that both French and Soviet planners criticized an extensive use of formalization and automatization of managerial decisions–which contradicts widely accepted accounts of confluence between cybernetics and planning. However, under the Brezhnevian conservative turn–despite the rhetoric of the scientific-and-technological revolution–the computer was accepted as a means to preserve the existing social and political order.
This article offers a variety of approaches on how to conceptualise Russian legal responses to these globalised challenges and think about future legal developments. The scholars who have contributed to this volume examine a number of issues analysing human rights, migration law, the Russian approach to international criminal law, free speech, the concepts of state and society and the Crimean crisis. The analytical material and empirical evidence they offer could be further conceptualised within the framework of conservative jurisprudence: the Russian legal profession and scholarship have been slowly adapting to it as a method of dealing with the law rather than as an ideology or practical tool for legal implementation. In this Introduction, I focus on how conservative jurisprudence works in the Russian environment to further offer a useful framework for thinking about Russian law.
The essay addresses the current trends in the criminalisation of free speech in Russia. It critically discusses the amendments to the Russian Criminal Code, criminalising various forms of public expression of opinions, adopted in the years following the presidential elections in March 2012, and questions their compliance with international human rights law. Seeking to identify the motives behind the new provisions, the article argues that the amendments are intended to cause a ‘chilling effect’, to control public dissent by selective or random criminal prosecution. Two of the new criminal law provisions—‘Public Calls for Separatism’ and ‘Rehabilitation of Nazism’—are considered in detail to illustrate the author’s conclusions.
Through case studies of four Russian regions, we examine the trade-offs between social and economic policy at the regional level. All four regions studied seek to stimulate entrepreneurship while preserving or expanding social welfare coverage. Regions differ in development strategies, some placing greater emphasis on indigenous business development and others seeking to attract outside investment. Variation in levels of democracy are unrelated to policy choices. All four regional governments consult actively with local business associations while organised labour is weak. The absence of effective institutions to enforce commitments undermines regional capacity to make social policy an instrument for long-term development.
This article addresses the puzzle of electoral engineering in autocracies using data from three rounds of Russian regional legislative elections between 2003 and 2017. The analysis shows that electoral engineering was widespread in regions where governors lacked the resources necessary to rely on blatant forms of electoral malpractice for the benefit of United Russia. This pattern became evident during the third round of regional legislative elections. The study indicates that the manipulation of electoral systems may be important for authoritarian rulers when they are unable to rely on blatant electoral malpractice to ensure the certainty of electoral outcomes.
The post-Soviet period in Russia has seen the emergence of strong identities shaped around ethnicity issues. The current Putin presidency is marked by a political concern for the 'national question' with strong traditionalist connotations. State dominated politics of identity promoting an encompassing Russian (rossiyskaya) identity aim to become a game changer in nation-building. This agenda has to take in different repertioires of contention, and bridging cleavages within Russian society is not only and primarily a question of elite-tailored politics of identity. It is about the assertion of inclusive identities innate both to the cultural tradition and to the needs of a community confronting modernization challenges.
The contentious politics paradigm provides a general framework for assessing conflict potential in transforming institutional environments that goes beyond institutionalism. However, the territorial dimension of ethnicity historically rooted in Russia and the complex nature of nationalism call for additional theoretical framing. The paper explores the interaction of policy and identity factors to assess the resource capacities of politics of identity for promoting nation-building in a multiethnic society. It uses research and expert sources, poll data and personal expert experience to contribute to 'upgrading' theoretical approaches and public discourse on the future of the Russian nation.
The article examines a crucial shift in models of domestication of the Soviet Far North during the Thaw period. The closure of the Gulag system and the social transformations of the 1950s caused changes in the social space of the Soviet North and in the role of expert knowledge in the USSR. By focusing on modernist urban projects for the Soviet Arctic, I analyse how urban specialists during the Thaw attempted to formulate a new conception of the North as a place for ‘ordinary life’ and therefore transform a peripheral region into an ‘average’ Soviet space.
This article compares resistance movements along the western borderlands of the Soviet Union between 1944 and 1952. Despite similar levels of state repression and local grievances, Moldova’s opposition movement did not escalate to the level of civil war, whereas civil wars emerged across the Baltic states, Belarus, and Ukraine. Through theory development and testing, the article compares Lithuania and Moldova, identifying the role of previous regime behaviour, the speed of Soviet takeover, and the availability of safe havens within Moldova and Lithuania as the key causal factors explaining the difference.
The paper reports on the organizational transformation of the Russian defence industry during the period of privatisation and radical market reforms. The study is based on the results of the original large-scale longitudinal survey of the directors (CEOs) of the industry. We find that during a decade of transition, 1996-2006, Russian defence industry managers were able to largely preserve the production potential of their enterprises and make them capable to operate under market conditions. Coupled with the restoration of government orders and the 2020 rearmament program these newly acquired market skills contributed to the impressive revival of the Russian defence industry in the Putin’s era.
Contemporary motherhood in Russia is a complex discursive field. The article analyses various ways in which knowledge about motherhood produces specific maternal experiences. The general theoretical framework is the foucauldian concept of discursive power based on knowledge. Motherhood is viewed as a class specific practice. The primary focus of the article analysis is the Russian middle class motherhood. The paper analyses the ways in which middle class women talk about motherhood and negotiate various forms of expert knowledge. The author on the basis of analysis of the interview and parental forums discussions data, and specifically on elaborating the ways in which class is integral to the normative understandings of motherhood. The article presents the short theoretical discussion of the concept of motherhood in relation to such concepts as power and social class; describes political and cultural context of motherhood in Russia; elaborates the concept of responsibility and a number of related to it categories as the primary meaning of middle class motherhood. In the conclusion the issue of why and when Russian middle class mothers consider themselves as “responsible” is discussed.
The development of regulatory frameworks has accelerated in Russia after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012. Using public opinion poll data and interviews with school administrators, teachers, assistants and parents, the authors show the challenges of moving towards inclusive education in contemporary Russia. The development of an inclusive school culture is analysed at the levels of artefacts, values and assumptions. Attempts to forge an inclusive culture do not always go smoothly; unexpected consequences occur, including open and hidden resistance and conflicts between children, parents and teachers. Meanwhile, the external context threatens the sustainability of inclusion.
Using data for post-communist economies (1989-2002), we examine the determinants of income inequality. We find a strong positive association between equality and tax collection but note that this relationship is significantly stronger under authoritarian regimes than under democracies. We also discover that countries introducing sustainable democratic institutions early are characterised by lower inequality; we confirm that education fosters equality and find that larger countries are prone to higher levels of inequality.